Category Archives: pesa point

IPO Guilt

I am

Guilty of having to get into an IPO queue after signaling a wavering of my IPO strategy (its political season)

Guilty of waiting till the last minute; procrastination is a Kenyan habit, and the queues of Safaricom are very long in the last 24 hours, despite the IPO having run for almost a month. What were we waiting for? (and does Obama carry this gene?)

Party guilty of not fully embracing technology: it’s actually possible to buy the shares without having to join a stockbroker queue if (i) you apply online at the official IPO site (which I did) but I did not (ii) attempt to pay via ATM for the same shares. IPO’s tend to run on a different cycle and I didn’t want to be time barred for a delay in funds

More on the official IPO site; it calls for a leap of faith like buying an air ticket online with boarding pass and successfully completing the flight. But the site does not seem to allow for any amendments (buy more or less shares or even cancel an order after you have applied.

And then I received this ominous e-mail from whoever runs the official site

Safaricom IPO”
To: ___________________
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your online application for Safaricom IPO shares dated 4/__/2008 reference _______, in the name of ______.

Please note that the next stage of the application process is to make payment for your application at the receiving bank or broker that you selected, by the close of the IPO offer period on Wednesday April 23rd 2008.

If you have already made payment for your application, kindly disregard this email.

In the event of any queries, contact us via email at or call us on +254 20 2754300.

Warm regards
Customer Service Team
Safaricom IPO at Citi

So let’s see how it goes in the last day of the IPO as I pay for the shares.

across the border: Stanbic Uganda, another over-subscribed IPO from 2007 performed even better than expected with a nice dividend of Ug. Shillings 6.64 shillings per share. Maybe I should try the Zambia Celtel IPO too

Kutwa Tuesday: death of the cyber café

Once, long ago, I wrote a paper about a business case to put up a cyber café in an airport terminal – for transit passengers to browse there as they waited for the flight to connect. That model is in place today in airports all over the world (not my doing) but its’ time may already have passed with wi-fi zones and wireless laptops whose users don’t need to use cyber cafe facilities anymore.

But even cyber cafes’ that are in town may be under threat.

Until three months ago I’d spend about an hour in a cyber cafe each Saturday and Sunday. I’d go there to my check my-email and then browse quite a bit when I was done.

But all that has stopped as I now check my email and browse for information I need to know instantly – from hotmail, gmail, sports scores, stock prices – using a plain old phone (not bambanet, or blackberry) as the Safaricom EDGE service is available on most of their phones even some of the cheaper ones. I get the information wherever I am and don’t have to visit a cyber cafe unless it’s to print a document or download a PDF report.

Oil slick
The sale of Somken petrol stations to the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) has been put on hold ever since the previous NOCK MD resigned from the company. Haggles remain over the high price bid for the stations.

BAT smoke-out
BAT Ghana has voluntarily de-listed from the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Does that portend anything for BAT Kenya one of the blue chip stocks on the Nairobi stock exchange and one of the highest paying dividend stocks? Cigarette smokers have had their smoking freedom curtailed in Nairobi and other urban areas (Nairobi city has less than a half dozen outdoor smoking points) making them clandestine smokers who hide on staircases and bathrooms (but at least most bars retain a smoking section). What impact will that have on sales?

BAT Kenya manufactures cigarettes here and exports a significant amount to other regional countries (who have not curtailed smoking) which should cushion it slightly from the new laws.

Stockbroker still frozen
The statutory management of Francis Thuo stockbrokers (by the Nairobi Stock Exchange) has been extended for another six months.

the pyramids that collapsed
Much has changed in the one year since nyramid schemes were highlighted here. Since then they have come under increasing pressure from the government, SACCO’s and most important the banks who frozen account necessary for their operations (and who probably still hold the schemes ‘missing billions’ that investors are crying for).

The latest collapse was Amity and it was preceded by Sasanet investment co-op (suspended operations), Spell investments (suspended operations), Circuit investments (suspended operations), CLIP (suspended operations), DECI (suspended operations), and the Kenya business community savings & credit society (Kenya akiba) (suspended operations)

Kenya news on Youtube
Some people say they are tired of political news, while others can’t get enough of it. But the Nation Media Group has gone ahead and made their new clips available on Youtube

Pesa point wins
Two yard ago Pesapoint was launched and it began a battle with Kenswitch – another network of banks sharing ATM facilities. But today Pesa Point has signed up most mid-size banks and have a network of almost 200 ATM machines – and last month added corporate banking giant Standard Chartered to their network.

Telecommunications, ATM’s and foreign aid

Balancing Act

Balancing Act’s latest newsletter (No. 285) is a special issue on telecommunications developments in Kenya. Notable points include;
– Expect more ISP mergers (after Wananchi and ISPKenya)
– VoIP could cut the cost of international corporations communications costs from US$5,000 to US$700 a month.
– A looming financial crisis at Telkom could force the government to sell some shares in Safaricom to Vodafone or to the public via the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
– New call centers have difficulties finding people with the right voices to work there – and their preference for candidates who have had some international exposure.
– The jail sentence hanging over the head of Shem Ochuodho.

Pesa ATM’s

Pesa Point now has 60 ATMs installed around the country. My bank has pesa point but I will take a pass on them because of the additional cost (30/=per cash withdrawal)except for emergencies of if I am very far from my own Bank’s ATM. Pesa Point’s unique stand-alone ATM’s are popping up in all sorts of unexpected places such as the grounds of KICC and a restaurant opposite Hooter’s with little fanfare. The company should have a web site or better way to market/advertise each new ATM added, besides a statement from the MD.

Foreign Aid
President George W. Bush’s administration plans to overhaul the US foreign aid system and align programs more with US political interests. E.g. the State Department could take over the independent US Agency for International Development (USAID).

This Nairobi life

Cooling on pesa point: Several banks recently signed on to be a part of the Pesa Point ATM network, and now they are passing on the charges to the customer after a brief free trial period. If I use a pesa point ATM it will cost me 30 shillings per transaction, which negates the attractiveness of the flat fee banking concept which I signed on for. Henceforth, I will only use pesa point ATM’s for emergency withdrawals.

Development freeze: The Nairobi City Council has suspended proposals for property conversions / development activities (e.g. to apartments & offices) in Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Thompson, Lavington, Riverside and Westlands for a period of six months while it reviews the development policies which have transformed (and some say destroyed) these Neighbourhoods.

No escape: Plans for a Christmas holiday at the Coast may be put on hold because all major hotels have been fully booked, leaving no space for domestic tourists.

No water: The city could face a serious water shortage after talks stalled between a water company and its workers.

But there are opportunities:

Job: In the position of the finance officer at the national anti corruption campaign steering committee of the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs. Applicants must have degree, CPA (K), 5 years experience, and good knowledge of the Government of Kenya and development partners’ finance and accounting systems. Apply to the director, P. O. Box 72546-00200, Nairobi by December 16.

Consulting:  Opportunities at the Tourism Trust Fund (link fixed) in the fields of business planning, marketing planning, legal, environmental impact, quantity surveying, project monitoring & evaluation, architectural services, civil & structural engineering, landscape design & architecture, financial planning and conservation. Contracts are for one year with the possibility of renewal and application dossiers can be obtained by emailing with “panel dossier – standard” in the subject line, with your name and address in the message only. Closing date for applications is December 14.

Friday, news, jobs

Pesa Point ATM’s
Pesa Point, an independent network of automated teller machines (ATM’s) will officially launch on Friday October 21st. In a Sunday Nation feature on the launch (PDF) , Paynet MD Bernard Mathewman said eight partners are expected to be part of the initial launch. One Bank likely to be among the first partners is Equity Bank. Also NIC, whose major shareholders own Paynet could also link up their 17 MOVE Zone ATM’s to Pesa Point.

The company says 30 are ready now and they hope to have 120 independent pesa point ATM’s by year end in hotel lobbies, supermarkets, petrol stations, and other retail outlets (Caltex has already signed on). For comparison, Co-operative Bank has 58 ATM’s (31 in Nairobi) and KCB has 86, with plans to have 115 by the end of the year while another network of shared ATM’s, Kenswitch, was launch in 2003 and now has about a dozen banks whose customers use each others 30 ATM’s.

New Bond available
The Athi River Mining bond is now available to investors. The Issue is for Kshs 800 million, offered on a floating rate basis with a final maturity in 2010 and is priced at a margin of 175 basis points (1.75%) above the 91 day T-Bill.

Applications and payments must be delivered to to either Barclays Financial Services, Stanbic Bank Kenya, Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, Ashbhu Securities Limited, or Dry Associates Limited by 3.00 p.m. on Monday, 24 October 2005 with payment made out by banker’s Cheque or by bank transfer/remittance to the Athi River Mining Ltd Bond Receiving Payments Account, in the books of Cooperative Bank, Account Number 011 2030 2835 00, Branch Code 11002, Nairobi. If the offer is over-subscribed, preference will be given to investors in notes greater than 5 million shillings. The bond will then be listed on the sting on the NSE, availing a secondary trading market

KRA anniversary
Also on Friday, President Kibaki will mark the 10th anniversary of the Kenya Revenue Authority at KICC.

Nairobi marathon
The registration deadline for the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon has been extended to Saturday. Many City roads will be closed on Sunday morning to facilitate the marathon.

Low cost housing scheme
Superior Homes will put up 400 3- bedroom apartments bungalows (phase 1) to be known as Green Park Housing Development at Stoney Athi, along Mombasa road.

several accounting positions: at Safaricom Details will soon be posted at their website and the deadline for applications to is 25th October. Positions are:

– senior accountant – reporting
– senior accountant – financial systems & analysis
– senior accountant – accounts receivables
– senior accountant – payables (2 positions: local and foreign)
– senior accountant – general ledger
– senior accountant – cash book
– accountant – accounts payable (2 positions: local and foreign)
– accountant – accounts receivables
– cashier

chief accountant: at Oserian Development Company (one of Kenya’s largest flower grower based in Naivasha). Job entails supervising all accounts and payroll staff, data input for preparation of monthly financial statements and audits, financial and system controls, treasury management and compliance with legislative and accounting standard. Applicants must have bachelor’s degrees (accounts or finance option) and at least 3 years work experience at senior management level preferably as chief financial accountant. Must also be a fully qualified accountant with 5 years work experience. Apply to the human resource manager, by November 4.

loans manager: at the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation. Job entails drawing and implementing lending policies to facilitate processing award and recovery process. Also maintain records of loan applications, set performance objectives, coordinate staff and educate the public on the corporations lending policies and requirements. Applicants should have an economics degree with a bias towards development finance, postgraduate finance qualification and at least 10 years relevant working experience at a senior level. Apply to the managing director, by October 26