Safaricom finance chief doubles stake in telco

Safaricom Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sateesh
Safaricom Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sateesh Kamath. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sateesh Kamath bought 50,000 additional shares in the giant telco over the past year, sending him to the list of top-five highest shareholders with directorship positions.

Mr Kamath, who joined Safaricom in August 2016 after the resignation of John Tombleson, became the only director to increase his shareholding in the year ended March 31, 2018 during which the stock hit highs of Sh30.

The stake further lifted him above Susan Mudhune, a director who has maintained her stake at 51,200 shares. Mr Kamath’s 100,000 shares are now valued at about Sh2.8 million.

Safaricom says in the latest annual report that directors are allowed to trade in its shares, which are listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange #ticker:NSE .

“Directors can purchase or sell shares of the company in the open market,” says the telco that is 40 per cent owned by Vodafone Kenya Limited.

Chief executive officer Bob Collymore has the highest shareholding on the board (1,518,600 shares) followed by former CEO Michael Joseph with 1,178,600 shares. Chairman Nicholas Nganga holds 855,100 shares while Esther Koimett, a director, has 517,600 shares.

However, none of the directors as at the end of financial year ended March 2018 held shares in their individual capacity of more than one per cent of the company’s total equity.

The company says that it has a policy on insider trading to ensure that directors and staff do not to trade in the company’s shares while in possession of any information that is not available to the public.

“To ensure compliance with the Companies Act, 2015 the Company communicates 'open' and 'closed' periods for trading in its shares to its employees and directors on an annual basis,” says the telco.