Easter weekend

No trades
I realized that I had not been to my stockbroker’s office to trade this year. It would be good to visit to find out the fate of my Stanbic shares. I’m not sure if I got a full allocation or a refund since I have not got any report from the broker. This week would be a good time to visit before the lines begin for the Access Kenya IPO which starts next week.

Access Kenya IPO
Access Kenya announced that their IPO will begin on April 19th. The company hopes to sell 80 million shares at 10 shillings ($0.14) each to raise 800 million shillings ($11.4m). I look forward to the prospectus to be released within the next few days to give a proper picture of the communications market. And we are also awaiting an IPO from Wananchi, Kenya’s largest ISP who unfortunately lost a bid for Africa Online to Telkom of South Africa.

The ISP industry has shown tremendous growth, but the sector faces additional challenges for investors.

  • First like the Scangroup IPO, intangible measures take on greater significance in comparing the company against its peers and its future prospects.
  • Second, an additional regulator comes into play i.e. the Communications Commission of Kenya. The sector has seen some turbulent investments that have not reached fruition including the third mobile operator (Econet in court for three years) and the second national operator (license has been awarded and canceled twice). Also CCK will in future move towards giving unified licenses, which means that companies won’t have to go back to re-apply each time they want to introduce a new service.
  • Third in a unified license world, and once a restructured Telkom has been sorted out, Safaricom and Celtel may be the ISP companies of the future with their EDGE / GPRS offerings. (ISP’s are already complaining about mobile companies not playing fair with interconnection, leading back to the regulator again).

Corporate divorce
Alexander Forbes of SA has withdrawn its name from Alexander Forbes insurance brokers of Kenya citing a lack of majority equity or management control. The Kenyan operation (formerly Hyman Robertson) who already have a new name ready to launch, feel that they have been good custodians of the brand, turning it around from loss-making one to being one of the largest in East Africa.

Fading libraries?
Read in the Sunday Standard that the British Council was closing their library in Mombasa owing to declining memberships.

8 thoughts on “Easter weekend

  1. gishungwa

    Reading is such a wonderful culture sad that the people in mombasa do not regard it as such. The Access kenya IPO, looking forward and cant wait to see the prospectus but since am not that savvy will be back here for the analysis then make a decision after that.

  2. MainaT

    I don’t think Wananchi will be doing an IPO any time soon given they’ve just done a private placement within the last few months. AccessKenya will be massively oversubscribed. I don’t see the pt in allowing IPOs for under a billion unless they can streamline the refunding and application process.

  3. Mitzy

    Lockton International in the US completed the takeover of Alexander Forbes Insurance & Risk Services in November last year, so will that be the new name change?
    And what is this about Verizon et al in the US getting ready to bid for Telkom, that will be interesting to watch. Do you have any info?

  4. maitha

    @ gishungwa – nani kasema watu wa mombasa hawasomi ? . The model of the library as per the BC management had been overtaken by events thus it only made sense to close it down , furthermore the joint was stocked with outdated books and it made little sense to frequent it . The reading culture is very much alive in these parts . success stories of models like sokondogo and others have made books affordable so much so that libraries cant cope .

  5. pesa tu

    Hi banks, did u have at the Business pullout in today’s EA Standard 10/4/07.It had a story on banks that looked a lot like your rankings+ our comments.

    ACCESS kenya IPO will be oversubscribed.

    I loved the British council lib at Mombasa am sad it will be closed.Are they selling the books?- there are a couple i wont mind buying

  6. bankelele

    gishungwa: also waiting for that prospectus. you’re an insider & you should be dishing tips

    MainaT: You’re right. Now what will they do with the cash they had set aside for AfOL?

    Mitzy: A Forbes Kenya had ventured into many insurance fields, maybe more than the South Africans were comfortable with

    maitha: Thanks fo rthe tip. BC has some fimne offerings, but tough to access them

    pesa tu: saw that. I am not complaining, but am watching

  7. Anonymous

    About the British Council lib closure,,really no big deal,,it was more of an infocentre than a lib,and quite elitist..,it was a lib when it was situated at Biashara Bank hse those good old days.
    The only time u would say mombasa pple dont read is when they close the Kenya National Lib,,one can hardly get a place there ..

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