Category Archives: CDS

Shares Portfolio August 2011

Comparing changes to three months ago and since then, investor confidence has dipped following rising food & fuel prices, power rationing and a sliding shilling.

The Stable

Barclays Bank ↓
Bralirwa Breweries (Rwanda) ↑
British-American Investments (Britak) ↔
Diamond Trust Bank ↓
East African Breweries (EABL) ↓
Kenya Airways ↓
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) ↓
Kenya Oil Company (Kenol) ↑
Scangroup ↓
Stanbic (Uganda) ↓
Uchumi Supermarkets ↓

Review: The Portfolio is down 5% in the last three months while the NSE 20 Share Index is down 12%
– Best performer: Bralirwa 33% (this Q), then Kenol 22%
– Worst performer: Uchumi -39%, Diamond Trust -26%
– In: Britak, Safaricom
– Out: None
– Increase: None
– Decrease: None

Splits: Barclays
Bonus: Diamond Trust , Scangroup, and Stanbic Uganda
Dividend: KCB, Diamond Trust, Bralirwa, Kenol Scangroup, Stanbic
– Uchumi re-listed after five years of suspension.
– Took on the new IPO from Britak IPO (results on August 23), but passed on other new listings from Transcentury and Bank of Kigali. Meanwhile there are no privatizations on the table from the Government of Kenya
– NSE companies are making efforts to clean up their shareholder registers, with a view to applying dividends that have been unclaimed for several years to their reserves, otherwise they will have to be surrendered to the Government

Data: The NSE has stopped sharing free price lists, which now makes it harder to access daily market data. Meanwhile the CDSC has stepped up with investor awareness, and you now get a SMS notification of trades (shares sold/bought)

5 ways to protect your NSE shares from irregular sales

We all hope the days of collapsing stockbrokers at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) are now a thing at the past. However new share offering such as Britak, Family Bank and Bank of Kigali, and other personal finance initiatives such as the I’m a Cooperator movement are likely to convert some people into first time share buyers. So how does one ensure that their funds are not misused by an errant stockbroker or their employees? Read on

A guest post by Shiroh
While it takes a lot of sweat to save for investments, many investors have found themselves in a tricky situation when unscrupulous dealers engage in irregular sale of their shares. While this practice cannot be tolerated for all involved, it is important that one takes proactive steps to avoid losing your investments. These can include;

1. Subscribing to the Central Depository System Alert Service: The mobile phone has truly revolutionized many industries in Kenya. For a nominal amount of Kshs. 10, one can receive alerts to their mobile phone anytime a transaction is made from their CDSC account. For more details, check the CDSC Kenya website.

2. Freezing activity on CDS Account: Since getting mobile phone may not be possible for people residing abroad, freezing any activity on a CDSC account can be done. These instructions are communicated to the CDSC and activity can only resume at the request of the account holder.

3. Constantly monitoring your activity of your account at your preferred Stockbroker. Many people don’t bother to check the activity of their accounts once they make the investments only to get a shock of their lives when they want to liquidate them. A broker is under obligation to provide investors with a statement of account through which they can monitor the movement of their investments.

4. Developing a personal relationship with a dealer or broker. While some personal relationships work to the detriment of the investor, sometimes having a specific person who can address any enquiries that you have can be a great plus.

5. Finally, you should report any fraudulent sale of shares to the Complaint Handling Unit of the NSE.

NSE Portfolio August 2009

Market picking up steadily since last quarterly review in May 2009

The stable

Diamond Trust ↑
Kenya Airways ↑
Safaricom ↑
Scangroup ↑
Stanbic (Uganda) ↑

– Best performer: Safaricom up 34% this quarter
– Worst performer KCB up 5%
– In: none
– Out: none
– Increase none
– Decrease none
– Unexpected gains/losses: KQ record loss, safaricom profit drop

Events & Outlook:
– Performance: The Portfolio is up 12% in the last three months while the NSE Index is up 14%. I’d like to think I’m doing better, but Safaricom has lifted the index to a greater extent than my portfolio (8% weight). Safaricom largest weight on the NSE, is also probably now the country’s largest tax payer, largest retail ISP, seller of mobile phones, mover of retail money etc.
– got dividends from all the banks, which are experiencing a slowdown in growth in 2009. Dividend included Stanbic Uganda but will have to increase shares there to minimize impact of clearing foreign cheques so that it does not eat ¼ of
– Looking forward to dividends from Safaricom (but no SWAG ) from Safaricom and another from Kenya Airways (despite their making a massive fuel hedge loss)
Privatization The Kenya Government has lined up several companies that may be availed later in 2009, however these may not be listed until the market picks up sufficiently. Will look at Family Bank and KWAL (Kenya Wine Agencies)
New media: The Nairobi Stock Exchangem – @NSEKenya is now on Twitter, while the CDSC launched a new web site to enable investors to better track their portfolios.

Ugandan Envy

this is NOT about Migingo Island

Google Earth image courtesy of afromusing

A year ago wrote this on the information availed to Ugandan investors by their companies; this year the envy is even more, it makes me sad; that by being the leading country in the region, we may not notice we are being passed in some aspects of investor awareness & rights.

Use of E-Mail: The Stanbic Uganda invitation/AGM notice again arrived by e-mail; now many Kenyan companies have passed by-laws allowing them to send out e-mail notices and annual reports to shareholders, but none has done so far. Maybe, with the eventual passage of the much-maligned/controversial communications bill the legal framework is now there to back enable this – but we’ll see; While not every shareholder will have an e-mail account, if 1/4 of 1/3 of some company’s shareholders (Kengen, Co-Op, Safaricom) do, then these companies could potentially save millions of shillings in postage costs.

Investor Disclosures:
(i) For Stanbic UG, rules of voting are clearly stated – shareholders are to endorse new directors and that 1/3 of directors will retire at each meeting.
(ii) for directors who are up for election, their mini-CV’s are printed out for all to peruse i.e. their ages, year of appointment, educational qualifications, directorships in other companies, and committee seats.

In Kenya, Company Chairmen just mumble through, if at all, fully expecting elections to be a foregone conclusion. Refreshingly here, the directors up for election at Stanbic Uganda (Hannington Karuhanga, Kitili Mbathi, and Samuel Sejjakka) are all younger than 50 years. In Kenya, opportunities for younger leaders & directors are the exception rather than the rule. But at Stanbic Uganda – the Chairman and Deputy Chairman have their tenure is capped at two terms of 5 years only.
(iii) Remuneration of directors is declared. Again in Kenya money amounts paid to directors are rarely mentioned, but in Uganda, they are spelt out for shareholders to approve – here the Company (non-executive) Chairman gets an annual retainer of US$7,500 while a director gets US$5,500

Language used; several companies (most recently) KCB have amended their company article to allow for electronic communication with clients; but they merely replace one of gibberish with another one, without bothering to explain what the jargon means. Here; Stanbic explain allows video-conferencing or tele-conferencing to be used at board meetings

Proxy detail proxy forms contain a lot more details including the items to be voted for with shareholder able to vote for or abstain on votes. They also call for shareholders to provide contact details (name, e-mail – what an easy way for a company registrar to build up a working database to manage is subsequent years)

Shareholders or their proxies (who can be more than one) are entitled to attend, speak, and vote, and the endorsement /presence of a proxy does not disqualify a shareholder from attending; this enables a shareholder to bring his wife/wives or children for them to learn about the process!


Investor guides: There are many things to learn from other countries in the region on investor rights and information despite Kenya being the leader. We are innovative, Uganda is about to unveil a CDSC system that Kenyan investors have had for three years, but which rogue stockbrokers have besmirched. It would not be surprising if the Ugandan version may be sorted out ahead of time, closing loopholes that will be used to protect shareholders, and by educating them on how the system works.

All the regional exchanges – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and soon Rwanda (where KCB, Kenya’s largest bank in Kenya will be the first company to have its shares be (cross- listed & trading) all have the same information; but my NSE seems stale, like all the regulations were put up years ago and forgotten. Usualyl, we just check for the latest share trades, bond trades and quarterly financial announcements.

e.g. Faced with a budget deficit, Kenya has lowered the minimum amounts to invest in bonds to Kshs. 50,000 ($625). The Central Bank of Kenya which issues these bonds has put up some investor information basics, but nothing from the NSE who trade in these bonds. In Uganda, there is an advisory page for investor guides for bonds and shares, for any new investor to read, download for free.

Also in Kenya, tribe is the unacknowledged elephant in the room; one we pretend to not be influenced by, but which governs many aspects of our lives. Kenyans are required to communicate official in English (almost all government documents), and to a lesser extent in Kiswahili. But there are rural folk who may not understand the national or official language, but may wish to learn about shares and bond Uganda has investor awareness booklets in vernacular languages – including a Luo investor guide (PDF)(for the Northern Region) available from the Uganda Securities Exchange. And that, properly disseminated, may be worth much more than a small island.

Difficulties Changing Nairobi Stockbrokers

Stockbrokers are falling at the rate of almost two a year, and tales continue to abound.

The reality is that, sooner or later, you may need to change your broker and while I’ve had this post for over three years about how simples the process of transferring shares from one broker to another should be, the reality is very different!

Kenyan shareholders have had the option not having share certificates for a few years now. With a central depository system (CDS), you surrender your share certificates e.g 1,000 Kenya airways (KQ), and in exchange get an electronic account/statement which is updated each time you buy or sell, shares. You also get all your dividends and annual reports by mail.

Still to buy and sell shares you have to go through a stockbroker, who ideally should have the same tally as your CDS statement. Recently problems have been had with rogue brokers, who would sell share without informing clients – and clients would only find out when they got a CDS statement showing less shares than what the broker said they had. Later the frauds went even further when brokers would ensure that even CDS statements didn’t get up-to-date records of share sales.

I had to change broker for a company account this week and the reality was much more than. I had a team of people, the transfer was between two viable brokers and we were able to get all the (numerous) documents that were asked for. Yet it still involved almost a dozen trips to the office and took almost two weeks.

The steps taken included
(i)Open an new CDS account with new broker
(ii)Close old CDS account with old broker
(iii)Move shares from old to new CDS account

Documents that were asked for included
– 3 copies of Certificate of incorporation with – one stamped by old broker, one stamped by new broker, one for the CMA (all stamped by company seal)
– Memorandum & articles of association requested by new broker (was not required at old broker so copies had to be traced and photocopied)
– 3 copies of director ID or passports – stamped by old broker, stamped by new broker, one for to the CMA (all stamped by company seal)
-2 copies of form of shares being transferred one called CDS 4A and one called CDS 4B, signed by directors and stamped with company seal. One form must be stamped by old broker, one stamped by new broker
– 200 shillings ($2.50) transfer fee

Now imagine what it is like trying to reconcile accounts, reclaim investments or move from a collapsed stockbroker? Or a fraudulent one? Or one who doesn’t have motivated (paid) staff, or proper records?

Also until last year, IPO’ were considered sure winners – and people would open several accounts e.g. in the name of their mother, grandmother, cousin, maid, driver etc, all in a bid to get more shares after the fractional allocation that characterized Kengen and Safaricom IPO’s, but before the price rocketed up on day one. Many CDS accounts were opened, many by new temporarily hired staff in a bid to get as many applicants in as possible during the limited (IPO’s usually 2 -3 weeks) and some rules were readily relaxed. I explained these to the new broker, but they said CMA can come and audit their files and they have to comply CMA have their hands full with collapsing or non-compliant stocbrokers!

So, finally, the new account is now open, after a very tiring two weeks, during which I confessed that it was maybe better to sell all the shares held at old stockbroker and open a new account at new stockbroker than to attempt to transfer the shares.