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18 October, 2015

Executive Summary

  • Fixed Income: Interest rates still on an upward trend, and the World Bank cuts Kenya?s 2015 growth forecast by 60 bps to 5.4%, citing weak exports and exchange rate volatility;
  • Equities: NASI, NSE 20 and NSE 25 shed 3.5%, 2.9% and 4.0%, respectively, during the week. Imperial Bank placed under receivership due to ?inappropriate banking practices?;
  • Private Equity: Kenya financial services industry continues to attract PE players with interest in banking;
  • Real Estate: Real estate developments in the Counties are expected to promote economic growth;
  • Focus of the Week: The Kenyan Government should formulate policies around all aspects of diaspora?s contribution to the economy to achieve a long lasting relationship.

Company Updates

  • Cytonn Real Estate, our development affiliate, this week signed over eight hundred (800) acres worth of agreements for joint venture development in Athi River area. The project has now progressed to concept designing and development of the master plan and we expect to be in the market in six months. The project is targeted at the low to lower middle segment of the market. This deal effectively positions Cytonn Real Estate as the largest developer with over one thousand one hundred (1,100) acres of development in Nairobi Metro area and the surrounding satellite towns.
  • Our Investment Manager, Maurice Oduor, discussing KenGen financial results and stock market performance on CNBC Africa. See link: Maurice Oduor on CNBC Africa
  • Maurice Oduor discussed the Imperial Bank situation and the role of Board of Directors in maintaining oversight on Citizen Television. See link:Maurice Oduor on Citizen Television
  • We are offering off-plan prices for our comprehensive mixed-use development in Ruaka, The Alma, as a home or for investment. The Alma is a comprehensive lifestyle apartment community with ample parking, a clubhouse, a convenience commercial center, a swimming pool, a day care center and unique elevated recreation areas. Please see a presentation showcasing our signature development: Alma in Ruaka presentation.  For more information, and to speak to our Sales Team, please e-mail us at sales@cytonn.com
  • Diaspora: We continue our diaspora road show, having completed engagements in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. See the roadshow schedule at: Cytonn diaspora roadshow

Fixed Income

Treasury bill auctions were oversubscribed for the third week running, with overall subscription at 258.6%, compared to 295.0% the previous week. The money market was relatively liquid, which saw the interbank rate decline slightly to 13.5%, from 14.6% the previous week. Yields rose to 22.1%, 21.8% and 21.9%, from 21.4%, 21.6% and 21.5% for the 91-day, 182-day and 364-day papers, respectively. The shilling was stable against the dollar due to increased amounts of foreign inflows into government securities, netting off the impact of relatively improved shilling liquidity, closing the week at the same exchange rate of 103.1 against the dollar.

In a bid to step-up its domestic borrowing, the Government will be issuing a 1-year amortized bond, with a weighted tenor of 9-months (273 days), to raise Kshs 20 bn for budgetary support. The introduction of this instrument further confirms the preference for short-term borrowing as a result of the prevailing high interest rate environment. Effectively, the government has invented a paper in-between the 182 and 364-day T-bill to raise 20 bn, an amount, which would have caused investors to bid at much higher rates if raised in the T-bill market, since it would be 5 times what they normally borrow, and comes in the wake of the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury confirming that the Government has missed revenue targets for the first quarter of the 2015/16 fiscal year. A bond with effective tenor to maturity similar to this is trading at a yield of 21.8%. We expect bids to come in at 22.5% - 23.0% as investors continue to demand premium. Of note is that this is the first time such a paper has been issued in the market.

The World Bank revised downwards Kenya?s growth forecast for this year to 5.4% from its earlier forecast of 6.0%, citing exchange rate volatility and weak exports amid a rising import bill. Although the ongoing infrastructure projects are expected to support growth in the medium-term, the short-term impact of the increased borrowing and importation to drive these projects presents a risk to growth. However, as highlighted in our Cytonn Weekly #40, Kenya is set to have one of the highest GDP growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, and maintain a growth rate of 6.2% for the next 15 years to 2030.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declined to sign into law the Excise Bill 2015, noting that the legislators? proposal was complex and would make the administration of revenue collection quite difficult. The Bill aimed at raising an additional Kshs 25 bn for this year?s current tax revenue. The excise bill would have been levied on imported motor vehicles, juices, and the traditional sin items like cigarettes and alcohol. We expect that the Bill will have to be revised again so that it becomes easier to execute, therefore allowing the KRA to collect the much-needed revenue to meet their collection target.

The Government?s borrowing programme for the current fiscal year, targeted at Kshs. 219 bn, is behind schedule, having borrowed only Kshs 5.9 bn for the current fiscal year. We expect the Government to continue with its effort to step up both domestic and foreign borrowing. We maintain our view that investors should be biased towards short-term fixed income instruments due to the uncertainty of the interest rate environment but the high treasury bills subscription rates might have capped the current interest rates levels.


During the week the market continued on a downward trend with NSE 20, NASI and NSE 25 losing 2.9%, 3.5% and 4.0%, respectively on the back of losses in Equity Group Holdings and Kenya Commercial Bank which shed 8.9% and 5.1%, respectively. Foreign investor?s participation remained high during the week at 82.4%, about the same level of 82.7% the previous week.

Since the February peak, NASI and NSE 20 have been down 22.9%, and 29.1%, firmly in correction territory, and down 15.9% and 23.7% on an YTD basis, respectively. Since our investment team turned neutral on equities in April 2015, and subsequently neutral with a negative bias, NASI and NSE 20 are down 20.6% and 22.9% respectively. 

Imperial Bank Limited this week was placed under the management of The Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC), which was appointed to assume management and control. This came as a result of what was perceived as ongoing inappropriate banking practices brought to the attention of Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) by the Board of Directors of Imperial Bank. Imperial bank currently represents 2.0% and 2.3% of the market by asset base and deposits, respectively, and its closure presents minimal systemic risk in the entire banking sector. However, the resounding effect of this closure may have a significant effect on the operations of other Tier II and Tier III banks, as a result of capital flight towards Tier I banks, which are perceived to be safer. As can be seen from the table below, Imperial Bank?s ratios were well above the statutory requirement for banks, raising questions over which issues CBK is investigating.

Imperial Bank Statutory Ratios - H1'2015

Capital Adequacy Ratios

Imperial Bank

Core Capital Liabilities Ratio


Minimum Statutory Requirement




Core Capital Risk Weighted Assets Ratio


Minimum Statutory requirement




Total Capital Risk Weighted Ratio


Minimum Statutory requirement




Liquidity Ratio


Minimum Statutory requirement




Source: Cytonn Investments

In our view, there are several key concerns that need to be constructively addressed by both market participants and regulators:

  1. Including Imperial, Kenya has a high relative ratio of banks to the total population, with the 42 commercial banks serving a country of 44 million people, compared with Nigeria's 22 for 180 million inhabitants and South Africa's 19 for 55 million. There is also the need for consolidation in the banking sector so as to (a) facilitate competition within the industry, (b) have well capitalized and stable banks in the industry, and (c) reduce the strain the regulator currently has in its oversight role. The high number of banks, which comes with advantages such as enhancing financial inclusion, could also strain the thoroughness and diligence of the regulatory supervision
  2. There is need to enhance risk-based analysis and supervisions for commercial banks, and indeed all financial institutions, in Kenya by considering factors other than financial ratios. Looking at our own existing analysis of Imperial, we have enhanced our safety and soundness analysis by adding the following considerations:
    1. Family owned, controlled or influenced banks: We will be scrutinizing more deeply, banks that are owned, controlled or influenced by families. Nothing wrong with family ownership, but the risk of trouble, especially from a corporate governance perspective, is higher relative to institutional or widely held banks
    2. CEO Tenure: The CEO of Imperial had been at the helm for 22 years, again nothing wrong with long tenures, but we will be looking to see that long tenured CEOs are surrounded by strong and experienced management teams that are respected in the market
  3. The bank?s Kshs. 2.0 bn bond, which had a subscription rate of 101% was suspended from listing on the NSE. This brings into question the CMA regulatory due diligence process in vetting institutions before approving a security for offer. The Imperial Bank?s bond which was given the green-light one month to the bank?s closure causes investors to raise concerns over the depth and quality of the regulatory audit and oversight process. Based on market experience, whenever a security offering is below, just at, or just slightly above the subscription target, such as Imperial?s, this is usually a red flag that should invite scrutiny in two areas. First, the regulator ought to examine the level of subscriptions from the key shareholders - weak participation from key shareholders could be an indicator that they know something the investing public does not know. Second, is to ensure that third party funds are not inappropriately deployed into the offering to get it to a target subscription.
  4. The market is also questioning the manner in which the receivership was executed. CBK and CMA could have been more transparent and open in their communication since there was and continues to be a lot of ambiguity, leaving the public to go overdrive on the rumor mill and causing even more panic. The explanation of ?unsafe practices? is too broad and ambiguous to enable the public to conclude that the issue is isolated to Imperial. A press conference by the CBK governor in the morning of Imperial?s closure, giving reasons for closure, assuring the market that it is an isolated incident, that CBK stands behinds the banking system and that there is no cause for worry could have pre-empted the panic. According to Jack Welch, one key rule of crisis management is open and direct communication, ?assume there are no secrets ? and that everyone will eventually find out everything. So get ahead of the problem, exposing its scope before someone else does it for you.? CBK?s ?unsafe practices? explanation let market rumors, and speculation, which developed into sector panic before normalizing the following day.

Addressing these issues, transparently and accountably, is essential to the country goal of making Nairobi a financial services hub. Market participants and associations, CBK and CMA, should step up their respective roles and restore confidence back to Kenya?s banking sector, as this is the second bank in less than 2 months to be placed under receivership. Trust and confidence is the bedrock of financial services.

Uchumi Supermarkets announced the closure of 11 branches, shutting down their operations in Uganda and Tanzania due to their unprofitable nature. Uchumi C.E.O Julius Kipng?etich stated that every month Uchumi has been providing about Kshs. 250.0 mn for the support of the Uganda and Tanzania operations, which is 25.0% of the group?s allocation, but have been contributing to only 4.8% of the overall revenue. This move will result to a dramatic drop in costs and much focus will be on the 95.2% of their profit making business. Uchumi?s transparency on their regional expansion is unique. It would be helpful to investors if businesses pursuing regional expansion disclosed the investments in the regional relative to their contribution in order to assist investors assess the risk they are carrying with regional expansion strategies. We currently recommend an ?accumulate? on the Uchumi stock with a target price of Kshs 11.25, representing a potential upside of 18.9% from the current price of Kshs 9.45. An ?accumulate? recommendation indicates that buying should be restrained and timed to happen when there are momentary dips in stock prices. We shall be meeting with senior management to re-assess our valuation and further our insights on the company?s long-term strategy.

We remain neutral with a bias to negative on equities given the significantly lower earnings growth prospects for this year. The market is now purely a stock pickers? market, with few pockets of value.

all prices in Kshs unless stated




Price as at 9/10/15

Price as at 16/10/15

w/w Change

Target Price

Dividend Yield

Upside/ (Downside)












Standard Chartered































































Housing Finance


















CfC Stanbic









National Bank








*Target Price as per Cytonn Analyst estimates
**Upside / (Downside) is adjusted for Dividend Yield
Accumulate ? Buying should be restrained and timed to happen when there are momentary dips in stock prices.
Lighten ? Investor to consider selling, timed to happen when there are price rallies
Data: Cytonn Investments


Private Equity

Centum has announced the injection of Kshs. 1.2 bn into K-Rep Bank in the bank?s ongoing rights issue, where it is a majority shareholder, holding 67.5% of the bank. This is Centum?s second investment in the bank, after having made an initial Kshs. 2.4 bn investment funded by proceeds from the Kshs. 6.0 bn corporate bond it floated on the NSE. With this new capital injection, the core capital for K-rep rises to Kshs. 3.8 bn and is expected to close at Kshs. 4.1 bn after the conclusion of the rights issue, which takes K-Rep significantly above the threshold of capital requirement at Kshs. 1.0 bn. This funding will be channeled towards mobile, internet and agency banking, refurbishment of the brand as well as the improvement of the core banking system and will play a significant role in enhancing customer experience. We view Centum?s continued commitment towards K-Rep as:

  1. An indication that the banking sector is now reaching a saturation point with the number of players, and as such, the focus of the use of proceeds towards enhancing customer experience is a value-add proposition that will keep the bank relevant;
  2. For efficient delivery of services to their clients, alternative channels like mobile, Internet and agency banking are becoming necessary, as clients demand convenience and accessibility. In addition, we would not be surprised if Centum was back in the market looking for an insurance company after their exit from UAP Holdings to further build a distribution platform centered on alternative investments.

Following the recent announcement to purchase Giro Bank, I&M Holdings announced plans to acquire 65.0% of the issued share capital of Burbidge Capital for an undisclosed price. Burbidge capital, which operates in both Kenya and Uganda, offers advisory on (i) Strategic Options Advisory, (ii) Mergers & Acquisitions, (iii) Equity Capital Markets, (iv) Debt Capital Markets, (v) Corporate Finance Advisory, (vi) Capital Introduction Advisory, (vii) GEMS Listing Advisory, (viii) Independent Research Advisory, and (ix) Private Equity Advisory. The transaction is however subject to approvals from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Competitions Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the shareholders of the company. This move by I&M Holdings is set to diversify their revenue from the core banking business to non ? funded income, which currently stands at 26.0% vs. an industry average of 31.8%. We maintain our Sell recommendation on I&M Holdings, with an intrinsic valuation of Kshs. 101.2, which represents an 3.9% upside from their current price of Kshs. 100.0 . We shall be releasing a more comprehensive valuation update once further details on the transaction are released, including the acquisition of Giro Bank. There is an ongoing trends for banks to seek advisory and investment banking platforms as evidenced by I&M, Equity, & KCB?s recent expansions into advisory and investment banking.

Fanisi Capital, a private equity firm operating in Kenya, plans to invest Kshs 2 billion in expansion of Haltons Pharmacy, a local chain of pharmacies. The investment will see Haltons Pharmacy increase its footprint from the current 50 branches to 200 branches by the end of 2017. This is the second capital injection by Fanisi Capital into Haltons Pharmacy, having acquired an undisclosed stake in 2013 for Kshs 300 million. To aid in the expansion, Haltons Pharmacy has partnered with Vivo energy to locate its pharmacy stores in Vivo?s service stations, which stand at 150 stations spread out in Kenya. Investment in Kenya?s pharmaceutical distribution has continued to attract private equity players driven by the low level of penetration of medical services in Kenya. In September 2014, Catalyst Principal Partners invested into Mimosa Pharmacy, now renamed Good Life Pharmacy, a Kenyan retail pharmacy chain for an undisclosed amount. Health sector in Kenya has remained underserved across the whole value chain; Dispensaries, Hospitals and Pharmacies driven by (i) low level of investment into the sector, and (ii) relative high cost of medical services.

Real Estate

The Pan African Housing Fund (PAHF), managed by Phatisa, has entered into an agreement with Kigali Batsinda Estate Limited to develop a new residential housing complex in Kigali City, Rwanda. Izuba City, is a 300-unit housing complex consisting of one bedroom starter homes to three bedroom family residences. The venture in Kigali comes after Phatisa partnered with Tamarind Properties to develop 140 housing units in Nakuru Kenya, in September 2015. Both Rwanda and Kenya have an attractive market for low to middle income housing driven by (i) a fast growing middle class population, (ii) GDP and wage growth which has increased the amount of consumer spending towards housing, and (iii) consumer demand for modern, attractive and affordable housing with amplified security. There has been an increased interest in real estate by private equity firms to tap into the low and middle income residential housing. Cytonn Real Estate is currently developing The Alma, a low to middle income real estate development in Ruaka, Nairobi. The development consists 317 apartments of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units.

Following the successful completion and tenancy of the Buffalo Mall in Naivasha, the developers have now turned their attention to Eldoret for the second Buffalo Mall. The mall is to be situated in the outskirts of Eldoret town center along Kisumu Road, with its main target being the growing middle class. It will cover an area of 14,250 sq. meters and is estimated to be completed by 2017. The Buffalo Mall developers completed a similar project in Naivasha last year with emphasis being on design efficiency.

Enabling the Diaspora to Contribute to Economic Growth

Last week we covered the importance of Diaspora to economic growth. This week we focus on how we can make it easier for the Diaspora to contribute to Kenya?s economic growth. The potential contribution of the diaspora to a country?s development goes beyond personal remittances. These contributions range from knowledge exchange, increased trade links, and better access to foreign capital. It is estimated that the African Diaspora save USD 53.0 bn annually, most of which is invested outside Africa and could be potentially mobilized for Africa via various investment instruments such as diaspora bonds.

The aim of this piece is to understand different ways - through investments, trade links, skills and technology - how diaspora resources can potentially be mobilized for the development of Kenya. Diasporas contribute to their home country through (i) intellectual capital, (ii) financial capital, (iii) political capital, (iv) cultural capital, and (v) social capital. In our Cytonn Report #40, we discussed the immense contribution of the diaspora to India and we now try to point out the various initiatives the Indian Government took to achieve such outstanding effects. We also look into the gaps the Kenyan Government needs to fill and shed light on the areas they have done well.

The Government of India has addressed the Indian diaspora?s dream to maintain a strong and durable connection with their homeland, and initiated different programs and initiatives that serve the purpose of encouraging further diaspora engagements, and improve their contribution to the socioeconomic development of their homeland. The various initiatives range from:

  • Dedicated Government Ministries - The Government of India has maintained a Ministry of Emigrants and Members of the Diaspora and the Ministry of External Affairs that aim to address the welfare of the Diaspora. Additionally, there is a Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs that was originally a bureau within the Ministry of External Affairs but eventually branched out in 2004 to be an independent Government Agency that seeks to connect the Indian diaspora with their homeland;
  • Citizenship Attainment Avenues - The establishment of (i) The Overseas Citizenship of India (OIC), and (ii) The Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) program serves to offer the Indian community in the diaspora a platform to register for citizenship. These platforms convey to Non-Resident Indians (NRI) the rights to live and work in India and eventual citizenship, though under strict guidelines;
  • Socioeconomic Organizations - The Indian diaspora with assistance from the government has set up highly organized, well-funded and professionally managed groups abroad. These organizations help tackle issues such as the development of unique projects to provide (i) health and education facilities back in India, (ii) advocacy skills, (iii) business and professional networks, (iv)media outlets, and (v) societies for the promotion of the Indian culture, language and religion. An example in the US, set up by the Indian diaspora and the Government of India, is The Indus Entrepreneurs which was formed in Silicon Valley in 1992 and currently has 11,000 members. This organization forms a connection between the United States of America and India and further promotes entrepreneurship through education, mentoring and networking;
  • Investment Education and Consultancy Services - The Indian Government facilitated the establishment of The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre in 2007, which serves to provide investment education and facilitate business services to Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) and Person of Indian Origin (PIOs). This platform receives a lot of support from Knowledge Partners, which are firms specializing in (i) foreign investment consulting, (ii) regulatory approvals, (iii) market research, (iv) joint venture partner identification, (v) project financing, (vi) accounting, (vii) taxation, (viii) legal, and (ix) portfolio investments;
  • Customized Financial Solutions - The Indian government, in order to stabilize the Indian Rupee, have always built up reserves, and diaspora remittances contribute a big part of it. Due to this the government worked in conjunction with commercial banks in the creation of attractive savings account schemes available exclusively to NRI?s. Such accounts offer higher interest rates and offer the option of being denominated in foreign currencies. The Government has also facilitated the increase in investments from Indian Diasporas by amending banking regulations to be less stringent on the diasporas;
  • Diaspora Bonds - In 2012, Indian banks held USD 68.0 bn in deposits from the Indian Diaspora and in periods of economic instability, the government has issued diaspora bonds to control the overall balance of payment position. Since 1991, the Indian Government has issued 3 bonds raising a total amount of USD 11.3 bn.

Compared to India, we are behind in setting up policies and processes that will help address the challenges facing the diaspora. Engaging the diaspora should be a priority in order to tap into the vast opportunities that the diaspora have to offer; especially in an emerging market like Kenya that is desperate for funds, skills and ideas. The Kenyan Government can support the diaspora by:

  • Formulation of investment friendly policies ? The Government should work in close conjunction with banks to allow for favorable accounts for diaspora, which will encourage them to remit more money back to the country. Such accounts should offer preferential rates for those in the diaspora and should ideally be foreign exchange accounts;
  • Issuing Diaspora Bonds ? The government should start issuing diaspora bonds to raise funds. As seen in India, Diaspora bonds are proving to be attractive avenues through which Governments can raise capital. The Kenyan government is behind on its budget financing, and also has a worsening foreign exchange reserve, and hence should consider diaspora bonds as an alternative fund raising channel;
  • Setting up overseas diaspora facilities ? in order to improve on the relationships and engagement with the diaspora, the Kenyan government should set up overseas facilities abroad for the diaspora. These facilities should serve to promote the Kenyan Culture and educate on the different investment avenues the diaspora can invest back in Kenya;
  • Establishment of Organizations ? In order to encourage skill transfer back home, as well as maximize on the intellectual capital of those Kenyans in the diaspora, the government should work to establish centers which allow for consultation on global best practices and institutionalization efforts which have been successful in the developed markets.
  • Support of financial institutions and businesses trying to get the diaspora to invest back home

However, as we await the above to be implemented by the Government, it is important to recognize the initiatives that have been put in place to improve the engagement of the diaspora. Some of the initiatives put in place include:

  • Dual Citizenship - Under the new constitution, dual citizenship is allowed and this provides an important link between Diasporas and their home countries. Citizenship and residency rights are important determinants of a diaspora?s participation in trade, investment, and technology transfer with its origin country and make it easier to travel and own land;
  • Voting Rights ? Kenyans in the diaspora are given voting rights without coming back to their home country, which in turn goes a long way into cementing the relationships and political inclusion;
  • Kenya Diaspora Policy ? The Government has developed a Policy in recognition of the need to engage the Kenyan Diaspora into our national development process in line with the aspirations and goals of the Kenya Vision 2030. The Kenya Vision 2030 acknowledges the Diaspora contribution as a major contributor to economic growth and the achievement of our vision of being globally competitive. Furthermore, Diaspora Diplomacy is now one of the main pillars of the Kenya Foreign Policy.

Kenya has over the past 5 years witnessed a shift in the contribution to foreign exchange with diaspora remittances emerging as the top earner.

The Government should however realize that the contribution to Kenya from the Diasporas goes beyond remittances and should formulate policies and initiatives that serve to mobilize all forms of ?remittances? that have a lasting effect on the economy and the socioeconomic development of its people.

We are working to position Cytonn Diaspora, our diaspora investments mobilization affiliate with offices in DC Metro area, as the leading private diaspora investment platform. Once established for Kenya, we will scale the platform to other countries with significant numbers of citizens in the Diaspora.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, are those of the writers where particulars are not warranted- as the facts may change from time to time. This publication is meant for general information only, and is not a warranty, representation or solicitation for any product that may be on offer. Readers are thereby advised in all circumstances, to seek the advice of an independent financial advisor to advise them of the suitability of any financial product for their investment purposes.