Safaricom finance chief sells Sh24m shares

Safaricom chief financial officer John Tombleson. PHOTO | FILE
Safaricom chief financial officer John Tombleson. PHOTO | FILE 

Safaricom’s chief financial officer (CFO) John Tombleson has traded 1.6 million shares of the telecoms operator worth Sh24 million, cashing in on the firm’s share price rally on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Mr Tombleson did not feature in the list of Safaricom directors’ shareholding as disclosed in the latest annual report, indicating that he either sold or transferred his interests to other parties.

The CFO first bought into the telco in the year ended March 2013 when he acquired 600,000 shares alongside the CEO Bob Collymore who had bought a cumulative 600,000 shares.

Mr Tombleson later raised his ownership to 1.6 million shares last year before trading them in recent months when the firm’s shares had rallied significantly from their 2012 levels.

Mr Collymore also bought additional shares to reach a total of 908,000 shares to rank as the director with the second highest number of shares after Michael Joseph who has 2.3 million shares.

The share price has gained more than five-fold from an average of Sh3.3 in April 2012 to hit an all-time high of Sh16.75 in April this year.

The stock has receded slightly since then to close at Sh15 on Friday, still offering a profitable exit to investors including those who bought at the 2008 initial public offering (IPO) price of Sh5.

While executives sell stocks in their own companies for personal reasons, the market usually interprets such moves to indicate that the shares may be overpriced.