KENYA AIRWAYS AND CAPITAL MARKET AUTHORITY ANNOUNCE SHARE ISSUE DATES
An elaborate presentation by the Chief Executive and Group Managing Director of Kenya Airways, Dr. Titus Naikuni, rang in the countdown towards the 30th of March, when the new share issue will be formally launched in the market, following the final approvals last Friday by the Capital Market Authority of Kenya.
This will be the largest ever share rights issue in the Eastern and Central African region, if not the whole of Africa, aimed to raise some 250 million US Dollars in new capital, and as a further novelty, 49 percent are already subscribed firmly by the Government of Kenya, which holds 23 percent and KLM / Air France which holds 26 percent of the issued shares.
Kenya Airways, initially formed in 1977 after the breakup of the old East African Airways, was put on the path of privatization by the Kenya government in 1996 and has since grown from strength to strength carrying over 3 million passengers last year and showing operating profits every year since.
Dr. Naikuni pointed out that the overall financial requirement until 2011, when the airline was to have grown from the present 34 aircraft to 119 aircraft, a fleet of dedicated freighters included, will be in the region of a staggering 3.6 billion US Dollars while in the near term some 151 million US Dollars were due for fees to EXIM Bank in the United States to issue guarantees for the purchase of aircraft already ordered and new orders to be placed very soon.
Amongst other developments was it mentioned that the B737-800 fleet will grow from the present 5 aircraft to 10 by 2014/15 and to 18 by 2018/19 financial years while the fleet of B777s of 300ER, 200LR and 200ER make is set to grow to 4 each and 12 overall. The presently ordered B787 Dreamliners are under current assurances by Boeing due to arrive from March 2014 onwards, no longer by the end of 2013 and the 9 under firm order and 4 options are likely to be sharply raised to meet the fleet and route development plans of The Pride of Africa 10 years from now.
From the current 55 destinations in 45 countries on 4 continents KQ intends to fly to 115 destinations in 77 countries on all continents from JKIA, also a reminder for the Kenya Airport Authority to pull up their socks and complete the expansion works presently underway and begin the long overdue construction of a second runway and yet another terminal, without which Kenya Airways plans would be in tatters for lack of infrastructure at their hub airport.
The trading in shares for Kenya Airways will close this Friday, 19th of March and will then not resume until the 12th of June, and in between the register of the shareholders will be closed at end of business Friday to establish who will obtain share issue rights, granted as 16 new shares for 5 existing shares at a discount of 32 percent below the average share price of the last 90 days. A total of 1.477.169.549 shares will be on offer as of 30th of March, with dealing commencing on 02nd April to last until 18th April. Final deadline is the 27th April to complete the exercise. When asked by this correspondent about competitive threats and anticipated market shares, Dr. Naikuni responded: Africa is the last great frontier in aviation and considering the vast expanse of the continent, in comparison with similar geographic expanses in Europe, Asia and America, there is room for growth in Africa. We have a market share in different markets of Africa between 40 and 50 percent and with our development plans we intend to maintain such market shares. About competition, British Airways has been flying to Kenya since the 1930s and we only started in 1977 and we are still on that route and hold our own, and fly more often than British Airways. Yes,the Gulf carriers are here but they also bring passengers to Nairobi whom we then transport to their final destination in the region or across the continent. We are not scared of competition, we welcome competition.
Capital Market Authority CEO Ms. Stella Kilonzo also addressed the gathering, confirming that all required approvals had been given and that this would be a unique opportunity for Kenyans and East Africans to invest in a major African blue chip company.
Kenya Airways The Pride of Africa, is now entering the arguably most exciting period of its corporate life with the rollout of Project Mawingu as the 10 year strategic development plan has been named. Watch this space for periodic reviews of progress of the share rights issue and the subsequent implementation of short, medium and long haul goals Kenya Airways has set for itself. Reporting live from Nairobi.
Archive for March 12th, 2012
Kenya aviation breaking news – KQ announces time table for share rights issue after CMA grants final approvals
KENYA AIRWAYS AND CAPITAL MARKET AUTHORITY ANNOUNCE SHARE ISSUE DATES
BOMA NATIONAL PARK GETS NEW HEADQUARTERS
Last weekend saw the inauguration of the long in the making national park headquarters of Boma, catapulted to fame by the inclusion in the National Geographic series Great Migrations. Over 800.000 animals follow an annual migration pattern in and out of the park, with these figures for long dismissed as fabled or myths but by the few who actually have witnessed the spectacle, second only to the great migration of the wildebeest and zebras between Tanzanias Serengeti and Kenyas Masai Mara.
Speakers, including Jonglei Governor Kuol Manyang, called on the occasion for a stronger protection of wildlife as a natural resource, claiming it had greater long term value than oil as it could be sustained if using the correct measures. Also present was the Minister for Wildlife Conservation and Tourism Gabriel Chang, who reportedly reiterated the need to put Southern Sudans attractions on the tourism map.
The recent decision by the government in Juba to halt all oil production has led to a loss of over 95 percent of the revenues generated for the country and there is now a desperate drive towards an austerity programme, reducing government expenditures while seeking alternate sources of revenue like from tourism, a sector however neglected during the 5 years of the run up to independence and since then by being marginalized with minimalist budget allocations and lack of top level priority to develop the industry which elsewhere in Eastern Africa has become a major driver of the local economies of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.
Tourism to Southern Sudan remains hampered by many factors and is of late in particular hard hit by constant reports of extensive cattle rustling and open intertribal conflicts, often fueled by a hostile regime in Khartoum which seeks to unsettle and throw off balance all efforts by the new country to establish the rule of law. As some of these conflicts are taking place in the wider vicinity of national parks, the taste for adventure at this stage naturally has to be seen in the context of the reality on the ground having the safety of tourists as the highest priority.
When speaking with an adventure safari and expedition operator in Nairobi yesterday on this subject and the possibility of adding Southern Sudan as an extension destination he had this to say: Sure, one day when there is peace and calm in Southern Sudan, we would like to send safari and expedition clients to such places like Boma or the Sudd. But for now the reports are unsettling about constant outbreaks of violence, banditry and even open aggression by Khartoum in areas of their common border. We also have a number of other concerns and issues like tourists should get Visa on arrival, there is still some police registration process needed which wastes a lot of time, so we would like to see better processing of tourists in Juba and then have good reliable safe airlines to fly visitors to the parks. The long distances to the parks over often poor roads are both a waste of time and a risk factor but are there airstrips where one can land, are there vehicles for game drives in those parks, are there camps clients can stay in. Maybe Southern Sudan can permit our Kenyan safari airlines to fly tourists directly to the parks after clearing in Juba first, but you can see there are logistical issues which need sorting out. They should come to Nairobi and show what they have to offer, come with incentives and assure us of preferential handling of visitors flown in from Kenya for safari extensions. We need to know what is available to do for tourists on the Nile, is there rafting or are there ships or cruisers which can be used? We know too little and all the Southern Sudanese ever talk about when their delegations are here in Nairobi, is their oil, about roads and rails and pipelines. What about investment incentives. What about their legal system if we have a dispute with someone there over service delivery? What about currency restrictions? Have they now got a tourism law or regulations we can rely on. Have they started to use EAC rules for hotels and lodges? Have they got a tourist board in place? It is good you write about it once in a while but we here in Nairobi just have not enough information.
Such sentiments were then equally voiced by two other senior staff of different adventure companies, so clearly there is a great need to showcase Southern Sudans natural attractions and alleviate the concerns perhaps through a tourism road show with the added question now raised if there are licensed safari operations in Southern Sudan, licensed safari lodges or safari camps who can be approached to get quotations and information. Fodder for thought, so watch this space.