Capital Markets

Kenya inks pact to allow energy firms cross list on London bourse

Traders from ETX Capital work in central London on June 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO | FILE
Traders from ETX Capital work in central London on June 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO | FILE  

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has signed an agreement with the London stock Exchange (LSE) that will allow Kenyan and British energy firms to cross list on the UK bourse and Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed yesterday in London by Energy secretary Charles Keter and LSE chief executive officer Nikhil Rathi will also make it easier for players in the local energy sector to raise funds through bond issues on the UK bourse.

It is the first such agreement between the LSE and the Kenya government.  

Kenya is moving towards commercial oil production, which will in the next few years involve the construction of capital intensive installations such as an oil pipeline to the Coast, handling and storage facilities as well as oil field infrastructure.

“We believe that this partnership will be able to help us mobilise the capital required to accelerate the pace of energy infrastructure development in Kenya,” said Mr Keter.

Kenyan energy firms such as KenGen #ticker:KEGN and Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC have been raising funds to finance increased power generation and grid improvement respectively.

The agreement will therefore give them an additional debt raising avenue, with the added advantage of lower interest rates in London.

There are 106 African companies listed for trading on the LSE, which is more than there are on any other international stock exchange.

British firms looking for a foothold in the Kenyan energy sector would also benefit from a cross listing.

Atlas Industries #ticker:ADSS is dual-listed on both the NSE #ticker:NSE and LSE, while Kakuzi #ticker:KUKZ and mining firm Base Resources are also listed in London.

Atlas though has fallen onto lean times after it lost a contract to provide upstream support services for British oil explorer Tullow Oil in the region.

The firm is currently suspended from trading on both bourses.