Category Archives: Zain

Twitter Week: January 7

Here’s a summary of my week on Twitter in a top 5 format covering traffic and restaurant woes

5. Raring for the World Cup in South Africa: – ESPN to broadcast 2010 world cup in 3D http (via Business pundit)
– Thinking of driving to world cup in SA? AA of Kenya offer (i) car passport (ii) international driver license (iii) COMESA insurance; r/t @bugzville58 good idea you should though Kampala bus is also offering a trip for about 800 dollars one way.

4. Traffic in Nairobi was Good and then Bad: – Nairobi should remain like this: no traffic, or queues and faster bandwidth. Lets close Thika & Nakuru roads and #devolve the rest to shags

– Back to 5 day week and a matatu strike in Kenya to kick off 2010; ying yang: Nairobi public transit strike means booming business for taxis (good luck getting one this evening); r/t @tmsruge I was in the CBD today. All streets were a parking lot. No point taking either as you won’t get anywhere. #footing works best! ; Roads not so bad out of town 30min stationary then 10 min cruise home #matatustrike
– R/t @MoSande KE Matatus call off nationwide strike after PM promises to address their grievances. Normal service to resume immediately
– @inexes and i hear someone may be ending Mombasa vacation this evening #nairobitraffic; @karuoro someone just flew in from Mombasa holiday

3. Odds and ends: – From Nairobi Star: statehouse complains about Lucy worst dressed rank, while Atwoli is scandalized–says his peers in 150 wool class are Moi & Kirubi
– The Tamarind Group has taken over the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden Restaurant, which is renamed Tamambo KBCG
– Repeat of ‘House of cards’ showing on CNBC Africa. Documentary should be done on Nairobi or Nigeria shares bull run and bust
– Books first have buy pizza in happy hour, get one free. But also charge Kshs. 100 for take away pizza cartons – why?

2. Safaricom mandatory SIM registration, and costly 3G: – Via @kahenya solutions to improving mobile competition in #Kenya, and break #Safaricom domination of #3G
– via @kainvestor #Safaricom forcing new users to register their sim cards, which can’t be activated unless registered with an ID ->safcom=Gok r/t @LarryMadowo Its now a legal requirement for ALL SIM card holders to be registered & #Safaricom move is only the 1st step but @LarryMadowo @kainvestor Safaricom already has 1/2 their subscriber details from m-pesa accounts
– Can’t find a reliable #zain #zap money transfer agent in Kenya? Try the local post office or #posta (via #introverted blog post)
– Consumers getting unhappy about #Safaricom #internet bundle costs but they rarely leave @archermishale the word is out, be careful how you use expensive Safaricom data bundles – are they billing on supa ongea tariff?

1 It’s 2010: Happy New Year: Against sound advice, went out and got served a crap lunch. Remember waiters & kitchen staff are working, not celebrating the holidays
– Best food prayer I’ve heard ‘. . Also for the wonderful meal, bless the pockets that may have been depleted by it’
– Looking at the @KenyaBuzz year end calendar – Pole Dancing Competition at Tembo Disco Mombasa

Twitter Week Top 10 December 22

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that is really nifty for doing mini-posts, forwards and other remarks that (are on any subject) and are maybe not worthy of a full blog post. Here’s a summary of my week on Twitter in a Dave Letterman top 10 format covering tech events, new planes, sluggish car sales, strange naiorbians and other topics

10 Mainstream Blogging: #F1 blogger quits work to blog full time-best wishes @f1fanatic_co_uk!
– Great reads: the 75 best business-blogs of 2009 includes @emeka_okafor

9. Tech Nairobi @whiteafrican is live blogging from @AfricaGathering today, refresh this post for the latest: #agathering #agnairobi09
– Look out for @afromusing’s guide to buying solar gadgets.(via @sciculturist) <-----it's about time! #giftsforocha
– Stealth Startups, Get Over Yourselves: Nobody Cares About Your Secrets (via @rafiq)
– R/t: on the @ushahidi blog – 3 misconceptions about #ushahidi

idle castle brew facility

8. Brew Chatter SA giant beer brewer SAB considering re-entering kenya market after Deal with EABL in tanzania sours (Via @Nairobi star)
– konyagi vs waragi

7. GoK Absurdities 1. We dont accept sealed letters for PS, unless you have delivery book 2.This gate is locked between 9am and 4pm
– Harambee house is a corruption free zone, @SupremeGREAM – and so is a police roadblock #nyayohouse
– So new Police comm. Iteere got the 3rd class Moran/Golden Heart of Kenya; but so did Pauline & Ida
– Labour leader Atwoli sermons on #citizentv opposes privatization of #nationalbank #KCB #newKCC and kenya ports authority

6. Plane Chatter– know everything about today’s maiden boeing 787 flight (weather permitting) (via @flightblogger)
– 787 has taken off, take that copenhagen. R/t @coldtusker #787 is supposed to have a lower carbon footprint so supports #Copenhagen goals
– via @FlyingEmirates a Kenyan wins Emirates A380 dream prize (to Bangkok, Sydney or Seoul ) <----i'm so jealous!
– @coldtusker @alykhansatchu crown will fight to keep emirates independent as long as it can (perhaps pare down new plane buys to do so)
– #onejetone among airlines appying for licenses again – mombasa, harare, london
4:43 PM Dec 18th from web

5. Investor Awareness – ICT Kenya board tender for digitization of court records @kenyanpundit
– Securities Industry Training Institute launched in Uganda-progs on capital markets,corp.fin, asset-mgmt, entrepreneurship, corp.govnance etc
– Send Nairobi Stock Exchange complaints by SMS to 8485, cost 10/= (also to receive) (via @NSEKenya)
– r/t @alykhansatchu Kenya Economic Update 2009 from the World Bank simply definitive and full of Data that will surprise
– On CitizenTV ‘how to be rich’ is a golden dream prod .i.e @alfredmutua – they had ad for cobra squad season 2 DVD as perfect x-mas gift

4. Cars, Cars, Cars – r/t @SupremeGREAM today i was at biggest car yard on ngong rd and the only people there were salesmen, wash guyz and suppliers-grim(econ)! are you seeing some slowdown in autos? soe eyards have KBE and KBH that are gathering dust. – got a KBC Mark II been in the yard that long. today took it for a random drive. 780k bring the money. down from 1050k @inexes – Wambie wapunguze bei ya hizo magari! lol @bankelele
– r/t @Shitawabah saw a LAMBOGHINI today morning at 8;59 a.m yellow KBK 001A… ! eeeiy ! * but nid t say it was hot! <--wow! really? pics?
– r/t @karuoro If you own a Toyota-use to look up part numbers so you know what to order (thanks-1/2 cars in kenya are toyota)

3. Peculiar Nairobi – @mountainous nation wrote that the only 3D theatre in kenya to watch #Avatar is in Nyali. Also #F1 off-season more
– Reading sundaynation about kayamba africa new album: ‘ KA is made up of 45 members who were all present. It has 6 band members’ (huh?)
– My dad was scandalized by the food portions at ONami, full house though
– Labour leader Atwoli sermons on #citizentv opposes privatization of #nationalbank #KCB #newKCC and kenya ports authority
– Family bank atm’s are so f’n unreliable these days. Spend some of that rights issue cash propely will ya? #gotissuez
Peculiar habits of Nairobians

2. Credit Crunch – @coldTusker wouldn’t be uchumi be a better pick for al-waleed ‘distressed asset’ philosopy? @coldtusker – I think Al-Waleed looks for management as well. Kingdom doesn’t supply management. Maybe he will look at Uchumi as well
– At empty local; not sure if its mid-month economy or competition from new joint up the road with #kidum playing tonight
r/t @siphojanuary More than 8 million South Africans are 3 months behind on their debt repayments – National Credit Regulator
Dubair/t @ coldtusker Read the signs. The day Emirates stops serving alcohol means the new owners are in control. Dubai may keep Emirates in name only. Who knows who owns it now? Not for public consumption. – There is no free lunch. Something has to give. I think Emirates is the ‘guarantee/collateral’
r/t @alykhansatchu Dubai = Ozymandias Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ Nothing remains

1. Phone Woes
Safaricom I thought my phone had gone schitso calling me every minute! But its some dude who sent big #mpesa to wrong number one digit off (not me!)
– dear #safaricom there are black hole spots (no service) in Nairobi CBD #gotissuez
– Safaricom have had a really crap network in Nairobi CBD all week. Only way to call their subscribers is by using zain or orange
– #barclays call centre number works and calls picked up instantly 3900000 #safaricom should learn
Zain #ogilvy media clarify that they are NOT repsonsible for advertising & PR of #zain africa #passthebuck #itwasntme (via @NationMedia)
– R/t @JustDes – #Zain PR and Advertising is handled by #ZKAdvertising. #Zain Media will be handled by #OgilvyAfricaMedia. @PeterNjenga – Any URL for this #Ogilvy media #Zain Africa #advertising thingie? Wanna know who’s getting paid but screwing up Zain #marketing?
– @JustDes thanks for clarifying about ZK and Zain @peternjenga
mobile phones need messengers – Paying telkom,kenya power and safaricom bills this morning-if you are post-paid anything,you need a messenger to hoof around Nairobi – Where can one pay safaricom post pay bill on sunday, other than westgate?
– r/t @tmsruge True, because banks won’t allow transfers to mobile, which I think is another missed rev stream 4 banks – Sounds to me like a biz opportunity to me! Kenyan mobile $$ innovations are a bit one-track minded!
r/t @zulusafari even with mobile $ you still have to physically visit an office to put $ in ur account – seriously! it’s ridiculous. And why can I not pay by cc’d online!!!! @whiteafrican
r/t @ kahenya @whiteafrican @bankelele it keeps messengers busy and employed
r/t @whiteafrican which makes absolutely no sense in this day and age of digital money transactions locally.
competition for MPesa r/ @ Obopay Essar Telecom Kenya & Obopay Launch Mobile Money Transfer Service

Twitter Week: Top 10 November 26

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that is really nifty for doing mini-posts, forwards and other remarks that (are on any subject) and are maybe not worthy of a full blog post. Here’s a summary of my week on Twitter in a Dave Letterman top 10 format :

10. Uganda Talks
– r/t @UgInsomniac Uganda Government gives ousted Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a new UG passport- (Kenya sold him wildlife)
– R/t @UgInsomniac MapSwitch Uganda boldly going where no banks have gone? #ugandalug

9 Visa Place burns
– What’s that fire in upper hill area?
– @rookieke was visa place on fire, poor chicken
– @jwesonga shebeen great place, good staff. And in Kenya style, it will be packed tonight, if it survives neighbour fire

8. G4S (in) Security Jokes
– A g4s truck parked by road side in kile-any missing cash today?
– Poor #G4S Kenya, after the weekend cash loss, they may have to sweep key staff and revert to old name securicor
– @coldtusker @mwirigi #G4S not to blame, customers move $ for evasion, business & commodity payments etc to bypass currency restrictions
– @mwirigi looks like real world inside job-at either G4S, seller, buyer or bank. Off to watch reel-world #heat movie this aft
– Embattled security firm #G4S hires Gina Din Comm. to spruce up image (via Nairobi star)

7 Kenyan Banks
– #stanchart bank loan hawks out on Nairobi streets again. Also KCB and family bank
Kenya MFI Faulu acquires insurance broker
– Will check out family bank offer of free Wi-fi for customers’ next week @jwesonga

6 Zain Kenya
– Seems Zain Kenya turned on their 3G network this weekend, super net speeds (Via @kahenya)
– Zain Q3 ‘Kenya is a highly competitive market with very low ARPU’ 2.1M customers (down 14%) revenue of $118m, loss of $28m (much improved)

5. World Cup 2010 business
– @AirFranceUS promoting World Cup fares (from Paris) to South Africa. Book early and save!
– r/t @cnbcafrica 2nite on Business 2010 exclusive license deal between FIFA & Nederberg Wine Estate to produce a 2010 FIFA World Cup wine range

4. Africa Aviation
– Delta Air has Ghana Nigeria Liberia Senegal Egypt but no Kenya plan… (Via @airlineroute)
– Ethiopian Air CEO talks aircraft choice A350, B787 B777 operating from high altitude Addis (via @flightblogger)
– Kenya airways offering diploma in airline passenger services at a cost of $1950.
– R/t @aschonland delta passes half connectivity mark- 51% of aircraft fleet now have wi-fi

3. Safaricom Modem discount
– #Safaricom deal data push discount – modems now redeemed at just 2,000 bonga points, used to be 10,000 before @kafainbi @antoneosoul
– @Kafainbi website and posters say 10,000 but modems are now 2,000 bonga points – try Moi ave. or I&M for stocks

2. Kenyan Corporates on Twitter
– can the real Kenya airways please stand up!!.. @kenyaairways and @kenya_airways on twitter, is one a squatter or both? (Via @jwesonga)
– Following @samtwit and @coldTusker as they sort out which is the genuine #kenyaairways twitter account. They could both be fake or fans
– @samtwit confirmation should come from a twitter link at the #kenyaairways site. A smart aviation buff can fake a corporate twitter ac
– @KenyaAirways is the official #kenyaairways twitter account. (@coldtusker, @rafikikenya – via semi-official source)
– Finally an indigenous Kenyan bank on twitter @familybankkenya

1 Tusker brewed in Ireland
– Tusker now sold in 500ml cans, cost 85/= at uchumi. @archermishale get well, and catch up with @inexes

– The Tusker 500ml can is brewed in Ireland! EABL #Fail #godblessthierryhenry

M-Pesa as a low cost bank account

Safaricom have extended the registration deadline for m-pesa divided payments via cell phone to today – October 15. Over 465,000 of their shareholders own less than 1,000 shares, and will get a dividend payment of less than 100 shillings ($1.31), with most in this category likely to get about shillings, assuming they have not bought any shares since the IPO allocations.

M-Pesa’s latest offering
During the dividend registration process, Safaricom has clarified that shareholders receiving dividends of less than 100 shillings will only be able to buy airtime with this, while those with larger dividends will be able to withdraw the cash, pay bills, send it to other people etc.

All this brings up the question that has been asked several times, most recently by research group – CGAP in the blog post cell phone bank accounts as an incentive to save money. If you compare holding cash in an m-pesa account, you are able to gain comparable benefits to low cost bank accounts offered at several leading local banks – and can use banks for those services that M-pesa or Zap (from Zain) don’t have e.g. withdraw cash via m-pesa, and go to Equity Bank and buy a banker’s cheque for 50/=

Benefits of m-pesa banking
– 24 hour banking: More reach & access than any bank or ATM network
– Mobile banking with operator tends to be cheaper then mobile banking via bank provided services
– Saving in transport costs and banking transaction costs
– Can pay a variety of bills for utilities at a low cost
Challenges of m-pesa banking
– Lack of float at dealers to transact/occasional mpesa system downtime
– No credit history; and the clumsy expensive statement from Safaricom not useful yet
– Calls for discipline to build savings
– Funds are not insured, and are more prone to crime. And dealing with a stolen phone in Kenya is not a pleasant experience.

Anyone tried to use m-pesa as their main bank a/c?

Kengen & other Nairobi Bonds

Lots of questions abound about whether its time to invest in bonds at the Nairobi stock exchange. From late last year when Mabati Rolling Mills launched a bond, 2009 has really been the year of the bond with the clincher being the successful Kenya government infrastructure bond of February 2009.

Now ongoing now is the Kengen PIBO for which Kainvestor reviews the prospectus. It offers a 12.5% and the minimum subscription is 100,000 shillings (~$1,316)

Next expected next is a Safaricom bond, a Centum bond ( 2 billion), and more tranches from CFC Stanbic and Barclays. It’s quite a turnaround from 2007 when companies like Athi River Mining, Safaricom and Celtel Kenya (now Zain) all redeemed /repaid bond investors at a time of low-interest rates.

Track all the corporate bonds at the NSE daily bond report and these include East African development Bank, Barclays, Faulu Kenya, Mabati, PTA Bank, Athi River Mining, Sasini and CFC Stanbic

Buy bonds directly from stockbroker agents, but if still unsure of the process, consider investing through bonds funds such as those from Old Mutual Kenya and Dyer & Blair Investment Bank – Kachwanya reports that investors can even access the Kengen Bond at ½ the prescribed price – paying just Kshs 50,000 (~$650) instead of the subscription minimum of 100,000.

Stocks versus bonds? in the long run, as shown by this stockskenya thread, shares are likely to outperform bonds – even the generous 12% Kengen bond.

EDIT also on offer is Uchumi Bond 10% convertible shareholders’ debenture is on. Press reports say it was valued at 12 shillings each by KPMG and is available at a discount of 10/= to shareholders of the company. The funds raised will be used to restructure the balance sheet, which should lead to the end the receivership, and re-listing of the company’s shares at the NSE.

Uchumi Financial Results

published by Specialized Receiver Manager – September 2009