Ruto Promises to Privatize 10 Companies in one Year

President William Ruto has promised to increase the number of companies listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) by privatizing 10 companies in the next year.

William Ruto

This move is expected to end the IPO drought at the NSE. The last time the NSE had an initial public offer (IPO) was in October 2015 when they listed Stanlib Fahari REIT.

The NSE has not offered an IPO for a company that is being privatized since the privatization of Safaricom in 2008.

There are currently 26 companies that have been identified for privatization, including the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Pipeline, collapsed millers, loss-making lenders, and state-owned hotels.

Apart from reviving these companies, the IPOs will give the government immediate cash to fund other important projects and relief itself from nonperforming projects.

“As we prepare between six and ten companies for listing, in the stocks exchange in the next twelve months, and I promise you we will deliver on that commitment, I also want to encourage the private sector as we bring ten companies please bring five,” President Ruto said during the launch of the NSE Marketplace.

According to a report done by the PricewaterCoopers (PWC) in 2017, Kenya’s NSE is trailing many African countries in terms of IPOs, having generated only KES4.2 billion through IPOs since 2014.

Safaricom currently controls 50% of the total market capitalization of the NSE.

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