Category Archives: UBA

Pepsi to Kenya?

. Nairumour that after an absence of many years, Pepsi will re-enter the Kenyan market in the near future to resume battle with Coca Cola, possibly through their South African partners. If so, it will cap a great year for investment to the country, and that despite 2008 being a relatively tough year for investors and companies, with the post-election violence, business disruption, high fuel and energy prices, depressed consumer spending, P & P madness (pirates and politicians) collapsing stockbrokers, there was a steady flow of new investments and new products that happened this year.

Re-cap of some notable ones

– Takeovers concluded – Ecobank take over of EABS, and Stanbic merger with CFC (now CFCStanbic)
– UBA licensed (2009)
– Gulf African and First Community (Shariah banking kicks off)

– Summit Lager a new beer from Keroche Industries
– East African Breweries launched Alvaro (malted soft drink)
Coca Cola launched Novidia (another malted soft drink) and also started selling Minute maid
– KETEPA launched Safari Iced Tea

– WPP buys into Scangroup
– 2008 saw the launch of two new mobile operators – Orange (France Telkom) and Yu (Essar/Econet) to battle Safaricom and a re-energized Zain
– Altech buys into KDN
– A long-running fight over one(EASSY)submarine cable, gave birth to three different ones being laid to Mombasa
– Wananchi launched Zuku (TV, Broadband, Phone)

Transport, Energy & Manufacturing
– Tiger brands buying into Haco
– An investment in the Kenya Oil Refinery at Mombasa was still under battle between Libyan and Indian Investors
– Jinchuan (China) to bail out Tiomin?
– Mirambo and PD Toll to salvage the Rift Valley Railways
– Delta Airlines (USA – but postponed to 2009)
– Air Arabia started flights to Kenya

– Libyans took over the Grand (Laico) Regency
The Tribe opens.

– Chevron (Caltex) sold out – bought by Total
– Unilever (de-listing from the NSE)
– Roy Puffet from rift Valley Railways

Bank waters

In the pool

Diving in: Another West African bank giant UBA follows Ecobank after apparently having secured a banking license to operate in Kenya.

Treading in the shallow end: Still finding their ground are the new Islamic BanksGulf African and First Community that started business last year. They are likely to be the only banks that will record losses of at least Kshs. 200 million each as their new branches and staff continue to reach out and educate customers on a new way to bank.

Had enough swimming?:
(i) Morgan Stanley who were supposed to introduce long term foreign investors to Kenya with a five year window or longer, but instead brought in short term investors at the expense of the Government and othrr investors who took out their profits in a week. Another lesson learnt a long way back from the IPO.
(ii) The Kenyan unit of Citi is on track to rake in profits of $50 million this year on the back of aggresive trading, but will it be enough, or will it be bled off by the parent unit? And who would buy it and its lucrative American interest-linked business portfolio?