Category Archives: Kenya Re

Genghis Stock Picks for 2019

Nairobi-based investment bank Genghis Capital launched their 2019 “investor playbook” with the theme of embracing value. 2018 was a challenging year for the Kenyan economy and capital markets and that is expected to continue in 2019, but this also presents opportunities for investors.

Kenya has a relatively small number of stocks (65) on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) – and Genghis chose nine stocks as their 2019 financial (banking & insurance) and non-financial picks for investors, in three categories:

  • Momentum stocks: Equity Bank, East African Breweries, KCB Group, Safaricom.
  • Income stocks: Stanbic, Barclays Kenya, Standard Chartered, KCB. 
  • Value stocks: Kenya Reinsurance, KCB, Bamburi Cement. 

They cited that Safaricom scored positively in every category while KCB and Equity banks had embraced digitization, high asset quality and low cost structures.

Other points from the playbook launch presentation:

  • They do not expect a repeal of interest rate caps this year, even though its impact has been negative on the economy.
  • Funds raised for infrastructure bonds are not all being used for that; some are going to retire other debts and they should be properly used
  • Public-private partnerships are not coming to fruition; paperwork for the Nairobi-Nakuru highway was submitted in April 2018 but there has been no decision.
  • To a question – “what is the regulator doing to increase the confidence of investors amid fraud incidents?” – the CMA can only do so much and the onus is still on the company directors. International markets have graver penalties than Kenya and perhaps it is time the Director of Public Prosecutions started looking at some cases here and following through on enforcement. 
  • While Kenya Re is a pick in the playbook, they generally don’t cover the insurance sector – it has challenges including fraud, price under-cutting, and low penetration levels (3%) and a lot has to happen to unlock value and growth in the insurance mass market. Kenya Re is there because it is under-valued (owing to lack of clear strategy and proper management) but would be desirable to other insurance investors if the government decided to sell its shareholding.
  • They expect one main listing and others on the smaller NSE boards this year. But while a number of planned privatizations have been mentioned  – Consolidated and Development banks, Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Ports they face numerous hurdles while others like sugar companies in Western Kenya have been on the pipeline since 2011. 

Kenya Insurance 2007 Rankings

Insurance Company of East Africa Assets 19,151 million [19.15 billion or ~ $309 million] (profit of 545 million) [$8.8 million]
Kenya Reinsurance 14,710 (965 million)
Jubilee Insurance 12,459
British American Insurance 10,252 (512)
Kenindia Assurance 9,886
UAP Insurance 7,245 (888)
Old Mutual Life Assurance 6,447
CFC life — (255 million profit)
Heritage AII 4,522 (364)
APA Insurance 4,491
Lion of Kenya Insurance 3,722 (179)
Phoenix (East Africa) Assurance 3,669 (103)
Blue Shield 3,109
Kenya Alliance 2,798
Madison Insurance 2,751
Cooperative Insurance 2,437 (140)
AIG Kenya Insurance 2,337 (217)
General Accident Insurance 2,192 (216)
Cannon Assurance 2,163 (60)
First Africa Assurance 1,781 (103)
Apollo Insurance 1,774
Geminia Insurance 1,223 (24)
Fidelity Shield 1,194 (98)
Trident Insurance 1,178 (54)
Real Insurance 1,107 (92)
Gateway Insurance 1,058
Tausi Assurance 949 (2)
Occidental Insurance 937 (63)
Mercantile Insurance 910 (34)
Standard Assurance 896 (6)
East Africa Re 872 (119)
Intra Africa Assurance 855
Corporate Insurance 809 (23)
Concord Insurance 757 (28)
Directline Assurance 730
Monarch Insurance 683 (9)
Amaco 674 (43)
Pioneer Assurance 508 (4)
Mayfair insurance 478 (-1)
Kenya Orient 443 (19)
Metropolitan Insurance 437
PACIS 220 (27)
Trinity Life Assurance 219

Kutwa Tuesday

West to East: Following Bank of Africa (2004) and Ecobank (taking over EABS), West African’ leading bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA) is making an entry to East Africa starting with Uganda and have also applied for a license to bank in Kenya.

Venture Capita Fund: From the East African Development Bank (EADB) is now operational, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa are eligible for funding.

Uchumi’s turnaround : Uchumi have finally published their financial results of the receivership period from 2006 to 2008. The turnaround has been remarkable and in the half year ending December 2007, they surpassed full year sales from 2006 (year of collapse). Still, the current ratio is still poor (less than 1), but that’s about three times better than it was when the company sunk.

The company lost 751 million in June 06, which improved the first year of receivership to a loss of 257m in 07 – and are on track to make a profit in 2008 – while operating fewer stores. It’s probably too soon to be re-listed (there would only be sellers, no buyers) and a dividend would not be likely for 5 years as the company still has an accumulated loss (negative reserves) of about 1 billion shillings ($15 million)

peeves two things irritate me though at Uchumi (i) their cashiers never have any shilling coins and insist on giving out sweets in lieu of change (ii) Cashiers’ who take advantage of my not having a u-card to top up their accounts with points I pay for.

Insurer collapses: Invesco assurance finaly goes under. The company which insured many matatu’s is now under statutory management and can’t make any policy payments or sign up new business. And when the history of the company is written, one paragraph must address why almost every insurance company (including Invesco) decided to put up an expensive office building in the Upper Hill area of Nairobi, far away from their core clientele.

Kenya Re profits: How much did Kenya Re earn in 2007? An interesting discussion at stockskenya.

Diaspora dollars: How much do Kenya’s abroad remit to the country (through official channels)? CBK reports $54 million in January 2008 and teh country is on track for an increase from the $573 million sent in 2007.

Dollar launderer: A Nation report cites US concern about money laundering in Kenya which has weak laws regarding the crime. The State Department report notes the difficulty as Kenya is a hub that mixes regional trade with exports to East & Central Africa, donor aid & NGO’s (managing over U.S. $1 billion annually), remittances from expatriate Kenyans estimated at $680-780 million annually, and Eastleigh Estate which handles unofficial remittances by the Somalia Diaspora. Also, though banks maintain records of transactions over U.S. $100,000 and international transfers over U.S. $50,000 (and report them to the CBK) they fear customer reactions to such release of information – and thsi was hammered home by a November 2007 court award that ordered Barclays Bank to pay a customer 400,000 shillings ($5,700) for providing customer details to the British High Commission.

New boards
– The Kenya college of communication and technology (KCCT) board now has Michael Joseph, Nick Nesbitt, Naushad Merali and Paul Kukubo to guide some relevance in communications training.
– The Resettlement fund (for election victims) has retired archbishop Ndingi, former minister Akaranga, and retired athlete Kipchoge Keino on board.

Taxes, IPO’s and Unit Trusts

Taxing corruption
So Parliamentdealt another blow to the war on corruption by denying the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission with the authority to investigate crimes that happened before it was formed (2003).

KACC as a body has aimed high (going after high profile figures – CEO’s, Ministers) but mostly caught small fry leaving many Kenyans dissatisfied and who now consider the Commission to be a waste of money

But there’s another public institution – the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) that has achieved milestones in the war of corruption that KACC can only dream of. They have gone after untouchables, and some lawyers and MP’s have had their accounts and salaries frozen and asset seized. Now if only they could publicize this.

RICO in Kenya?

Why not legislate a tax on corruption, so if you’re named, you could lose 90% of property, leaving the accused with 10%? This is humane, but is as good as taking back everything – and bypassing court processes. Hitting Pattni with a tax bill would end 10 years of court injunction and delays and realize some significant gains in cash recovered.

Kenye Re slipping away
My strategy to bypass the IPO of Kenya Re not working as well as I thought. I placed orders at 13 shillings, only for the share to zoom. It’s tempting to buy the shares at 17 or 18 and then the balance when they drop (if ever).

Unit Trust get more accessible
Market leader, Old Mutual, has lowered their minimum entry amount for unit trusts from Kshs.500,000 to Kshs. 200,000 (about $3,000). The offer runs till December 2007.

Soaring Monday: Kenya Re opens above the FT Ghost

We are almost at the end of the month of August which Kenyans consider to be jinxed. So far national tragedies have included the annual floods in Budalangi and a village in Kakamega that was destroyed in mud slides, while Nairobi has had the occasional tremors continue since July.


lessons learnt from FT? The statutory manager of Francis Thuo Stockbrokers will begin paying off its clients (who had filed loss claims) from Monday 27th to September 7 – using money paid by new stockbroker Renaissance Capital.

This should not be the end of Francis Thuo and a comprehensive report and sanctions of the company’s management needs to happen. More so because, illegal selling of shares by brokers without permission of some unfortunate shareholders is still going on. Francis Thuo was not a robot selling shares. It had managers and staff who wilfully robbed shareholders of their investment. Has no investor reported them to KACA (even anonymously)? What’s more shocking is that the NSE wants to reward/gift the collapsed stockbroker with more money!

Kenya Reaffirms the IPO dreams of investors by almost doubling to in price on Day 1 after the IPO. The share price reached 18 shillings before settling at 15 – but the allocation to retail investors was measly 12%

Nairobi Wifi II
One drawback to finding a great hotspot is that you have to lug around a $500 laptop to/from parked cars in an anonymous bag – which you then wrap around your chair leg so it does not disappear. But an even worse situation is to arrive there and find that for some reason the network is offline and they can’t fix it till the next day.

Still it’s better than paying $11 an hour for internet access at a hotel, which is even more expensive than before. Ultimately the goal is to have home internet access which is a whole other story.

Here’s Safaricom ISP – in form of their new Bamba net service. It’s a plug & play USB modem which costs 6,000 shillings to connect and 2,000 ($28) per month for unlimited net usage up to 700MB then 10 per MB thereafter – and is available throughout Kenya

Parliament to scrutinize privatization: the Finance Minister has been ordered to gazette a privatization law passed by parliament. This will bring such measure under scrutiny of parliament like the Safaricom IPO, and (within the banking sector) – moves to privatize Consolidated and National bank, or anytime the NSSF wants to divest in shares.

KCB back to UK
KCB to reopen London branch to serve Kenyans living abroad.

KQ soars as Uchumi shrinks
Kenya Airways was ranked 99 among world airlines in terms of operations. And in the first quarter (April to June), the company results showed that with increased capacity (deployment of larger aircraft), they were able to carry 640,128 passengers (9% higher than 2006), but aircraft were less full owing to increased competition.

Meanwhile Uchumi has withdrawn franchise rights to Tesco who have closed their Uchumi branded branches (including the one at railways). from a KTN report

Recent grads can’t be MP’s.
Because the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) wants them to clear their loan dues before they can run for public office including Parliament.

Jobs on Offer
most from the daily papers last week

Anti-illicit trade intelligence analyst at British American Tobacco. D/L is 7/9

Central Bank of Kenya: head of procurement, senior economist(s), manager forex bureaus, financial analyst, lawyer(s), executive director – Kenya school of monetary studies. Apply to the director of HR P O Box 60000-00200 Nairobi by 6/9

Constituency development fund: account managers for 41 constituencies including Makadara, Kamukunji, Starehe, Kasarani, Embakasi, Langata, Likoni, Mvita, Limuru, and Eldoret south . women encouraged to apply and the deadline for applications to is 21/9

East African Breweries: Buyer, Group Head compliance, indirect tax manager, group tax manager, direct tax manager, finance director, head of supply finance (Uganda) business performance implementation manager financial accountant(inter comp account), head of group procurement, procurement controller cost accountant advertising & promotion analyst service delivery manager

Principal legal officer at the east African development bank. d/l is 7/9

Branch managers at Family Bank. d/l is 5/9

HLB Ashvir: audit manager, audit seniors (Mombasa). Apply to by7/9

Private sector development specialist at the IFC. d/l is 10/9

Kenya Airports Authority: auditor operations, auditor finance, auditor information systems. Apply through Hawkins associates

Kenya Commercial Bank: manager in non-electronic fraud, and investigator – forensic services. Apply to by 7/9

Macroeconomic and financial management institute of eastern and southern Africa (Zimbabwe): director debt management program, program officer – external markets & financial markets development, program officer – financial sector supervision. Apply to

Chief executive officer at the Privatization Commission of Kenya to be created. apply through Deloitte at by 6/9

Website editor/content coordinator at UNDP Somalia (Westlands office). Apply to by 7/9