In all the political news this week, some may have missed this story on collective investment schemes (funds, unit trust), who will now have to get more aggressive (take on more risk) to deliver commensurate returns – and are now asking the regulator (CMA) to relax some of the rules that restrict their investments.
A year ago this post discussed unit trusts and the cost of investment being a major deterrent to the returns they offer (and at the time the NSE was in a much better position). I still have issues with the 3 – 5% initial fee and 2% annual fee charged by many unit trusts.
The post-election violence will have a mostly negative impact on property values and in rural Kenya, and in towns like Eldoret, Kisumu, Nakuru and especially in Mombasa (where the real estate boom was driven by visitors/tourism numbers). The cost of building will also go up as demand for supplies will be great. So buy cement company shares (Bamburi, ARM, Portland) the day Kofi Annan succeeds in his mediation efforts
In Nairobi, properties near slums like Ayany (adjacent to Kibera) have been badly affected owners and/or tenants moving out. However there is also increased demand in some of the same areas – perceived to be safer parts of the city, such as Kileleshwa and Westlands. They will also benefit from residents of other towns like Kisumu relocating to Nairobi.
These are also the areas that many Diaspora Kenyans have invested in or are considering investing; and while many have postponed their real estate investment decisions, those already in (with mortgages to pay) will have to wait out the storm. Also it may be wise to set up several investment companies to keep rental turnover and sidestep new tax laws
Also Kasarani which is one place you can still buy land cheaply to build, will have values of land increasing as will parts of Central Kenya.