Category Archives: Old Mutual

New Bank, New Stockbroker (II)

Women’s Bank: They may not have been able to get special seats in Parliament, but women can count on having their own bank when the Kenya Women’s finance trust converts to a commercial bank, probably in 2008. Having a women’s only bank is a long-running proposal to address some of the challenges women face as borrowers and bank customers.

KCB has diversified into asset finance, a field dominated by Barclays, Diamond Trust, CFC and market leader NIC (which was a Barclays spin-off initially)

A survey ranks Citibank as the top Kenyan bank and finds that 3 banks dominate the country.

Renaissance Capital was all set to be the next stockbroker at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, until Old Mutual snuck in and doubled their bid with an astonishing ½ billion shilling ($6.5 million) offer. That leaves Renaissance to have to buy into one of the smaller stockbrokers, some of who have been patiently waiting for a big payday.

In an unprecedented move, Kenya Airways postponed it’s 2007 AGM. A mail mix up is to blame, and to think how for many years shareholders heaped blame on Barclays registrars, but at least they got the mail part right. KQ this year was handled by the ambiguously named Custody and Registrar Services. 

Kenya RE fractions: Retail investors are not likely to get more than 200 shares apiece.

Communications
Safaricom ball: Having pulled out the rug from the Kalonzo Musyoka side with a party takeover this week, Raila Odinga’s next move was to step in front to halt the Safaricom IPO, which most investors can’t wait to receive (and which could be a vote winner).
– The Government has reduced the local ownership requirement in the telecommunications sector to 20% from 30% before. The 30% rule has derailed three ventures in the last three years and so far it appears the Sameer Group is the only local company to have invested more than 30% in any venture.
– Blogger Gathara points out another equally troubling aspect about the media bill.

Trade & Aid
Going to China: The Kenyan Ministry of Trade has opened a commercial office and posted a commercial attaché in Beijing, China.

CARE Cares: CARE has handed a lifeline to African farmers by turning down US Food aid.

Energy: The Olkaria geothermal plant to expand as a Mitsubishi consortium has been awarded a contract to add a 35MW plant for Kengen there

Tourism
– The Narok county council has stopped the development of Wasafiri tented camp on the outskirts of the Masai Mara but other camps are still being put up (read here)
– Fly540 to start flights to newly reopened Wajir airport, Jetlink will start international flights (probably in the region), but the Kenya wildlife services have been refused a license to offer passenger flight services.

Upcoming
– Bioken, a new distiller factory in Athi River.
– New hotel in Gigiri.
– Three hills housing estate (6,000 houses) in Mwakinye, Mombasa.
– New casino at Nyali Cinema, Mombasa.

Opportunities

– Opportunities for artists from Nairobinow
– MD of the Kenya Film Corporation. Apply to info@filmingkenya.com by 21/8
– Transformation manager at the Kenya women’s finance trust. Details here and D/L is 30/8
– Join the Kwani sales team. Contact marketing@kwani.org
Pan Africa Trust Fund: Chief Executive Officer, Grant Administrator, and Finance Officer. D/L is 24/8
– Business executives at the Standard / KTN

Are unit trusts for you?

There was a story in the story in the Standard about unit trusts this week.

At the beginning of the year, I considered stepping away from the NSE, cashing in my gains and putting the money in a unit trust. But a conversation with a custody manager put me off this path. He said that with the management fees at unit trusts were too high for individuals, implying that individual investors not see significant gains unless the trust had exceptional returns.

Certainly any investor familiar with the myriad Kenyan and African investment blogs and sites such as Cold Tusker, First Global Select, Kenya Capital Investments, Mwasjad, Nairobist, Outfoxed, Pesa Tu, Riba Capital, Stockskenya, Odeglenyang, Investing In Africa, Kenyan Entrepreneur, Hisagal, Gathinga – could be more informed as any unit trust investor.

Unit trusts

Approved Collective Investment Schemes in Kenya are:

1. African Alliance Kenya Unit Trust Scheme: Kenya Shilling Fund, Kenya Fixed Income Fund, Kenya Managed Fund
2. Old Mutual Unit Trust Scheme : Equity Fund, Money Market Fund, Balanced Fund
3. British American Unit Trust Scheme : Money Market Fund, Income Fund, Balanced Fund, Managed Retirement Fund, Equity Fund
4. Stanbic Unit Trust Scheme: Money Market Fund, Flexible Income Fund, Managed Prudential Fund
5. Commercial Bank of Africa Unit Trust Scheme: Money Market Fund, Equity Fund