Blog Archive

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The new Kenya - A Police State


I am ANGRY... MAD at the current state of affairs in my beloved Kenya...

Is Kenya reverting to a police state?
  • The Election Commission of Kenya bans access to all independent media houses except the government/state mouthpiece KBC when announcing the general election results.
  • The ECK declares kibz as the winner... fine... that is their mandate but what is pissing me off is NOT Raila's "loss" but the "state of emergency" that has been declared in citoes like Kisumu soon thereafter!!! Nairobi has been under siege all evening.
  • john "the home guard" michuki has clamped down on the independent media. Live broadcasts have been banned as has coverage of politics. BULLSHIT...
  • The police, GSU & army are being deployed all over. The bloodshed has started as many opposition supporters have been killed already.
For once, I saw the government's Rapid Results Initiative at work. kibz was sworn in within 1 hour of the election "results" being announced. It all seemed choreographed. It felt like they KNEW of the results BEFORE they were announced. ODM had indicated the "margin" of victory for kibz would be approx 300,000 votes. The final tally was 231,000 votes.

Apparently ODM has announced a rally at Uhuru Park to inaugurate Raila as the "People's President" & a "parallel government". Are these signs of a civil war?
I fear there will be more bloodshed. The police, GSU & army are being deployed all over. And they are killing people; mainly opposition supporters.

I hope that ODM is not encouraging violent acts by their supporters. As much as ODM protest sthe alleged rigging, it is WRONG for its supporters to burn houses, loot businesses & cause mayhem. Yesterday's scenes from Kisumu were not about a legitimate protest for the truth but mere thievery.

I can't believe kibz who is considered a gentleman is allowing his advisers to run roughshod over him & other Kenyans. How can kibz - a relatively well-educated urbane person - allow such barbaric acts?

Rumors are that Raila has been arrested by NSIS. Any solid confirmations?

No wonder African countries are often portrayed as being UNCIVILISED... I do not care to be politically correct... If this is how the government acts then YES, WE ARE UNCIVILISED... Just watch the news. That which gets past the censors. It would not surprise me if the police & GSU are in the middle of murdering 100s of Kenyans.
  • Is 2007's Kenya any better than 1992's Kenya?
  • Is 2007's Kenya any better than mugabe's Zimbabwe?
I want to believe that we are BUT... I do not think so... unless someone proves me wrong. I wish I am wrong.

I was HAPPY/ECSTATIC/JUBILANT that we had (relatively) peaceful polls on Thursday. I was PROUD to be Kenyan. The maturity we the world that we are a peaceful civilised country. It was a lie that lasted but a day. Now, I cannot say the same.

P.S. I have had trouble logging into certain political/newswebsites. I wonder if the Kenya gov't can cut off internet access to the world. To the experts out there, please advise if that is possible?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Safaricom (maybe) coming...

First... SafariCon stays true to its name... truth in advertising is unknown to them... Customer Service is unknown... more later...

Now to their proposed Offer For Sale - not an Initial Public Offering that would raise funds for the firm - that will provide the current gov't with funds.

Rumours have been flying back & forth but the total value of the Offer could run from KShs 35 Billion to 60 Billion. Of this amount, healthy chunk 20-35% may be reserved for "foreign" buyers. My gut feeling is that it will tend towards KShs 60bn with KShs 35bn earmarked for "retail" investors. The balance will go to SafCon employees, dealers, foreign buyers, etc!

I think it is UNFAIR to sell part of SafCon to "foreigners" while Kenyans will be starved of shares. The mantra among the brokers is that Kenyans can't absorb 100% of SafCon. I say that is BULL****. After all it is mainly Kenyans (incl diaspora) & Kenyan residents who contributed to SafCon's success.

Considering the over-subscription for other shares e.g. Kenya Re-insurance & KenGen shows the capacity is there. KenGen raised KShs 27bn vs only KShs 8bn worth of shares offered for sale. All the GOK divestitures were oversubscribed including Mumias, albeit barely.

It is estimated there will be 1,000,000 CDS accounts opened by 24 Dec 2007 - elections be damned coz money beats politics! - & an average application of KShs 35,000 means a 100% subscription rate if the Offer is for KShs 35bn. SafCon has a huge reach all over the country & a low minimum application threshold will open the OFS up to many more Kenyans.

* Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans are prepared for SafCon's OFS with at least 10,000/- saved up.
* Tens of thousands of Kenyans have the "average" of 35,000/- saved up.
* Thousands of Kenyans have more than 100,000/- saved up.
* Hundreds have 10,000,000/- or more - going by Shareholder lists.
* Add the Kenyan Unit Trusts, Insurance Firms, Banks, etc who have 25,000,000/- & more to invest.
* Finally there are the E.African Investors who are treated as "locals". (Erm, unlike the Ugandans, the Tanzanians treat Kenyans as "foreign" investors, why do we allow them - Tanzanians - to participate as locals?)

Therefore, even if we had KShs 60bn worth of shares for sale... they would be sold, nay, over-subscribed if sold at the right "discount" to Kenyans.

I think SafCon should favour Kenyan, then the Ugandans, then E. Africans... before the "foreigners"...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

US Style electioneering is here... (with some violence)

Wow, the Kenyan political scene is heating up...

I do not enjoy politics BUT politics in Kenya has a substantial effect on the economy... thus I am taking a look at the current presidential electioneering...

First, a "banned" campaign video clip/ad on YouTube.
  • Why would the gov't ban the video when the pics/video are in the public domain? (OK, seeing Roocy in PJs in public is not for the faint-hearted!) The internet allows Kenyans to see it anyway... many have the clip on flash disks & e-mails are zipping around...
  • Or is the claim of a ban merely a hoax/marketing strategy by ODM? (Dick Morris at work?
The Domo Domo clips are smart... and subtle... showing the failings of kibaki's govt esp ANGLO-FLEECING.

The PNU clips show "progress" but PNU should be warned that BJP (India) lost the elections - even after 8% annual growth - while their slogan "India Rising" coz the rural voters felt neglected in favour of the Urbanites. PNU is unfairly hurt by "poor economy" perceptions. It is not their fault that oil prices have hit high levels thus an increase in inflation. Furthermore, there has been visible development in many parts of the country. Of course, dan "the idiot" moi screwed up Kenya that there was no way but up!

The anglo-fleecing scandal has scarred kibaki. That is a black eye however you slice & dice it. Why did he tolerate the corruption in his cabinet/government? If not for Anglo-fleecing, kibaki was a shoo-in! Kenyans do like him... kibaki's association with dan "the idiot" moi is unfortunate esp when goldenberg happened during moi's watch. Anglo-fleecing started under moi. Then there is Turkwell & the Mobitelea issue. moi is a thief. Period. He should be prosecuted NOT feted!

ODM can't claim to be the party of "clean" with the myriad crooks they have on board including ruto(yk1992), gumo(times tower land "allocation"), etc! There are many more... I think the crooks on ODM/Raila's bandwagon will hurt him... He should have taken the bull by the horns & refused to co-operate with the crooks! Most ODM politicians served in either moi's or kibaki's government including Raila (albeit not for long).

Second, a 'Dick Morris' hired by ODM. Wow, they are serious considering Dick worked for clinton in 1996. BTW, the clinton administration has the dubious distinction of having the most financial scandals in recent American history e.g. travelgate, whitewater, etc.

Will PNU hire a "spinmeister"? I bet they will!

Third, the placement of posters on cars, buses, pillars, highway dividers, public bathrooms, etc!!! It pisses me off that the cities, towns & countryside are littered with these posters!

Why don't we have public debates on TV & Radio where we can read about issues/policies rather than the ugly posters everywhere?

Billboards - some tasteful - are OK since they are ads which will come down soon esp after elections. The posters are an eyesore.

Fourth, terms such as "kumbafu", "adui", etc dominate the little news we get on TV or Radio. Funerals are political events not for the dead or their families but the politicians.

We need to have PUBLIC DEBATES by the presidential candidates instead of mudslinging all the way! And this leads to violence e.g. Kisii, Kuresoi, etc. Since nyachae is a PNU supporter, he remains free... even after publicly advocating violence. If ODM wins, I think nyachae should be prosecuted for "incitement"...

ODM supporters are not shying away from violence either. When will it end? I fear the Taliban (pro-ODM/Raila) & the Mungiki will clash before the elections with horrendous consequences.

Ali (police commish) is disappointing Kenyans... How can he "ban" the singing of the National Anthem. It is my RIGHT to sing it while taking a crap, showering, hiking or to put kid/s to sleep.
The police are supposed to be non-partisan. Their job is to enforce the law not make laws. Period!

Fifth, tribal politics flare up.
  • Accusations are flying that PNU is a "GEMA" outfit with the Kikuyus leading the way to re-elect one of their own. It is a fair observation because even Uhuru Kenyatta (the supposed "leader of the official opposition" & a Kikuyu) roots for the incumbent!
  • Nevertheless, there are many other supporters of PNU from various other tribes/regions. All is all... I think tribes & tribal politics should be a non-issue. Merit should be the primary factor BUT the reality remains... Kenya is composed not of Kenyans but of tribes.
  • Raila single-handedly controls a HUGE block of the Luo vote regardless of his performance. That is sad.
Sixth, the gov't (PNU-led) is doling out goodies & promises like there is no tomorrow. That is unfair to the opposition & Kenyans. Where was the gov't during the past 5 years? The traffic in Nairobi is horrendous, basic services have no improved substantially & the road network is atrocious. Even economically significant areas like Industrial Area have seen little improvement of the roads.

KAA under george muhoho(hoho) is a joke. KAA is woefully behind schedule in upgrading Nairobi's main airport. The Kisumu airport had to be shut down when the runway was washed away. And the idiots at KAA claimed it was 'safe'...

ODM's "luminaries" have little to show for development:
  • Ngilu's hare-brained "universal healthcare" plan which was simply an over-burdening of Kenya's private sector.
  • Balala did a fine job in Mombasa as mayor.
  • Mudavadi was a competent Finance Minister.
  • william ruto was part of an amorphous corrupt aoutfit known as yk1992 which campaigned for the then thief-in-chief, dan "the idiot" moi.
  • Raila... he was in gov't for too short a time to make a difference but his silly comments about forcing KQ to ferry khat/miraa was uncalled for. KQ is PRIVATE. The GOK owns less than 40% including shares owned by Treasury & NSSF. Let KL M & KQ's board run the airline. Raila should stick to what he (thiks he) knows.
Seventh, opinion polls, opinion polls & more opinion polls...

I could go on & on... I have not made up my mind which way to go... but I am watching closely...

P.S. Kalonzo... now I believe he made a "calculated" mistake in quitting ODM.
  • Was he bribed to quit ODM thus break it up?
  • Is he angling for a powerful coalition position?
  • Will be "quit" the race before elections & defect/support PNU/kibaki?
  • All in all... he might turn out to be the 2nd most powerful politician in Kenya! Or a king-maker...

  1. How will all this election &/or election rhetoric affect the business/economy of Kenya?
  2. What of the NSE?
  3. What of the confidence in Kenyan economy?
  4. What of tourism?
  5. Will inflation jump coz of elections spending & "goodies" dished out?

Sunday, September 23, 2007


COLDTUSKER needs a break. A long break. On 23 Sep 2007, coldtusker shall hibernate for a few weeks.

Please feel free to post questions/comments since there may be periods where coldtusker needs a cold one & shall break his (temporary) vow of silence.

Coldtusker has played with the idea of entering politics because he is tired of most Kenyan politicians who tend to be greedy, silly, thieving, conniving, sniveling, etc.

He thought he would be a breath of fresh air but like many of this ilk, he is pragmatic, & feels better suited to work behind the scenes. Since politics in Kenya is based on tribal lines & Kenyan voters have not matured enough to place "Nation" & "Merit" over tribe, Kenyans will continue getting the get the government we deserve.

I hope my vote counts toward the good guys.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Corruption?

Sometimes the unlikeliest sources uncover corruption!

Business Daily ran a story about the GOK moving towards issuing new driving licenses. I always wondered why GOK sticks with the old "booklet" system!

Now I know why!

The new cards are expected to save the State at least Sh100 per driver that is spent on printing of paper renewals every year. Philip Langat, a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Transport, says it costs Sh500 to produce one of the red booklets.

Yikes! We have thick textbooks that cost less to produce! We have micro-processors that cost less! We can buy SIM cards for less! We can buy 256 KB flash disks for less!

Or is someone skimming off the top?

Rights Issues - For Non-Shareholders


The potential investors who are currently not shareholders will have to buy the renounced Rights from the Secondary Market. Please note this ended on 14 Sep 2007.

The following sums up the general process flow:
1. Non-shareholders should approach their Agents and, if they are first time investors, they will be requested to open CDS Accounts as per normal procedures; Completed
2. The investors may then order and buy the Rights from the secondary market; Completed
3. The new investors will then raise payment for the Rights through their Agents; Payments due by 28 Sep 2007.
4. The Agents will deliver full details of the sellers and buyers as well as the payment for the Rights to KCB. The details so submitted should be in the form of schedules disclosing the following;
a. Full Names;
b. National ID or Passport Number;
c. Full Contact Details;
d. Number of Rights transacted;
e. Payment made/due; and (in respect to the seller);
f. The shareholder’s member number;
5. KCB will observe all the banking and batching procedures before delivery to CRS;
6. CRS will debit the seller’s (existing shareholder’s) account as well as create and credit the new investor’s account with the transacted Rights.

If you are still unsure, please contact Rina Karina of Faida Securities.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rights Offers - How they work

Dexter , a reader, said...

Sorry CT for being a pain. One more question, there's somewhere on OCHL website which says that, the 28th of Sept. '07 at 3.00pm is the last day and time for acceptance and payment of new shares. What does this mean? Dexter - not at all. I am happy to help. Others are asking similar questions since many brokers are clueless esp regarding Rights that were purchased. #s 10 & 11 are relevant to you.

What the Rights process involves for investors

1 - Board decides/agrees the Firm wants to raise cash. They could take on debt but that might not be possible or desirable so they choose to issue Rights which allows existing shareholders to apply for additional shares at a (normally) discount to the market price. Most Rights are exercised for cash or cash equivalents.
Uchumi suppliers could apply their outstanding invoices to exercise the Rights instead of cash. This is a "cash equivalent".

2 - An announcement that the Firm plans to issue Rights is made but details are not always released. Some firms may indicate how many Rights they plan to offer at this stage.

3 - An application is made to the CMA. The application also includes a pro-forma Information Memorandum. Many firms announce the number of shares they plan to issue/offer. Some may announce/set the price at this stage as well.

4 - Firms announce the price for the Rights. This information is also submitted to the CMA. The price is often based on past trading of the shares. It may be 3-6 months' average price. The process is dynamic i.e. steps 2 & 3 may run concurrently. NIC has announced the price of 70/- but have not issued a timetable.

5- If the CMA approves the Rights Offer, a timetable is published that informs the investing public of the crtitical dates.

6 - An Information Memorandum is produced which has to be approved by the CMA. This is distributed to the shareholders who also receive their Provisional Letter of Allotment (PAL). The CMA does not "guarantee" the Rights Offer nor do they perform an in-depth due diligence.
The CMA was unfairly blamed for Uchumi being allowed to raise cash from the public but unless there was fraud - the bulk of which happened before the Rights - it is the Buyers who need to be aware of what they are/were buying.

7 - The shares officially trade Cum Rights. Buyers of these shares are entitled to the Rights issued through a PAL. DTBK & NIC are in this stage of the process.

8 - The Rights start trading on the NSE for a pre-determined period. The shares trade Ex-Rights. The OCHL Rights traded for 2 weeks from 3-14 Sep 2007.

9 - After the Rights cease trading there is a "break" to allow reconciliation of the Rights so the buyers are assigned the Rights from the sellers.

10 - The Rights need to be exercised i.e. payment for the shares needs to be made. The Rights lose all value if not exercised. OCHL's rights "expire" at 3 PM on 28 Sep 2007 .

11 - The payments are made through a broker or directly to the Receiving Bank using a Banker's cheque. The cheque should be for the exact amount (Rights' Exercise Price x Number of Rights) and the PALs usually have the amount payable filled in. Because of the time limit, do not delay & since most Offers close on Fridays, play safe and do it early.
I prefer submitting the form directly to the Registrar or Receiving Bank who will check for errors on the form. They will only accept a Banker's cheque.
An additional benefit accrues, there is no commission payable to the broker by the Firm. The Firm is YOUR Firm so any expenses paid by the Firm are paid by you, the investor.
Always insist on a receipt from the Registrar, Bank or Broker. OCHL's Registrar is CRS located in Bruce House. KCB's shares office is located in Kencom House.
If your broker does not know what they are doing, go see Faida, Standard or Tsavo who were involved in the Offer as advisers.

12 - The Rights + Payments are "converted" into shares. The shares are credited to those who exercise the Rights. An announcement is made regarding the level of subscription. If over-subscribed then the allocation methodology is announced. Unlike an IPO or OFS, buyers are guaranteed as many shares as the Rights they exercised.

13 - Refunds, if any, are dispatched. The CDS accounts are updated while others may receive certificates.

14 - There is a pre-determined date when the "new" shares can begin trading. The original shares can continue trading throughout this process.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Olympia Holdings (almost) home & dry...

(Updated blog post with the latest trade information)

Olympia Holdings Capital Limited's CEO, Michael Matu, indicated in an interview that he is confident the Rights Offer will be fully (100%) subscribed. There have been substantial trades of OCHL Rights on the NSE over the past week accounting for almost 30% of the total available Rights.

10 Sep - 272,200
11 Sep - 5,170,200
12 Sep - 329,000
13 Sep - 3,035,694
14 Sep - 3,655,040

The above totals 12.5mn Rights which equals 42% of the total Rights made available to the market. Add the sales in the first week & it exceeds 45% of the Rights available. The assumption is that the buyers of Rights will exercise them since they would not buy them otherwise! There may be a few "traders" but I do not believe the numbers are insignificant.

The price of OCHL shares has stabilised at 16/- but the immediate future depends on the 1H 2007 results. The price could rise IF the results are better than expected. OCHL had made a small loss through 30 April 2007 (4 months of trading) since there were costs related to the acquisition of Plush-Yokota. Details of the additional expenses/losses were not provided in the Information Memorandum.

Olympia rights issue to be fully subscribed

Publication Date: 9/14/2007

Olympia Capital, a Nairobi Stock Exchange listed company, says it expects a full uptake of the additional shares it is selling in the market by the close of today.

It is seeking to raise Sh420 million through a sale of rights to its shareholders at a price of Sh14 for 30 million shares.

The news came with an announcement that the holding company has increased its investment in the Botswana subsidiary by a further Sh82 million, as it seek to take full control.

“We have just purchased seven million shares in Olympia Botswana, which makes us now a 49.5 per cent shareholder,” Olympia Capital chief executive officer, Michael Matu revealed in an online interview. “We will buy another one per cent in the market to give us control.”

Olympia recently acquired a South African firm, Plush (Property) Limited through its Botswana subsidiary. It also owns Dunlop Industries a manufacturer of plastic tiles in Nairobi, and Kalahari Floor Tiles and Gaborone Enterprise in Botswana. The seven million shares were brought at 1.10 pula (Botswana’s currency) per share, which translates to around Sh11.70 per share.

Acquisition of full control in the Botswana subsidiary is one of the reasons the company is seeking funds through the rights issue.

Olympia is confident that all the 30 million rights will be taken up by close of their last day of trading today.

High demand

“I am confident that it will be 100 per cent taken up,” said Mr Matu, citing indications from the major shareholders was that they would take up their rights in full.

He also noted that demand for the rights is high among other investors, creating a market for those not taken up by their owners.

“We have a situation where there are not enough rights in the market, I have been receiving calls for up to six million rights, but we have no sellers,” he added.

Apart from raising the additional capital, the issue is expected to expand the company’s shareholder base from the current 1,200 members.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Nairobi Stock ATM... Olympia, Diamond Trust & NIC

The Olympia Capital Holdings Rights Offer comes to a "close" on Friday (14 Sep 2007). The Rights will stop trading on Friday but the exercise date is 28 Sep 2007 giving buyers 2 weeks to get their finances in order. They will raise KShs 420mn.

Barely after the close of the Olympia Rights Offer then Diamond Trust Rights Offer will start soon after the EGM on 1 Oct 2007. They will sell 23,291,015 shares at a yet undetermined price. As happened with the earlier Rights Offer in 2007, it is expected the Offer will be oversubscribed as well.

Then there is NIC Bank which plans to sell 16.5 million shares at KShs 70 = KShs 1,155mn. From the excitement shown for the shares on the market (selling at 175/-) it is likely the Offer will be heavily oversubscribed.

Barclays Bank announced a KShs 3bn bond offer today.

So all in all... the NSE cash ATM continues unabated whether it is an election year or not!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Olympia Rights in major trade

Olympia Capital Holdings has a Rights Offer pending. The final date for trading the Rights is 14 Sep 2007. The final payment date is 28 Sep 2007.

The current outstanding shares are 10,000,000 with 30,000,000 Rights on offer.

The regular shares trade volume is relatively low (see MyStocks for graphing) and if they trade 5,000 shares, it is considered a huge deal!

Therefore the total Rights traded today were 5,170,200 (yes, over 5mn)... Wow! That is 17% of all outstanding Rights on offer.

Generally when someone buys Rights, it means that they will be exercised. In comparison only 3,300 shares were traded at 16/- so there seems to be a bottom reached.

There are 3 more trading days for the Rights so let's see how this develops.

My Stocks

The tools offered by mystocks keep on improving. I am surprised the site is still free for users. I would recommend using it while it is free!

The tools include:
- Portfolio Tracker
- Stocks Drill (basic for now)
- Graphing & comparison capabilities (including accounting for bonuses & splits)

I have some issue with the way the details on the live feed are displayed but I understand they are working on it. I like seeing "depth" on the trades.

There is a "mystocks+" that is geared towards corporate users.

Kudos to the enterprising Kenyan(s).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rwanda - The Switzerland of Africa?

The Rwandese take development seriously. They have made substantial progress in the past 13 years after the country's economy was almost decimated by the carnage/genocide perpetrated by the the likes of felicien kabuga (apparently hiding in Kenya under the protection of some folks in the Kenyan government) and his ilk.

Kigali city goes into modern housing bid
Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2007

By Bosco Hitimana

KIGALI, RWANDA – The Kigali City Council is seeking investors to change the face of the city through modern housing schemes. If achieved, this is hoped to melt away slums and associated problems.

About 75% of households in Kigali city live in unplanned plots, according to the Mayor of Kigali city Ms. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira.

Addressing journalists at a press conference recently, Kacyira said due to a poor and disorganized housing system in the city, last year 31 people perished in incidents related to poorly built structures. Kigali city covers 730 square kilometres and accommodates 900,000 people. She said that some of the households in slums will be expropriated in favour of modern constructed houses, which will be developed according to the master plan of the city.

“The slums will be developed into a modern housing system as proposed by the Kigali city master plan,” the mayor told the media.

Kirabo, who is optimistic of transforming the nation's capital into an organized and healthy place to live, said Kigali city has partnered with the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) and Rwanda Housing Bank (RHB) to construct 250 medium houses at Batsinda site in Kigali where some of the 250 selected and expropriated households will be re-located.

The 5,000 medium house pilot project is laid on 1,000 hectares and is valued at Rwf3.5million (US$6,363). The first 158 of 250 houses comprising the first phase have been constructed and are to be handed over to their owners in November this year.

According to the Kigali City master plan, Batsinda houses will be given to 250 homes that have been part of the slums of Ubumwe cell in Muhima sector, Nyarugenge district in Kigali city. The remaining will be sold to other households with similar slum related housing problems. Ubumwe cell and the area around it in lower Kiyovu will be given to SSFR to develop into a modern residential area.

It is expected that biogas plants will be established for the households and four house units will share one plant. Each plant is expected to yield 1,500 cubic litres of a gas per day.
The site will be provided with a commercial area and other recreational facilities like play grounds and a cinema hall. Women from Ubumwe cell have been trained to specialize in weaving local baskets known as Agasaeke.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Olympia Capital Holdings Rights Offer - Queries Part 1

Since I posted the earlier blog entry, I have been approached by various readers to explain more about OCHL & its Rights Offer. Due to time constraints, I will address 1-2 issues/topics/questions at a time. Leave the questions in the comments section rather than e-mailing them to me so others may answer/comment on your queries.

The information below is derived from the Information Memorandum. Please download the IM & read it for additional details/information. This is a document the CMA requires firms to produce & should be read by any investor who wants to participate in OCHL's Rights Offer. My comments are in RED.


The purpose of the Rights Issue is to raise long term funds totaling to an amount of Kshs. 420,000,000 for the following:-

1.To increase OCHL shareholding in OCCL, an associate company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange.
OCHL used to own 53% of OCCL(Botswana) until April 2007 when OCHL did not participate in OCCL(B)'s Rights Offer. This reduced the ownership to 26%. The reason for the non-participation was the unavailability of funds to buy OCC(B) Rights. OCHL wants to buy 27% of OCCL(B) to equal a shareholding of 50%+ of OCC(B) in order to consolidate the financials.

ii. To fund potential business acquisitions in Kenya. OCHL is already in preliminary discussions with two Kenyan manufacturing companies. This is a strategic move that is going to bring a strong presence of the company in the local manufacturing market to compliment that of local subsidiary.
It should be complement (not compliment) but that aside, OCHL is looking at expanding its footprint in Kenya but acquiring firms in the building industry. Most Kenyan firms in this sector are importers not manufacturers.

OCHL will also undertake marketing of 'Window Accessories" (products of Plush-Yokota) in Kenya through Dunlop Industries Limited.

iii. To fund acquisitions and mergers in South Africa, where the current value chain in the retail housing sector is not complete and the company is forced to partner with others in order to market and sell its products. Therefore to reduce the cost of business and increase trading margins, the company is looking to acquire/merge with companies that can complement the current businesses in both Botswana and South Africa.
OCHL's management has consistently declared their preference for the S.African market which is much larger than Kenya's market. S.Africa & Botswana are part of SADDC that allows for preferential treatment of goods & services within SADDC.

OCC(B)'s involvement is through a PVC tile manufacturing plant (Kalahari Floor Tiles) & window accessories manufacturing & sales (Plush-Yokota). These firms also have "side" businesses including chemicals, uPVC windows & shower doors.

Expansion is likely to be in similar industries i.e home improvement & building materials.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Olympia Capital Holdings - Rights Offer

Olympia Capital Holdings Ltd launched their Rights Offer on 3 September 2007. The following link is courtesy of

First a plug for MyStocks (no, they do not pay me...)

They have the BEST site out there if you are looking for information & tools on Kenyan stocks. I have used stockskenya, hisanet, etc but mystocks has information & tools I have not found elsewhere.

Mystocks has a relationship with mediacorp who supplied free access to the live stream. I think the "free" days are coming to an end soon. Apparently, the NSE charges the data vendors $2,500/month & it will rise to $5,000/month from 1 Jan 2008.

Anyway, try out the graphing tools which also account for splits & bonuses.

Olympia Capital Holdings Ltd website

Olympia Capital Holdings Limited Memorandum of Information for the Rights Offer in 2007

Basic Info on OCHL:
  • Rights Offer of 30mn shares at 14/- each = KShs 420mn
  • Owns 26% of Olympia Capital (Botswana)
  • OCC(B) owns 76% of Plush-Yokota (S.Africa)
  • Year-end is 28 Feb 2008
The current P/E is 13 (Based on 2006 EPS, 10mn shares, 4 Sep 2007 pricelist)

Actually their website and memorandum has far more details than what I can reproduce here.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Why are we afraid of Egypt?

Egypt has denied us (E.Africans) the use of water from Lake Victoria for decades.
Egypt builds a huge dam (which allows for loss of water by evaporation) but denies dams around rivers feeding Lake Victoria.
Egypt - mainly a desert country - has a jungle infantry battalion.
Egypt has "cheap" electricity & water by denying us the right to build hydroelectric dams & power plants. Uganda is allowed a dam because the water feeds the Nile.
Using COMESA, Egypt imports then re-exports sugar to Kenya at preferential tariffs.
Using COMESA, Egypt uses subsidies to export to E.African countries.

Screw the Egyptians. Let us do what is best for us.

What's the worst?
  • They stop buying Kenyan tea. There are other markets besides Egypt. As is, Kenyan tea is used for blending by India & Sri Lanka thus the Egyptians will still buy it!
  • Stop KQ flying to Cairo. Well, more Kenyans visit Egypt as tourists than the other way round.
  • They invade Kenya. Let them try! I have faith that Kenyans, Tanzanians & Ugandans will kick their arses back to the Red Sea.

Comesa warns Egypt on subsidies

By Brian Adero

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) secretariat has threatened legal action against Egypt over claims that it was unfairly subsidising its industries.

Secretary General, Mr Erastus Mwencha, says if accusations made by Kenyan industries are true, his office would take stern measures.

"We will act on the evidence brought," he said. "The issue of Egypt and the subsidy in today’s global talk are the core issues which need to be talked about. Comesa will take action against any member state found to be going against laid down rules. Under the World Trade Organisation, Kenya is at liberty to institute legal action in the event that there is proper evidence on the subsidies," he said.

He was responding to allegations by a director of Synresins Limited, Mr David Hutchison that Egypt was giving subsidies to a tune of $6 million a year to the energy sector to keep down costs of doing business.

Hutchison called upon the Comesa secretariat to put a tax on goods originating from Egypt.

"This issue of Egypt must be tackled by the Kenyan Government. The effect is gradually being felt by all industries in Kenya," he said.

"We have evidence to show that the Egyptian Government is subsidizing its energy and fuel sector by a factor of seven. Whilst kerosene is Sh55 per a litre in Nairobi, it is only the equivalent of Sh7 in Egypt."

Healthcare (or lack thereof) in Kenya!

A regular mwananchi dies due to the lack of basic drugs.

MPs & ministers in Kenya go abroad (& I am not talking of India) for taxpayer-funded treatment!

Nyachae in London for check-up

By Beauttah Omanga

Cabinet minister Mr Simeon Nyachae has flown to London for medical check-up.

A family member said the Roads minister left at the weekend, accompanied by close family members, for a routine check-up for injuries he sustained three years ago while exercising at his Nairobi home. When reached for comments by The Standard, the minister’s personal assistant, Mr Charles Birundu, confirmed the reports but did not divulge further information.

Nyachae was early this year quoted as saying that his doctors would determine his life in active politics. "I will go back to London in September for a final health checkup.

On whether I will be seeking to defend my Nyaribari Chache seat this year, depends on my doctors’ advice," he told a rally in Kisii last month.

One of the leading politicians in Nyanza Province, Nyachae is touted as a key player in President’s Kibaki re-election bid.

Already, there is anxiety among his supporters over his medical status.

"It is our prayer that Mzee is given a clean bill of health," said Kitutu Chache MP, Mr Jimmy Angwenyi.

Olympia Capital Holdings Rights Offer

Hey! Olympia Capital has a website! This is a recent but welcome development. Better late then never. I hope they keep it up-to-date.
All listed companies should have at least a basic website where we can get information on them.

Olympia Capital Holdings (Kenya) Website
Plush-Yokota Website
(Plush-Yokota is the S.African firm Olympia Capital Corp (Botswana) acquired in November 2006).

Since the Olympia shares are trading Ex-Rights which means buying the shares does not entitle you to receiving Rights. Nevertheless, you do own part of the company. And one can sell these shares at any time during the Rights Offer as well as before the "new" shares are issued.

More details later!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Kenya's triumphs at the IAAF World Athletics Championship


Kenya placed 2nd in the recently concluded 2007 IAAF World Championship in Osaka.

Kudos to our athletes! Kenya could have bagged more medals if you count the guys & gals we "lost" to other countries. Kenya ended up with 13 medals (5G, 3S, 5B). Russia had 4G medals. Kenya could have had 16 medals if you include Kenyans running for other countries.

Yego - 800m (M)
Jepkosgei - 800 m (W)
Luke Kibet - Marathon (W)
Catherine Ndereba - Marathon (W)

Vivian Cheruiyot - 5000m (W)
Eliud Kipchoge - 5000m (M)

Priscah Cherono - 5000m (W)
Eunice Jepkorir - 3000m Steeplechase (W)

Bernard Lagat won a gold in the 1500m & 5000m for the USA (at least the USA doesn't force you to change your name & religion like the Qataris & Bahrainis!). Those were 2 Golds "lost" for Kenya!

Friday, August 31, 2007

So how much moi and his cronies steal?

We may never know the answer to the above question since there have been no serious attempts to find out the extent of corruption in & by the moi government.

The kibaki government has not made any serious efforts to find out the extent of the rot. John Githongo put it aptly when he gave the example of finding a skunk & keeping it!

Edward Clay was right. Many well-meaning Kenyans were upset at his words but they were either true or prophetic.

Here are a few links:

Guardian Newspaper
Mars Group

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What is "Variable Weighted Average Price"

The NSE provides a VWAP on their price list. Click here to go to their website to download a pricelist. The link is located on the left side.

I was informed (right or wrong) that the "V" stands for "Variable"...
I know what a Weighted Average Price is but if WAP is variable then what good is the WAP????

Does anyone know for sure HOW the NSE calculates the VWAP?

Will a Math major... or anyone else please help me out! I googled the term but came up with nothing that included the "variable"...

Or is this Kenyan style math where:
Politician( aka pig/GOK/GOK employee/FOK/moi) receives 100/- but the mwananchi/project receives 10/- but the politician (& his cohorts) crow how the project received the full allocation.

To recap how Kenyan math works 100=10.

Back to "V"WAP... erm, please explain to me what it means!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

NSE is unfair to Francis Thuo customers!

My primary source of information is from the Business Daily. I will revise the blog entry as as I receive more information. My comments are in RED.

Cash payment to Francis Thuo investors explained Print E-mail
Written by Geoffery Irungu
Photo by: Frederick Onyango
The Nairobi Stock Exchange blamed logistical issues for decisions to compensate investors of the collapsed Francis Thuo brokerage firm in cash rather than the equivalent value in shares.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange yesterday blamed logistic difficulties for its decisions to compensate investors of the collapsed Francis Thuo and Partners Stockbrokers in cash rather than the equivalent value in shares.

Oh, please educate us... What were these "logistic difficulties"?

During a meeting with majority investors whose business was transacted through the collapsed firm, the NSE was put on the spot over how it picked on a day when the market was generally down as the value date for the compensation.

The meeting, which took place on Tuesday, saw the NSE admit that fraud was apparent in some cases where shares were sold by the firm without valid orders from investors.

If there was fraud why have no arrests or prosecutions taken place?
Why are the crooks being protected?
Who is shielding these crooks?

The criteria used to pay investors in cash at face value — with no interest or regard to the losses made during the seven months that the firm has been in business — had raised eyebrows soon after NSE announced August 17 as the value date.

The value date, if any, should be the date Francis Thuo & Partners shut down.

Mr Chris Mwebesa, the NSE Chief Executive, said the date was picked upon because that is the day when Renaissance Capital —which bought the Francis Thuo business for Sh251 million —paid their dues.

Well, since the NSE/CMA waited till it received KShs 251mn from the sale of the license then it reasons that the customers/creditors should receive a share of the EXCESS funds!!! Basically, the creditors "own" a company in bankruptcy. So the license (& monies from its disposal belong to the creditors!!!).

It was also the date the cheques were being written after the reconciliation of accounts relating to the investors through the insolvent broker.

He said 850 investors were involved and the payments were going on as scheduled from Monday and are set to be completed by this Friday.

Misunderstandings had arisen mainly because there were investors whose shares were sold by the collapsed firm without them having given sale orders.

There is no misunderstanding. I call it FRAUD. Simple as that! If I had shares held there simply because I need a CDS account does not mean I wanted to sell the shares. Replace the shares for shares!

The NSE boss said it would have been logistically difficult to start buying the shares again on behalf of the investors.

Nonsense! The NSE should give the customers/investors the option of receiving cash or shares. The NSE has a process of "buying-in" shares if not delivered by brokers. The NSE can buy these shares from the market & transfer them to the investors.

Mr Chandulal Shah, an investor at the NSE and also a consultant on investment matters, said that investors should have received shares instead of cash in cases where such shares had been ordered and paid for by the broker.

Damn straight! Mr. Shah is an experienced shareholder activist & is RIGHT!!!

Mr Shah said that those who had sold the shares of investors without their prior approval should be charged in court with fraud.

I see the hand of FT & Partners' friends in this matter!!!

Some members of the NSE are protecting one of their own including a silly suggestion that FT gets a "golden handshake" for committing fraud... WTF?

This may set a precedent where a thief caught in the act gets compensated for his "troubles" coz he was caught stealing! WTF (again)!

Although the money owed to investors was initially thought to be around Sh90 million it has since turned out that it is about Sh150 million. Mr Mwebesa said the bourse also has to compensate the investors for dividends and bonuses that had been dispatched to them through the stock broker.

Of course, investors should be compensated for bonuses & dividends!!! In fact, investors should demand interest on the cash & dividends!!!

The claims paid for included money that had been in the accounts of the investors, funds received from the sale of shares without authority and for shares sold but for which money had not been received by investors.

What about interest on the money? And at T-Bill rates!!!

Mr Mwebesa said those who had ordered for shares with the brokers but which had not been bought would receive the exact amount of cash they had given the broker.

What about interest on the money? And at T-Bill rates!!!

Controversy had arisen as to the criteria used to determine the August 17 as the date of reference when compensating investors as the stock market 20-share index had on that date lost nearly 70 points compared to the previous week, depicting a less attractive week to invest in the bourse.

Mr Mwebesa said the NSE had during the meeting asked investors to bear with them especially in view of the fact that the bourse had done everything possible to ensure that they did not lose any money.

Oh, please! What did the NSE do to protect the investors? The NSE was aware of the bounced cheques from FT & Co. The NSE knew that investors were not getting paid for shares sold!

The NSE abetted the fraud. As is the investors should have been compensated for the losses through fraud but neither the NSE nor CMA raised a finger to help them during the tough times! The NSE had the option to repay the claims of the investors through raising funds from their members but they did not!

He said that investors would ordinarily have been entitled to Sh50,000 maximum if the money had to be drawn from NSE’s Investor Compensation Fund. “The payments to investors are expected to maintain confidence in the stock market,” he said.

So the NSE is saying that to protect oneself against FRAUD, an investor should have no more than 50,000/- in a broker's account?
How can I have confidence in such a scenario?
I have a good mind to recommend ALL investors should hold certificates!!!

The SIPC in the USA insures investors for a minimum of $500,000 (KShs 33,000,000).

Finally... where is the CMA in all this????

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Safaricom - 10% (not 5%) was stolen!

Mobitelea, a subsidiary of Thieves, Inc

The crescendo over the, mobitelea stolen indirect 5% ownership in Safaricom, is rising. What many commentators are missing is that it was 10% (not 5%) that was stolen from every Kenyan Man, Woman & Child.

mobitelea - often referred to as moi biwott telecoms of east africa - had stolen 10% but sold 5% in 2002 to its partners in bribery, vodafone, when moi's proxy was going to lose the elections.

The way I figure it out is that Vodafone bought 40% of Safaricom from GOK but had to cough up 10% to mobitelea as "grease" money. A pity but vivendi had to cut a deal with naushad merali (the ty"con") for the 2nd license.

Suggested remedy for the Public & Vodafone?

Well, vodafone should return the 5% to the GOK (to be sold as part of the IPO) for what they paid & a "fair" return. I can't blame them for buying what seemed a bargain. As part of coming clean, they should sell the 5% back to GOK at a discounted price to current market value.

The monies paid by Vodafone to mobitelea should be recovered from mobitelea by the GOK & vodafone.

Thhe 5% that originally "belonged" to mobitelea but then sold by mobitelea to Vodafone.

What of the 5% that still "belongs" to mobitelea?

daniel moi & biwott will support kibaki in the 2007 elections as long as this thievery is kept under wraps!

We need to go after these crooks & retrieve the stolen 5%. As well as any dividends made to them! The 5% are stolen goods!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

More small cars coming our way from India...

Wow... it is amazing how far India has progressed since 1980 vs most African countries... But as usual I shall concentrate on Kenya...

This is a slideshow about Indian car manufacturers & "small" cars...

India used to be thought of as an over-populated backward country but the changes there are amazing. The problems are still there but the economic progress is outstanding.

I pick India, not China, as a model Kenya should emulate (the GOOD not the bad) since Kenya, like India, has a (flawed) democracy. China is a totalitarian state Kenyans will & should not embrace.
Furthermore, India faces many issues/problems that mirror those of African countries including a burgeoning population, poverty, corruption & a monolithic bureaucracy.

So, what can we learn from India (the GOOD not the bad!)?
  • Privatisation - India is moving from a socialist mindset to a capitalist mindset. Some may argue that India has alway been a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist nation. Well so was most of pre-colonial Africa. The largest Indian firms are PRIVATE enterprises/groups including Reliance, Tata, Birla, Wipro, etc. Many state owned firms are being privatised as competition sets in. (Kenya is doing well on this aspect esp after Kibaki came to power. I hope the trend continues).
  • Technocratic appointments - Manmohan Singh (PM) was a technocrat who was appointed as Finance Minister in the 1980s. And then give them a free hand. The "Dream Team" of the 1990s was a good idea but derailed when they did not kiss moi's ass. (Sigh... Kenya could do much better in this respect. Political appointments rule the day not merit. Then add underworked but overpaid assistant ministers to this mix!).
  • De-tribalisation - India has more issues/problems than Kenya regarding "tribes", religions & castes. Nevertheless, there has been a slow but steady growth in those who don't care about these matters. And it starts from the top. Rajiv Gandhi married Sonia (an Italian). Indira Gandhi (a Hindu) married a Feroz (a Parsi). There are many other examples that are not widely known. The CEO of BioCon is Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Kiran is India's richest woman & married to a Scot. (Kenya is doing poor in this regard especially when the populace is intent on electing their "own" regardless of merit. The good news is that the urban youth are not swayed as much but the rural - ethnic - vote exceeds the urban vote. Raila's son, Castro, is married to a Kikuyu girl! But will this turn into votes for him?)
  • Women empowerment - Even though women are often treated as second-class citizens, India's current president is a woman. India's kingmaker is also a woman (Sonia Gandhi). Indira Gandhi was the PM for many years. Many of the states have Chief Ministers who are women. (Kenya has women politicians (karua, ojiambo, ndungu, etc) but except for Wangari Mathaai, I do not see these politicians agitating for the common woman. Campaigning for another 40 "special" seats does not count. What about the 17,000,000 other girls & women? And why do women who constitute 50% of the population need special treatment? If the women ganged up, they could elect a woman president as well as the majority in parliament!)
  • Domestic Market - Indian firms export BUT the domestic market is important. Indians support local firms. Even Coke had a tough time when many Indian favoured the local "Thums Up" over "Coca-Cola". (I am embarrassed when I see imported butter & eggs in Kenyan supermarkets!!! Yet we have KCC among other firms exporting dairy products to the Middle East. We import canned "Heinz" beans & "Ceres" juices whereas we have local firms producing the same /similar goods! Kenyans' obsession with imports is pathetic!
  • Spread e-government - India has spread government's reach to embrace substantial portions of the population through technology. The kids are becoming the teachers in many villages. The trend is fueled by examples/idols ranging from billionaires like Azim Premji of Wipro among others. India's huge BPO industry is pushing technology into the villages. (Kenya has been talking the talk but not walking the walk regarding technology. We need to employ savvier professionals who can spearhead e-government. Credit to Kimunya among others who are driving the computerisation process. But we need to do more, sooner.)
  • India has embarked on connecting the corners of the country with expressways. The idea is to boost trade as well as encourage exports & efficiencies. The rail network has great coverage all over India. (Kenya does not have a decent highway across the country. The Nairobi-Mombasa highway is a veritable mess. Nairobi-Kisumu is even worse. Imagine the possibilities if we had a decent North-South highway from Namanga to Lokichoggio AND a 4-lane decent highway from Mombasa-Kisumu. Our cross-border trade with S. Sudan & Uganda would show strong gains as would Kenyan domestic tourism).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Housewife make Millions... trading stocks & forex!

I need stock tips from this Japanese housewife!

I think it makes sense for some investment bank or mutual fund to hire her as an analyst or trader... even if just for the publicity!

Japanese housewife makes MILLIONS...

I have a feeling that there are soma "Mamas" in Kenya who have made millions but you would never guess just looking at them!

That's why I cringe when some silly bureaucrat tries to impose rules/regulations ostensibly to protect someone against market risk!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cheetahs vs Hippos

The Government of Kenya (or some idiots within it) were "insulted" when an article in The Economist referred to "new" Africans as Cheetahs vs the "old, corrupt, status-quo' Africans as Hippos.

So the IDIOTS canceled an important meeting/conference the Economist was going to hold in Nairobi in view of the Economist's article. It turns out it was an AFRICAN (George Ayittey) made a great speech on why he believes in Africa & referred to Cheetahs & Hippos!

He also argues that Capitalism was integral to ancient African communities. The marketplaces e.g. Timbuktu was a marketplace. What the "Hippos" introduced as "Socialism" (including African Socialism as attempted in Kenya or Tanzania) was a form of "Swiss-bank Socialism" for the Hippos.

Anyway, here is his definition paraphrased.

The Cheetah Generation - made up of the youth, specifically the TED Fellows present here, the saviors of Africa who are not going to wait for government and aid organizations to do things for them.
The Hippo Generation - the current political and business leaders who are happy to wallow in their water holes, complaining about colonialism and poverty, but doing nothing about it.

Here are some sources of information on George Ayittey's speech.

White African
Where are the Hippos?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Her... She... is... Mine...

The New... Curve

Feeling my way around Her
No wonder She is the Curve.

Pressing Her buttons
will engage Her functions.

Brains & Beauty never come cheap
High maintenance is Her keep.

Her interest in my tongue
Has all forgiven & forgotten.

She sounds so sweet
being new & pristine.

She is the She for me.

The Ex
Felt sad to let her go. The sadness lasted but a moment.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why JKIA needs a 2nd runway...

Sigh... I feel sorry for KQ among other airlines that suffer do to the stupidity reigning at JKIA...

Apparently, the JKIA management (what qualifications does muhohohoho have to be running the KAA???) believes one runway is enough... whereas for safety & efficiency there need to be be at least 2 runways!!!

Another plane burst its tires on the runway... I would like to know the cause (debris on the runway?)... and the airport was shut down. Again!!!

The other day the airport was closed down for 2 days since there were no landing lights!!!

A 2nd runway would allow flights to land & leave even if one runway is damaged or closed for maintenance or due to a crash/accident.
JKIA was built to handle 2mn passengers but handles over 4.4mn passengers. With the rapid growth of KQ & increased local airlines/flights as well as additional international airlines flying into nairobi, there is a need for increased capacity for the aircraft.

How to buy shares offered under a Rights Issue

I will use the example of Olympia Holdings Co. Ltd (OCHL). I do not have their timetable but I will clean/correct the dates/details when I can get my hands on one.

OCHL announced their intention to do a "Rights Issue" which means existing shareholders have the "Right" to buy more "newly issued" shares in the firm. The proceeds go to the firm for expansion, debt payoff, etc.

The increase in capital was passed at the AGM held in June 2007, thereafter an announcement was made to the number of shares to be offered in the Rights Issue on 26 June 2007. This was 3:1 meaning you could but 3 "new" shares for each 1 share owned.

OCHL made an application to the CMA. After CMA's approval, OCHL announced a price for the "new" shares i.e. 14/- on 10 August 2007. The shares will trade Cum Rights through 17 August 2007 after which they go Ex-Rights.

For some reason unknown to me, the shares are not reflected as Cum Rights on the price list dated 13 or 14 August 2007.

Anyone who buys the OCHL shares on or before 17 August 2007 is entitled to the Rights for "free". What this means is that each share has the "Right" to buy 3 more shares at 14/- each. The shareholders as of 17 August 2007 will receive a Memorandum of Information (MoI) that includes forms to apply/assign/transfer/sell these Rights.

The Rights will then trade separately from the underlying shares. (I do not have the timetable but I think the last day to apply for the shares is 3 September 2007). Anyone can buy the Rights at a "premium" then exercise them at 14/- in exchange for "new" shares. To buy Rights, an investor needs to contact their broker & ask them to buy Rights from the market.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Olympia Capital Holdings announces Rights price...

OCHL has announced the Rights price at 14/- per share. I was expecting 10/- but the 14/- is a 30% discount to the current market price of 20/-.

The shares should trade Cum Rights for a few days until they trade Ex-rights but that need to be decided by the CMA, NSE & OCHL.

OCHL would raise a (gross) KShs 420mn if all the shares are taken up. The current "excess liquidity" on the NSE may bode well for them since the KenRe IPO was over-subscribed & the refunds should start flowing in soon.

Nakumatt eyes Ugandan chain?

Considering Nakumatt's expansion plans across E&C Africa as well as its intention of going public in 2009... this seems an ideal opportunity to expand & gain instant market share in Uganda .

Uchumi has one branch in Kampala but can ill-afford to expand further... After what seems to be another failed attempt to raise additional funds from existing shareholders, it may have to shut down OR find a strategic investor to turn it around.

And just 10 years ago, Uchumi Supermarkets was one of Kenya's most profitable firms, under the then MD - Suresh Shah, paying hefty dividends... but it went downhill fast after chris kirubi & company took over...

That opened the door for the rapid expansion of Nakumatt since many suppliers quit supplying Uchumi. Even though Uchumi has a branch in Kampala, the continuing inancial problems at home will affect them in Uganda... whereas Nakumatt is raring to expand in East Africa.

For the Obama fans... the Obama Girl...

I have to say... what a way to get folks to tune into Obama...
And now to Kenya, I wonder if we will see the Tinga Girls? The Kalonzo Honeys? And what will Julia Ojiambo think of?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Are all Telekoms or Telkoms the same the world over?

Telekom of Germany... and the model who wants to quit...

So Telkom (Kenya) & Telkom (S.Africa) are in good company regarding the (non)provision of services!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Business Process Outsourcing...

So Kenya wants to be a prime candidate for the BPO industry... Well, a lot needs to be done and only a concerted effort by the private sector aided by the public sector will do...

Other Bangalore Wannabes (from Business Week)

Mauritius has a leg up on Kenya with better communications, bilingual population, tie with Indian firms (Infosys has already set up in the country) & enlightened leadership.

Other Anglophone countries that are in the market for additional business are Sri Lanka & Pakistan. In addition, the proximity to India (#1 BPO centre) makes the transition easier. The Philippines is another country with a substantial BPO sector. All the countries above also have a decent base to recruit IT graduates.

Senegal restructured its telecom network to tap into the Francophone BPO sector.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Greedy MPs...

Vote john "nguruwe" koech out... after all you don't want greedy pigs like him back in parliament again!!!
(Apologies to the real pigs...)

EAST Africa Cooperation minister, John Koech yesterday defended the controversial gratuity perks for legislators, saying the lawmakers, like other civil servants, deserve gratuity after expiry of their contract, adding that this is similar all over the world.

The MP cited Tanzania as one of the countries where parliamentarians were awarded token handshake after expiry of their term in office and said Kenya should follow suit.

Koech said it was sad to note that former legislators who contributed immensely to the development of this country were leading miserable lives after exit from the august house.

Said Koech: “Let’s not see MPs package in the negative light and those politicking the issue should stop.

It is shameful to see some former lawmakers soliciting for handouts despite their contributions.”

Speaking in Kericho, Koech defended the current emoluments of MPs, saying the pay was okay.

Esther Passaris to stand for Mayoral elections!

Yes... I say... yes...

Unfortunately, the mayor is elected by his fellow (corrupt) councilors... otherwise she would have an awesome chance if Nairobians were allowed direct elections...


Friday, July 27, 2007

Indian exporters (like Kenyan exporters) faces challenges from a stong currency

Rise Of The Rupee

Tech companies and exporters are losing profits as the currency continues to rise

On July 20, a group of Indian businessmen gathered in Mumbai to listen to a presentation entitled "How to Deal with the New, Improved Rupee." Yet for this crowd—mostly smallish exporters of textiles and commodities—the rupee's 10% appreciation against the dollar this year feels more like a punishment than an improvement. Jamal Mecklai, the risk-management consultant giving the talk, explained that the currency's unprecedented show of strength is a sign of India's increasing importance in the global economy. "India has grown up," he said.

And it has done so in a hurry. A key manifestation of globalization has been a rebalancing of the world's currencies, as the dollar has fallen to new lows and the euro has hit all-time highs. Few developments, though, have been as unexpected as the strength of the rupee, which since March seems to have turned from a perennial weakling into a surging up-and-comer.

Blame it on India's red-hot economy. After decades of puttering along at about 3.5% a year, the country is averaging growth of 9% or better annually, powered by a vibrant info-tech services sector and exploding consumer demand. What's more, India is awash in foreign money: $25.2 billion poured in during the fiscal year that ended in March, up 25% from 2005, attracted by deregulation of sectors such as retail and real estate and a roaring stock market.

Although the currency was decoupled from the dollar and made partially free in 1993, the central bank has since operated a "managed float," intervening in the market to smooth out volatility but not to hold down the rupee's value. However, the Reserve Bank of India has been largely overwhelmed by the foreign funds rushing in—money it can't mop up completely without provoking inflation. So it unteathered the rupee. "It was hard to fight the tide," says Chetan Ahya, chief economist for India at Morgan Stanley (MS).

Indians don't quite know what to make of the rupee's levitating act. Some say it puts the country's hard-won export gains in jeopardy: Exports now make up 13% of gross domestic product, up from 9% a decade ago (although still far from China's 38%). A particular worry is that India could be ceding ground to Asian economies that manage their currencies more actively—notably China, which has refused to float the yuan. "We are losing our competitiveness to China, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore...and the Reserve Bank is allowing the rupee to appreciate?" growls New Delhi economist Surjit Bhalla.

No sector is more exposed to the effects of a strong rupee than the dynamic IT services industry, which brought in about $35 billion in export revenues last year. The top four IT companies—Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies (INFY), Wipro (WIT), and Satyam Computer Services (SAY)—are all complaining that the currency's strength is crimping margins. Profitability across the sector fell by 8% in the most recent quarter. "The rupee pressure is a concern," says Azim H. Premji, chairman of Wipro. "We have to squeeze efficiencies in cost, operations, supply chain, and processes." Still, with margins of 25% to 30%, "the big boys are in a position to take a hit for a while," says Kiran Karnik, president of the powerful Indian software association Nasscom.

The pressure, though, won't let up on the IT players. Wages have risen by more than 15% in the past year, and the effect is amplified by a strong rupee, since most of the companies' sales are in dollars. The strength of the rupee is "an additional reason to convince customers they have to help us," says Ramalinga Raju, chairman of Satyam, which boosted prices by an average of 2% in the first quarter.

India's manufacturers have taken it on the chin, too. "The appreciation was so sudden that we were unprepared, and it has beaten all of us in the short term," says Baba Kalyani, chairman of Bharat Forge, an auto-parts maker that gets 70% of its export revenues from the U.S. The giants, though, are in a much better position to withstand the pain than are low-margin businesses in textiles and apparel. A further rise in the rupee, says Suresh Ramrakhiani, economist at the Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council in Mumbai, could lead to job losses for up to 200,000 people. Really small exporters—spice merchants, producers of brassware, and the like—are hurting the most. And these small and midsize enterprises contribute 60% of India's export earnings, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry in India.

There's one upside to the strength of the rupee: It makes purchases abroad cheaper. India's biggest companies have been on a buying spree lately. In January, Tata Steel took over Corus Group PLC, an Anglo-Dutch company five times it size, for $11.3 billion, the biggest of its 11 foreign acquisitions in the past year. A strong rupee will only serve to make such deals more attractive.

No one knows whether this is a passing trend or a lasting phenomenon. Some say the rupee hasn't found its true level yet and predict that in coming months it will settle at around 38 to the dollar, compared with about 40 today. And many would argue that such discomfort is simply a part of making the transition to a fully convertible currency regime, which India aims to do by 2011. "India used to be a large country with a small economy," says Ajit Ranade, chief economist at Aditya Birla Group, a Mumbai conglomerate with operations in textiles, metals, chemicals, and more. "Now we are a big economy, and we should act like one."

With Steve Hamm in New York.

From Businessweek 26 July 2007

Injustice in Kenya... Truth is stranger than fiction

I have linked to for this article... sad... real sad...

Is this what our country is coming to?
What was the point of "independence"?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where is the (Kenyan) Guy Fawkes?

So the MPs who earn 120 times Kenya's Per Capita Income... want more money! I can't say I am surprised... just disappointed...

So the KRA taxes the poor mwanachi who makes 80,000/-... these bastards (the MPs) wants an additional 6.3 million !

Perhaps we will be saved by a Kenyan Guy Fawkes who will blow up the current parliamentarians... (Sorry about the violent thoughts but the recent proposal goes against the rules of justice & is immoral)

Perhaps, I should stop my whining & try to join the gravy train! So good people... please vote :

COLDTUSKER for MP (constituency to be decided later)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One-Term President... a solution to Kenya's political crisis?

We should limit Kenyan Presidential terms to ONE TERM... yes... perhaps the term might be a little longer...

Proposal: A 7-year term that enables the incumbent to concentrate on Kenya & Kenyans. Not on his/her re-election bid & political power games!

  • Fairly good presidents can get sucked into bad political schemes that tarnish even otherwise decent presidents e.g. Kibz, who seems to have done a fairly decent economic job, has re-appointed most of the ministers tainted by anglo-fleecing!!! Perhaps this is a result of the desire to bring in votes from various tribes... fronted by these politicians?
  • Politicking by incumbents wastes time & money e.g. Most of 2007 has/will be spent politicking by kibz especially if he wants to stand for re-election.
  • Limiting the term to 7 years will encourage presidents to leave (good) legacies. They could remain out of the pig-sty since, well, they are already at the top of the dog-pile!!!
  • A one-term president has greater immunity (or a thicker skin) to political kingmakers & manipulators.
Fears or Concerns:
  • There is the fear that some presidents will rig the elections to elect their proteges but this is no different from the current suituation e.g. Nigeria's Obasanjo favouring Yar'Adua.
  • No fear of not being (re)elected provides a sense of hubris but the parliament retains the power to impeach.
  • If the president dies or resigns without completing his term, they can be replaced by the Vice-President pending new elections &/or some mechanism of succession. We can use the USA model where the VP becomes the prez for the remainder of the term. An alternate is to have pre-set limits depending on when the transfer of power takes place.
  • We might lose a competent president who we want to run again but there are many smart competent Kenyans. We need new blood, new ideas & accountability.
  • Too many presidents on our payroll! But this is mitigated by fewer presidents serving a mere one term lasting 5 years! Hopefully, some of these presidents will take up international roles e.g. UN appointments, etc. Kenya should lobby for these positions on condition the presidents so appointed/elected to these bodies "give" up their GOK salaries/pensions for the term of employment with the UN, etc.
I hope we enact a one-term model that enables "better" presidencies. As the saying goes...
Politicians are like nappies, they need to be changed often or they start stinking.

Seems like a speech Kenyans need...

I was reading on India's new president... a woman names Pratibha Patil... anyway, so I clicked through onto Wikipedia about the former president... APJ Abdul Kalam... A Muslim president in a pre-dominantly Hindu country... Granted it is primarily a ceremonial post but India has had:
  • A Muslim president (APJA Kalam, Zakhir Hussain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed)
  • A woman prime minister (Indira Gandhi)
  • A woman president (Pratibha Patil)
So... back to APJAK's speech... very interesting... and applies to Kenyans as well. We change our clothes when we are abroad. Well, almost... Just replace "India" with "Kenya"... there is a stark resemblance...

APJAK was not a politician. We need someone like him, a non-politician as the next president of Kenya. Someone who serves for one term... but a dedicated one-term... Note that India's president has limited powers but remains a check on the Prime Minister's powers. India does have a technocrat PM - Manmohan Singh - who did wonders liberalising India's economy when he was Finance Minister. Of course, he is doing a great job as PM. India has a growth rate of almost 8% or higher for the past few years!

I have copied the speech below but here is the link...

"I have three visions for India. In 3000 years of our history, people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards, The Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and Tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others.

That is why my first vision is that of FREEDOM. I believe that India got its first vision of this in 1857, when we started the war of Independence. It is this freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not free, no one will respect us.

My second vision for India's DEVELOPMENT, For fifty years we have been A developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed nation. We are among top 5 nations of the world in terms of GDP. We have 10 percent growth rate in most areas. Our poverty levels are falling. Our achievements are being globally recognized today. Yet we lack the self-confidence to see ourselves as a developed nation, self-reliant and self-assured. Isn't this incorrect?

I have a THIRD vision. India must stand up to the world. Because I believe that, unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. Only strength respects strength. We must be strong not only as a military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand. My good fortune was to have worked with three great minds. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai of the Dept. of space, Professor Satish Dhawan, who succeeded him and Dr.Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material. I was lucky to have worked with all three of them closely and consider this the great opportunity of my life.I see four milestones in my career:

Twenty years I spent in ISRO. I was given the opportunity to be the project director for India's first satellite launch vehicle, SLV3. The one that launched Rohini. These years played a very important role in my life of Scientist. After my ISRO years, I joined DRDO and got a chance to be the part of India's guided missile program. It was my second bliss when Agni met its mission requirements in 1994.

The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous partnership in the recent nuclear tests, on May 11 and 13. This was the third bliss. The joy of participating with my team in these nuclear tests and proving to the world that India can make it, that we are no longer a developing nation but one of them. It made me feel very proud as an Indian. The fact that we have now developed for Agni a re-entry structure, for which we have developed this new material. A Very light material called carbon-carbon.

One day an orthopedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic calipers weighing over three Kg. each, dragging their feet around.

He said to me: Please remove the pain of my patients. In three weeks, we made these Floor reaction Orthosis 300-gram calipers and took them to the orthopedic center. The children didn't believe their eyes. From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they could now move around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was my fourth bliss!

Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

We are the first in milk production.
We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.
We are the second largest producer of wheat.
We are the second largest producer of rice.
Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self driving unit.
There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures and disasters.

I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert land into an orchid and a granary.

It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news. In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE?

Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign TVs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is. She replied: I want to live in a developed India. For her, you and I will have to build this developed India. You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation.

Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance. Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is yours.

YOU say that our government is inefficient.
YOU say that our laws are too old.
YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage.
YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke, the airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination.
YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.
YOU say, say and say.

What do YOU do about it? Take a person on his way to Singapore. Give him a name - YOURS.

Give him a face - YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best.

In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground Links as they are. You pay $5(approx. Rs.60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU come back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity. In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai. YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds (Rs.650) a month to, "see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else."

YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop, "Jaanta hai sala main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost." YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand. Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston? We are still talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own. You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India?

Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay, Mr. Tinaikar, had a point to make. "Rich people's dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place," he said." And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels? In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan. Will the Indian citizen do that here?" He's right. We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms.

We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity. This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse? 'It's the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my sons' rights to a dowry.'

So who's going to change the system? What does a system consist of? Very conveniently for us it consists of our neighbors, other households, other cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me and YOU. When it comes to us actually making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr. Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure we run to England. When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government.

Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to money.

Dear Indians,

The article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too....

I am echoing J. F. Kennedy's words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians.....


Lets do what India needs from us.

Thank you
Abdul Kalaam

[Dr. APJ Abdul Kalaam was the President of India]