Category Archives: Safaricom

M-Akiba: Kenya’s new government bonds that are bought by phone

Today saw the launch of M-Akiba, a long awaited product that through which ordinary Kenyans tcan buy government bonds on their phones, using mobile money. The can purchase units as small as Kshs 3,000 (~$30) and earn 10%.

Some tweets about the events today: 

  • The Central Bank of Kenya governor (@njorogep) said  #MAkiba bond is in line with @CBKKenya strategy to increase the level of financial inclusivity in the economy – @NSEKenya   
  • #MAkiba is a collaborative initiative between @NSEKenya @KeTreasury @cdsckenya @SafaricomLtd @AIRTEL_KE @KCBGroup – @NSEKenya
  • Phase One of M-Akiba Runs for 3 weeks targeting Sh150M. Main offer targeting Sh4.85Bn in Q2-Q3 Will run for 3 Months – @kenyanwalstreet
  • M-Akiba bond has so far been Ksh. 535k purchased. I am surprised Kenyans were this interested. So far highest buy is at Ksh. 50k – @MumbiWarui
  • Day One Of M-Akiba; Bonds worth Ksh 1.0 Million Bought Via Mobile Phones In the first 60 Minutes http://kenyanwallstreet.com/m-akiba-retail-bond-goes-live … @kenyanwalstreet
  • To trade #MAkiba bond open a CDS account by dialling *889# either on @SafaricomLtd @AIRTEL_KE .The initial investment per account is 3,000. – @NSEKenya
  • CDSC to manage the register of the bond, offer IPO managements system and the depository and settlement services on behalf of the government – @cdsckenya
  • We have just witnessed the launch of the first M-Akiba bond at the Treasury. It has a coupon rate of 10%p.a.Tradable through the phone.- @JimnahMbaru
  • The #MAkiba bond entry level is kshs 3,000 compared to the current entry point of Ksh 50,000 for any govt securities. @M_AKIBA2017 – @NSEKenya
  • #MAkiba bond is a tax free bond that will attract a 10% interest paid biannually within a period of 3 years @CMAKenya @cdsckenya @CBKKenya – @M_AKIBA2017
  • We are receiving A LOT of transactions per sec. In case of any delays, please just try again. Thank you for the overwhelming response so far – @M_AKIBA2017
  •  UPDATE: Subscription figures- @AIRTEL_KE  Airtel Money -1,300 @SafaricomLtd  MPESA-420 Total collection KES 2.4 million. AS AT 4PM TODAY – @M_AKIBA2017

Some Blogs:  

EDIT

  • M-Akiba is a three year fixed coupon infrastructure “special limited offer” bond
  • Issue number MAB1/2017/3
  • Amount Kshs 150 million (~$1.5 million) issued in March 2017
  • Apply by *889#, and runs from 23 March to 7 April and will be allocated on a first come first served basis
  • Minimum investment is Kshs 3,000, maximum investment is Kshs 140,000 (~$1,400) per day
  • Coupon 10% a year
  • Bond will be listed on the NSE and will be tradable by phone from April 11
  • Trading commission is 0.1% of actual allocations
  • M-akiba interest is tax exempt
  • Pays interest every 6 months: on (2017) 9 Oct, (2018) 9 April, 8 Oct., (2019), 8 April, 7 Oct., (2020) 6 April
  • From a prospectus in a local newspaper.

Notes

‘Akiba’ means  ‘savings’  in Swahili
$1 = Ksh 103

Kenya’s Money in the Past: Digital Kenya

Digital Kenya, by Bitange Ndemo and Tim Weiss, charts the rapid emergence of Kenya in the world of technology. Through stories and interviews with people in the sector, you learn about risk-taking and making policy from humble beginnings back in the mid-1990’s when the whole country shared 32 kbps, and the then telecom Kenya Posts & Telecommunications (KPTC) monopoly declared internet services as being illegal. At the time, KPTC was connecting about 10,000 users to the phone network, and with 77,000 potential customers waiting, they envisioned a 5% tele-density in Kenya by the year 2015. The tele-density in 2015 turned out to be 88% thanks to rapid changes that came after fibre cables and the cheaper mobile phones emerged.

One story is a narration of how, as a peace agreement was being signed in February 2008 to end the post-election violence in Kenya, the ICT Ministry managed to secure a guarantee to enable the laying of the TEAMS fibre cable that ultimately changed the face of ICT in Kenya. This came after the ministry had stepped back from another long-discussed  bureaucratic cable project – one called EASSY. This was one of the examples of government officials circumventing red tape for a good outcome. Another was the roll out of M-Pesa which is also cited here, ahead of regulations and thanks to some  individuals in government giving it their cautious blessing. Not all of them turned out well, and one case cited is of officials at the Postal Corporation sabotaging a land deal that would have led to the establishment in Nairobi of the headquarters of a multinational telecommunications organization.

There are many other stories that show issues of privatization, race, the lack of vision & finance, tech startups, the need for skills to scale, and the disconnect between local capital & the tech sector. It also shows the disconnect of ICT with both formal banking and also with the agricultural sector, two crucial links yet to be adequately bridged in Kenya.

Thanks to the Ford Foundation, the books is available free of charge and a free book download can be obtained.

Growth Crossings: Africa Rising?

Excerpts from the Economist Events #GrowthCrossings dinner in Nairobi this week.

growthcrossings-nairobi

  • China grew by exporting to the world, Africa is rising by buying products – Abiola Olaniran
  • There are 1 trillion cash transactions in Africa that can be financially included through partnerships & technology – Sanjay Rughani
  • In two years, the unbanked African population has dropped from 54% to 46% – Sanjay Rughani
  • An ADB study found 3 drivers of Africa growth to be demographics (young urban population), climate change, and digital leapfrogging – Donald Kaberuka
  • A mobile network is many things in Africa, and Safaricom will be an ecosystem for others to succeed e.g in health, education, energy – Stephen Chege.
  • E-commerce is driven by high volumes, consistent delivery, and consumer protection – this takes a lot to succeed in Africa –  Sanjay Rughani.

M-Shwari, Equitel, and Mobile Lending Apps in Kenya

Just 24 hours apart, Equity Bank and Safaricom, which arguably have the most financial connections with Kenyan citizens, through m-banking, both made financial results announcements. Equity released their Q3 2016 results while Safaricom, whose year ends in March, was announcing their 2017 half-year results.

Safaricom has M-Pesa and also powers M-shwari at CBA and KCB M-pesa while Equity has Equitel a bank in a SIM card that gets around the barrier of the M-pesa. At the beginning of the year Equity had 8.8 million customers and the country’s largest bank – KCB had 3.8 million . They are surprisingly topped by CBA with 12.9 million customers, largely due to their partnership with Safaricom called M-shwari which allows savings and lending directly from a phone SIM card.

In the results this week, Safaricom reported pre-tax half-year profit of Kshs 34 billion derived from their 26 million customers solar-2Bphone-2Bchargerand their CEO said that they process about 21,000 M-pesa transactions per minute and that 2 loans are processed every second. M-pesa revenue increased by 33.7% to Kshs 26 billion, and message revenue grew by 8.1% to Kshs 8.6 billion (with the increase in premium rate SMS revenue probably attributable to sports betting /mobile gaming)

They now have 50,000 merchants using their cashless platform called Lipa na M-Pesa, and announced a waiver on person-to-person and Lipa Na M-Pesa transactions under Kshs 100 (~$1)  “We have done this to empower the people who support this company the most – the mama mbogas, the small businessmen, and the micro-agents who form our network.”

As at September 2016, Equity had a Kshs 15.1 billion pre-tax profit, an 18% increase over last year.  The Q3 results also showed a second straight quarter of reduction in loans at the bank from Kshs 222 to 221 billion. Whether this is due to the recent interest rate-capping bill or an absence of lending opportunities, or an economic pullback is not clear, but the deposits raised by the bank went to government treasuries which grew by Kshs 21 billion in the quarter.

Equity reaffirmed an ongoing commitment to shift in customer service channels from physical branches to phone and agents. In the first year of Equitel (their telco), it did 151 million transactions in the quarter 142% more than the year before. Equitel is now the second largest move of mobile money in Kenya – at 14%, being M-Pesa (84%)  but ahead of Airtel Money, Orange Money and Mobikash.

Equity Bank has also released a series of Eazzy banking solutions and tools including (an)  Eazzy App, Eazzy Chama (investment group/SACCO management tool) and (an) EazzyAPI (for developers to build on).

Away from the two, the World Bank’s CGAP blog recently highlighted and compared several phone-based borrowing / m-banking solutions and apps available to Kenyans. They are easily accessible but unregulated, and they vary their terms, credit scoring methods, limits (which range from ~S1 to $10,000) interest rates, duration,  and the ultimate cost to the borrower. They include;  Branch, Equitel (Eazzy Loan and  Eazzy Plus Loan), Jumo/ Kopa Cash, KCB-M-Pesa, Kopa Chapaa, Micromobile, Mjiajiri, M-pawa-Sacco, M-Shwari, Okoa Stima, Pesa na Pesa, Pesa Pata, Pesa Zetu, Saida, Tala, and Zindisha.

$1 = Kshs 101

Reading the Tea leaves at Centum, Kenya Airways, Safaricom – Part II

 Follow up from two years ago

Three companies that had their year-end in March 2016 have just published their annual reports which are now found on their individual websites. On Thursday both Centum and Kenya Airways boards will face their shareholders at the annual general meetings (AGM’s). Centum is ending a 9 year dividend drought, and Kenya Airways which had another a record-breaking loss, now believes the worst os now behind them. Meanwhile Safaricom will create 6 ‘mini-Safaricoms’ that operate in six Kenya regions and create more segment products like Blaze.

Centum:

  • Has a (massive 192) page annual report (up from 160 pages), and the company has 37,325 shareholders.
  • Will pay Kshs 665 million in dividend (1/= per share) ending a long dividend drought (since 2009)
  • Significant joint ventures are Amu Power (51%) and Two Rivers Lifestyle Center (50% – following a partial disposal). Old Mutual advanced Kshs 5.7 billion to Two Rivers with the debt convertible to 40% in the equity of Two Rivers, with shareholders loans previously held by AVIC and ICDC offset against the consideration. Further developments at Two Rivers  include luxury apartments, a five-star hotel and residences, a healthcare facility and additional structured parking. Property owners who have purchased plots at Two Rivers include  South Africa’s City Lodge Hotel group who are establishing a three star hotel; and Victoria Bank, who are constructing an office block.
  • The completion of the transaction on disposal of interest in Two Rivers and the acquisition of additional interest in Kilele, Sidian Bank and Almasi resulted in a net gain on disposal recorded in equity of Kshs 2.5 billion.
  • The half-year report will be available online to shareholders who register.
  • NAS, where they own 15% will continue diversifying its income streams by launching two Burger King restaurant franchise outlets in Kenya.
  • Will enter the healthcare business with a significant investment this year
  • Centrum plans to build 20 schools across Africa in the next three to five years, as part of a tripartite consortium with SABIS and Investbridge Capital. The consortium has acquired a suitable site along Kiambu Road that will host the first SABIS school in Sub-Saharan Africa, offering both 8-4-4 and K-12 education curricula with a capacity of up to 1,700 students.
  • In agri-business, Centum incorporated Greenblade Growers and acquired a 120 acre farm in Ol Kalou  that will be used for value addition and will have a capacity to process 10 tonnes of fresh produce per day, to key export markets of Netherlands and later the  UK.
  • Energy: to date, the company has invested Kshs 3.1 billion in the development of two landmark projects – Amu Power and Akiira One Geothermal.
  • At the AGM, Centum Chairman James Muguiyi, retires after 13 years and also the Principal Secretary – Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, (representing the Kenya government) will retire from the board and not seek re-election.
  • Shareholders will be asked to approve the incorporation of Zohari Leasing, Rea Power Company,  Le Marina  (Uganda) and Two Rivers Development Phase Two. Also that the acquisition of 100% shares of Vipingo Estates and an additional 29% of Longhorn Publishers be ratified (they paid Kshs 393 million for the new shares).
  • Shareholders will also approve a name change from Centum Investment Ltd. to Centum Investment PLC.
  • Shareholders will approve an indemnity of the company directors .. against all relevant loss including any liability incurred by him (her) in defending any civil or criminal proceedings.. the directors may decide to purchase and maintain insurance, at the expense of the company.

Kenya Airways (KQ) kq-ticket-sleeve-old-style

  • The report is 149 pages (up from 130 pages) and KQ has 78,577 shareholders (a slight increase as  their share price has dipped)
  • The Group operates domestic flights and flies to 53 destinations in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe.
  • After their 31 March 2016 year-end, they received Kshs 10 billion from the Government of Kenya, (being the second and final tranche of the KShs 20 billion (US$ 200 million) bridge financing that has been on-lend from African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), and they sub-leased two Boeing 787 & three Boeing 777-300 aircraft as part of the turnaround initiatives in order to improve its liquidity position.
  •  JamboJet tax losses stood at Kshs 856 million, and Kenyan income tax laws allow for carry forward of tax losses for a maximum period of 10 years.
  • Short term facilities were drawn down from Equity Bank, Jamii Bora Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, I & M Bank, Chase bank, National Bank of Kenya, Diamond Trust Bank, Co-operative Bank, NIC bank and Eco bank. During the year, the airline negotiated for extended repayment periods for all short-term loans ranging from 4 – 7 years except for Kenya Commercial bank. The Government of Kenya Loan is at 10.20% far much more than previous financing that was at 4-7%. Citi JP Morgan Kshs 78 billion is at 1.5% , Afrexim Bank 23 billion is at 4%, while other short-term Kshs 22 billion is at 9%
  • In addition to the Kenya government, KLM, and IFC, top 10 shareholders now include Mike Maina Kamau, Vijay Kumar Ratilal Shah, Gulamali Ismail and Galot International.
  • They implemented a business class upgrade system in January 2016, under which economy class passengers can bid & buy upgrades to fly on  business class.
  • A total of 63 bird strikes were reported in the year (down from 77 last year).

 Safaricom

  • The report is 172 pages (up from 136 pages) and the company has 600,000 shareholders (down from 660,000).
  • At the AGM a few weeks ago, shareholders approved payment of a dividend for Kshs 0.76 per share for 2016 and also a special bonus dividend of Kshs 0.68 per share.
  • According to a True Value report (they commissioned it, and it was done by KPMG), the total value the company contributed to Kenyan society in FY15 was Kshs 315 billion and they  sustained over 682,000 jobs.
  • Bonga points totaling Kshs 3.2 billion are a liability to be converted to revenue as customers utilize their points
  • Lent Kshs 500 million to Safaricom money transfer services, a subsidiary that derives revenue from international money transfer services.
  • The license  fee for M-pesa dropped from 10% to 5% from August 2015.
  • Donated Kshs 414 million to the Safaricom foundation
  • Spent Kshs 9.3 billion on the National Police Service communication project that’s now 92% complete.
  • They now require all new business partners to sign up to the “code of ethics for businesses in Kenya” during the on boarding process, and 269 companies have signed this.
  • They were fined Kshs 157 million by the Communications Authority of Kenya for not complying with its quality of service thresholds.