Capital Markets

NSE wants agency to speed up listing of State companies


Nairobi Securities Exchange chairman Kiprono Kittony. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) wants the now fully constituted privatisation agency to hit the ground running in the disposal of State-owned agencies through the sale of shares at the bourse.

In its latest bid to bring in new investors to the bourse amid a lack of major listing in the last six years, the NSE wants the beefed-up agency to fast-track its privatisation programme, which involves listing of State corporations.

“With the appointment of board members who have been missing for the last two years, the commission is now able to execute on its core mandate of identifying and preparing government assets for privatizations,” said NSE chairman Kiprono Kittony in the bourse operator’s latest annual report.

“This will help develop a robust pipeline of state enterprises which could be privatised or improved through private sector participation. This will enhance quality listings on the NSE and support us to enhance opportunities for investors.”

The NSE, which has also been pushing for a scale-down of government ownership in listed companies and an increase in additional shareholding, wants the commission to fast-track the listing process.

“Albeit the forthcoming elections, we believe the commission will start the development of this pipeline and facilitate its future growth,” said Mr Kittony.

The government in 2015 announced plans to sell shares in millers Nzoia, South Nyanza, Chemelil, Muhoroni and Miwani.

The privatisation commission said earlier it plans to sell 51 percent of each of the millers to strategic investors with a track record of managing sugar companies. But this has not materialised nearly seven years later. The planned sale of loss-making government-owned hotels has also stalled.

The privatisation agency has only managed to conclude a single deal — that is the Kenya Wine Agencies Limited in over a decade. The last successful privatisation by the government was the Safaricom initial public offering in 2008.

In October, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani appointed the members of the Privatization Commission ending years of wait for the sale of rundown state companies.

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