Category Archives: Transcentury

Bond Moment: M-Akiba, EABL and other NSE Bonds

Update on NSE Bonds or bonds listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchanges and other bonds, since the last bond moment in May 2015

Globally, the bond market is bigger than equities one, and according to the latest CMA Kenya quarterly statistics (PDF),  bond market turnover in Kenya has been larger than the equities one since 2009 mainly due to government bonds. In 2016, equity market turnover was Kshs 147 billion (down from 209 billion) in 2015. Bond market turnover was Kshs 433 billion (~$4.2 billion) in 2016 (up from 305 billion in 2015). Turnover has been 99% due to government treasury bonds, while that of corporates is less than 1% of bond turnover in a year – except in the years 2010 and 2011.

If one doesn’t want to buy NSE bonds directly, there are CMA-approved bond funds for investors including the Apollo Bond Fund, Co-op Bond Fund, Diaspora Bond Fund, Dyer & Blair Bond Fund, ICEA Bond Fund, Madison Asset Bond Fund, and the Old Mutual Bond Fund. These fixed income /bond funds total Kshs 1.4 billion (or 2.5% of the 57 billion) of funds management by fund managers in Kenya.

Government Bonds

  • M-Akiba: Following the successful launch of M-Akiba, Kenya’s Kshs 150 million , 10%, tax-free, 3 year bonds that were entirely sold via mobile phone (the minimum investment was Kshs 3,000 (~$30))  another Kshs 4.85 billion (~$47 million) is to be floated in June 2017.
  • Following the launch of a green bonds program, banks, under the ambit of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), have partnered with Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) towards raising the country’s first bank-supported climate change-aligned corporate debt instruments in the next six to eight months. The capital flows from the green bonds in Kenya will go towards funding bank clients that require finance for clean and sustainable development projects in the priority areas of energy, agriculture, transport, infrastructure, building and urban planning, and water and waste management…so far, banks operating in South Africa and Morocco are already tapping the green finance opportunities in partnership with local municipalities and development finance institutions. projects. Also in South Africa, the World Bank’s International Finance Corp (IFC) successfully raised a 9-year, 1 billion Rand Green Bond via the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. More on the Kenya Bankers Association Sustainable Finance Initiative.
  • The Kenya Government finance bill 2017 will give Islamic finance bonds the same treatment as conventional bonds and also allow Islamic finance products in the cooperatives sub-sector.
  • The Rwanda government is about to issue a 10 billion Rwanda franc (~$12 million), 7-year Treasury bond. It will be issued on May 24 and the funds will be used for infrastructure project and capital markets development. The bonds will be listed at the Rwanda stock exchange and trade in multiple of 100,000 francs (~$120).
  • Nigeria has asked Goldman Sachs & Stanbic IBTC Bank to advise it on the sale of a debut “diaspora bond” targeted at Nigerians living abroad. – via @kenyanwalstreet

Corporate NSE Bonds:

  • Centum announced a Kshs 2 billion one year 14.5% note for the Two Rivers Development.
  • Cytonn is seeking advisors  for their medium term notes to raise Kshs 5 billion from the public towards the financing of Cytonn real estate’s (CRE) projects including Taraji Heights in Ruaka and The Ridge in Ridgeways.
  • On Monday EABL listed the Kshs 6 billion (~$58 million) of bonds at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) as the second and final tranche of its Kshs 11 billion shilling medium term note program that was launched in 2015. The tranche attracted bids worth Kshs 8.4 billion, representing a 41% over-subscription. The bonds maturing in March 2022 will pay an annual fixed interest of at least 14.17% and the raised funds will go towards optimising operations and restructuring the brewer’s balance sheet. “This is the first corporate bond to be listed on the bourse this year, and we are confident that its success, a subscription rate of 140.9% will open the doors for more listings in the course of this year.” said Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Mr. Geoffrey Odundo. Citi upgraded EABL as a buy, due to its low price – seeing value even as the beer market was flat. The first half of FY17 (ended December 2016) showed decent volume growth for EABL (+5% YOY) but weak sales growth (-6%) as beer demand continued to shift from mainstream to value. EABL is doing well in spirits but struggling in beer, and Tanzania continues to present a challenge. – Citi report.
  • A South African credit-only micro-finance institution Real People Investment Holdings which issued a multi-billion bond in Kenya late 2015, has received a negative rating. Global Credit Ratings (GCR) said it had downgraded the primary and special servicer quality ratings assigned, with the outlook accorded as negative.
  • Transcentury bond holders lost 50% in a restructuring buyout deal.

Other Bonds

  • The African Development Bank had led the establishment of an African Domestic Bond Index and a $200 million African Domestic Bond Fund to deepen liquidity in local bond markets. It has also issued local currency bonds in 11 countries, including Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, and Uganda. leading the African Union in mobilizing domestic resources required to execute the Bank’s five developmental priorities dubbed the ‘High 5s’. – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
  • The Africa Finance Corporation issued a US$500 million 7 year Eurobond. The senior, unsecured Eurobond which carries a coupon of 3.875% was priced to yield 4.000% and matures in April 2024. It attracted orders of US$2.4 billion, representing about 5 times over-subscription from 231 investors. The bond will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The Eurobond was distributed to investors in Europe (29%), United States (25%), United Kingdom (24%), Asia (18%) and the Middle East (4%). Citi, J.P. Morgan, MUFG and Standard Chartered Bank acted as Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners for the U.S. dollar-denominated issue.
  • FSD Africa (Financial Sector Deepening Africa) and KfW Development Bank will invest £15.3 million (~$19.8 million or Kshs 2 billion) in the African Local Currency Bond Fund enabling it to step up its engagement with developmentally important industry sectors such as green energy and housing and take on investments in fragile and conflict-affected states. ALCBF is managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP) Asset Management LLP.
  • Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Africa “the continent’s only Pan-African debt event” takes place on 13th & 14th March 2018, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

 Bond Moment: May 2015

Chase Bank Kenya launched a Kshs 10 billion  ($108 million) bond today. It matures in  7 years,, will pay about 13% return with a minimum investment is Kshs 100,000 ($1,080). The first trance of the multi-currency bond will be for Kshs 3 billion with a green shoe option of another Kshs 2 billion.

Centum Investments  have launched a Kshs 6 billion (~$65 million) bond that pays about 13% over 5 years. They intend to used the money raised for projects in finance, energy, and real estate. It runs from May 18 to June 5. More on the Centum projects which include the Akira geothermal plant in Ol Karia, a coal plant in Lamu, and the Two Rivers Mall project in Nairobi.

Rwanda is planning an inaugural 10-year, $14.5 million, bond for to finance energy and road projects.

Tranccentury shares are taking a hit as the company moves to raise additional cash through a rights issue to repay an $80 million convertible Eurobond that was issued in 2011.

Cash strapped Kenya Airways is looking at options to sort out it liquidity problems including a long-term bond or a fresh capital injection.

Trans National Bank lost Kshs 200 million after it asked Tsavo Securities to facilitate a bond Sale Buy Back transaction on its behalf in 2012.

Listed real estate firm Home Afrika was unsuccessful in its attempt to raise $10 million through a 13.5% bond.

Don’t want to buy bonds directly? There are bond funds at British American, ICEA Lion, Old Mutual Investments and at Dyer & Blair

NSE Moment: Buyouts, Vultures, Divestments

A look at recent deals at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and other privatization and equity bids since the last update. 

Essar released a bombshell from India that they would be abandoning their investment in the old Kenya Pipeline Refineries and sell their stake back to the Kenya Government for $5 million.
At the same time a Receiver Manager put up (the closed) Pan African Paper Mills up for sale, but that is likely to be complicated by links the company had with vulture funds who purchased Panpaper’s debts in the international secondary debt market.
These faceless entities — basically different mutations of one group (going by the names like Noon Day Asset Management Asia and Farallon Capital Institutional Partners) — and 11 such firms  own 37% of the company’s debt.
The Essar fallout prompted Parliament  to also look into the mystery of Orange Kenya which keeps asking for more government support even as the government loses equity in the company.
Since then, the government announced that a new office will advise the government on  state investments: Attorney-General Githu Muigai said the Government Transaction Advisory Services Office will guide state deals with the aim of sealing opportunities where the latter has been losing its shareholding in parastatals without monetary gain.
EDIT: Another divestment is Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL) finally exiting Uchumi after disposing off all its shares. It had 18% in 2004 and 4% in 2012. – via @NSEKenya 

Done Deals

Recent M&A deals approved by the Kenya Competition Authority include:

Agri-Business:  The  acquisition of Juhudi Kilimo (turnover of Kshs 30 million) by Soros Economic Development Fund.

Aviation: The acquisition of Lady Lori Kenya by Ian Mbuthia Mimano, Adi Vinner and Peter Nthiga Njagi.

Education: The  purchase of 60% of Safer World Investments by School Operators Limited (owners of Peponi School) (The two will have a combined turnover of Kshs 672 million or ~$8 million)

Finance & Banking: The acquisition of Francis Thuo & Partners by Equity Investment Bank.
Food: The acquisition of 66% of Coca-Cola Juices Kenya by the Coca-Cola Export Corporation.
The  acquisition of Lonrho PLC by FS Africa  (as part of a $280 million deal in South Africa).
The acquisition of Ma Cuisine by Harper Holdings.
Health: The acquisition of Jampharm Chemist by Viva Afya (the two have a combined turnover of Kshs. 19.5 million).
The acquisition of Ascribe Group (which has a turnover of Kshs 70 million) by Emis Group.
Deals Bubbling
Brookside Dairies have taken over Buzeki, the makers of Molo Milk, in a Kshs 1.1 billion ($13 million) deal that increases Brookside’s share of the dairy market to 44%. 


NOTICE is given that the furniture, fittings, fixtures and the assets and the stock being the business of manufacturing and selling of milk and milk products owned by Buzeki Dairy Limited (the “Transferor”) on the premises situated at Ganjoni, Mombasa have been sold and transferred by the Transferor to Brookside Dairy Limited who will carry on the said business of manufacturing and selling of manufacture of milk and milk products at the premises of Brookside Dairy Limited under the name and style of Brookside Dairy Limited (the “Transferee”) with effect from 1st November, 2013 (the “Completion Date”).

The address of the Transferor is Post Office Box Number P. O. Box 85532-80100, Mombasa, Kenya.
The address of the Transferee is Post Office Box Number P.O. Box 236–00232 Ruiru, Kenya.

The Transferee is not assuming nor does it intend to assume any creditors or debtors of the Transferor incurred in connection with the purchase and business of the assets of the Transferor up to and including the Completion Date and the same shall be paid and discharged by the Transferor and likewise all debts and liabilities owing and due to the Transferor up to and including the Completion Date shall be received by the Transferor.

Dated the 5th November, 2013.


Advocates for the Transferor.


Centum shareholders approved new investments in Liberty Beverages, Mvuke Power, Two Rivers Lifestyle Centre, Centum Share Services, Centum Asset Managers (who are buying Genesis Kenya)  and the acquisition of 79% of Kilele holdings.

Africa Media Venture (AMVF)  a Dutch-based venture capital firm has raised its stake in a Kenyan restaurant guide website, EatOut, from 25% to 32% for  Kshs17 million ($200,000) in a transaction that values the online portal at Kshs. 220 million.  
Lonrho is selling it’s entire stake (11%) in African airline Fastjet. 

Crystal Ventures (owned by the Rwanda Patriotic Front) plan to sell their 20% stake in MTN Rwanda, in an IPO which will make MTN Rwanda the third company listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange after Bralirwa and Bank of Kigali.
Sameer Investments is buying out 41 million shares that Bridgestone owns in Sameer Africa – after which Sameer will own 159 million shares equivalent to 72% of the company.
Across the border, Tanzania’s Precision Air is looking for a government investment, just a year after an IPO which raised $7 million and reduced the shareholding of Kenya Airways from 49% to 35%

Unga Group will acquire Ennsvalley Bakery for Kshs 125M ($1.5 million) and also dispose of shares in Bullpak.

EDIT: Kestrel Capital has arranged a $1.2 million private placementof convertible debentures in Stockport Exploration to local Kenyan qualified investors. Stockport is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and has mining interests in Nyanza Kenya where they are exploring along a prolific gold-hosting greenstone belt. Zeph Mbugua, the Chairman of TransCentury, became a director of Stockport in February this year. 

EDIT:  Swedfund, the Swedish state’s venture capital company, and The Africa Health fund through The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in global growth markets,  made a $6.5 million investment in The Nairobi Women’s Hospital, a leading private health care provider for women and their families (men and children) in East Africa.
Shareholder Restructurings

Businessman Christopher Kirubi is acquiring an additional 32 million shares in Centum Investments (for ~$8.6 million) which will raise the stake he controls to about 30%. and has received  an exemption from complying with the NSE requirement to make a take-over offer.

After listing at the NSE, I&M shareholders have done a swop to bring the company’s investors numbers past the 1,000 shareholder mark.
The WPP Group (through Cavendish) is increasing its shareholding in Scangroup from 33% to 50%.  WPP is the largest  advertising group in the world is strengthen its control of Kenya and the East African market ahead of the merger of the Omnicom the No 2 firm, Omnicom (owners of TBWA) and No 3 – Publicis (of France) advertising firms – which when combined will be larger than WPP.
De-Listing’s – Companies leaving the NSE 
Access Kenya Group after their buyout by Dimension Data was approved by the Government

CMC  at the conclusion of a  buyout offer from Dubai’s Al-Futtaim Group  who have offering Kshs 13  a share, or about $90m. 

The Dubai-based conglomerate, which holds lucrative distribution rights for Toyota and Honda in its home market, will help the struggling Nairobi-based automotive group expand its brands beyond its existing stable, which includes Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda and Suzuki.

R.E.A. Trading, which owns 56%  of Rea Vipingo Plantations has offered to buy out all other shareholders at a prices of Kshs 40 per share, representing a 43% premium. The shares that have since been suspended from trading and will be delisted from the NSE if the deal succeeds.
Stalled Deals
There was a Financial Times (FT)  article on queues forming to buy up East African retailers but deal opportunities at Nakumatt and Naivas have been hampered by some shareholders challenges of family and reputation.

Turning Round the Lunatic Express

A few weeks ago, Rift Valley Railways (RVR) and Citadel Capital had a small media briefing to highlight the state of their investment in a consortium to run the Kenya Uganda-Railway. It was meant to signal an escalation in the marketing the achievements of the consortium, but is also highlight the state of the railway that they invested in about three years ago.

The railways which moved 4.2 million tons in the early 1970s’ when it last got a public investment, but had been in steady decline since with increased competition from roads and pipelines. It was then passed on by the Governments of Kenya and Uganda through a concession to new owners who, as it became apparent later, were without money or management expertise – and were down to one working train, and about to pull the plug on the venture.

The new investors, led by Citadel and Transcentury, fund raised through debt and equity and set about rebuilding hundreds of kilometres of rail tracks that were dangerous if trains moved at their regular speeds, refurbishing locomotives and wagons, automating line movements, creating storage facilities, and putting staff succession plans in place. This year they launched a graduate trainee program that will have a class of 20 this year who were selected from 3,400 applicants, and will soon install a train simulator for training.

Passenger services are 4% of Revenue

Their concession called for an investment of $40 million in 5 years but it’s taken a budget of $300 million to get where they are today, including $11 million worth of levies paid to the governments every year. They hired a management team from Brazil who engineered similar turnarounds, and there has been some progress in going from 22 days to move cargo from Mombasa to Kampala, to a current average of 8 days. The best performance is 4 days, and their internal goal is to make that period the average by 2015. They are back to moving 1.5 million tons a year, meeting a consortium target with s plan to get to 4.5 million tons by 2016.

But even as they are breaking even, the governments’ of Kenya and Uganda are restless. In recent weeks, the Deputy President complained about the creaking 90-year-old relic known as the Lunatic Express that was built by the British Colonial government, while the Transport Cabinet Secretary believes that with 20 million tons passing through the Mombasa Port, there’s need for five other railways.

There are designs to have a Chinese-built wide-gauge railway from Mombasa to Uganda (to be financed with a 1.5% tax on all imported goods) and another 1,500-kilometre track from a planned new Lamu port all the way to South Sudan.

Even with clients like Total, Hass, Maersk, Coca Cola, Shell, the World Food Program Bamburi, Athi River, and EA Portland cement companies, RVR still have a way to go with proving to other corporates that they are a viable reliable option to the hundreds of trucks that make that daily journey from to and from the Mombasa Port.

Chama Management 101

Chama to Conglomerate (Reinventing your Investment Group) is a book by Tony Wainaina, an investment banker, who was also the C.E.O of the Transcentury Group. 
In it, he highlights key pointers and pitfalls that Chamas (informal investment groups) may encounter  in meeting their (initially) ambitious growth plans, such as dealing with members with different expectations & commitment to the group, the importance of hiring professionals, avoiding mediocre management, getting all members to bring the best investment ideas to the Chama, the problem of meeting in social places, importance of strategic planning, time-keeping, & record-keeping – and some common sense lessons – such as if everyone is talking about a particular investment, it’s already too late Safaricom IPO)
He also gives examples of other Chamas of people who turned informal meeting sessions into investment groups that invested, some with success and others with difficulties such as with members who have different expectations and level of commitment, land purchases, dealing with KRA (taxation).
There is also a brief mention of what is arguably Kenya’s most famous Chama which began at a goat eating party in Athi River in 1997.which was not the most optimistic time for Kenya. It became the Transcentury Group which roped in 29 members who put up Kshs. 24 million that was invested into local NSE shares, Castle Brewery, East African Cables, Aureos, Rift Valley Railways, Helios, and which all led to their own eventual listing at the Nairobi Stock Exchange in 2011.
The book is a short, nice, easy read that you’ll want to have with you, and refer to as your Chama grows, or  gets stuck like some of the examples highlighted. It also includes sample documents and guides  like ‘Letters of Intent,’ ‘Investment Term Sheets,’ ‘Non Disclosure Agreements,’ and steps to concluding a Kenyan land deal.
The Book is sold at Text Book Centre, Bookpoint- Moi Avenue and is also available on Amazon for the e-reader investor types.