Category Archives: Chris Kirubi

Why the Future is Kenya

Friday saw the launch of the Future is Kenya a film designed to lead the promotion of Kenya as a leading trade and investment hub. It is led by the Brand Kenya Chairman, Dr. Chris Kirubi, and draws on corporations and other private sector and government officials.

Through a campaign dubbed ‘WHY THE FUTURE IS KENYA’, business leaders drawn from the financial, technology, service and hospitality sectors celebrated Kenya’s status as an investment hub with the premiere of a specially-commissioned short film and campaign launch at Nairobi’s Coca-Cola Auditorium.

AGOA week in Kenya

The 8th AGOA forum is to be held this week in Nairobi.

Ugandan insomniac posted some charts on AGOA’s impact in East Africa and the outlook is bleak. CNBC’s East Africa show over the weekend reported that of the 6,400 products that are eligible under AGOA, Kenya exports just 20. The conference comes just a few weeks after Delta Airlines maiden flight to Nairobi was canceled at the last minute and even Businessman Chris Kirubi was on KTN a few days ago lamenting the obsession with a faraway US market, instead of building regional trade links trade within Africa especially to South Africa.

So there will be a high powered delegation in Nairobi this week, led by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, with 300 business leaders in tow. We wait and see what impact they will have and I hope Hilary Clinton gets to see Kenya, unlike when her predecessor when Condi Rice came to Kenya last year, and never ventured outside her security/US Embassy cocoon. The 300 business people should mix and mingle with some local SME and business leaders outside the conference.

Here are the official Kenya and US sites for the AGOA forum

other non-related AGOA opportunities include

One Africa Award: The OneAfrica Award celebrates individual or organizations s that are succeeding in helping African countries achieve millennium development goals. Closing deadline is August 21, and the prize is $100,000

Maker Faire Africa conference is about to kick off in Ghana where the GO Ingenuity Award will also be launched.

UN Photo: There is s a UN photo contest for Africa.

Centum 2009 AGM

The Centum 2009 shareholders annual general meeting was held on Friday July 17 2009. The last meeting I attended was 1½ years ago in February 2008 when ICDCI (changed its name) and became Centum. a quick Google search reveals other companies around the world with a similar name. So shareholders were right when they pushed for a more authentic, African name

AGM recap: From reading the minutes of the last shareholder meeting seems there was quite a bit of drama at the company’s last AGM in January where the independence of directors was questioned, and there were some interesting director elections whos resulted were polled and motions by some shareholders to remove two directors – (Chairman James Muguiyi and businessman Chris Kirubi) flopped. Most media reports however dealt with the delayed AGM and the payment of dividends at the door, but the best recap of that comes from the Nation

Bored this time: This was one of the longest AGM’s I have been to in a while. The Chairman and the CEO of the company each give long speeches about the company, that easily took up almost 2 hours – giving views on the performance of the company and future outlook as relates to the corporate bond they are about to launch.

Centum Performance their investment book is worth 6.5 billion (($84 million) down from 8.1 billion the year before. Reasons for the decline were gains on disposal totaling 311 million, and further impairment of Rift Valley Railways (RVR) shares by 271 million.
– The portfolio is consists of: 25% is KCB shares, General Motors East Africa 25%, Insurance 19%, 4% is publishing (a 35% stake in Longhorn), Beverages is 24% (includes shares in EABL, and several Coca-Cola franchises), Services is 4% (includes 0.1% of Safaricom, and shares in NAS, and RVR), and 5% is a newly acquired (23% stake) of Carbacid. Some values are KCB Kshs. 1.84 billion, GM 978 million, UAP 877 million, Nairobi Bottlers 660 million, KWAL 263 million, EABL 426 million, Mt. Kenya Bottlers 209 million.
– Target is to have administrative costs at less than 2.5% of their assets. 2009 was 123 million (1.5%) and 2008 (136 million = ~1.6%), which includes the cost of staff, running company, shareholder costs etc. striking a blow to companies that say public shareholders are expensive to administer
– On RVR: board maintains that it is still a good company, had bad management. Once new deals are signed, new technical partners and this will see $50 million invested in the company. Fundamentals are still good, lots of foreign investor interest on the company, and it will be wrong to walk away when the value is down

Corporate Bond: Centum will be launching a corporate bond to raise Kshs 2 billion (~$26 million), reasons given include
– It’s the right yime, Safaricom and Kengen about to launch, while a recent bond from CFCstanbic bank was over-subscribed. After prospectus and approvals, it will be marketed to pension funds, institutions, insurance companies, even shareholders can subscribe
– Current borrowing costs are at 170 million out of 6.5 billion assets are very manageable. Their dividend flows are not consistent, so they sometimes need overdrafts, but can’t grow the business on overdraft. The Bond will add some long term funds to the balance sheet.
– They have a pipeline of investments lined up, and what is a bad market for others is a good time for Centum to buy into companies. Funds will be invested 60 – 70% in private companies, 20-30% in listed companies and 0.15% in real estate. They already signed the deal for Carbacid for about Kshs. 400 million that was done through Rasimu Limited, a new wholly-owned subsidiary.
– Bond is better than bank debt, cheaper, long term, more flexible. It will cost 9.5% to 12.5% per year.

Image: Centum plans to expand into Africa from Kenya and their vision is to be Africa’s foremost investment channel. Chairman mentioned that their name brand is important, and regretted that bad press had seen the share price dip

Voting: The voting was done by ballot, and the auditors will tally the results. So at the meeting, motions in the agenda were proposed and seconded, with shareholders asked to mark ballot forms and leave them outside after meeting for votes to be tallied. With the new registrars CRS, voting by this method could become the norm, especially on controversial votes, where shareholders numbers at the annual general meeting can be cancelled out by real tally of proxy votes. That was the case at the January meeting, where the 1,536 shareholder attendees (with 258 proxies) tallied yielded just 1% in the re-election of the directors.

Kutwa Tuesday: Corporate Mysteries

and other Bank Twits

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 where there was some interesting discussions, but so far yet to unravel mysteries at Kenya airways, Safaricom and Athi river mining? and some replies

June 15: nairobbery Reading about a Nairobi scam where people actually throw themselves on the windscreens of slow moving cars and later ask for compensation
Kenya central bank study shows popularity of MPesa; users rate it cheap, fast, reliable & accessible

June 16: Media mystery: what happened to the Bamburi vs. Athi story? there were many reporters there but was story buried? replies @nakeel It’s called the power of advertising and who pays your bills..

June 17: Economist says Africa’s next country South Sudan “will fail before it has even been born”
DT Dobie advertising that a Mercedes E200 kompressor is 1796cc and therefore compliant with new Kenya Government rules for Ministers cars
Anti-corruption initiatives falter around Africa
Racial Discrimination at World Bank?
CNBC TV show President Obama killed a fly during an interview. Take it away FOX
Is the Kenya rugby safari sevens tourney over-priced at 1,500 ($19) per season ticket?
Two new independent (non stockbroker) directors at Nairobi Stock Exchange – NSE Board

June18 KPLC is going to increase the birth rate in kenya if they keep failing to supply electricity.

June 19: Kenya and Uganda Catholic churches in a race to hell with simultaneous abuse scandals; media coverage in UG is NSFW
Michela Wrong to visit the World Bank

June 20 Discovering the mysterys of white cap, EABLs no.2 that survives recessions without any advertising
replies @coldtusker I didn’t say it ‘failed’ but IMHO its core consumer base isn’t GenX but my mzee’s generation. What happened to WC lite? White Cap’s demographics are skewed to stable, older, wealthier, ‘old dogs’ market. It has failed among the ‘younger’ drinkers. @Fintradecapital thats really true. Its drinkers r consistent.
I use nivea creams, but all their posters and adverts scream i am soooò not their target customer!
replies @uhusiano is cos they are all jungus? @coldtusker Are you thinking of doing a chaz bono? re: nivea – not their target market… LOL… @devonwhittle I’m also a Nivea customer, but their “skin whitening” products and ads worry me – @karuoro I use Nivea shower gel but prefer Vaseline lotion..find nivea lotions too..sticky (don’t know if that makes sense) @Ethnicsupplies I’ve never liked the smell @Shiko_Msa we the target customers that is. feel welcome. Even though they dont welcome we do.
Stomping through kilelewshwa – many apartment complexes have ‘to let’ signs

june 21 Safaricom selling cheap internet ready phones including nokia 1680 for $38 replies @alykhansatchu I was reading that @ thinking 13m Subs converts to 2m x $1.00 a day internet
@coldtusker also former Kenya Airways director is CEO air uganda. Seems KQ is now finishing school for sub-saharan airline bosses. replies @coldtusker Hugh Fraser (ex-KQ now CEO of Air Uganda) was in the very important Commercial Director post @ coldtusker Neil Canty (former CFO-KQ) went to Gulf Air though he has left them for another gig. Africa again?

R/T @airlineroute KLM to operate MD11s on Nairobi-amsterdam for Kenya Airways from july to september! What will the 777s be doing?

Unexpected dividend cheque from stanbic uganda ~$15 in the mail today #migingo
replies @PinkM How do you cash your Stanbic UG cheques?I haven’t cashed for 2 years now. Thanks.Will try that. I wish it was possible to bank at CFC Stanbic even for CFC a/c holders

Kenya retain rugby revens title, but Is that DJ CK on pitch with team at #safarisevens? He’s kenya’s top gate crasher replies @kenyanpundit hehehe, DJ CK was EVERYWHERE at the WEF in Capetown @kachwanya you just made me remember almost similar incident sometime back during Orange launch..yeah he somehow did that

June 22 Kenya’ anti-aid author envious of @dambisamoyo
replies @kainvestor Many African anti-aid champions see sinister agendas in the success of @dambisamoyo. She wasn’t the 1st to write against aid >>>
Safaricom shares pick up after managers visit Europe & US fund investment firms #safaricom #investorrelations
Family Bank 25th anniversary
President @mwaikibaki encourages banks to use mobile phones to reach beyond the 22% ‘banked’ kenyans
Have more twitter followers than feedburner subsribers; what does that mean?
people who vandalised the Kenya Railways Kibera railway, may also have got paid to fix it after

June 23 Any well wishers to donate a PC or laptop to Mamamikes who were recently robbed?…
59% of small business owners rely on credit cards for working capital! scary