Equity: Has now become a byword for perennial overachiever. Both income streams (NII and Commissions and Fees) looked strong from Q1 07. More than ever, the bank is eyeing the saccos market share and engaging it intelligently. One may get queasy about resultant non performing loans, but that depends on term over which you will hold onto the share and 2ndly, Equity has a more conservative definition of non-performing loans than required thus is able to pick up problem loans earlier-in theory. P/E may look too rich at around 32, but would only be around 20 if one was extrapolate the Q1 results to the full year. Downsides: How many of its principal shareholders will divest some of their holding come next July/Aug when the 2-year holding period ends?
NMG: Is now an East African media house in all but name tetchy govts notwithstanding. The Business Daily has been received far better than initial scepticism suggested. In saying that, I still think that it’s missing a vital constituency-namely, the NSE investors. Why not for example do monthly profiles of each of the 51/2 listed companies; interviews of key players in our economy-this is the only reason I read the Financial Post and I am sure there are others who would want to know more? NMG has a fat DPS; note that its P/E is far more sensible than that of Standard and one can feel a bonus share issue coming from next year. Downside: M7 is not Kibaki and will willingly crackdown on any perceived negativism, ditto TZ.
TPS: Yes another Aga Khan company. Tourism boom is now on and TPS are recapitalising, going regional and refreshing the brand and their hotels in earnest. Downside: usual terrorism/security advices are the main one.
Hold or Upgrade to Accumulate/Buy…
CFC: The universal banking concept means that it will continue to do well as a standalone entity albeit in need of rejig-a bank with no online proposition today needs searching questions about age and strategic aims of its management. As a standalone entity, one can hold onto its shares for the mid-long-term. However, with Stanbic on board, I believe the new entity will be the corporate bank of choice for East Africa and as such investors need to get on board.
KCB: The bad times should be behind it…Q1 was solid if unexciting though it’s getting higher fees now from increased lending. It’s another one expanding its reach beyond Kenya and successfully at that. The hold is to wait for the demobilisation of the share spilt. Downsides: Is GoK non-interference behind us (i.e. this is a politically sensitive stock in mind and thus 2007 elections represent t some uncertainty)?
KenGen: Once you get GoK 's incompetence being played out publicly as some kind of experiment, you know you shouldn't touch that share until govt stake is reduced. You can't commit legally to something that you can't or shouldn't do and then seek to dress as some kind of intelligent and well thought-out rescue from fiasco.
KPLC: Whole host of problems:
- Bad debts,
- Probably too wide a remit (I think rural electrification needs to go a smaller company with none of KPLC’s history);
- Leakages-25% of its electricity wasted this way
- A large unionised workforce (apparently some are paid more than their line managers)…
- and finally the ropey margins.
Upsides: Demand for electricity will get insatiable in at current or higher economic growth rates.
Mumias: Please see previous post and comments…nothing has/will change