Thursday, November 30, 2006

In praise of the Blogsphere

I got into this 'mess' after reading Onyango obbo one fateful thursday last august. Mr. Obbo is a favorite columnist whom i wait for the way i wait for clay court every friday. after reading a few interesting posts, i said to myselft, who am i to ignore this great media to hear and be heard! well now it has only been 3 months really and since am proud to be kenyan ( i think kenyans are the best people every created) i read only blogs by kenyans; be they in the diaspora (where is that) or back home enjoying good food and decent weather. what has amazed me is the quality of the posts on these blogs. before i started blogging and reading blogs, i knew i could hold a slightly lenthy intelectual conversation on investments, finance, IT, family life, art, culture , life in kenya etc. but right now, i get to read deep articles on a variety of topics like international trade and politics, successsion , Raila Odinga, mergers and acquisitions, art culture , life i the US, SA, europe and even nigeria. all great experiences of the great sons and daughters of Kenya! I must say am greatly fulfilled. some bloggers have double or tripple suprised me at their grasp of whatever topic comes up. they give very intelligent comments on virtually any topic , they are well versed and passionate. i dont know how they do that. but i know they make me more proud to be associated with them

others however are perched safely in some foreign civilization, from where they ride on the hard work of those guys and hurl insults at our beauty in the sun (lately beauty in the flood!) nay beauty in the rain sounds better. some have said that we need to sort out the mess before they can come back to kenya. however i dont think thats a good idea. kaeni huko huko tuuu!

in fact in this blogsphere i even met long lost guys like cartoonist gathara, who happens to be an alumnus of the same chep where i also went. gathara was my favorite cartoonist . i wonder why he disappeared from 'nation'. his cartoons are a refreshing break from Maddo's cartoons since he is unique, (maddo has been in my life since i was in primary school. a great artist by any standards) by the way i also learnt on the blog that they are called caricatures and not cartoons!

another guy i met is a mr. otieno who knows more english than the queen of england, thank God he has not 'edited' my blog yet. if he strays onto this one he will collapse since the gramer and speling are patheticq.

However i discovered through the blog that the favorite topic of all kenyans criticizing their beloved country since they want it to be sublime! this love is amazing

i met this guy ( a kenyan) who told me he had a really difficult life growing up in a third world . he said that he will not allow his kids to be brought up in a third world country. he is determined to see that. he is also not leaving Kenya!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Best Employers

The fortune magazine prides itself in being able to provide information on the best employers in the world at any given point in time. i think they mostly look at the working enviironment, cooporate culture, pay etc. i have never seen any kenyan firm feature in these global things. however the other day i went to what i think must be the best employer. i was queuing outside the cashier offices at the university of nairobi. i had been sent by a friend to pay some money for her. she was required to retake an exam since the university had lost her results but thats another story.

ok so am waiting on the line to deposit the banking slip for the 500 bob retake fees. then as i was about to be served, yes i was the person at the window and no there was no one behind me, the clock struck 1PM and the cashier closed for lunch! he told me, nay he threw at me words to the effect that i come back after lunch. my pleas that i was the last in the queue and that it was just 500 /= banking slip fell on deaf ears. he closed everything. now i guess that guy works for the best employer in the world. if i try to pull such a stunt where am currently being overworked and underpaid like everyone else, i would pay with my skin.

that was happening after i had to plead with the watchman to allow me park inside the compound since i was a visitor and coming to pay money. he said i needed a sticker but if i had 'kitu ya kukula' he could allow me in. i promised to give 'kitu ya kukula' on my way out. he was dumb enough to trust me with that. and talking of watchmen and parking lots, its happening a lot. the other day i saw these guys roll stones or put barriers onto empty parking lots so that you cannot park. they only allow you after you give them kitu ya kukula. on top of that most of the empty slots are reserved for CEOs, Managers etc so its your problem as a customer to find your parking so that you can come and give us your money. how is that for customer care? after all the rider in the premisses reads "the customer comes first" isnt that enough? anyway providing parking places in the city is probably the easiest way to beat the stock split gains at the NSE. (you need to pay for that business idea)

otherwise, you can accumulate more mumias sugar shares, this time i have reliable information from a broker who is close to trancentury (those guys are in turn close to kimunya, and by extension Kibaki) the info says that the offload will be based on application like an IPO. the price is 49.50 and minimum is 500 shares. this info is actually not new since its on ther sites as well. how will investors react? wait to buy at 50 bob? maybe not since there will be oversupscription. what i wonder is how they plan to increase the share capital without a split or a rights issue. but based on what has happned in the past, they can simply drive the price north at 400Km/H then split it once it reaches 200 bob. again when the new shares start trading, there is nothing stopping them from shooting the price to 400 like in the case of city trust. however that is speculative and since i have failed more than once as a speculator, do not invest based on that. just invest based on the fact that MSC is going to be one of the best companies in kenya. (already its in the top ten club by capitalization)

elsewhere , KPLC shares seem to be out of stock even though the price is dipping! someone knows more than the rest of us. instead its jubilee and nation that are skyrocketing. a haven for speculators.

I wonder whether EAC share holders are enjoying their gravitational free fall

how will the festive season affect the NSE this year, i expect it to be different given the hightened activity. most pple who want to make moeny will somply refuse to close shop!

odegle tip of the day -- capital gains should not the only reason to invest, also passion and corporate social responsibilty

Monday, November 27, 2006

discounts , loyalty et al

nakumatt supermarket initialy got me hooked to their stores mainly because of the professionalism, the cleanness of the shelves, the availability of the products etc. that was when uchumi guys were literal bitting the hand that fed them by shoplifting their own shop. well nakumatt went a step further and introduced the loyalty card. i could get points whenever and wherever i shoped. very sweet. to me it became a passion, i could see my points grow and that felt like seeing my savings increase. on top of that it shows me how much i have spent on nakumatt the whole year. i just multiply my points by 100. it sometimes depresses me but mostly it just gives me an easy way to account for my money. apart from that, i have used the points before to buy shoes for my kids from bata, buy myself some clothes etc. in short that loyalty program of nakumatt is so important to me that i look forward to shoping there just to earn points! well you can therefore imagine my frustration after doing my largest shoping yesterday and being told that my card is blocked and so i dont get to earn my points! why is it blocked in the first place? they told me its coz i reported it lost. well of course i didnt have a comment for that. how can i not know when i report my card lost?! since i got mad, i was sent to the card supervisor. invariably he also told me that i must have reported my card lost! and he added that the card guys dont work on weekends so that card can only be sorted on wednesday. how convinient, weekends is when they have the highest traffic and they conviniently close shop and put their legs up! anyway their service and shelf status is still good.

does anyone know when and how mumias will be offloaded. dont you just envy those dyer and blair guys , they are the fifa, the referee and a player! either way things are looking up. what i fear is that if the govt decides to give 20% of the shares to farmers, then the price will be depressed until all of them are mopped up by other private guys. last time farmers sold their shares at 2 bob, the price was down until the excess shares at that low price were all taken up. i cant help but see history taking a troden path.

what of the roads thing, will the govt remove fuel levy once they privatise those? otherwise using cars will be a nightmare. however if those private owners start by making some great roads or improving on the ones we have then it will be ok since a lot of savings will be got from efficiency.

and talking about roads, i took the kangundo road last friday evening and met 3 seperate accidents, some fatal. what suprised me about that road is that its does not have potholes, but its horibly uneven. why would someone want to do a job like that? is it because he is african or because the west is unfair to us or simply because he or she does have self respect and self discipline? secondly i think its time we started making dual carriage all through. i suppose it will ease congestion and also reduce accident cases especially after the friday binge

however i am proud to be kenyan! especially after reading philip ochiengs column yesterday tillted "Maathai mara" it was a masterpiece to say the least

odegle nyang tip of the day
-- investing in mutual funds literaly means having someone decide on how to share your returns with you

Saturday, November 25, 2006

of Southerners and franchises

yesterday i made a mistake of phenomenal propotions. well i may be going too hard on myself. i walked into a steers shop and quickly ordered one dinner box and milkshake (i have been warned before that milkshake, especially strawberry is feminine. the world hates us!) well i was pleasantly suprised that they serve people these days. so i went and sat down to wait for my order. just when they brought the 'dish' i remembered my oath once of never to touch chicken from steers ever again! for one the thing had too much make up (you could think it was bread crumbs coated in chicken) secondly, the little chicken on it was looking like it had been dead for at least two years. i have known this before and i couldnt help cursing. you see i had gone into steers coz i was starving after a full day struggling with parastatal bureacrasy and incompetence. in the end they won as they always do but that is a story for another day. back to steers i kept on struggling with the bread crumbs and milkshake. at least their shake never disappoints. am told that the steers franchises import every thing including drinking straws from south africa! the only think kenyan is probably the customers. no wonder the food is so bad, but that also amazed me since i used to crave for this very food when i was younger. in fact i would bring my date to the joint for a quick bite to show how capable and loving i was. steers used to taste great! oh what age does to people!

and that happened after i had come face to face with the fastest growing and indeed the mainstay of the kenyan and world economies - small and microenterprises. (however by definition of standchart an SME should be having at least 4 million working capital ) what shocked me about these SMEs was the number of brokers hovering around their corridors! i wanted to hard cover bind a book. in the end i met hundreds of pple who could 'do' it but who could not even tell me how long it would take. the price ranged from 40 /= to 1000 /= per book. i walked until my feet hurt and finaly got some young suave gentlman i could trust. he offred to do it in 2 hours at 200 /= since he does it himself i left him with the stuff. it was when i went back to collect them that i discovered that he was also a broker! in the end i never met one person who actualy does the job.

it reminds me when i used to trade in fish sometime when i was a second year. i could buy the fish for 15/= to supply hotels in mombasa. what i remember is that i could not buy the fish from the owner. there was always an agent who sold to me the fish. in fact i cannot tell how much the fish used to cost from the fisherman but between me and the fisherman there were --believe it or not -- 4 other people! With all these brokers , who is working?

but i think brokers arent bad even though the stock brokers are fleecing us left right and center if the stories in the blogs are anything to go by. i think distributors , wholesellers , retailers and indeed everybody in the supply chain are indeed brokers isnt it?

I wonder how the eveready OFS concluded. by Thursday less than 50 % were taken and there was faint optimism that it would pick up on friday like before. but remmber that happned because of institutional interest. if that is not there then it would not work. however, i dont expect these guys to annouce an undersupscrition even if its there, they are crafty enough to simply buy it all and write it off after all they are just selling their shares and not really looking for new money.

but mumias has started rising in anticipation, and nation shows great potential given the split euphoria and its current price

odegle tip of the day -- there is no point chasing bad money with good money. if its a bad investment just get out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mumias at the door thumbs down eveready

just like men (and women) can tell the signs of the times from the falling of leaves from trees, mumias sale seems close by as adverts flood the media like the rain at the coast! strategic targeted advertising to whet our appetite. however am yet to see anyone going the route kengen went. people only talk about the overwhelming interest in kengen yet they forget to give credit to the advertising company. there were billboards all over and every little media space told you about it. Kiss fm even ran a show where the MD was present and people won share holding in the energy firm. if mumias goes this route probably hell will break lose and those queues will visit our streets again. as for eveready, am told only a few brokers like nyaga are having those long qs. however most brokers are not enthusiatic and have sort of discouraged their clients all together. this is not new since bloggers have been drumming this over and over that the sale is not an ipo but a dump. again it should be noted that the material gain that happens after the ipo is due to post ipo interest and not necesarily oversupscription

and as that goes on, the revelations on safaricom have raised more questions than answers. the worse part is where the govt tries to convince pple that they did not know. What! how can you not know your partner when you are the one with the bigger shareholding. give me another joke. and by the way, these revelations have come since safaricom has raised a lot of interest. how much dont we know of other firms which dont raise as much interest. and is it true that the govt owns 60%?

but the other counters that were predicted to go down at this time instead are going up. the likes of sameer and co. december is however a very tricky month with both optimism and festivity. traders and investors behave in a disjointed manner with no traceable patterns.

Odegle Tip of the day -- focus and time helps ants build those masterpieces!

Friday, November 17, 2006

is corruption african?

aftre ghana lost to brazil in the last world cup, i heard one lady comment that she was so frustrated for being an african since everywhere she looked africans proved to be perenial under achievers. i felt sorry for her but knew in my heart that that was not true. in the same breadth another person claimed that africans are geneticaly corrupt. and true that felt unconfortable though i know i abhore the practise. but lately , like that lady every where i look i meet corruption, my former classmates are going places and puting up palatial houses driving guzzlers etc because they are openly corrupt.

this last week, has been worse, i honestly had a lot of respect for Saitoti all along, i think he has been a very good inspiration as far as leadership is concerned. i did not think he would take back his position. in other countries, ppple resign just because of suspicion. meaning when you are in high office, there should be no doubt about your character. i thought prof would feel the same and keep out of cabinet. i respected mwiraria more for refusing to wait to be sacked and resigning. if he does not get back i will be happy that at least i have someone to hold as a role model.

but when i was thinking about that i get this long email from the GM of the marketing society of kenya of which am a member, she has several allegations against the cahirman who had earlier demoted her with neither warning, nor notice. the allegations were damaging to say the least and it reminded me of mutua and the association of journalists. i dismissed them as last kicks of a demoted GM. however this morning i have just recieved an equally long list of fresh allegations from a member of the society who is pissed off by what he calls grand corruption at the society. one among them was that when we went for the jugding at the ASK show we were supposed to be paid 5K each, well we were about 160 and i didnt even know that we were paid. even the friends i made there dont know that we were paid 5K each. yet it was reported that way! the other funny one is that he gave his friend 20% commision to market and sell gala and dinner tickets yet the function is always over subscribed, pple come for it so no need to even market it leave alone give commisions
and many others. when he was introducing us, that same chairman said that as judges we must be above board and not have even a slight rumour of suspicion to corruption. well .

and this is happening after an embarassing show of dirty linen between the KFF chair and a mister Philip who was heading a parallel league.

yet the west is not done with me and today they released a list of personal development and as expected africa is holding the bottom of the pack. what i found supprising is that Uganda is placed ahead of my beloved kenya. that i dont agree with or i hate to agree with.

but if what bloggers are saying is anything to go by, poor and weak africans will soon die and the continent can remain for strong rich people who can afford life after its privatised.
that will probably happen after mumias has been fully sold and has acquired other inept millers.

elsewhere safaricom is set to enter the NSE, safaricom employees have been assured a generous cut of the pie . others who will benefit before the rahia are the dealers who are also called business partners. Safaricom will surely be a great motivator of the market.

other debates are suggesting that come next year, the nse may be challened by change of guard, of course no one would want that but again investors may be wary of what happens if Kiabki wins, the man is heading into his eighties and its not a very good feeling. one wonders what would happen when we have kibaki at 80! would the economic tempo hold? the memory we have when he was taken ill at the begining of his term is not very comforting.

odegle tip of the day -- oversupscription alone does not gaurantee post IPO capital gains rather its sustained post-listing interest in the stock that makes IPOers gain.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

benefits of war

Standard Chartered has started showing the positive signs of war, by introducing for the first time, a grace period with the personal loans. however they are still cautious and will only offer a maximum of at 1.3 million payable in 4 years. BBK already offers the same amount for 5 years. what i think is that those who can afford these loans would probably need more for meaningful projects like say 3 million. lets hope for more compe, soon we will have our cake and eat it too like in china where banks are being induced to raise their interest rates. in kenya the fear is that since our MPs did what they are best at and voted with their tummies against the finance bills, interest rates will go up as the govt is forced to borrow from the market. this will also divert most money from the equities and slow down our millionairisation!

on the millionaire thing, a debate is raging ragarding one MP's comments on the NSE, drugs, and laundry. every investor worth his salt has thrown an insult or 2 at the MP and even threatened dire consequesnces for his irresponsible remarks

but the NSE doesnt seem to care, its only seems hell bent on punishing those pigs who rushed in to cash out on EAC, ICDC, olympia and the likes. EAC has seen its share plumate to a low of 40s meaning that in real terms it has gone down from 1000 just a few months ago, (2 months to be precise) to the low region of 400s. while olympia lost almost 50% in about a week. when thats happening, innocent city trust investors may be left with highly priced jewels that they cannot sell.

this is what happens in a real market. you meet crooks and saints, cops and robbers. in ours, there are no cops. or the cops are the robbers. you are on your own so be extra careful and enjoy the bull.

meanwhile mumias keeps on smilling at me and showing her great beauty. well am alraedy hooked. KQ on the other hand has been quite docile yet we all know that given its financial statistics, its probably one of the best buys. others you will never go wrong with are BBK, EABL, BAT , BAMBURI etc

odegle tip of the day -- Warren says you must invest in a business which is so sure of success even a fool can run it since soon a fool will run it. well i agree with him, but only if you are too old to take risks or are hopelessly risk averse.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Up for Grabs

going by what the minister said yesterday, one would be forgiven to think that the country was up for grabs , literaly. after selling rights to the railway for at least 25 years, the minister is proposing concessioning the road network. meaning that private business men will be allowed to man the roads and charge tolls. this is after the govt has taken almost 50% from the price of a litre of fuel as road maintenance levy. on top of that the govt will sell more kengen, kplc, mumias, kenya re , telkom, safaricom, nairobi city council, KRA, KPA, pipeline , Kenyatta national hospital etc. the country is on auction. at this rate i guess even the administration of the republic will be auctioned. it sends me to the fundamentals, what is the duty of the govt?

one would then starting going to things like provision of security, infrastructure, health services,leadership etc. in short govts are social service providers. it started with commercialization of abolution blocks in the city, then water services, then health and the list went on, now when roads become private property, then we could as well wind up the nation and go private, problem is the weak will become weaker and die. but then darwin will only be too happy in his grave!

elsewhere, brokers have adamantly refused to move with the times, my brokers website has been under construction for ages, they have one email account which they told me they 'download' every morning but my email orders dont get actioned, the fax line doesnt go through and the phones are unanswered. the funny part is that they have employed very able suppport staff and when you go to the office personlly you get very good service and your orders are done almost immediately. so that keeps me going there just the same way you go to the same barber who has nice stories and good workmanship but pathetic barber shop!

eveready is on but i just dont feel it (thats teenspeak) i dont know whether it feels me but things dont seem right, owners are dumping it. strong guys like icdc and merali . why? dont know but battery manufacture may not have a very good future, its time for paradigm shift but these guys havent said anything like that. however the kenyan public will gain since its cast on stone that IPOs will be oversubscribed. another offer is for family finance, if i had an account there, i would have taken that. otherwise, kenya re and mumias are far much better. however going by the direction of the nse index, guys are liquidating the buy eveready.

odegle tip of the day -- in a perfect market, there are no transaction costs, no taxes, no commisions and no secrets. everybody has the same information and so on. in short a perfect market is utopia.

Friday, November 10, 2006

splits, ipos, bonuses, et all

the market is behaving! i think thats the word. in fact pple in most sites are not asking about company performance, or management style or even industry prospects but rather whether the share will be split in the near future or whether there is a new IPO. others i hear even plan to open an account with family finance in order to be able to buy their shares at first offer. and the directors are all singing encores. splits and bonuses are the order of the day and we are all happy.

even BBK yielded and tried to go the EABL way by being a little mean and doing 1 for 3 and 5 split instead of the 10 that would be more lucrative to speculators. that would mean that if the barclays trades at 600 at the time of the split it would be 120 which is not that 'cheap' anyway. however now eyes are on nation, kplc, jubilee etc since they are too expensive for the poor kenyans.

i have cautioned before and i will do it again, i think there could be money laundering of sorts in the NSE or pple are raising campaign money from legitimate sources such as pension funds by hype and splits. splits make your gains kinda permanent. eg, even if EAC were to go down to 40 bob the real cost would still be 400 bob. still better than the 28 it was a few years ago. to be safe therefore i think retail and even institutional investors need to watch out only for firms with strong financial foundation and good management even though the gains would be low but at least there would be security of sorts. if citi trust is anything to go by, we may be approaching worse days. caution may just be the word.

next week eveready IPO starts, and from the short memory, we know that those things are normaly oversubscribed so most of us will rush there and expect to make quick cash and bolt. long memory however brings to mind sameer africa which traded above its ipo price for the first time this week, KQ which struggled for long, mumias etc. anything can happen in this market. so take care. bottom line its important to know the business and convince yourself that its the kind of business you want to do. is batteries your thing in this industry /country? do you agree with the strategy etc. sometimes it even helps to concentrate on one particular industry say energy and put all your efforts there and so on

odegle tip of the day -- its a folly to try and cash in at the last hour, most times you will burn your fingers and provide fodder to others

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Deja Vu

in the early days of african 'liberation' we had many cases of abuse of power, tribalism , despotism and all the negative isms that one could think of. in fact even though we were supposed to be celebrating, africans were mostly wallowing in untold suffering , torture, harrassment etc. all these vices were financed heavily by both the capitalists led by america and her alies and also the communists led by russia. actually the history is very well known. the OAU meetings became a fashion show of sorts as african heads turned themselves into demi gods. they had unlimited access to 'foreign aid' from all sorts of corners. the money came in forms of road support, hospitals , schools etc. all that lasted as long as the cold war and when it stopped the aid became a loan and africa became the most indebted continent in terms of gdp/debt ratio. the west started chasing their hitherto proteges for repayments, economic disciplines and what they called democracy. well we all know the history.

fast forward, china becomes a superpower in spite of the lack of 'democrasy' and now with all her population strength and all the money. they are turning a blind eye to anything negative and are only forcusing on what they will get. african heads have been meeting the leadership of china and many of them came with lots of goodies or promises of them. china is even supporting nations like zimbabwe and sudan! all they want are what remains of africa, and our tribaly elected leaders with little negotiation skills are swallowing hook line and sinker. they will soon die or retire and leave younger leaders with the burden.

If you ask me china is not a very good trade partner, they produce too much and that means that you cannot sell to them. their products have caused even industries in SA and USA to close since they are quite cheap. secondly these guys are many and many of them will want to settle in africa and fight with us for the meagre resources as well. right now the west does not care much about africa since they have other problems with the terorists, read oil lords.

Is there any information yet on Mumias? i was expecting something this week if the november date is to be kept.

Sameer will not relent even though i keeping going at them on an on. i guess they are just ignoring me. other rumours suggest that a south african is eyeying the pie. and sasini aparently is making 10 times more than it used to do before branding. good stuff. its interesting that most strong funds avoid these smaller counters and concentrate on time tested big rollers like the bamburi, the BAT and EABL of these world. if you are a long timer, then those are your best bet. in fact in the high circles BAT is rated best in terms of management, leadership and the like. by peers.

yet BAT remains at 190 for heaven knows how long! its guys like city trust who can jump a massive 400% for annoucing a dividend!

odegle tip of the day -- even bears make money but if you want all you lose all. pigs dont make any.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Wars

a reliable source tells me that last friday, celtel decided to parade all their cars including those in the zindua promotion and the mobile care center. a show of might, richess and beauty. they even had a long haul truck full of lovely girls zangalewa commedians and blaring music. nothing wrong with that apart from the fact that they did their parade in front of the safaricom headquaters. they stoped there for a while and seemed to be dancing for safaricom. well we know that zindua was copied from nguruma, we also know that safaricom not only controls the phone market but is also the best company in EA and C africa if profits is anything to go by. celtel made a personal record of 60 million in profits last year. they may do better this year or worse. however street fights is not my idea of competition, i thought they would make their wars more based on pricing , value add and customer service instead.

stronger rumours are now coming in that sameers metorioric rise is stage managed as bridgstone exits completely from the tyre firm. that would explain it since i know someone who has been trying to sell his shares and they have not gone yet volumes are constantly high and the price is going up. his shares have been on the market for quite a while now. as for sasini its thought that the bonus share offer is doing them good. at least now we know.

stockskenya has made what would arguably be the clossest one can get to an efficient market. on their fantasy market, you can buy shares at yesterdays market price, any volume, and be sure to get them. you can also sell at yesterdays pricea anytime you want!

meanwhile investors have given Mr. Gitahi a dream welcome as the price has continued to go up. however maybe the market is just showing its lack of interest as it has done with ministerial appointments and even the issues at central bank. this is what keeps pessimists wondering if the NSE is real.

Odegle tip of the day
-- for better growth of earnings, reinvest your dividends and try to keep your percentage of shareholding in the company, ie when there is a rights issue, exercise your rights and do not sell your bonus issues.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Bane of success

you never know about the downside of succes especially if it comes abruptly until you experience it. but what we are seeing in the NSE is exactly that. after the kengen IPO these guys have been so bombarded that they are failing to do just about every small thing that is expected of them. people are posting their own pricelists hours before they do and taking the credit, the website has not been updated with news and information for heaven knows how long and if you look at those of the brokers and investment banks you are left speechless. In fact the latter have been forced to recruit complete greenhorns and when you go to them, they may not even know how to extract your statements. its a sorry state. it reminds one of the days of congestion at safaricom after they execeeded their goals by over 1000% and recieved more subscribers than they had ever imagined. problem is the entry into the brokerage thing is prohibitive and elitist. so these guys are as safe as they can imagine.

Just wondering how the investors will react to the eveready IPO. will it really be oversubscribed? the thing that causes that is institutional investors. are there any of those who want to do the eveready business? if left entirely to retailers, then we may not see the repeat of kengen or scangroup. however scangroup was a very bad experience. tying money for so long only for you to be awarded 400 shares! worth 4000 bob! for speculators its ok but for the investors, Kenya RE and Mumias may be better bets.

banks great profits this year keep trickling in. the latest being KCB up 78%. KCB is a true testimony that one must not be judged on their past misdeeds. americans should know this. just the other day KCB was a no no. well now other things can be said. And even though i hate it, it appears that the sensational and screaming headlines of the east african standard is finaly paying dividends. the group has showed significant growth and profitability. on top of the bonus issue, they will be migrating to the main segment of trade early next year. at 68 bob a share, i suppose this would be one of the beauties of the election year. after all the only threat they have right now is 'muchuki' who may loose his fangs after elections next year. when it comes to news and analysis , KTN is head and shoulders above the rest. but i think the group should do something about their newspaper. it may just become a tabloid.

Meanwhile two merali firms are racing for skies and no one is saying why. a few people are throwing in better management, better profits and even the eveready IPO. most fund managers purposefully avoid merali, well why now. sameer has been having the hieghest turnover for 3 consecutive days each at improved prices. one investment advisor in a blog entry has suggested that its because of the surge in the number of tyres on our roads that has caused a dippinng share to turn around and sky rocket in one week!

i was comparing the prices of stocks between september and yesterday and the least i can say is that its nostaligic! EAC was 90 bob, icdc was 200 , sasini was 40, BBK 300 etc. just september. hindsight!

odegle tip of the day -- look before you leap, but for quick gains just leap. risk free life is a recipe for failure.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hats Off ... Mr. Kiboro

The sun has finaly set on the ilustrious career of one Mr. Wilfred Kiboro. obviously in a class of his own, Mr. Kiboro strode the media industry during good times and bad ones never forgeting to wear his trade mark smile and his ease demeanor. however i remember the man more for his campaigns to have the air waves liberalised at the time when the govt was afraid of every shaking bush and every mooing cow. they would promptly start investigations at the sign of ripples in the pond! indeed the govt at the time did not want to venture beyond the unknown. but Kiboro bravely campaigned and got his way. he presided over the massive increase of share holder wealth and increased the groups revenues from a low of 1 billion to 6 billion. that on top of expanding the media house to our neighbours and increasing its products. more than that we saw his active involvement in social responsibility based on the premise noblese oblige. you could almost touch the passion and concern in his words every time he spoke about social needs and how corporates should respond. All in all i will always miss his ease and the fact that he did not have that 'CEO' look or important feel about him. that smile was very reasuring as well. i hope soon we start getting presidents who can hand over power the way he has done.

For Linus Gitahi, a huge responsibility to maintain the momentum and exceed expectations. it will definitely be a daunting task. another area he may quickly need to look at is the rumour that nation media staff are poorly compensated with quite poor working conditions. the rumour about tribalism with only a certain tribe favoured with senior management postions would also need quick fixing in order to see nation stem the certain surge in standard groups popularity and hence profitability. Gitahi must resist any attempts to make this group a govt mouthpeice since that is a sure death trap. at the end we will wait and see tomorrow how investors react to mr. Gitahi's appointment.

Kudos Mr. Kiboro and i wish you success in your next assignment.

Spoiling for a Fight

fresh from annoucing jaw droping profits hitherto unheard of in the EA and C region, safaricom is rearing to go at the banks market by introducing at a large scale money transfer. Money trasfer in kenya is probably one of the most lucrative virgin markets in kenya today. during a conference on cooperatives we were made to understand that the matatus that ply nairobi - nakuru route in most cases ferry money. people and even drivesrs are ready to risk ferrying at times as much as 500,000 in this way. in fact even at Akamba bus, Easy coach etc, most of the percels are actually money disguised. after EMS speedpost and telegraphic money orders from posta collapsed, there was no other safe and fast way to send or recieve money. by introducing this service , safaricom will be transforming itslef into a mini bank with pple having mini accounts at the dealers.

Be that as it may, following the success of both Naikuni and Adan, Mr. Etemesi has been appointed the CEO os stanchart a hopelessly foreign bank. am told even decisions to upgrade PC software have to come from abroad! lets hope that with the localisation of the kenyan leadership, those employees will be able to apply their brains now and not be merely robots.

and before the rain stops, sameer shall probably have traded another 10 million shares at an improved price of probably 25 bob. What is going on! how come there is very little disclosure on listed firms in Kenya. would the intended cross listing cause it this much exitment really? the tyre manufacuter has gained more than 50% in the last one week.

odegle tip of the day -- strategise , strategise, strategise and stick to the strategy even when ICDCI is tripling its share price in a single day!