Archive for the 'Privatization' Category
November 8th, 2012 by Tom Minney
CORRECTION AND UPDATE – APOLOGIES FOR ERRORS IN PREVIOUS VERSION
The Initial Public Offer by power company Umeme (www.umeme.co.ug) in Uganda closed on 7 November. Results will be known before the listing scheduled for 30 November, but the company had sought to raise UGX171 billion ($65.8 million) by offering 622m shares in an offer that opened on 15 October. Meanwhile, Ugandan parliamentarians have called for a statement by the Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka, according to a press report on the Observer website, with inquiries into tax and accounting for assets. Some MPs are calling for the listing to be delayed for fuller study of an energy sector report.
As the offer was closing, a report in The Independent cited corporate advisor William Nyakatura of African Alliance Brokers, said there has been a big turn up of applications from around the region. Umeme Managing Director Charles Chapman said that the portion of the IPO reserved for international share investors was sold up by the end of October, and where the company collected US$31million: “In the retail category, we received strong participation from the rural areas and Kampala and other urban areas.” Chapman also said that the offer has received significant participation from the regional market, especially Kenya, where the offer is made to institutional investors. Stanbic Bank and African Alliance were sponsors.
Ugandan investors had been offered the Eyongeza incentive scheme offering a bonus share for every 10 shares they bought, and all customers of the distribution firm were invited to buy. A day before closing it was announced that the International Finance Corporation, a part of the World Bank group, would also buy shares in the IPO. The IFC first mentioned funding Umeme in 2009 on its website. Umeme staff have been given 10,000 shares each as a morale booster, according to local reports, with increases if they keep their shares for 3 years.
Umeme was 100% owned by private equity firm Actis since 2009 and is a regulated electricity distribution company in Uganda, supplying over 460,000 customers by the end of 2011, up from nearly 355,000 in 2009, according to our earlier story. They are mainly located in the semi-urban strip from Entebbe through Kampala to Jinja. In March 2005, Umeme was awarded a 20-year concession to manage and operate the assets of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company (UEDCL) as part of broader privatization of power in Uganda, including unbundling transmission, distribution and generation, and awarding concessions to operate existing generation plant. This article on The Observer website (www.observer.ug) gives background on some of the individuals and companies involved in the power sector in Uganda.
According to the Actis website: “Since Actis took over the ownership of Umeme following a privatisation process in 2005, the company went through a transformation phase, ramping up capital expenditure, improving the quality of management, formalising procedures, introducing a culture of safety throughout the organisation, and educating the population (mainly children) on the benefits and risks of electricity. By the end of 2010, Umeme had replaced over 120,000 rotten poles as part of its refurbishment programme. Safety is the top priority. The network restoration plans are on target and are due for completion by the end of 2012. Public, employee and contractor safety have improved, but public fatalities continue to occur, primarily because people come into contact with live conductors associated with pockets of the network yet to be refurbished. Umeme, guided by Actis, continues to make a significant effort to eradicate fatalities associated with its network. Much of this progress relies on an extensive school education programme, a 24-hour safety helpline, and the prompt response of the field teams on the ground – in the past it could take up to half a day to make the area around a fallen or unstable pole safe – now the average is 30 minutes. Uganda’s continued growth is pushing up demand for electricity: today approximately 7% of the population has access to electricity. And the proportion of population that has access is growing by 9% per year. Currently, the company connects more than 40,000 new customers every year.”
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 10th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Ethiopia’s Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA – www.ppesa.gov.et) has privatised 287 enterprises since 1995, according to a news report in the local Fortune newspaper. The agency plans to sell 18 companies in direct sales and 5 companies in joint ventures, estimating to collect Birr 1bn ($59 million) during the fiscal year to 7 July 2012.
During the 2009/10 fiscal year, PPESA sold 18 enterprises, an improvement of nearly 50% on the previous year.
Companies to be auctioned in the current year include Agriculture Mechanisation Service Enterprise, Coffee Technology Development & Engineering Enterprise, Kality Metal Products Factory, Bole Printing Enterprise and Coffee Processing & Warehouse Enterprise and it will offer joint ventures on Caustic Soda SC, Ghion Hotel in Addis Abeba, Ethiopian Mineral Development SC, Adola Gold Development, and Limu Coffee Plantation .
The privatization programme is likely to increase in the year to July 2013 and then tail off, according to the report.
The agency is also stepping up its own activities, according to its plan for the 2011/12 fiscal year. It will launch new projects for rubber trees, a coal-phosphate fertiliser complex, hydrogen peroxide and cement. It is communicating with 6 consultants tendering to supply 10,000 tonnes of clinker. The new plans are planned eventually to produce 5,000tn of hydrogen peroxide, 12tn of acrylic, 4,500tn of polyester, 300,000tn of urea fertiliser and 20,000tn of methanol. The rubber tyre plant could process up to 6,000tn of tyre sheets annually.
Last year it made Birr 3.9 bn ($229.5 m) from selling 24 companies (it received Birr 1.4 bn from down-payments and delayed payments) including: Adama Ras Hotel, Harar Ras Hotel, Errer Gota Farm, Ethiopian Hard and Soft Board Factory, Ethiopian Iron and Steel Factory, Bricks Products Processing SC, Abebo Agriculture Development Co, Anbessa Shoe Factory, Tabor Ceramic Production Services, Residential Houses Construction Co, and a number of textile factories.
The agency aims to support Government’s plan to boost industry’s contribution to GDP from the current 13% to 20% and plans to boost its own pretax profits from Birr 2 bn to Birr 5.2 bn in 2015, and increasing export earnings from its companies from Birr 645 million to Birr 1.8 bn (it made Birr 72 m in the fiscal year to July 2011).
May 19th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Rwanda’s biggest brewer, the Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda BRALIRWA (www.bralirwa.com), says post-tax profit leapt by 62.8% in 2010, driven by increased sales, higher pricing and improved cost management. BRALIRWA was the first listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange which opened on 31 January.
BRALIRWA’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) last November was 174% oversubscribed. It has encouraged Government to push ahead with privatization plans outlined in the current 5-year plan.
According to a report on Reuters,Chief Executive Officer Sven-Erik Piederiet said in a statement on Tuesday: “I am confident that BRALIRWA remains well positioned to capitalise on the attractive growth opportunities in Rwanda.”
Net profit for the year to 31 December increased 63% to RWF 10.3 billion ($17.5 million) against the previous year (RWF 6.34bn)and in a press release the company says this was “driven by robust operating profit growth, lower interest expense and lower income tax expense”. EBIT was up 49.2% “driven by a strong volume performance, higher pricing and effective cost management”. Revenues were up 16% to RWF 52.8 bn through a 13% rise in volumes and higher prices. The brewer is well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities. Earnings per share jumped 62.8% in 2010 to 20.09 francs. Despite the growth plans, the company recommended a 100% payout with a dividend of RWF 20.09 per share, up from RWF 12.34.
BRALIRWA shares closed on 17 May at RWF 228, up 68% on the January launch price of RWF 136, according to a report in New Times newspaper, the price climbed by RWF 21 that day, as investors anticipated the dividends.
BRALIRWA, majority owned by Heineken, is Rwanda’s oldest brewery. It has rights to produce brands such as Guinness and Amstel and branded soft drinks such as Coca Cola. Its main brand is Primus.
Jean Paul Van Hollebeke, Chairman of BRALIRWA’s Board of Directors, said that the brewer achieved compounded average growth in net profit of 56.1% over the period 2007-2010, demonstrating the successful implementation of strategic initiatives. He said a strong operational focus on top-line growth and disciplined cost management, combined with a favourable economic environment and the consistent implementation of constructive government policies drove a robust profit: “BRALIRWA was able to deliver the strong performance owing to a continuous focus on our core values, the talent and commitment of our people, the strength of our brands, the partnerships with our distributors and our ambition to continue to lead the market and promote profitable future growth.”
Rwanda Stock Exchange Operations Manager Celestin Rwabukumba was quoted saying the perception of local investors of the market is now positive because of its transparency, something likely to influence future Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): “It does provide serious confidence in the market and it is likely to influence other companies that may want to list.”
May 19th, 2011 by Tom Minney
The Rwandan Government plans to raise Rwf25 billion ($42.2 million) through the sale of its shares in Bank of Kigali Ltd (www.bk.rw) and telecom company MTN Rwanda (www.mtn.co.rw) in coming months.
The bank is Rwanda’s biggest lender by assets and it said the Government will sell a 20% stake to private investors in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) scheduled for June, according to a report on Bloomberg. In addition the bank will offer 25% of its shares to the public, according to the report, citing Chief Operating Officer Lawson Naibo. The Government owns 66.3% and will anticipate selling the rest of its stake later, according to John Rwangombwa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, during a press conference on 9 May on the budget framework. He is quoted in the New Times newspaper as saying: “BK is confirmed; we are to sell our shares through an IPO. We started the process and it’s expected to be concluded by September, including listing BK on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).”
Minister Rwangombwa said there is expected to be strong demand. Last November 2010, the Government sold 25% of Brassieries et Lemonaderies du Rwanda SA (BRALIRWA), a unit of Heineken NV (HEIA), and the IPO was 174% oversubscribed. BRALIRWA shares closed at RwFr 228, up 68% on the January launch price of RwFr 136.
BK plans to open 44 branches across Rwanda in 2011, and the stock should be attractive stock given its rapid growth and stability.
The Minister also said Government is in negotiations with MTN Group regarding its 10% stake in MTN Rwanda. MTN Group is majority shareholder and has the right of first refusal on any share sales. The Minister reportedly said: “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.”
The Treasury will include the expected proceeds in the budget for the next fiscal year. The Minister said: “This is part of the Government commitment to promote accelerated economic growth under its five year plan of EDPRS (Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 2008-2012) but also its the approach to liberalise the market.” Rwanda is a high-growth country and a top performer in improving its business and economic climate. It is working towards an ambitious long-term Vision 2020 that seeks to transform the country into a middle-income economy.
The Government remains keen to use IPOs to support the growth of the Rwanda Stock Exchange launched on 31 January by boosting market liquidity and ultimately supporting the country’s economic growth through attracting more inventors and increasing national savings.
The RSE has so far mainly attracted Treasury and corporate bonds, and 2 cross-listed Kenyan companies, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Nation Media Group. BRALIRWA is the only local listing.
October 9th, 2010 by Tom Minney
Rwanda’s Capital Markets Advisory Council (www.cmac.org.rw) has launched a 2 weeks’ pre-offer campaign across the country to sensitize people ready for the initial public offer (IPO) of BRALIRWA. The Government is selling its 30% shareholding in Rwanda’s main beer and soft drinks manufacturer and distributor. Heineken previously bought 70%. from the Government and remains the major shareholder.
According to a report in the New Times newspaper (www.newtimes.co.rw), no date has yet been set for the IPO and discussions continue, but it is still expected this year.
The paper quotes Celeste Rwabukumba CMAC Operations Manager:”This is the first phase of the campaign and we are targeting opinion leaders, business people as the IPO take place soon.” He said that the campaign would inform the public about the benefit of buying the Government shares which are intended to benefit them.
The pre-offer campaign started in the Northern Province and will then move to other parts of the country. It will include media such as radio, television and newspapers.
After this IPO, Government is expected to sell its shares in other major companies, including MTN Rwanda and Sonarwa, an insurance company.
CMAC is the overseer and regulator of Rwanda’s stock markets. It also charged with contributing to Rwanda becoming a competitive financial centre in the region.
April 5th, 2010 by Tom Minney
The sale of 56 enterprises has made at least Rwf 75 billion (US$131 million) for the Government of Rwanda. According to a report in the New Times newspaper (www.newtimes.co.rw) Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, told members of the Senate in mid-March that initially the plan was to sell 94 of its companies.
He is reported as saying: “10 of them were later scrapped off the list, seven liquidated and 56 sold off. Right now, 19 institutions are up for sale.”
He said the proceeds of the sales are being used in development projects, including as part of the national budget. The sale of Terracom, currently renamed Rwandatel (www.rwandatel.rw) made possible investment in fibre optics.
Minister Rwangombwa said that the Government had removed some companies from the sale list because it had realised that some were “so bankrupt” that no-one would buy them and so they were liquidated, and Government repossessed others because they posed environmental hazards.
He added that Government had set up a department in the Rwanda Development Board to monitor and evaluate the performance of privatised companies, compared to previously when it only focused on selling, without follow up. He said Government had taken back some companies which were allegedly mismanaged: “You can tell from the companies we have repossessed and resold to other investors. They are doing so well, a good example being Rwandatel.”
March 13th, 2010 by Tom Minney
Uganda’s National Insurance Corporation (www.nic.co.ug), was oversubscribed after Uganda Shilling (UGX) 9.5 billion (US$4.6 million came in applications when Government offered its remaining 40% stake in the company in an 161,552,000 shares totalling UGX 7.2 bln.
Shares are set to trade on the Uganda Securities Exchange (www.use.or.ug) according to a report on Reuters newsagency, quoting Jim Mugunga, communications manager for the Uganda’s Privatisation Unit.
It will be a welcome boost to the USE, which had seen foreign investors leaving in the global crisis and share prices falling. It is reportedly the first listing since 2006.
Retail investors were allotted 90% of the shares, which had been sold at “a subsidised affordable price” of UGX 45 ($0.02) each, according to the insurer’s website. per share. Another 4% of the issued shares has been reserved for the permanent employees of NIC at the IPO price.. In 2005, the Government had sold 60% of the company to Nigeria’s In June 2005 the Government had sold 60% of the shareholding in NIC to Industrial and General Insurance Company Limited (lGI) of Nigeria (www.iginigeria.com),
Reuters quotes an analyst at African Alliance brokerage (www.africanalliance.com), Keneth Kitariko, saying he expects NIC’s share price will rise modestly in the secondary market.
“We do expect some correlation between the level of oversubscription and performance in secondary market, so mostly we’ll see a share price rise but the numbers will be conservative,” he said.
Reuters says discovery of large crude oil deposits turned a spotlight on East Africa’s third-largest economy, where growth is expected to be 5% in fiscal 2009-2010 and then climb to 7% the next year.
According to the NIC website: “The Government of Uganda has to-date privatized 6 of Uganda’s successful public companies by way of IPOs. The companies namely are; – Uganda Clays Limited (UCL), British American Tobacco Uganda Limited (BATU), Bank of Baroda (U) Limited (BOBU), DFCU Limited, New Vision Printing and Publishing Company Limited (NVL), and Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited (SBU).”
February 21st, 2010 by Tom Minney
The Kenyan Government’s Privatisation Commission is taking the next step towards selling a portion of Consolidated Bank of Kenya Ltd (www.consolidated-bank.com) by appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers as transaction advisers, according to the Daily Nation newspaper (www.nation.co.ke). It is on the list of 23 State-owned enterprises to be privatized, including National Bank of Kenya and Kenya Wine Agencies, 5 sugar factories and 11 hotels.
David Wachira, the bank’s Managing Director said the Government aims to raise KSh5 billion (US$65 million) by selling a portion of the shares to the public. Due diligence is to start in April and the share sale could come in the next two years.
The bank mainly finances small and medium-sized enterprises. It has 11 branches, mainly in Eastern, Central, Nairobi and Coast regions and aims to use some of the funds raised through privatization to expand to fast-growing areas such as Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret towns.
According to its website, the bank is 100% Government-owned with the majority shareholding (51%) held by the Treasury through the Deposit Protection Fund. The remaining shareholding is spread over 25 parastatals and other government related organizations.
The news report quotes Mr Wachira: “The bank has a risk-based pricing on its loans, which determines whether the lending rate is above or below 13%.”
Although the privatization exercise has been going slowly, Solomon Kitungu, of the Privatisation Commission, says they have submitted proposals on how to proceed to the Treasury late in 2009 and are working on final details of remaining companies before presenting details to the Treasury.
He is reported as saying: “We are on course with the plans, it is only that there is a lot of work to be done to ensure transparency and accountability. We do not want to rush it since we would not be creating any value for Kenyans.”
The budget for the 2009/2010 fiscal year does not depend on proceeds from privatisation sales, unlike the budget for the previous year, says the paper.
February 2nd, 2010 by Tom Minney
The Rwandan capital markets are set for growth in 2010, including plans for a first local initial public offer (IPO) and developing the Rwandan stock exchange. In an interview with East Africa Business Week (www.busiweek.com), the Executive Director of the Rwanda Capital Market Advisory Council (www.cmac.org.rw) Mr. Robert Mathu outlined what to expect.
The first public offering of shares could come “very soon”, he said: “We are working on BRALIRWA and it will come very soon because it is a big company and it will meet all requirements. However, with small companies, I am looking at two years.” Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda (www.bralirwa.com) is the only brewer and estimated to have 95% market share, as well as the Coca Cola franchise. It is owned 70% by international Heineken Group and 30% by the Rwandan Government. According to previous reports, the Government wants to sell 25% to the public and 5% to Heineken, but was examining applications to be the transaction adviser and sponsoring broker.
Other future transactions could include Government selling shares in cellphone company MTN Rwanda (www.mtn.co.rw) and insurance company Sonarwa (www.sonarwa.co.rw), which is estimated by Government to have 75% of all insurance premiums.
The Rwandan Government has also said that it wants to sell off its shares in other profitable firms but Mr Mathu says these companies are not in a hurry to go public: “Many of them may not have all the requirements because they have not bothered. They have had no reason in the past to try to meet the requirements. For example, one of the basic requirements is that a company must provide audited financial statements. In Rwanda, companies used to prepare accounts only to convince the taxman that they are fine. However, this is not enough for us; we have to see what accounting system they are using, the quality of accountancy and their corporate social responsibility.
Rwanda is framing the capital market through 3 pieces of legislation: 1) The law establishing the future Capital Market Authority; 2) A law regulating capital markets; and 3) A law regulating the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS). The market is waiting for a law to split the Rwanda Stock Exchange from CMAC, which established the Rwandan Over-The-Counter market 2 years ago and will continue to be involved, but would also seek to recruit energetic people to develop and run the future RSE.
Mr Mathu says that collective investment schemes (normally pension funds, insurance funds and collective savings plans such as mutual funds and unit trusts) as critical to market development: “CIS contribute a very significant proportion in the development and deepening of the capital market because without a collective investment scheme every investor would invest directly in the market. We needed the law to make sure that investment managers handling the money has the right qualification and that they have to disclose their investment strategies and policies to the public.”
He adds that Rwanda has benefited from membership of the East Africa Securities Regulatory Association (EASRA) and East Africa Stock Exchanges Association (EASEA). It is part of plans to develop an integrated East African capital market and also part of an agreement with the International Finance Corporation to develop this. Mr Mathu said the dual listing of Kenya Commercial Bank shares is a learning opportunity: “KCB cross listing has helped us to assess our system in terms of being able to serve investors by accessing and buying shares. Therefore, it has given us a lesson, we are working on it, and very soon, you will see us conducting our equities business more effectively.” Eventually Rwanda will introduce electronic trading in securities, which is the route for integration with the regional securities market.