Capital Markets

Mumias share drops 3pc after Kebati suspension

Mumias Sugar share price slipped three per cent yesterday following news of suspension of the company’s two top officials to facilitate investigation into claims of dumping of sugar.

The stock traded at Sh3.30 per unit down on a volume of 800,300 shares from Sh3.40 a day earlier.

Managing director Peter Kebati and commercial director Paul Murgor were sent on a two- month leave to allow the board to audit the company’s sales and distribution network after 7,000 tonnes of cheap imported sugar were found at the company’s depot in Mombasa.

Members of the Committee on Agriculture, who found the consignment, demanded the sacking of the management. Previously, there have been claims of imported sugar being sold in the market wrapped in packages close to those of Mumias Sugar.

“The sugar industry over the years has remained a hot bed for both commercial and political intrigues given its over dependence on large number of small-scale sugarcane farmers, the government’s ownership of four millers and the overhung of expiry of Comesa import quotas,” noted Standard Investment Bank (SIB).

Other stocks that closed on a losing end included BAT, which closed its books for a Sh33.50 dividend last week Friday. The stock traded at Sh600 per unit down from Sh611 on Tuesday.

Investment firm TransCentury, which announced that it had sold its 34 per cent stake in Rift Valley Railways, gained nearly three per cent.

The security traded at an average Sh28.75. The stock was suspended for trade on Tuesday following announcements of the deal estimated at Sh5 billion.

“The long-term focus on TransCentury remains promising given the low electrification levels, infrastructural focus, as well as GDP growth drive across Sub-Sahara Africa,” said Old Mutual in a research note to investors.

There was no movement in the construction sector despite the government disclosing that it would issue an operating licence to Nigerian based Dangote Cement.

“In our view, identification and securing the right amount of limestone deposits will be the first key hurdle the new entrant will have to contend with,” said analysts at SIB.

Low activity in the banking segment and Safaricom counter resulted in little movement with the indicative 20 Share Index dropping by 26.4 points to close at 4933.60 points.