Monday, July 28, 2008

Safaricom IPO aftermath: where do we go from here?

On the face of it, Safaricom IPO should have been a slickly deliveredIPO with investors getting their shares in their cds accounts justbefore 6th of June and refunds ready or EFT-ed into accounts within afortnight. How? Well, this was the largest and most anticipated IPO inEast and Central Africa. It had been trailed for months and its listingwas known for a good two months. Yet today, we are still faced with theusual IPO double-whammy of :
1. liquidity crunch due to refund bottlenecks
2. overcapacity leading to massive order mistakes

To quote Lenin "what is to be done?".
  • DVPs for everybody through all the banks: Saying that we introduce dvps for everybody via the current system is of course not sensible given Kenya's current legal loophole (sorry system). Imagine brokers trying to chase retail investors for Ksh2,000 through the legal system? It won't happen. On the other hand, using banks that already have the expertise in lending and can thus act as guarantors would effectively seal the incentive for investors to abscond. This would be useful in others way to:
  • Increase the number of banks that act as receiver banks. I was shocked when I saw Citibank was lead-receiver when it really doesn't have the experience in Kenya of handling the volumes involved. To my mind, it was a bit like attempting to fit a camel through the eye of a needle. By involving the whole banking system, we again have the required capacity and distribution network to allow investors from all corners of our great nation to participate. It does also mean that the liquidity in the banking system doesn’t get sucked up by several chosen banks which might also not have the capacity to re-distribute this liquidity. For reference purposes, look at how good Equity handled Safaricom IPO.
  • Capacity utilisation: our brokers can't function during normal trading and find even a small IPO like AK a chore. By bringing other players who are (a) better regulated and (b) handle higher volumes and have the infrastructure to handle the human footfall and the admin work; we thus build up the capacity. And if brokers feel threatened, they can get a cut of the commissions.
  • Finally, lets not compromise on integrity. Seeing the kind of move MSI has pulled off in Safcom IPO has not gone down well especially in the context of buying shares for "3rd party" clients when HNWs in Kenya couldn’t do the same through their brokers.

1 comment:

coldtusker said...

MSI had deal with u know who...