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Recent Topicals

Focus of the Week: Off Plan Investment in Real Estate - What a Buyer Needs to Know

Apr 16, 2017

Over the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed a number of property buyers coming to the fore claiming to have been swindled by developers over off plan real estate purchases. This week we thus seek to demystify off plan investment in real estate. We start by introducing off plan investments in real estate, the processes involved, the potential gains and risks. We then cover briefly the two most recent cases in the dailies of Simple Homes and Gakuyo, and conclude by advising buyers on what they should look out for when purchasing property off plan. Introduction Off plan investment refers to the purchase of property before completion, generally driven by the high price of real estate and the long time taken to deliver units, given low supply of real estate units despite the increasing prices. The buyer hence buys the property off the plan or design stage of the development. It has become increasingly popular as the prices of the prope...

The Impact of the Ongoing Drought on the Kenyan Economy

Feb 26, 2017

The government has declared drought a national disaster, appealing for aid through the National Drought Emergency Fund, in a bid to mitigate the effects of the ongoing drought that has seriously affected different parts of the country. The number of people in need of food assistance has more than doubled to 3.0 mn in February 2017, from the 1.3 mn in August 2016, according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), highlighting the magnitude of the crisis. This write up aims to analyse the potential effects of the drought on the economy. Kenya is generally a highly drought prone country with only 20.0% of the country receiving high and regular rainfall, with the remaining 80.0% being arid or semi-arid.  Previously, the country has experienced severe droughts over the past 10 years, most notably, (i) in 2011, when  the United Nations (UN) termed the drought that had hit parts of the Horn of Africa, as the worst in 60 years, with 13.2 mn Kenyans affected, e...

Probable Direction of Kenya Equities Market in 2017

Jan 22, 2017

In our topical “Probable Direction of Equities Market in 2016”, we analyzed the trend in the local equities market and the factors that determine the stock market performance in an effort to forecast the direction of the equities market. The Kenyan Equities market saw a year of poor performance in 2016 with NASI, NSE 20 and NSE 25 losing 8.5%, 21.1% and 15.8%, respectively. So far the market has continued with its downward trend with NASI, NSE 20 and NSE 25 having lost 7.0%, 8.5% and 8.5%, respectively on a year to date. Since the inception of the all share index in 2008, valuations, as measured by price to earnings ratio (“PE”), have peaked twice; once in August 2010 and the other in February 2015. Since the August 2010 peak of 19.6x, prices went on a downward spiral for 16-months to hit a low of 8.3x in December 2011, registering an annualized loss of 47.5% over the 16-month decline period. The market then picked up with prices rising for a period of 38-month...

The Competition Authority of Kenya approves Kuramo Capital Management’s investment in Trans-Century

Dec 19, 2016

The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved Kuramo Capital Management’s acquisition of a 24.99% stake in Trans-Century Limited through issue of 93.8 mn new ordinary shares and 70,120 cumulative preference shares i.e. 100% of the redeemable preference shares, in TC Mauritius Holdings. This follows Kuramo Capital’s USD 20 mn convertible debt investment into the company to assist in refinancing TC Mauritius Holdings’ Limited Senior Unsecured Convertible Bond of USD 60.3 mn.This is a positive move as (i) it brings on board a key strategic partner that has the same focus as Trans-Century, and this will drive growth and investment in region, thereby maximizing shareholder value, (ii) with the introduction of Kuramo Capital into Trans-Century’s board, there will be an improvement in corporate governance structure, as a number of transactions can’t be carried out without their explicit approval, including limits on issuance of debt, and equity, and entering into any related-party...

Kenyan Debt Sustainability

Dec 11, 2016

There has been a lot of discussion on whether Kenya as a country is able to sustain the current debt levels and as to whether the economy has the capacity to service the outstanding government debt. This week, we seek to look at the status of the debt level and what this means for the economy.Over the years, we have seen the national budget continue to grow with the total expenditures growing at an average of 15.4% to Kshs 2.0 tn in 2015/16 from 977.0 bn in 2010/11, while revenue growth (KRA Tax collections) has increased by 14.2% to Kshs 1.3 tn in 2015/16 from Kshs 670.0 bn in 2010/11 meaning that the difference has been funded through borrowing. This has led to an increase in the debt level from 40.7% debt to GDP in 2011 to the current level of 50.3%. According to the IMF, the target debt to GDP for developing countries should be at or below 50%, meaning that the current debt level in the country has surpassed the standard set by the global lender, and this may pose fiscal...