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Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Their Motto: See evil, hear evil, speak evil, just do evil...
CMA & francis thuo - The CMA failed to act on FT in a timely manner thus causing ripples across the broker community as well as their clients.
Anglo-fleecing - If not for Githongo's gradual release of information, this would have been buried
Goldenberg - Golden what? Even the architect (pattni) is running around while he plans to run for office!
Grand Regency - What is happening here? Who owns it? Who doesn't own it?
There are hundreds of such instances!
Monday, February 26, 2007
Essentially, the brokers are selling client's shares without their knowledge! Even if the shares are "replaced" the clients/shareholders may not get dividends since the Listed Firm only recognises shares held by in the client's name.
Until this loophole is patched, all long-term investors should insist on share certificates to forestall the crooked stockbrokers' dealings. There are extra steps & it is not as convenient but safer.
With a certificate, you can use any broker without the hassle of transferring shares. You will need to "immobilise" & "dematerialise" the shares. Many of the large shareholders have NOT placed the shares with the CDSC.
Furthermore, except for fraud by having duplicate certificates, the share cannot be sold as (apparently) francis thuo & thieves did...
Who would you rank as the top 5 trustworthy brokers?
My list includes (in no particular order):
- African Alliance
Please let me know what other fees/costs that you feel should be eliminated...
- Stamp Duty - Share Capital
- Why should we pay Stamp Duty on the Share Capital of a firm?
- We should encourage more firms to incorporate by waiving or better ELIMINATE stamp duty!
- We have stamp duty on various transactions that are unnecessary e.g. share purchases & sales. We pay fees to the CMA which is a government organisation. Shareholders pay taxes through Corporate Taxes (30%) as well as 5% withholding tax on dividends.
- Lawyer Fees - Loans
- I had posted earlier on this topic. Why should the government/judiciary mandate what attorney fees should be?
- In the USA, many banks & mortgage use programs to create the documents. These are generally standard documents which can be reviewed by a lawyer. The costs of buying a $100,000 house in USA is much lower than Kenya!
- Stamp Duty - Cheques
- We should encourage a shift from the cash economy to cheques & electronic payments but there is a fee payable on cheques!
- Taxes - Petroleum Products
- Taxes account for 60% of taxes on petroleum products. This encourages smuggling & "diversion" of petrol tankers.
- Many of the "independent" petrol stations sell "diverted" petroleum products. Furthermore, this encourages an underground economy in adulterated petrol.
We have numerous taxes/fees/costs that are "hidden" but they add up for the final consumer as the businesses pass them on to us. We need to be aware of these costs. We need to lobby for their elimination.
Taxes are the price we pay for a civilised society (Some famous guy said that...) but some of these are archaic & counterproductive. It behooves the investor community to lobby for the elimination of these onerous taxes.
Monday, February 12, 2007
There needs to be a concerted effort by the GOK & local firms to stamp their authority all over Africa starting with our backyard (East & Central Africa).
Therefore, I want to pose a series of questions:
- Are Kenyan firms expanding abroad (esp into Africa) just as Indian firms are doing in Nepal, Afghanistan, Russia & even China?
- Are Kenyan firms using their (IMHO) superior balance sheets to power their way into neighbouring countries?
- Is the Kenyan government ensuring the protection of Kenyan firms (e.g. closure of Nation Media's outlets in Uganda) abroad?
- Bidco - in Uganda but they moved coz of the hostile Kenyan business environment!
- Chandaria Group - Mabati, etc in TZ & UG
- Nation Group - in UG & TZ. They face lots of government opposition but nary a word of support from Kenya.
- Kenol - One of the best example with stations in Rwanda now Ethiopia. They have LPG sales distribution in TZ. They also wholesale Oil Products in UG & Congo.
- KQ - I think GOK has realised their importance to the economy but it needs to do more to help a true homegrown company fight for more flights.
KTDA & GOK needs to be in the forefront since small tea growing operations provide among the best teas that can benefit from substantial value addition.
Kenol which is expanding its African footprint suffers from delayed tax refunds especially for bonded export markets e.g. in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo. This is a disincentive to Kenol while we allow Libya's TamOil an entry into our markets.
Just as KR's operations were privatised, we need to privatise the inter-province road system in Kenya. Most Kenyan firms would prefer a road that is free of axle-breaking potholes, safer & well-lit for transporting goods 24-7-365 rather than the current set-up.
Many toll (pay-to-drive) roads in the USA are well maintained, have constant police patrols, emergency crews, etc & these services are paid for through tolls/fees. Some are privately managed, others public-private partnerships & some are state-owned but with Road Boards in charge.
In the meantime, while the GOK gets its act together, are Kenyan firms helping their own cause or do they just shoot themselves in the foot?
India still remains a 3rd World Country - Can Kenya benefit as a secondary location/option?
Foreign Investments continues in Indian Firms - I wish Kenya had the same draw!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
|TPSEA is a savvy tourism operator & its seems they have a valid grievance against some dodgy business carried out by some folks at KWS.... At least in today's Kenya, they can fight through the (inefficient) judicial system unlike dan "the idiot" moi's days in power. |
My comments in RED....
Don’t revoke lease, firm urges court
Story by NATION Correspondent
Publication Date: 2/9/2007
|Nothing done on NSE website |
Last December, Mr Hoseah Njuguna wrote to The Standard about the woes of the Nairobi Stock Exchange website. The bourse’s chief executive Mr Chris Mwebesa explained that the website would be updated. That was on December 14. Nearly two months later, no new website is in place. The issues Njuguna cited have not been addressed. On Wednesday — February 7 — the NSE website still showed trading figures for February 2. The home page has poor graphics and picture resolution and information is outdated. Financial statements have not been updated since 2004. Concerned investor, US Let's see what happens now... but do not hold your breath! In addition, we do not want just a pretty face but increased functionality with additional information that can help us including real-time prices! Websites like www.eight.co.ke do a better job of informing us than the NSE... After all we pay a hefty fee per trade! For those who are unaware... the NSE also charges firms to list so they double-dip... they charge investors & their firms!
Last December, Mr Hoseah Njuguna wrote to The Standard about the woes of the Nairobi Stock Exchange website. The bourse’s chief executive Mr Chris Mwebesa explained that the website would be updated.
That was on December 14. Nearly two months later, no new website is in place.
The issues Njuguna cited have not been addressed. On Wednesday — February 7 — the NSE website still showed trading figures for February 2. The home page has poor graphics and picture resolution and information is outdated. Financial statements have not been updated since 2004.
Let's see what happens now... but do not hold your breath!
In addition, we do not want just a pretty face but increased functionality with additional information that can help us including real-time prices! Websites like www.eight.co.ke do a better job of informing us than the NSE...
After all we pay a hefty fee per trade!
For those who are unaware... the NSE also charges firms to list so they double-dip... they charge investors & their firms!
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
India expects a 2006 growth rate of 9.2%... which means the additional growth in the Indian economy could be greater is larger than Kenya's entire economy! BTW, this is on top of India's 8% growth over the past 3 years!
India's estimated 2006 GDP (PPP) is just shy of $4 Trillion... so a 9% growth = $360 Billion!
The compounding factor year after year is what separates the men from the boys... The difference of 3% between the two growth rates means India's economy ccould grow at a rate that is 50% higher i.e. 9% vs 6%.
If India continues at this pace & Kenya lags, then compounding kicks in thus the gap between 2 economies will grow even faster!
Indian firms, & by proxy India, is the 3rd largest investor in UK. Tata Steel's recent purchase of Corus (UK) made headlines the world over as they beat off a challenge from Brazil.
Kenya's Magadi Soda is part of the Tata Group through Tata's purchase of Brunner Mond (UK) which gave Tata control of Magadi Soda.
Magadi Soda was recently in the news after Exim Bank rejected their application to finance locomotives & rail stock. Nevertheless, Magadi Soda did secure financing since it had the support of GE & Tata.
Kenya needs to wake up from its reverie... Stop comparisons with regional poorhouses & our benchmarks should be Powerhouses like India & China.
Kenyans can't use the "Western Oppression" excuse this time round when India & China start making our life difficult! As an example, Kenya has lost most of its USA textile market to China, Pakistan & India in the past 2 years. We had many years under AGOA to build up our competitiveness but squandered it to inane populist politics & economic blunders! Kenya should have built up its infrastructure:
- Reliable & cost-effective electricity supply
- Transport efficiencies incl Railroads, Shipping & Raods
Sunday, February 04, 2007
- Number of shares
- Savings & Loan (KCB)
- CDC/Actis will take up their Rights
- Transcentury (or some other group) will buy Rights from the Market
- GOK will sell its Rights. A politically connected group like TCG will use D&B to effect this trade at the right time under everyones noses.
- S&L bids for a takeover of HFCK for cash &/or KCB stock
- TCG buys a controlling interest through purchases on the NSE & the Rights Shares.
- An alternate group follows the strategy above
- A smaller bank e.g. Equity or Stanbic offers cash &/or stock
Nevertheless, all said & done... HFCK is in play!