Category Archives: Celtel

Safaricom 7s

Safaricom IPO Day 24: Commentary – Strong market rebound. Someone is buying everything up below 7.00. We have based out. Deals 3,070 Turnover 305.67 million [$4.63 m] Average 6.94 High 7.00 Low 6.80 Last7.00 Volume 44 million shares Commentary and data from – NSE data vendor [with Free real time prices between 0930 -1500]

End of day : 64.65 million Shares, closing at 6.95 (up 2.2%)

Celtel Kenya gets a new CEO (7th?) [Rene Meza from Paraguay] as Celtel wins an award for best telecoms operator in Africa at the 2008 Business in Africa Awards held in London.

Rift Valley Railways gets two new shareholders [Prime Fuels and Mirambo Holdings]. Meanwhile both Kenya and Uganda governments are getting impatient and workers went on strike [they have now just got their June salaries]

The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat is seeking – director general, directors [social & political pillars, enablers & macro, economic pillar, and Strategy, marketing, empowerment and communication] chief officer [monitoring and evaluation] officer [project finance] project accountant, executive secretary. apply to by 31/7

The Trouble with Celtel

Are free calls enough?

[I am not a customer, but I have probably bought and discarded three of their SIM cards to coincide with some ongoing promotions. Too many people I call are on Safaricom, and until number portability comes along, (carrying my number to another network) I am stuck with Safaricom.]

Beside number portability, there are other things they need to sort out; Celtel has been losing customers (23% down from a year ago), executive staff (compared to the ‘stable’ team at Safaricom and direction. The change of brand from Kencel to celtel to Zain only benefits paint and marketing companies (but there’s already a ‘Z’ brand in Tanzania and a couple of other African countries)

My biggest peeve with them is there are too many products; these are never promoted long enough to mature or register with subscribers and potential customers.

This week
– For internet/data users – they have Uhurunet – unlimited internet service, whose equipment is a USB modem costing 6,000 shillings [$95] and 3,000 [$48] per month for unlimited internet which is not bad [and this compares well against Safaricom]

– For callers: Earlier this week they launched a six-month tariff with free airtime for people who purchase cheap phones (targeted at rural subscribers). And now from the skunkworks group we learn that they have another new tariff with Free calls from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day (top up with 100 shillings to take advantage) – will this be the one that gives them an edge over Safaricom? That’s the problem with Celtel – great products, big marketing budget, but jumbled messages that confuse subscribers. In the last year they have advertised their lowest rate at 6 shillings (Mambo 6), 4 shillings (to 3 preferred numbers) and now 3/= ($0.05)per minute. That is three times cheaper than Safaricom, but who has the masses and who has the right message?

Other tales

Opportunity: Nominate a worthy Kenyan to the Generation Kenya program

– From Uganda and GTV comes pre-paid premium TV – subscribers can pay for their GTV pay TV packages using scratch cards

Experian Kenya: joining the Kenyan credit reference pool is Experian in partnership with Quest Holdings.

Day 19 of the Safaricom IPO has 4,121 deals, worth 342 million ($5.42 million) Closing 7.20 High 7.40 Low 7.00 Last 7.20 and volume of 47.5 million shares. It’s well supported and Buyers must be sniffing out a conclusion to the de-leveraging process. Commentary and data from – NSE data vendor [with Free real time prices between 0930 -1500]

Safaricom @ NSE Day 3

Wednesday 11/6

8,712 Safariom trades, with a turnover of Kshs. 1.27 billion ($20.4 million)
Price 7.00
High 7.10
Low 6.90
Last 7.00
Shares volume 180,879,400

Commentary: Very constructive session. Market is now underpinned at 7.00, support is 6.65. Demand side was robust today

Courtesy of Rich.Co.Ke [NSE data vendor]

Celtel Zambia:
From Bloomberg reports on day one of Celtel Zambia trading. Celtel Zambia, which sold 1.04 billion shares before listing for 640 kwacha ($0.20) apiece, climbed as much as 85 kwacha to 725 kwacha, according to Lusaka Stock Exchange data.

Celtel Zambia: Prospectus Peek

After taking a peek at Safaricom prospectus, take a look at the Celtel Zambia one (Thanks M for mailing it in) with two weeks to go in the calendar.

January 2008, showed that cross-border diversification may not be a bad thing, even for Kenyans – and if you have the money and the chance, you should do it. Stanbic Uganda has performed quite well, though the weakening Uganda shilling eats into improved dividends.

In this IPO, retail investors from outside Zambia are not included, nor are there provisions for other country nationals except as international institutional investors. For Kenyans who take part, we are one of the countries who have double tax treaties with Zambia – hence reduced tax on dividends. However Celtel has never paid dividends as it has ploughed back all profits into operations.

Comparing mobile giants: it’s best to compare Celtel Zambia to Safaricom Kenya as they are both market leaders and backed by multinational mobile partners. Zambia is larger than Kenya, but with about 1/3 of the population (12 million) Celtel Zambia has about 1.9m customers representing 78% market share and covers 71% of the country (Cell Z and MTN are competitors). It had 2007 revenue of $252 million and an average monthly ARPU of $13 – similar to Safaricom’s (~800 shillings per month).

Beneficiaries: While the benefits of safcom went to the Kenya government, the benefits of this (sale of 20%) will go to Celtel parent. Stanbic bank are also going to do well as lead manager, distribution agents and one of the receiving banks. IFC owns 10% of the company and is expected to sell its shares after the IPO which itself costs about $5 million.

On offer: 1 billion shares on offer at 640 kwacha per share ($0.18 or Kshs. 11.50). The minimum subscription is 700 shares (about 8,000 shillings). Employees get a 20% discount on the price.

Directors: A Kenyan connection is former PS (part of 1990’s dream team) and IFC executive Mwaghazi Mwachofi on the board of Celtel. It is refreshing got see that all directors other portfolios are listed in teh prospectus and that they have to declare that they have not censured/criticized by any regulator/ authority or been involved in bankruptcy, or liquidation.

Management fees: The company pays between 3.6% and 4.8% of annual revenue to Zain/Celtel parent. Safaricom pays Vodafone 0.5% of revenue and 6% of procurement costs as what has been a sensitive issue for the company but seems to be the norm with multi-nationals.

Stock exchange not retail or liquid: Zambian exchange appears not to be very liquid – it has 9 listed companies worth $100m, and $72m worth of deals were done last year in just 6,196 trades. The listing of Celtel should improve those numbers.