Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Budget and the NSE...

Unlike last yr, this yr's budget only contained one genuine pt of excitement for the NSE. The reduction of the import duty on cement was done for good reasons. GoK is struggling with building houses fast enough; private sector is struggling with the costs involved in even buidling low-cost housing. Hence targetting greater supply of cement. The 3 local companies are doing well enough and should be able to compete in their own right. Several issues for me, however:
  1. Is ARM's spilt of its business into two subsidiarioes related to this budget announcement? I.e. its chemical/industrial minerals business is very competitive (I think it has 70% of the market from memory). Its cement division probably has around 25% market share. So won't it make sense to sell it?
  2. Lafarge holds all the cards and I'm surprised it hasn't pushed hjarder to get a bigger stake in the weakest of the 3 cement companies which is East Africa Portland
  3. Reducing cement costs is only part of the piece and GoK must started looking at encouraging guys to grow trees aggressively

Otherwise, raising capitalisation to Ksh1bn for banks was a non-event since most are comfortably above this. That for the broking community was a step forward.

In other news, Safcom is finally moving into my buying territory (i.e. below Ksh7.50). Its disappointing how an IPO that looked to have had good execution has been bungled. Imagine there is even a significant group of investors whose orders weren't even entered for the IPO!

Anyway, Equity continues to put smiles on the faces of its shareholders, while bystanders continue to sneer. The hallmark of intelligence is how often you don't repeat the same mistake. Buy Equity so you can be telling your grandkids about how you were part of a banking revolution...For those fearing the August date when the lock-in for the principal shareholders ends, the question is this, if you had 10m shares which you wanted to dispose off in a share that normally sells 300k per day, would you;

  1. Throw them all into the market, thus halving your gains?
  2. Look for an investor who can buy them from you...?

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