Category Archives: Stanbic IPO

MTN Uganda IPO 

MTN Uganda has an ongoing IPO in which they plan to raise UGX 895 billion (US$252 million) from selling 20% of the company to local investors and floating the shares. Like in Ghana and Nigeria before, the listing of shares on the local stock exchange by the leading telecommunications firms in the countries, has become a licensing requirement, and MTN, which signed a new 12-year license in 2019, is doing this ahead of a June 2022 deadline.

Looking at the IPO prospectus, and extracts from an MTN executive briefing in Nairobi this week, some of the highlights of the offer are: 

  • About MTN Uganda: Founded in 1998, it is the largest of two telcos in the country with a 55% market share compared with 45%  for Airtel. It is the most admired brand in the country and part of the MTN Group that is in 27 African countries and one of the largest brands on the continent. MTN Uganda had 2020 revenue of  UGX 1.88 trillion (about $531 million) and a pre-tax profit of 460 billion ($130 million). It has 15.7 million phone subscribers, with 5.3 million active data users and 9.4 million mobile money users.
  • Uganda Market: In the densely-populated country of 44 million people, MTN sees much more growth from the young population, as the current mobile penetration of 67% is considered low for Africa. Also, wIth Africell having exited in October 2021 and  Smart Telecom about to follow suit, MTN’s market share could reach 60%.  
  • Offer: 4.47 billion ordinary shares, accounting for 20% of the company are on sale at UGX 200.00 ($0.057) per share. The minimum lot is 500 shares, so the investment required is UGX 100,000  ($28) per shareholder. 
  • Allocation: All East African community shareholders are being offered 5 incentive shares for every 100 they buy, but MTN customers who apply on the IPO platform and pay with MTN mobile money get another 5, for a total of 10 incentive shares. Ten (10) incentive shares for every 100 bought are also being offered to Uganda professional and East Africa professional investors who purchase shares worth over UGX 177 billion ($50 million). If oversubscribed, Uganda retail investors and MTN employees will be given priority and allocated up to UGX 5 million ($1,414), with others on a pro-rata basis, in the order of Uganda professional investors, then East African investors, and finally international other investors. MTN has received approval to market the shares to investors in Tanzania and Kenya, and they await clearance from other EAC countries. The offer may be suspended if it does not reach 25% uptake (about 1.12 billion shares)
  • USE: The MTN shares will be listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange. Currently, its largest counter is Stanbic Bank Uganda, that had its IPO in 2006, and accounts for about half the market activity, but MTN are expected to overtake them after listing their 22.39 billion shares in December.
  • IPO Applications: The process is fully electronic and starts by applying online to open a securities central depository (SCD) account. This can also be via USSD on an MTN line, or via the MTN app or at an authorized selling agent. In  Kenya,  investors can apply through a stockbroker like Dyer & Blair who will verify their ID and PIN details. The minimum to buy is Kshs 3,250 at Dyer & Blair, which is for 500 shares at Kshs 6.50 per share.
  • Shareholding changes: Ahead of the IPO, currently MTN Group owns 21.5 billion shares (96%) and the MTN Chairman, Charles Mbire, a Ugandan businessman who also chairs the USE, owns the other 4%. After the IPO, MTN will have 76% and new investors will have 20%, and MTN, Chairman Mbire, and the directors have committed not to sell any more shares for the next year. MTN Group will still exercise controller the composition of the board, and acquisition, financing, and branding decisions.
  • Taxes: MTN Uganda is the largest taxpayer in the country and they paid a disputed amount of transitional license fee totaliing UGX 50 billion ($14.1 million) ahead of the IPO.
  • Use of Funds and Debts The funds raised will go to reimburse MTN who have grown the business since inception by investing over one trillion shillings and who have also committed to investing another trillion over the next three years expanding the network, mainly in rural Uganda for other growth activities. MTN Uganda’s debt is UGX 194 billion (equivalent to about $55 million) and $45 million at June 2021. MTN Group has arranged a syndicated loan, through Stanbic South Africa, with local banks in Uganda – Stanbic, Absa Citi and Standard Chartered.
  • Fintech opportunities: The country was reported to have 31.3 mobile money accounts but after a cleanup exercise, the number of active subscribers was determined to be 20.3 million. MTN’s mobile money has 45,000 merchants customers signed on, it sees a great opportunity to grow that market that it predicts can be ten times larger. They will also roll out bank tech products – savings, loans and insurance – and compete with banks at the bottom of the pyramid.
  • Dividend: Payout was 57% of profits in 2018 and 2019.  
  • Threats: Price competition may affect average revenue per user and profit margins, and a weakness identified is the low income of consumers.
  • Timelines: The IPO runs for just over one month. It opened on October 11 and closes on November 22, with an announcement of the results on December 3 and listing on December 6. Refunds, if any, will be paid from December 3. 
  • Transaction advisors: SBG Securities Uganda is the transaction advisor and lead sponsoring broker. Receiving banks are Stanbic, Standard Chartered and Absa in Uganda. Selling agents are SBG Uganda, Dyer & Blair Uganda, Crested Capital and UAP Old Mutual. In Kenya, these are SBG Securities and Dyer and Blair.
  • Offer Costs: Budget is UGX 32.6 billion with MTN International expected to foot 22.3 billion and MTN Uganda the other 10.3 billion. The bulk of the payments are the placement fees (UGX 9.9 billion) and the transaction advisor (7.5 billion). Others are VAT on professional fees (3.6 billion), while the tax advisors in SA and Uganda will earn a total of 4.2 billion. There is also the reimbursement of selling agents of retail shares (4.2 billion) and the public relations bill to MTN Uganda is UGX 356 million.
  • Valuation:  With the shares offered at UGX 200, Dyer & Blair advise a “buy” with a target market price of UGX 218, a 9% upside from the current offer. And when incentive shares are factored in, this makes the value of the shares almost 15% higher than the IPO offer.
  • Verdict: The euphoria could be similar to the Safaricom IPO in Kenya, whose investors are also yearning for another large IPO.

Read more at the MTN Uganda IPO official website.

Stanbic Uganda 2021 AGM

Stanbic, the largest bank in Uganda held its shareholders’ annual general meeting this morning. Beamed online, the 15th AGM of the bank was held virtually and shareholders were invited to register, watch the stream online and vote on the resolutions.

Excerpts

  • The bank is listed on the Uganda securities exchange and has 22, 000 shareholders
  • Much was made about Flyhub, their new financial services and innovation subsidiary created to compete with fintechs.
  • Shareholders could get their meeting packs on their phones, with the notice and annual report. Also, they could ask questions, and over 90 were received ahead of or during the AGM.
  • There is some board restructuring in Uganda as they separate banks from holding companies. As such, no directors retired at the AGM this year
  • Shareholders voted to adopt the meeting notice, new directors, audited report, and non-executive director fees
  • They voted to approve a dividend (Ushs 2.15 per share) for 2019 that was paid in April 2021. They also voted on a dividend for 2020 (Ushs 1.86 per share) that is in abeyance. The board has applied to the Bank of Uganda to pay the 2020 dividend but that has been refused as the regulator wants banks to withhold discretionary payouts and preserve capital during Covid-19. As such the board did not recommend this item.
  • Shareholders could vote the whole morning, and, just before the end of the meeting, the results were displayed instantly.

Another good thing is Stanbic recently solved a pain point for cross border investors, and allowed them to register and receive dividends by mobile money – such as Safaricom M-Pesa, instead of cheques.

It was the closest thing to attending the AGM of a foreign bank held in Nairobi.

Dividend Payments across East Africa – Redux

It’s been four years since this post and the signs are still not encouraging for cross-border dividend payments across East Africa.

Good – Safaricom: I get my dividends by M-Pesa – in fact one came last week, right on the 15th anniversary of the company. At Safaricom, M-Pesa is the preferred method of paying dividends which are below Kshs 70,000 to shareholders – and this would work for almost 99% of their individual shareholders who all own less than 100,000 shares each.

But for Ugandan shareholders of Safaricom, to receive the share of the largest dividend in Kenya’s history ($256 million), they get a cheque in the mailbox  that takes 4 days to clear. The next thing for M-Pesa dividends is to have them automatically reinvested into buying other shares; but for now, you can instantly lock the funds away in an interest-earning M-Pesa fixed deposit.

No change – Stanbic Uganda: Shareholders in Kenya get a cheque in the mail which takes one month to clear and costs $8-10 per cheque. No improvement, and not likely to change.

Bad: (a surprising step back this year is) Bralirwa: At last review, Bralirwa (the Rwanda brewery) dividend cheques were issued KCB Rwanda, and KCB Kenya was encasing cheques at their branches in Kenya provided Kenyan shareholders presented their cheques, and proved their identity – they could receive equivalent cash payments up to RWF50K (~$67).

This year that option is not there as KCB Kenya is not encashing cheques! A shareholder has to deposit the dividend cheque into KCB or any other Kenyan bank to get the payment.  I tried that at my Barclays branch and they refused as they simply don’t have Rwanda francs in their bank system.

10 November 2015

Shares Portfolio August 2012

Comparing to last quarter and a  year ago.   
The StableBarclays ↑
Bralirwa (Rwanda) ↑
Diamond Trust Bank ↓
East African Breweries (EABL) ↑
Equity Bank ↔
Kenya Airways ↓
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) ↑
Kenya Oil Company (Kenol) ↑
Safaricom ↑
Scangroup ↑
Stanbic (Uganda) ↓
 
Review 
The portfolio, excluding new shares, is up 11% since May 2012 while the Nairobi Shares Exchange main index is up 6% over the same period.
  • Best Performer: Kenol (up 23% in 3 months), Bralirwa 14%)
  •  Worst Performer: Diamond Trust (down 8% in 3 months), Kenya Airways (after the rights issue that yielded
  • In: Equity Bank – read a recent  Equity Bank analysis report.
  • Out: Britak, Uchumi
  • Increase: Took up all of the Diamond Trust Bank rights
  • Decrease: none
  • Unexpected gains/losses: Kenol suspension was listed, Bonus share of Stanbic Uganda bonus was issued (4 new for every existing share)
  • Looking Forward to more listings like the one announced today from Umeme – a monopoly electricity distributor from Uganda that is 100% owned by Actis,  and which plans to have an IPO in Uganda and Kenya later this year.

Dividend Payments across East Africa

Having bought shares in recent East African IPO’s (Uganda: Stanbic Bank and Rwanda: BralirwaBrewers), there appears to be some progress in addressing one of long-standing problems of buying such shares – and this is the bank charges associated with receiving and having to process dividend cheques that are paid in currencies that are fractionally weaker than the Kenya shilling.

With Stanbic, the Kenyan arm of the African bank has shown little interest in facilitating this even though a significant number of Stanbic Uganda’s 25,000 shareholders are Kenyan. In fact, the staff pension funds of Kenya Airways and the Central Bank are listed among the top 10 shareholders of the bank.

At Bralirwa, the dividends are issued by KCB Rwanda and via a late message, KCB Kenya state they are paying/cashing the cheques up to RWF50K (~Kshs 8,000) across the counter. ( If higher, the cheques will be sent for to Rwanda).

While the next step should be for East Africans to receive cross-border dividend payments by mobile money such as mpesa dividends this is only available to Kenyan shareholders. For now, the facilitation of affordable across-the-counter dividends, and other cross border trade & investment payment options is something that banks, not just KCB, with a regional footprint like Equity, Stanbic, Diamond Trust, and NIC should also take up.

EDIT: New communications from the banks shows new options for Kenyans who have invested shares across East Africa as follows:

Bralirwa: Any cheques of less than RWF 50,000 (~Kshs 7,750) can be cashed at the counter of any KCB Kenya branch at a fee of RWF 200 (Kshs 31) on the  production of an ID or a passport.

Stanbic Uganda: No certificates will be issued for the 1:1 bonus, and no physical annual reports will be mailed. But shareholders can now elect to receive dividends by electronic funds transfer, or mobile money (airtel money or m-pesa) after confirming their details at Comprite (Uganda) Registrars whose Nairobi office is at Marakwet House, Elgeyo Marakwet Road.