Archive for the 'East Africa' Category
April 18th, 2013 by Tom Minney
The regional forum, the East African Securities Regulatory Authorities (EASRA), is seeking to create a harmonized licensing framework for the region for brokers and dealers, and has also approved draft regulations on book-building for adoption by its members. The draft book-building regulations are to be shared with stakeholders in the member States and their views will be brought to the next EASRA meeting.
Book-building is a process of determining the price at which an initial public offering will be offered. The book is filled with the prices that investors indicate they are willing to pay per share, and when the book is closed, the issue price is determined by an underwriter by analyzing these values.
According to news reports, Joseph Katto, chairman EASRA and CEO of Capital Markets Authority – Uganda, said that book-building can be an effective mechanism for price discovery and demand assessment if regulations are clear and enshrine transparency, The draft regulations would ensure a level playing field for various investor categories.
EASRA also approved a proposal to establish a harmonized licensing requirement framework for stock-brokers and dealers. The proposed framework will guide the drafting of harmonized regulations for licensing within the region.
The decisions were taken during the 37th Consultative meeting held in Kampala, Uganda on 5 April.
EASRA members are also seeking ways to facilitate joint inspection programmes and investigations where two or more member states agree. This would boost cross-border surveillance for market participants who operate across the region..
The meeting was chaired by Katto and was attended by Mrs Nasama Massinda (CEO, Capital Markets and Securities Authority Tanzania), Paul Muthaura (CMA-Kenya), Robert Mathu (CEO CMA-Rwanda), Joseph Bahizi (Representative of Central Bank of Burundi), members of the EASRA technical committees and other Committee members.
EASRA was set up in terms of a memorandum of understanding between the CMAs of Kenya and Uganda, and CMSA Tanzania. They adopted a common blue print on the integration of the East African Capital Markets in 1997. CMA Rwanda later joined and Central Bank of Burundi in 2011.
January 29th, 2013 by Tom Minney
Entrepreneurs running small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in West and East Africa stand to benefit from a new $75 million private equity fund. The announcement follows the news on 29 Jan that two long-term partners are merging.
InReturn Capital (www.inreturncapital.com) is a private-equity company based in Nairobi (Kenya) that invests in SMEs across East Africa, and it plans to close a legal merger in the first quarter of 2013 with London (UK)-based Jacana Partners (www.jacanapartners.com), a private equity specialist in SME investments, which has been building capacity in private equity managers in Africa.
The new partnership will offer a significant boost for East African entrepreneurs seeking value-add expertise and growth capital. InReturn was investing in transaction size of $0.5m-$1.3m and the partnership with Jacana will mean increased access to private equity investment, dedicated investment teams on-the-ground coupled with international private equity expertise and larger deal sizes of between $1m-$5m.
InReturn has rebranded as Jacana Partners. The two firms have been working together for 3 years. Jacana’s West African operations (previously Fidelity Capital Partners) rebranded in August 2012. This creates a leading pan-African SME private equity firm with pan-African coverage which will manage the new $75m SME fund expected to close later this year.
Jacana currently operates in 6 markets (Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda) and intends to move into 2 new countries with the new fund, possibly Ethiopia, Nigeria and/or Francophone West Africa. It is the only pan-African private equity company with a permanent commitment to the SME sector.
Jacana has invested over $20m to date in 20 portfolio companies employing over 1,300 people. In East Africa, 5 investments have been made to date in a stone quarry, an eye care centre, a supplier of tarpaulins to the relief sector, a serviced office provider and a logistics company and several other transactions are contemplated in the next few months.
Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya commented in a Jacana press release: “East Africa is undergoing a period of rapid economic growth largely fuelled by the expansion of our small-to-medium sized enterprises – key generators of job creation and GDP growth. The merger being rolled out today brings scale to the financing of SMEs which will boost their contribution to East Africa’s economic growth. It is my expectation that we shall see more similar initiatives to scale up financing to SMEs that lie at the heart of development blueprints for governments in the region.’’
Passionate about Africa’s entrepreneurs
Getting closer: Ezra Musoke (left) and Anthony Gichini (right) of InReturn Capital flank Simon Merchant CEO of Jacana Partners.
Anthony Gichini, Partner at InReturn Capital said: “The merger of InReturn Capital with Jacana Partners represents a big step forward in private equity investment for SMEs in East Africa. Jacana’s unique model combines international private equity experts with highly-experienced local teams, meaning our entrepreneurs benefit from strategic advice from international business experts as well as dedicated African investment managers on-the-ground who can add-value and provide hands-on management support. This combination is our winning formula which helps us build strong businesses and deliver superior returns.”
Simon Merchant, CEO of Jacana says: “Jacana Partners is a pan-African private equity firm that invests in entrepreneurs, builds successful SMEs and delivers sustainable financial and social returns. We do this because we are passionate about entrepreneurs as the key drivers of job creation and long-term economic development in Africa. Jacana is uniquely structured to overcome the challenges of private equity investing in SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Combining internationally experienced private equity veterans with highly skilled teams on-the-ground, Jacana has the experience, knowledge and resources to structure great deals, grow sustainable businesses and deliver superior returns.
“By merging our African and European operations, we are consolidating our business into a single fund manager, operating under the Jacana brand. As well as investing the remaining capital from our existing funds, the new Jacana will deploy a new $75m SME fund that we are currently in the processing of raising from international investors.
“The new fund will allow us to significantly increase the scale and geographic reach of our operations and will be invested in SMEs in up to 8 countries in East and West Africa. We firmly believe that a unified Jacana operating under the unique Jacana identity is the optimal platform upon which we can fulfill our mission of building the best SME private equity team in Africa, creating sustainable jobs and supporting long-term economic growth.”
July 12th, 2012 by Tom Minney
Uganda’s only power distributor, Umeme, said it plans to raise capital to invest in Uganda’s electricity sector through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Ugandan and Nairobi securities exchanges later in 2012. Umeme is a distribution company and is 100% owned by private equity firm Actis, according to this report on Reuters.
The news came on 6 July at the switching of 5 turbines to add 50MW to the power grid as part of the $860 million Bujagali 250MW hydropower project, one of Africa’s largest power schemes. Umeme has a 20-year electricity distribution concession. Managing director Charles Chapman says the company has opted for the IPO as electricity is now available – Uganda had been suffering power cuts before Bujagali capacity was added – and there was agreement on regulatory targets.
The company would not say how much it hopes to raise and has not finalized plans for the IPO, but Reuters suggests it could be 20% of the shares. The report quotes Chapman: “The initial public offering (IPO) will support Umeme’s capital raising initiatives to finance the continued development of the electricity distribution network, including projects such as prepayment metering and energy loss reduction. We believe that Umeme will be stronger, more transparent and accountable with the input of our customers and employees as shareholders.”
He adds that customers are up to about 460,000 in 2011 from 354,839 in 2009. After power sector unbundling, power in Uganda is generated by the Uganda Electricity Generation Company and transmitted to Umeme by the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company.
According to this blog story, Umeme has already put in its application to the Capital Markets Authority in Uganda and has appointed Stanbic Bank (Uganda) as Transaction Advisor and African Alliance (Uganda) as Sponsoring Broker. Writer Angelo Izama comments: “The company is a safe investment given its monopoly and demand from customers. Many who worry about the risks it faces will look to political risk something to which we will return. Suffice to say that a great degree of the risk will likely be offset when the company lists given the divesting of its ownership to locals.”
March 10th, 2012 by Tom Minney
Kenya has licensed its first ethical fund, an Islamic fund issued by FCB Capital, a sharia-compliant investment bank. It is a fully-owned subsidiary of First Community Bank and the first to offer a Collective Investment Scheme geared towards ethical investing under Islamic capital markets product range.
“Kenya has ambitions of becoming the Islamic finance hub of East Africa as part of our wider aspiration to become an international financial centre,” said Stella Kilonzo, Chief Executive Officer of the Capital Markets Authority, at the licencing of First Ethical Opportunities Fund on 7 March, according to press reports in Xinhua and Coastweek. She said the CMA will continue to encourage stakeholders in Islamic finance to explore opportunities available for structuring, issuance and investment shariah-compliant products such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and bonds.
She also called on Islamic finance institutions to work with CMA and the joint financial sector regulators in Kenya towards the establishment of a full-fledged single Shariah Advisory Council/ Board to enhance the consistent application of Shariah rulings. She said the council could provide guidance on product authenticity within the entire Islamic finance industry in Kenya.
Stakeholders in Islamic finance should also work together to develop the skills of professionals with expertise in Islamic financial advisory services and investment. CMA is also focusing on broad market education, tax harmonisation and formulation of policy and legal frameworks to help accelerate the growth of these new products. First Community Bank has participated in shariah-compliant components of infrastructure bonds issued by the Government of Kenya from 2009.
January 4th, 2012 by Tom Minney
Although the number of investors from other East African countries opening trading accounts at Kenya’s Nairobi Stock Exchange (www.nse.co.ke) is still very small, it is growing more consistently in the last 2 years than other categories of investors. According to data to 30 Sept released by Kenya’s Capital Market Authority (www.cma.or.ke), East African individual investors opened 97 securities accounts at Kenya’s Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (www.cdsckenya.com). This compares to 92 accounts opened in the full year 2010 and 79 in 2009.
By comparison Kenyan individual investors only opened 27,669 accounts in the 9 months to September 2011, compared to 120,756 accounts opened in 2010 and 52,836 in 2009. Kenyan equity trading has remained subdued as investors say high interest rates make them choose government debt securities over equities.
One potential reason for the East African interest, according to an article in the East African , is that Ugandans are opening trading accounts at the NSE in anticipation of the IPO of electricity distributor Umeme (www.umeme.co.ug) scheduled for 2012. Umeme is expected to cross-list at the NSE and the Ugandan Securities Exchange (www.use.or.ug). Some investors open multiple accounts ahead of a potentially “hot” initial public offering (IPO) of shares, where they hope to sell their initial allocation quickly and make a quick profit, as this is likely to maximise their share of allocation if the IPO is oversubscribed.
Trading experience shows that cross-listed East African shares such as Centum, Kenya Airways, Jubilee Insurance, trade more on the NSE compared with the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (www.dse.co.tz) and USE. The increased liquidity in Nairobi means that East Africans are better off having a trading account at the NSE. The paper comments that Rwandans, Tanzanians and Ugandans are probably realising this fact and also taking positions ahead of the listing of some of their firms on the NSE by opening more CDS accounts in Nairobi: “Investors will go the extra mile to open and operate, as proxies, CDS accounts in the names of their relatives or friends who know nothing on trading in shares. Expect an influx of Rwandese, Tanzanians and Ugandans at the NSE in 2012.”
November 3rd, 2011 by Tom Minney
East African venture capital firm InReturn Capital (www.inreturncapital.com) has entered a partnership with Hurlingham Eye Care Services group (HECS – hurlinghameyecare.co.ke), according to a press release issued on 2 November. InReturn Capital is an impact investing company which aims to generate positive social impact and profits by investing in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the East African region, from its offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It has Jacana Venture Partnership (www.jacana.org) as an investor and key partner in fund management, and several Dutch and international partners.
HECS has been operating optical shops and a diagnostics centre around Nairobi since 2000 and in April 2010 opened the Eagle Eye Laser and Diagnostics Centre at the 5th Avenue Building on Ngong Road, close to the Nairobi Hospital. This aims to be a leading provider of eye-care surgery and diagnostics in East Africa, particularly long-term eye problems. The centre is the first clinic in East Africa to offer Lasik surgery, which is the most advanced type of laser surgery for vision correction. Other eye surgeries include cataract, glaucoma, multifocal refractive surgery, as well as a broad variety of eye diagnostics using modern technology. The founders, Dr. Ilako, Dr. Kimani and Dr. Kiumbura, all have a long track record in eye surgery and have teamed up with Dr. Gaeckle, one of the most successful and experienced eye laser surgeons in Germany.
InReturn already has investments in construction, infrastructure and energy and is keen to expand into healthcare. It linked with HECS in July 2011. It provides hands-on support to HECS in strategic focus, human resource management and marketing and financial administration processes, as well as joining weekly management meetings and being a member of the board. Its investment in the surgery centre will assist in expanding and improving operational capabilities while the centre prepares to expand within the region. The plan is also to set up a non-profit unit that will provide free eye-care health services such as free surgeries and consultations to the lowest income groups.
Dr. Kiumbura, CEO and co-founder of HECS commented: “There is a saying in my language that two are always better than one. The partnership with InReturn has just proven this to be true one more time! It has been a time of improvement in the organisation, from personal growth to organizational transformation, and to a more efficient and focused entity from the time we started working together. I have no doubt in my mind that together we will grow to unchartered heights in provision of quality affordable eye-care in this region in the coming years.”
Eelco Benink, Investment Manager of InReturn commented: “We are excited to invest in this state-of-the-art eye-care institute in Kenya. The doctors are amongst the best in their field and the technology available at the Eagle Eye Laser Centre is unparalleled in East Africa. Together with the optical shops it forms the only one stop shop for eye health care in greater East Africa. Our partnership will lead to further expansion of the HECS group, and it will contribute to the growth of quality medical industry in the region.”
Other InReturn investments include Vipingo Stone, Equator Shipping on Lake Victoria and an engineering company developing micro hydropowerplants.
September 30th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Ethiopia has raised Birr 7 billion ($408 million) of debt to finance the $4.8 bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River and plans to issue more bonds. Communications Minister Bereket Simon said the country is not raising funds from foreigners in a bid to demonstrate its economic resurgence, according to an interview on Bloomberg yesterday (29 Sept).
The 5,250-megawatt dam, also called the “Millennium Dam”, is scheduled for completion in 2017 with the first 700 MW to be generated in 2015. It is on the Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile River, about 30 kilometres from the border with Sudan. According to the report, the dam wall is to be 145 meters high and 1.8 kilometres long and the lake will be 1,680 square kilometres (Lake Tana is 3,000-3,500 square kilometres according to Wikipedia), reportedly mostly uninhabited forest in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi launched the project and construction in April. Ethiopia is busy with many giant hydropower, wind and other generation projects to use its potential to generate 45,000 MW of hydropower, 10,000 MW of wind and at least 1,000 MW from geothermal sources. It is becoming a regional electricity exporter to counteract shortages in the nine East African Power Pool (www.eappool.org) countries, including Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan and Uganda, which are to be connected by a regional grid by 2016. The country started exports to Djibouti in May, a transmission line to Sudan may be completed by January and a feasibility study for a link to Kenya has been finished. Ethiopia is seeking to diversify the fast-growing economy, which used to rely on commodities such as coffee for most of its foreign currency.
Bloomberg quotes Bereket: “Building a dam on the Nile has been the dream of every Ethiopian. For millennia, we have been looking at the Nile as if it has been a curse that took our fertile soil and benefited others while Ethiopia was impoverished.” Bereket is heading a “public mobilization council” to raise funds for the project.
Egypt depends on the flow of the Nile for all of its water. Previous President Hosni Mubarak opposed infrastructure projects by upstream nations, citing old treaties established by the British which favoured Egypt. However, Ethiopia announced the dam soon after Mubarak was deposed in February and the new government has reportedly sought details of the technical and environmental studies on the effect of the dam on Egypt’s Nile water flow. Bereket told Bloomberg that Egyptian and Ethiopian officials have met twice and relations are improving.
Zemedeneh Negatu, managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP in Ethiopia, told Bloomberg: “The financial capacity to build the dam I don’t think should be in doubt at all. Over the next six years, Ethiopia can collect from taxes somewhere between Birr 450 and 500 billion.” He said the dam is “very critical” for Ethiopia to achieve its industrialization goals and for neighbouring states.
Donations of a month’s salary by civil servants have been converted into bonds to help boost the nation’s savings rate, currently 5.5% of gross domestic product, Bereket said. The opposition have criticized funding pressure on civil servants.
Public funding is unlikely to be maintained as it would be “too taxing,” so private companies have been encouraged to buy the debt, which offers a coupon of 5%. There are also plans for bonds to be offered to the Ethiopian diaspora with returns above the London Interbank Offered Rate, while sales to farmers are planned “early next year,” he said. A “significant” portion of funding will also come from the government’s development budget, Bereket said. A National Bank of Ethiopia directive was issued in April compelling banks to buy government bonds equivalent to 27% of their loans each month may raise Birr 11 bn for development programs in its first year, according to Access Capital (www.accesscapitalsc.com), the Addis Ababa-based research group. That amount is likely to increase in subsequent years, it said in an April research note.
The Ethiopian Government plans to borrow Birr 398.4 bn by mid- 2015 to invest in industry and infrastructure. The World Bank said in June this may lead to the economy over-heating and debt problems, the. Annual inflation in Ethiopia was 40.6% in August, partly because the central bank boosted money supply.
September 5th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Interest in share offers is high in Rwanda, after shares of Bank of Kigali (BK) rose 52% to RWF190 in their first day of trading on 1 September. The Initial Public Offer (IPO), which opened on 30 June and ran for a month, offered the shares at RWF125. According to today’s market report (5 September) total trading today was 5 deals in BK shares which ended at RWF172 (it closed on Friday at RWF 191) and in brewer BRALIRWA which was unchanged at RWF246.
The BK shares offered included a sale by the Government of its 20% stake and the bank offered a further 25%, making a total offer of 300.3 million shares for a total value of RWF37.5 billion ($63.6 m). This was 274% oversubscribed with Rwandan investors making up 75% of the shareholding. The retail investors’ pool was oversubscribed by 291%, institutional investors from Rwanda 165%, institutional investors from the region 221%, international investors 330% and BK employees and management 135%, according to a report in the East African newspaper.
The bank plans to use the IPO funds to expand its network including opening 44 branches in 2011, increase the loan portfolio and consolidate its leadership position in the increasingly competitive banking industry. The listing should also boost activity on the young RSE, Africa’s newest stock exchange which was launched on 31 January
Lado Gurgenidze, chairman of the BK board, is reported in New Times newspaper saying: “The transaction and new capital comes at the right time when the bank is focusing on building a great bank and retaining the leading position in the market. Through great service and 45% of the shares being in the hands of the public, we have all the reasons to be optimistic that it will be very liquid on the secondary market.”
Investors waitng for more offers
It is the fourth listing on the RSE. When it launched in January it immediately started trading the shares of the first domestic IPO, brewer Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda BRALIRWA (www.bralirwa.com). This had been offered at RWF136 and started trading at RWF220. The other two counters are cross-listings from Kenya: Kenya Commercial Bank and Nation Media Group.
Reuters reports that appetite for shares is likely to be strong, partly because of the favourable pricing. The BK shares were offered at a multiple of 1.4x book value, a 15% discount to Kenyan banks at the time of the sale. The article quotes Nkoregamba Mwebesa, managing director of CFC Stanbic Financial Services in Kenya, saying: “Being a government exit, the Government is able to offer a discount which will attract (investors). We should continue to see appetite for all that. Rwanda is also stable politically, and that encourages investors as well. When the Government is exiting they don’t care about dilution. They are not out to really make money. The agency reports that market players said the main aim of the government was to help kick-start the bourse.
Future share offerings are likely to attract sustained interest, including government plans to sell a 20% share in the country’s biggest insurer Sonarwa (Societe Nouvelle d’Assurance du Rwanda – Nigeria’s IGI owns 35%). It is also hoping to sell shares in what Reuters called “an unidentified cement firm”, although earlier this year Ciments du Rwanda Ltd was mentioned.
Government has also held talks about selling its 10% stake in telecom operator MTN Rwanda. MTN Group is majority shareholder and has the right of first refusal on any share sales. John Rwangombwa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, reportedly said earlier this year: “We have two options; if MTN gives us (Government) the price we want, we will sell the shares to them directly while the other option is through an IPO depending on the other investor.” (as reported on this website)
The Minister had also said that Government would sell more of its stake in BK later. It owned 66.3% before the offer.
T+2 settlement here, electronic trading “by June”
On 3 August the RSE announced that it was adopting a T+2 settlement cycle for all securities with effect from 5 August. Sellers of securities receive money and transfer of ownership is effected on the third day. This replaced T+5 for equities and T+3 for bonds. The new system was made possible after the Central Bank of Rwanda (BNR) introduced a modern payment system, the Rwanda Integrated Payment and Processing System (RIPPS), which offers real-time gross settlement (RTGS), an automated clearing house (ACH), an automated transfer system (ATS) and a central securities depository (CSD).
Reuters reported that the next step would be electronic trading and other steps to attract more stock and debt issues. Robert Mathu, chief executive of Rwanda Stock Exchange, was reported as saying: “We are hoping to put in place an electronic trading platform by June next year.”
August 25th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Kenya’s financial services holding company British-American Investments Company Ltd.(www.british-american.co.ke) issued a statement on 23 August outlining that its initial public offering (IPO) had only attracted 60.09% of the targeted KSh5.85 billion ($63million). The company owns 2 insurance firms and an asset manager and said it will reconsider its plans, which had included real estate and regional expansion, including in South Sudan.
The listing was previously detailed on this site here.
The company successful raised KSh3.5bn by selling 390.6m shares at KSh9.00 each. It meets the minimum 50% requirement in its prospectus to go ahead and with 28,000 shareholders is permitted to list on the Nairobi Stock Exchange main board. The shares are due to start trading on the Nairobi bourse on September 2.
According to stockbroking analysts, foreigners were largely absent due to risk aversion and worries about the Kenyan economy. Reuters quotes George Bodo, a research analyst at ApexAfrica. “The timing of the IPO came … when the global markets were risk averse and foreign investors were cutting risky positions internationally.” International problems include the US economy and the eurozone debt crisis. “It was unfortunate that the US debt crisis escalated right in the middle of the offer period, causing loss of appetite amongst institutional investors especially those outside Kenya,” said Group chairman Nicholas Ashford- Hodges, according to a report in “Business Daily” newspaper.
Foreign investors normally account for 70% of action on the NSE, but Reuters says they are less active and this has been made worse as the Kenyan currency declines against world currencies.
Local retail investors recorded the highest participation, taking up 70.9% including a 142% oversubscription of the 195m shares offered to them; qualified institutional investors hung back and took up 23.7%, just over a third of their 240.5m shares allocation; employees, agents and individual life policyholders snapped up 5.2% and foreign investors were almost absent, taking up only 0.3% of the offer, less than 1% of the 195mn shares reserved for them.
Analysts said the poor macroeconomic environment in Kenya did not augur well and inflation in Kenya hit 15.53% in July, driven by food and fuel prices. Rising interest rates have dissuaded many investors from seeking funds from banks to invest in shares and banks were also not willing to take shares as collateral. Gregory Waweru, an analyst at Kestrel Capital, was reported as saying: “There was competition for funds due to tight liquidity in the market.” Many investors have not yet realized substantail returns from East Africa’s biggest IPO which was Safaricom’s listing in 2008.
British American had planned to spend KSh2.5bn on property development and group managing director Benson Wairegi said in a statement: “The property development initiative where the bulk of the funds were targeted will be reviewed with a view to scaling it down.”
The company was also to set aside KSh1bn for regional expansion and KSh1.28 bn to expand its Kenyan operations, including the asset management business and to launch new funds for Kenyans in the diaspora as well as local and international investors and to comply with a proposed law for real estate investment trusts.
Mr Wairegi said the company may consider using bank loans to finance other planned projects: “The group has no other gearing despite the very strong balance sheet, which has become even stronger with the raising of KSh3.5bn. We shall, therefore, be able to easily leverage to implement all the profitable projects that have been lined up,” according to a report in “Business Daily”.
British American launched a Ugandan subsidiary in July and at the time the chairman said next stop would be to open offices in Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan.
August 25th, 2011 by Tom Minney
As the East African region moves towards faster integration, Tanzania is preparing to ease controls on the amount of shares foreigners can buy, in line with changes in the rest of the region. The Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange (www.dse.co.tz) is also hoping to increase from 15 to 18 listed companies and is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) for Precision Air (www.precisionairtz.com) during September and cross-listings of 2 mining firms listed in London.
Gabriel Kitua, CEO of the Tanzanian bourse, told Reuters on 24 August at a meeting organised by the Nairobi Stock Exchange: “Tanzania is not exactly a closed market. Up to 60% of any listed security is available to any citizen of the world, 40% is reserved for Tanzanians… with time, the control will be erased especially as we go to the regional monetary union where free movement of funds across the countries will automatically be there.”
Reuters says the 5-nation East African Community (EAC) bloc of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya aims to have a monetary union in place in 2012 and move to a political federation by 2015. It reports that Tanzania has the tighter capital controls, including barring foreigners from investing in government securities.
Kitua also said that the approval of the cross-listing of African Barrick Gold Corporation (www.africanbarrickgold.com) is advanced: “The approval process is almost complete”. He added “The other one is in very initial stages … it is a mining company,” according to Reuters.
Barrick (ABX, listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges) owns 73.9% of African Barrick Gold and raised $884 million through offering the rest of the shares in an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in March 2010. Barrick describes itself as “the gold industry leader, with a portfolio of 26 operating mines and advanced exploration and development projects located across 5 continents”.
Precision Air’s listing application was received and being considered by the Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) in February, according to local news reports. At the time it was reported that Precision Air sought to raise $25m (about TSh38bn) in the IPO. Kenya Airways owned 49% and Michael Shirima, the founder and chairman of the airline, owned 51%. The IPO would see their stakes diluted to 34.2% and 34.6% respectively.
Reuters also adds that East African Breweries Ltd of Kenya is expected to offload its 20% stake in Tanzania Breweries Limited in a public offering. Kitua rejected claims in a regional paper earlier this year that EABL had been compelled by Tanzanian authorities to offer the shares at a set price: “In capital markets there is no compelling of people. This is a free market economy and decisions are done by the board of directors of the companies and no one can interfere with that.”
The agency says the most heavily traded shares on the DSE are banks such as CRDB and National Microfinance Bank and manufacturer Tanzania Cigarette Company. TBL is the biggest by market value.
“For the last 12 months the Tanzania share index has risen by 17% and the all share index by close to 7%. The market has been growing,” Kitua said. The Tanzania share index excludes shares cross-listed from the NSE, including Kenya Airways. Kitua said the postive performance is due to good earnings by listed companies and the stable Tanzanian economy: “There are signals that the trend will be on an increase for the next 6 months.” He warned that inflation is past 10% and is emerging as a challenge.
The DSE delisted the National Investment Company (NICOL) with effect from 6 July after a 1-month suspension from 6 June and it become the first company in the 12-year history of the Tanzanian bourse to be delisted. This was on account of the firm’s failure to submit 2009 and 2010 financial results, and failure to comply with a directive from the DSE Governing Council about plans to sell 22m shares it owned in National Microfinance Bank (NMB), which is also listed.