Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mr. May new casualty

I heard it in the grape vine over the weekend that Mr. Gerard May of Celtel has been shown the door. the great marketer who was head hunted from Cell C where he precided over a tremendous growth was told friday to take a walk and never turn back! its not clear if safaricom's unprecedented profit could have caused his woes or whether it was his decision to embarass the company with a copy paste promotion christened Zindua. why a company would want to do that kind of thing beats me. you decide to copy your competitors promotion word for word, what does it mean to your customers and observers? However inside sources say that celtel has always been difficult to market since all decisions must be made by amsterdam. they still treat africa as one homogenous entity and think like the IMF, world Bank et al that africa is a case of one suit fit all. so even after the marketing director has done his research and presented his strategy to amsterdam, he is told that the strategy does not fit the panafrican aproach and its shoved over.

When will the world learn that africans are as diverse as the fishes in the sea?! I dont think marketing strategy in Uganda would work in kenya, not even TZ and kenya are the same. what matters to us are completely different, even within kenya, the way you market yourself in the coast is not the same way you would do in Nyanza and so on. Celtel keeps failing since kenyans cannot identify with any of their adverts. those guys on the velo, the man with the kid etc are not kenyan. another thing is that Kenyans think very highly of themselves in comparison to other africans and bringing heavily accented western africans to market in Kenya is a complete no no.

where is the NSE heading? just the other day we feted the break of the 5000 mark and '94 record but yesterday the bourse gained another 71 points to settle at 5177, just the other day we were toasting the 660 billion market cpitalization but yesterday it was 766 and so on. i expected the market to dip as investors liquidate to rpepare for the kenya re and Mumias but it seems people are instead consolidating their positions. at this rate we may see 100B capitalization by year end. the main benficiaries will be yours truly the brokers.

finaly express has promised to post the bonus shares by 1st november. good news. i wonder what kind of management these guys have or what kept them so long.

this year has been the year for the financial stocks, last year we saw industrials show more flesh. who is going to strut the cat walk next year? services or will the industrials continue the show? i cant wait! i love this game

Odegle Tip of the Day -- its best to invest in a firm which you understand. Make sure you understand their business, their management, their shareholdings etc. Even their history and the industry in which they operate.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Yoghurt, Chicken and Chips

Some time back when i was a teenager, my good friend Kodhek introduced me to a unique taste. i had visited him unexpectedly one evening and in desperate move to at least offer me something going by his Luo hospitality offered me roasted maize and home made sour milk. the taste was to say the least different , unique and shocking. However after partaking of my snack, i was hooked to that unique taste for ever. i could not get that kind of sour milk but to get close to it, i would simply buy yoghurt and roasted maize which was readily available. apart from the unique combination, that snack always reminded me of the simple brotherly love that Kodhek had for me and the sentimental hospitality that evening. my sisters have never understood how i can enjoy such an odd taste but i always remind them of that friend of mine

But while Kodhek introduced me to that great snack, no one prepared me for this, after moving up and down last saturday, i rushed to blue corner restaurant next to nakumatt. the speciality of the day? tandori chicken served with chips . so i went in and asked for the special of the day but lo! the special for the day was not availble that day. ok so i asked for kenchic chicken a kenyan speciality also proudly advertised as 'now available at blu corner'; no. kenchic is not availble today either. ok so what? grilled chicken and chips. on top of that i asked for a glass of vanilla milkshake. it took longer to prepare the milkshake but both the chicken and milkshake cost the same 250 bob each . the chicken was fine, but the 'milkshake' was actually sour milk or something close to that. no vanilla. when i complained, the manager said that all they need to do is add more ice to make it thicker. so they added a few more ice cubes! it became lighter and worse!

i wonder why someone would invest so much money on aesthetics and all those furniture and staff and yet fail to provide the core product. FOOD!

and that happened after another bad experience at another garage. i really dont like car mechanics. so to try and avoid them, i went to kengsway motors. looking at their aesthetics i thought i would get professional work there. but no. the mechanics were asking for 'something'. and for everything i asked for, they would ask if i wanted the 'muindi' spareparts or their own. their own cost half the price of the 'muindi' one at all times. meaning these guys are employed at the garage and yet they are running their own parallel garage using the facilities and time of the employer! And anyone thought kenya would grow out of corruption mire any time soon?

elswhere , NTV is set to go regional. this time not on the stock market but literaly. its showing yesterday by broacasting live to the 3 east african states was enough testimony of their ability. am sure after that will come the cross listing. another prime service company to buy. and speaking about the show, after i saw those performances and that great improvement, i wonder what those judges will do and we are not even into the second week. are those really ametures or is this another stage managed reality TV show?

KCC will list soon at the NSE. prepare for another oversupscription.

Does anyone know why there is a sudden surge in demand for sameer stocks? and the also the sudden rise in price? i would love to know. meanwhile i hope BBK will stick to their guns and be the first and only kenyan company to refuse the split and become the company for the real chosen few also known as investors.

Odegle tip of the day -- if you in the wrong train it does not help running in the oposite direction. disembark and take the correct train!

Friday, October 27, 2006

NSE Goes Berserk

So the good old prezo visited the NSE and caused the market untold excitement. after dragging its feet for about a month when the institutional investors deserted her, the index bounced back almost 60 points on seeing the president and another 100 the following day to break the psychological 5000 points mark. bullish signs came back in full swing and i know pessimistic fortune tellers must be adjusting their gogles and shifting in their chairs. they had predicted that the sweet lady had run the full marathon and would start to slow. But ng'o! on seeing the old man ...

and as rumours countinue , BBK shares climbs higher and higher. i still dont know why splits cause prices to go up. in any case they should come down since more shares are being introduced to dilute the market. now tell me at more than 500 /= and they havent droped the magic word yet. meanwhile their PE was good as was their management, earnings and potential. i saw that in SA the cost of anglo gold is almost 312 rand (3120 bob) by kenyan standards that would be split, split split!

But how about that guy who bought ICDCI at 800, how does it feel to see it come down to below 400 in less than a week. i heard one time of how a kenyan investor made 10,000 dollars in a day at the NYSE only for him to lose a similar amount the following day at the same bourse. i hope we wont see many such tears at the sweet NSE.

anyway if you dont like losing 10,000 dollars then you can run for 1.5 million KES on sunday during the stanchart marathon. probably one of those things you must do if you are kenyan. last year i learnt the hard way that kenyans are hard coded to run. even simple people who i see every day passed me as if i was standing. they didnt look anything like athletes but they zoomed past me with ease of a concord. what i remember is a marketing manager from coke cola. On seeing the massive presence of alpine coolers she almost lost the will to the marathon. the race was beeing beamed to millions of views all over the world. on top of that thousands turned up for the race. there were 12,000 racers to be precise and a bigger number of spectators. imagine the advertising potential all lost to a smaller company. alpine coolers!

Odegle Tip Of the Day -- Kippers -- Kids in parrents pockets erroding retirement savings. are you a kippers? beware of them. i read today about a nakuru man who has gone to court to prevent hs children from forcing him to distribute his wealth to them. the man claimed they had threatened to kill him. stupid kids. arent those kippers?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Value of happiness

I dont know how diverse the readership of this blog is but i would really love to quantify happiness in monetary or financial terms. its often said that most winners of major marathons were at their best mood at the time of competition and am told a couple of record breakers actually made love to their partners just minutes before. but how true is that? does it mean that a person who buys beer for 150 bob in a pub where he is treated with absolute dignity and decorum would do better financialy than another person who scrumbles for the same beer at 65 bob in another pub? how does this translate to food, shoe polishing , choice of laundary etc?

However when that is disturbing me, service industries are raking in more profit than anybody else. top counters at the NSE are proving to be service oriented. isnt EABL service in toto and so is safaricom, KQ and the like. what does it mean; that kenyans are buying service more? meaning that they have more than they need ,further meaning that the economy is booming. well maybe that proves why refubishment of entertainment joints is the order of the day and FM stations are poping up like pop corn kila uchao

the best part of the news was however the proposal by the fin. minister that safaricom should be traded at the NSE before the telecoms bubble bursts. elsewhere its rumored that the firms CEO promised his employees that they would own part of the record breaker before the end of two years. still on rumours, that the NSE is bringing down the axe on all stocks trading at more than 200 /= since they are too expensive for the common mwananchi! so after the IPO festival there will be splits carnival. how is that for development.

odegle tip of the day -- Safari savings account from standard chartered bank is probably one of the best things since sliced bread. vis; no ledger fees, no atm cards (am told its called another terible mistake) , only 4 witdhrawals a year, 5% interest etc etc. you accumulate there and invest at the NSE four times in a year how is that for strategy!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mumias Sugar Continues Shine

Going by media reports and mere observation, Mumias sugar continues in its shine after winning the bid to set up a mill for the Tana river sugar. the prospects are very good and the sugar cane is reported to mature in only 10 months at the coast as opposed to 18 months in western kenya. apart from that the world may be facing a sugar crisis of sorts as most millers turn to biofuel production and china mops up the only available sugar. it appears the consumers will be left crying but the investors in the top miller will be laughing all the way to the till. even better is the fact that the govt is going to divest more from the miller meaning that it will have govt support but no undue influence. my speculation is that if things go as planned then Mumias is about to do a KQ dance if not better. it may shortly join the likes of EABL, KQ and Safaricom as the top companies in Kenya. Verdict? Buy now.

But if that is true then this worries me. am told that farmers in the South Nyanza and its environs are normaly forced to destroy their crop because Sony sugar does not have the capacity or the will to crush their cane. in fact am told that jaggaries (sic) are doing a roaring business there since the farmers are desperate. Sony cannot crush your cane unless you are well connected so the jaggaries buy cheaply from them. the jaggaries are sold to molasses and sweets companies cheaply. cant we do the same thing we did with mumias so that kenya can gain from this one too?
Elsewhere Safaricom is set to announce what is poised to become the hieghest profit ever i east and central Africa. Phew! elbowing aside EABL and KQ and establishing itself as the voice of business in the region. Quite a feat in only 6 years. a lot of things have been said about the mobile service provider but i think their success has a lot to do with how they treat their dealers and employees. that safaricom employees are some of the best renumerated in the region is no secret. yet this is a very young company. only 6. and secondly they have a revenue sharing plan with the dealers. dealers are given lifetime commisions called residuals for selling safaricom lines. what it means is that if a dealer sells you a line , he earns a percentage of all the money you use to top up for as long as you live. How is that for motivation? However i always feel uneasy each time safaricom announces its results. reason? I dont own even fraction of that company. no kenyan does.

Be that as it may, i keep wondering why pple keep saying that when everready lists sameer africa share will go up. sameer africa does not own everready. i am aware that its sameer group which has shares in the battery manufacturer. Sameer Africa deals in tyres both imported and localy made. Sameer group is the holding company of Merali and there are many other companies under that banner including celtel. and by the way what is this about everready wanting to do and IPO and at the same time thinking of relocating to egypt. so they want to take our money and invest it elsewhere?

Meanwhile about 3000 Railways employees are about to face the sack as the transporter starts a new era. the employees are set to vacate the houses in 3 months time. i wonder what KR or RVR will do with the houses and the vast land they have. in fact i think RVR will have a lot or real estate to use or disuse. but i think their greatest asset may just be their history. the history of kenya and that of the railway are intertwined in fact for some of us we knew the only way to get to nairobi was by train since it was a very far off land. that added to the mystery of the cold heaven called Nairobi since pple going there could only go at night. apart from that they had loads and loads of stories to tell when they were back about their adventures in the train. i may be wrong but i think every kenyan has a relative or is close to someone who once worked for either KR or EARH

Odegle tip of the day -- if you are too faint hearted for the rollercoaster of the equities market, try out the relative comfort ride in the bonds and papers market

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wangari Maathai and the Stock Market

Its official. Wangari Maathai can help you beat the stock market! Well Wangari Maathai has never been known to be a stock market enthusiast. in fact now that she is in government of national unity she appears to in unfamiliar grounds. even her nobel prize was not feted much. but i digress.

a friend of mine has just told me how the great lady can help you beat the NSE fair and square. here is the deal. you get a piece of land or plot or shamba as the case may be. in a remote area that would be about 200,000 for an acre. you then approach Green Belt movement for a certain breed of trees which take just between 3 to 5 years to mature. assume you get 100 seedlings at 50 bob a piece. thats an investment of 205,000 in total. after they take root the trees will manage themselves so no more investment is required and there are no operational costs also no broker fees! if you sell those 100 trees at the current price of 10,000 a piece you get a cool 1,000,000 bob in 5 years or less! no sweat, no broker and no speculators. on top of that the shamba shall have appreciated by say 50 % so your total worth at the end is 1.3 million. another peace prize for the lady please.

Meanwhile this years Nobel Peace Prize went instead to a benvolent investor. the man who lends as low as $50 to the poor with only peer pressure and good manners as his collateral! the mans success is 99% in his guinea pig country. Mr Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank's success is now being copied all over the world including Uganda. I thought equity was doing that too. hey give our guy credit too. but no equity is doing micro-banking but Yunus is doing micro-credit. i read that in the nation yesterday. Mr. Yunus says that his idea must not be tried by the faint hearted or the traditional bankers lest they die of worry and insomnia.

While that is happening, the project fame has been started proper. and yesterday saw the first 8 contestants sing their way into the house. i must say i was amazed by the talent i saw. i never thought we were that endowed. if you ask me all of them deserved to go in. the only difference was the choice of songs. those who chose nice and known songs easily made it. but i must say i cannot forget Renee and her rendition. but thats besides the point. what i find shocking or suprising is that this show which will be beamed to 90,000,000 viewers accross east africa and more elsewhere has attreacted very few advertisers. for instance non of the telcos are there, not celtel, not safaricom, not mtn or telkom kenya! i even thought the politician would use this marketers golden oportunity to market his presidential ambition. i suppose the show will be watched by over 60,000,000 youth in this vast market. millions will vote through sms and IVR. Well why am i complaining after all the winner stands to sell millions of copies of their songs. but the seasoned judge Ian Mbugua said the standard was not that good. well i understand the man who has done many fine things and many other fine plays. but these are ameuters (sic) who stand to be turned into millionaires in a matter of weeks. i hope some if not all or that money will find its way to the NSE.

Odegle tip of the day --Money can be made at the NSE. NO. A lot of money can be made at the NSE and a lot of money can also be lost at the NSE.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

another share split

So does it not begin to take shape? my earlier speculation that more shares would be picked, hyped and split? now ICDCI has annouced a share split to make the share affordable to the retail investors. there are strong rumours that the same is being planned for KPLC as well. what i dont agree with is that at 300 bob a share would be deemed expensive. i remember that eabl anouced the split when it was 500 and even then their split was 1:5. this one is 1:10 yet the price is only 300. and how come BBK has never found their share expensive enough to warrant a split? so now the time before the split is almost 3 months. what will happen this time? only speculation will tell.

and while that is happening the season of great give aways and promotions has just come. with yana giving a million, EABL with the merc, safaricom, coke you name it. its promotion galore. the festive season is being ushered in as traditionaly as it goes.

And what is that thing on KBC? the one where they encourage people to call and create words ? you are then required to guess some numbers and then voila ! you can win upto 100,000 /= i think thats not a promotion. its not even a lottery since these guys simply refuse to pick the calls waiting for as many people to call as posible since they are cahrging 50 bob above normal rates. then at the end that gril shouts hallo to one last caller. the girl keeps pretending that all along no one was calling. i dont see how this is different from pyramid schemes.

odegle tip of the day -- a put option gives the buyer the right but not the obligation to sell a certain number of shares at a set price in the agreed future. investors benefit from put options in case the share price goes down. i havent seen it in kenya though.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Marketing Kenya

I just read that the chairman of Kenya rugby association or whatever it is has submitted 'our' bid to host the next sevens world cup. they are competing with 7 other countries. the chairman complained that the government is not giving much thought towards supporting the bid. that they dont see the potential of what this can bring to the country in terms of tourism and boosting foreign exchange. Well that may be true. however i have been wondering; many people are complaining that the govt isnt doing much to market the country or to support most social activities and sports. i heard the KFF people complain, the organizer of miss kenya, volyball etc. they say that in other countries these disciplines are doing very well.

Well i think that if we are to wait for the govt to market and support these disciplines we will get no where. the issue lies with our marketers. i think sports pays well in western countries mostly because of marketers. they use sportsmen and women as their billboards and pay them hansomely. i therefore feel that the people who should be blamed are marketers for failing to see oportunity and exploit it to the advantage of both them and the sportsmen and women. they should be able to see how they will benefit if harambee stars becomes a household name or if more kenyans go out to watch rugby or volyball. or how they will benefit from the beauty shows and so on. in this regard the marketers are the ones who have failed and so i suggest that all our marketers whould be lined up and shot then we can get new herbal multi active marketers with powerform plus!

bloggers are suggesting that since there is a shortage of cement, the price of ARM, Bamburi and EAPC should go up immediately! and when thats happening manufactures are saying that the traders are hoarding cement. meanwhile Sudan and Rwanda has huge orders for the same commodity from the country.

Most people have a very simple question; buy or sell? most brokers have a very simple answer; buy or sell!

Wanted ; a broker with a fully functioning online trading. updated website and customer service.

odegle tip of the day -- selling short means selling borrowed shares now with a agreemnet to buy them later within a specified time. short sellers gain when the stock price comes down within that specified period. i have always wanted to be able to do this. however most brokers i have inquired from only tell me about borrowing money from CFC or cooperative bank against my shares. then they hold the shares as collateral. well that doesnt qualify as a short sale to me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Business of Death

For my MBA i wanted to do a paper on the Business of War. this was inspired by a report on the activities of CARE in North Eastern. the report was given very candidly by a field officer working there and who had also been to somalia and experieced first hand the attrocities visited on those people. but my paper was to dwell more on the business of CARE and others in their league as opposed to the war itself. however my paper could not be done since i didnt have the money to do it. the logisitcs were a nightmare. i had wanted to use southern sudan as my population but i did not want to use secondary data. Indeed war is big business and one time i will still want to do a paper on it.

however the other day i was brought home by my friend who is senior officer at AMREF about the business of Death. what goes on and why it cant stop. He started by saying that DDT will probably not see the light of day or it will be hugely opposed. reason? Malaria is big business! indeed he made me see the light. picture this; those nets that are normally distributed for free or at a subsidized rate are bought even before manufacture. every thing is paid for by 'donnors'. where will they take their businesses. think of the shareholders, the supply chain, the banks who lend the money etc. who will allow malaria to be eradicated? my friend even told me that most doctors and small clinics in nyanza and western and other malaria prone areas survive solely on malaria treatment. remove that disease and their business would go down by a massive 80%!

further he directed my attention to ARVs, manufacture, research, logistics, shipments etc. thats a whole industry that would collapse in fact the world economy would be greatly affected. so according to him HIV probably has a cure already but no one will accept it. since decision makers are making huge sums of money from it. i was made to remember margret as well. she who earned a fortune for chairing a task force on HIV. would she want the disease eradicated? how many are there out there like her? how about those millions of HIV/AIDS NGOs?

in fact those so called donnors are actualy clearing houses. they are not themselves owners of the money. so once such diseases are eradicated they too lose their raison d'etre.

i am reliably told that US used DDT to eradicate malaria (not very sure though) but they quickly realised that for their drug industries to survive, they needed the killer disease in africa and other developing nations. thank God they always had rulers in africa who did not think much of their people or who were not sharp enough to see beyond their noses. leaders who thought they would not only rule forever but also live forever!

indeed i was made to understand that in amref, all suppliers must be american or you lose your job. another shocking thing was that some american NGO give AID in form of corn which the beneficiaries have to sell themselves and turn into money to be used for their activities. wow!

what is most disheartening is that africa responds by sending some of their most brilliant sons to america to wash their behinds and do their dishes. infact they willingly invest millions of dollars in this excercise of self enslavement.

apperently there is a lull of intitutional investor activity at the bourse and that is the reason for the share prices and volumes going down heavily in the near past. i would think that most people are preparing for the IPOs and the Mumias sale. another strong rumour is going on that express has won a tender to do all the logistics for EABL. this rumour has been there since last year. in fact another suggests that EABL removed 40% of their business from express. but express has refused to give people their bonuses almost 4 months down the line. is CMA alive or dead? I have read somewhere that midlands plans to sell their shares through private placement at 10/= . did i see that right? the par value is 5 and according to suntra the true value is 28 bob. would be a good deal in that case.

and when thats happening , mumias has won the tender to be the strategic partner in the TARDA sugar project. quite refreshing that a kenya company has shown both the teeth and muscle to do this instead of some western or eastern country. how many times will this happen before the govt decides that safaricom can be bought and run successfully by kenyans through the NSE?

small investors were serious about the Nisa i talked about some time back. in fact they held the first meeting last week. stock brokers be very afraid!

odegle tip of 3 days Private placement means that a firm does not offer the its shares to the general public (read retail investors) but rather to a few institutions and fund managers

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kosewe Success

yesterdays edition of Money matters brilliantly told us how Mr. Osewe famous for the kosewe dishes, has beaten the NSE. well am guessing he did. since we are told he started with less than a shilling some 30 years ago. today the man is a household name and he attracts not only kenyans with his ugali and witty humour but also tourists. in fact when a consultant came to our offices the other day and asked specifically for kenyan food, i couldnt think of a better place than ronalo foods. It was refreshing to see the man on telly and hear his story again. Am sure after yesterday, more kenyans will open 'osewe' dens all over the city and expect a return in a week. how about an IPO of ronalo foods? it would be oversubscribed!

Actually when money matters started i thought these were the kind of stories they were going to feature and not stories about how multinationals have made decisions abroad and imported to kenya. in another blog i suggested that but readers werent happy with me. I think Kenya stands a chance only if we keep getting kenyan solutions to kenyans circumstances

Elsewhere the bullish trend at the NSE is not relenting, even at this time when investors are taking profits and the prices are going down, volumes traded suggest that those who missed out earlier are taking stronger positions and holding on to them. in fact twice in a week the turnover hit or passed the 1Billion mark. the index is approaching the 5000 point from a low of about 2500 only 4 years ago this time not based on infaltion but real activity and increase in the number of invetors and speculators (i heard a politicaly correct name is traders)

some blog which believes that nothing good can come from 'Nazareth' has suggested that the liquidity at the NSE has nothing to do with the economy being good but rather that the money is from questionable sources. it in fact is money laundering by highly placed govt operatives. i almost belived him but then i thought about the other 'fundamentals' like increase of the number of investors, the cash ratio requirement of commercial banks, increased awareness, improved profitability in most sectors of the economy (sorry) and so and decided to continue investing at the NSE.

I loved how Murigu of Suntra said that the market LOVESspeculators!

Tribalism is a bad thing. no its a very very bad thing! and thats why during the good old presidents days our radio stations could not play 'tribal' songs. read songs in vernacular. i always wondered why we could play lingala and other southern african songs on national radio. we ended up promoting those cultures and upto now there are some zairois who live in kenya on music alone while our own artists live in squalor. another blog is going on and on about tribalism in kenya. but i love the way some enterprsing kenyans have taken advantage of tribalism to beat the NSE. i am thinking of royal media, kameme, KBC , panafric hotels and even carnivore. well thats not new since politicians have made money for a long time by simply using tribalism.

odegle tip of the day - great investors see oportunity in every situation.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mumias Sugar Company

i have just read a very favorable analysis on Mumias sugar. the author is however very modest and in the disclaimer said that his research should not be the only one used to make a decision to invest. i however think that to say the truth MSC is currently quite a good buy. the best thing to do at this time would be to accumulate as much as posible in order to make the most out of it.

Banks have reportedly decided to lower their interest rates in the midst excess liquidity in the market. some from a high of 21% to a low of 14%. however thats still not good enough. i also still feel that the moeny contimues to be risky given that it is financing consumption only. its time banks became more aggressive and gave more meaningful loans. for a middle income guy, i think the 1.3 million banks are toasting is kidogo. coz for a guy earning 150K monthly, i suppose he would do good things with say 2.5 to 3.5 millions. and of course given the laon is payable in 60 months.

odegle tip of the day - if you are young, you better take the risk and invest direclty in the stock market else once you grow too old you will have to be careful and probably only entrust your money to the care of fund managers

Friday, October 06, 2006

Value of Money

My friend who has been a bank manager in kenya is relocating. the guy has just hit a jackpot! he will be resigning his job which nets him a paltry 100K a month since he has already got a college admision in US. getting a visa wont be a problem since he has been working for a bank and knows his way around. in the US job oportunities will be many and he will literaly pick money from the trees. on my side we have made a brilliant arrangement to invest for him the extra change at the Nairobi Stock Exchange. i will definitely use some of the 'investor advice' available on the net for free. mainly from the blogs. after 5 years i think the guy can then come back and live in fabulous luxury all his life.

so now in the final quarter of the year 2006. the stocks are showing some laxity. the bull is getting tired and the bear may be lacking in the corner. but that may not entirely be true since our market slows down at this time when traders take profits. the new peak is often Dec. however this time it will be a little unpredictable given that the market is gearing for the Mumias sale and the Kenya Re IPO. some counters will definitely go down as investors sell to get money to invest in those two. the same happened just before kengen.

odegle tip of the day - contrarian investors normally buy undervalued stocks when everyone else is selling. they always do their homework thoroughly. most contrarians are never in a hurry

Get rich quick

A colleague in the office has just given me a presentation on a new fast effective and proven way out my misery and poverty. its a novel investment vehicle that works miracles to say the least. all i have to do is buy a form from him . the form costs 2500. i then sell 5 forms to 5 other people. who also do the same and so on. on every child form., my name moves up and i make 500 or so as i move. any way in short i end up earning about 4 million when i reach the apex. now 2500 is little moeny to invest so i figure i can just start with 10,000 that gives me 4 revenue streams and a pay day of about 18 million in the end which as he says i get to determine. so i can choose to get this end in 1 month. With such innovative and easy ways to make money who needs the stock market?

you and your money - a common saying in the work circles suggests that for you to have job security, you must be cheap. the firm must have a feeling that they are getting more than they bargained for. meaning that you must be earning less than what you are worth. i met this old guy smtime back and he said a similar thing when it comes to personal finances. he was quite elderly but he appeared too happy to be real. but he said his secret has always been having financial security at all times even after retirement. how did he do that? He lived below his means. that means that he always had more than he needed at any given time. he drove a practical car, wore relevant clothes, never borrowed for consumption etc. now that is something the credit card companies would not want to hear. they want you to live beyond your means for that is what keeps them in business!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oil Oil Oil!

it can easily be said that in todays world oil is the most death provoking substance known to man. apart from the business wars between the oil magnates of US (read Bush) and those of the oil rich east, many people have died in zimbabwe, nigeria and the like due to lack of transportation etc. basicaly oil shortage. oil long overcame gold as a reason for men to pick a querrel. planners have however argued that in the near future wars will not be about oil or gold or such things nice but just about water and water sources. but i digress

yesterday, the good minister said that he was watching the oil cartels to see if they will reduce the pump prices now that the crude oil has come down. well i dont expect them to drop. not when Bush is still the prefect of the world. I think bush's leadership is a case of a huge conflict of interest but that is another story. i suppose that kenya can only be protected from the crude oil price movements if we adopted what most countries do. 1. have a good backup of oil. good reserves. its important to have reserves that can last at least 5 years. this way we could delay the effects of sudden price surges. i get embarrassed to see pump prices go up just because of a standoff between bush and his business patners (read terrorists). we cannot afford in kenya to be that reactive. its good to be planned, to anticipate and be ready.

2. the other way is to 'divest' from oil like brazil and south africa are doing. reduce our dependence as much as we can. in kenya even some of our elec is generated using oil products.

I hope this time the south africans will have both the gut and the money to take over the railways system they won. i hope there will be no more postponment. the solution to our road transport system lies in railway trasport system. it will help remove those heavy trucks from the road and ease the preasure. congestion should be dealt with as well as incessant road patches. i also cant wait to enjoy soft confortable and secure rides around kenya not forgeting enjoying the breathtaking scenary. problem is southern african countries always fail in kenya.

what did you feel when the minister announced that KPLC will continue to pay the low tarrif for power from kengen. is that really good for biashara? so KPLC can be as inefficient as they want since they are protected by the govt and are allowed to buy cheap and sell dearly? but does anyone else see the hand of trancentury in all this? after all they are the current 'owners' of KPLC as well as the ones running the govt? in fact there is a very strong rumour out they that KPLC is being fast tracked for a split. that explains the price surges in the recent past. transcentury have a history of hyping stocks for a split. (EAC) whether there was good stead or not. by the way, KPLC is the major customer of EAC. KPLC buys from kengen. trancentury owns EAC and KPLC and by politics kengen . do the math. if you a speculator and need to tripple your money fast. buy KPLC while stocks last!

odegle tip of the day -- sheep are those investors who do not know where they are going or what they are doing. they rely on others to give them direction and tell them what /when to buy/sell. they never make their own decisions.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bank Charges

yesterday i got a shock from CFC bank. on checking my current account , i found they had deducted close to 3K. they explanation; 1. they cahrge 500 if the account goes below 10K,2. they charge 500 maintenance, 3 . they have 1K penalty incase it goes below 0! how about the other 1K? i dont know and they couldnt explain. well those things were not told to me when the account was being sold to me. in fact i didnt know that a current account is expected to have a minimum balance! i have current accounts with std and bbk and they dont have a minimum balance. i thought a current account is a business acnt so how is it expected to have a minimum balance. beats me. and the so they deducted their charges and that sent to acount to below 0. then they conviniently charged 1k since they had made it go below 0 how nice!

while that was happening, some guys from NIC came to us with a proposal for our club . 1. no minimum balance 2. no charges whatsoever only the individual checks to members to be charged at 75 bob per transaction 3. debit software so we can directly debit members acnts instead of using checks etc. the two banks operate in the same kenya country

another conference opened in nairobi. this time for cooperatives. the minister who is also the VP said -as expected- that saccos suffer from mismanagement since they have no set standards. thats sounds cliche. i alsways feel that our leaders dont talk to us. i always feel like they recite to us.

saccos are good but i think its almost a kenyan thing that most pple who go for elective office do not even have an agenda. they get elected sacco bosses but they have nothing in their mind that they want to do with that office. invariably they get corrupt since in kenya where you work is where you eat!

i met a salesman from one of the leading stock brokers houses. he said they have a fund similar in fact to zimele. its called secumat. it looks like secumat is the second leading shareholder of EAC. with secumat he said, you just pay 250K entry fees, then they invest your money for you at their descretion. he promised that you would get all the money they make. i didnt believe him. but at least he hinted that they are aware that EAC is an empty drum and that they enjoyed the hype and money they made with the split.

Odegle tip of the day -- when people are buying and buying and buying be afraid. be very afraid!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nairobi trade fair

Yesterday monday i was invited to go and judge the exhibitions at the Nairobi trade fair. we were a number of judges and the theme was ; "Empowering people through growth in agribusiness" quite a mouthful. Well as expected most stands were not ready and when going in you could still hear the hammers and smell the paint. the theme was a little off if you ask me and for their part the american govt stand had seeds! the juakali stand was full of clothes (does jua kali only mean clothes?) however there was also a 'mural' of 'banana' leaders against a background of bananas. great talent wasted in worshiping politicians. However the juakali stand also had a very inovative
well-drill. the man said he can drill upto 500 feet and 6 inches wide. the machine cost only 750,000. the other commercial drillers charge upwards of 1million just to drill.

the other stands were prety much the same story, same exhibitors, same color. in fact most of the paitings were being hang from the nail holes of yesteryear.
I saw in the catlle stand a dairy cow going for 65,000. the attendant said the said cow was heavy with child and once it gave birth, it would give upwards of 40 litres of milk a day. if you sell that at 20 bob a litre, then you could beat the stock market any time!

the prisons band played a rendition of Tony Nyadundo's hit song 'Sanda gi Hera'. they made some very lovely formations. is this band commercial, or is it only wasted on politicians? going by their creativity, am sure they can make some tidy sums of money if they went commercial. played jazz etc.

if you look at it though, the show was generally low quality, i kept on wondering what the target audience was. for a fair which has existed for 86 years, i was expecting some spectacular stands, exhibitions and shows. i think sarit centre has stollen all the thunder from this ground and since at sarit the quality is very high, i suppose most firms are opting for maximum returns by going for the sarit shows or the ones at KICC. in fact some judges suggested that the ASK should be sold at the nairobi stock exchange now that there IPO is the bizzword.

in a number of blogs, pple are debating whether to buy MSC now, or wait for the govt to sell at a discount. some advisors are telling pple to sell what you have now, then wait to buy from the govt when they sell the extra 18% at a discount. another told people that Mumias cannot fulfill their EU quota for sugar hence is a bad buy. yet another is telling people to sell because the price is droping etc.

what i know is given the restructuring, the venture into alcohol, th generation of electricity (34 MW) and the selling of their kyoto quota to japan, the low price, Mumias is the company of the moment.

Odegle tip of the day -- I have learnt that before deciding on the firm to buy, find out whether you truly understand their business, their management style, their goals, their ownership , their industry, thier future, their competition. if all that is acceptable to you. then its safe to invest.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

results galore

Unga has just released their perenial bad results. i really dont understand how come against a background of a booming economy, this miller keeps on returning such pathetic results. what will happen to it when we face a downturn?

and KPLC after co much hype, the price rallying at 280 and a number of people shouting split! split! returned disappointing results and the price plunged a massive 50 bob! what i dont understand is how come KPLC being a private company still operates like a political tool? am told in some parts of this country , one pole is 50,000 bob so if getting elec to your area needs 4 poles then you require about 300K some money are for the transformer and a deposit. how can such a firm be successful? it reminds one of safaricom before the relaunch when it was costing 250,000 to buy a line yet this to the firm is an asset from which they are going to derive future benefits. why cant they role out their network more and get more pple and lower costs. how come nobody gets the drift. safaricom is not successful because of high costs. its coz of high numbers. the opportunities are huge, the willpower ... well.

I have been reading a number of blogs and posts in certain sites which offer 'investor advice'. On one site, this master advisor is telling people to buy sameer africa now since they are about to list 'eveready' . according to him/her when eveready is listed, the price of sameer will go up very fast since the ipo will be oversubscribed! on another site they said you should kplc because the price went up by 20 bob and so on.

tip of the day i just learnt that if anyone knows how to double money in a week, he would not tell you unless the money is in fake notes!