Treasury sets Sh5m as minimum commodities platform investment

The National Treasury building in Nairobi.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The National Treasury and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the founding shareholders of the Kenya National Multi Commodities Exchange Limited (Komex), have set Sh5 million as the minimum investment as they court new equity partners in the firm.

Komex is a private firm tasked with developing, operating and managing a demutualised exchange which includes an over-the-counter spot market for physical agricultural and non-agricultural commodities and a digital marketplace.

The firm is seeking at least Sh1.5 billion from private sector partners whose investments will be converted into equity shareholding as part of its operationalisation plan.

The government through the National Treasury has already provided Sh500 million for infrastructure support, covering one quarter of Komex’s authorised share capital of Sh2 billion.

Proceeds from the cash call are expected to push the exchange closer to full operations by supporting the installation of key trading infrastructure.

“The proceeds of capitalisation will be used for developing the commodities exchange technology and infrastructure, institutional supporting assets, investments in settlement guarantee fund, corporate and operational purposes, strategic investments, trade and investment financing, other expenditures and contingencies,” Komex indicated in an expression of interest brochure.

The Treasury is expected to hold 25 percent of the company by taking up some five million shares with local and foreign financial institutions and development financial institutions taking a similar stake in Komex.

Strategic partners, covering the sectors of technology and commodities will meanwhile take up a 30 percent stake represented by six million shares.

Agribusiness firms and producer cooperatives will take up a 10 percent stake while the balance of 10 percent or two million shares has been left open for taking by corporate and/or institutional investors.

The diversity in shareholding is expected to contribute to success of operations.

“Strategic and anchor investors will play a significant role in the success of the exchange, hence Komex targets to have a diverse private sector led shareholding structure with co-investment from government and private investors,” Komex added.

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