Sunday, August 24, 2008

Equity "IPO": what does it mean?

One of the key underlying and intangible requirements of stockmarket is continuity or stability. Anchor shareholders are important because they in effect represent stability. They do this by the fact that usually tend to hold onto their portion of shares thus in effect guaranteeing scarcity of shares a pre-requisite for share price growth. Every share thus needs anchor shareholders. Equity shareholders have been on tenterhooks this year wondering if its anchor shareholders would introduce millions of share into the market come 7th of August. The date came and passed with no reaction (except for CEO Mwangi's 0.3% that was released to comply with CBK 5% requirements for management).

The assumption was that most of them would either hold onto their portions or look for institutional substitutes. Now comes the announcement that Equity will instead float the shares of its foreign holders! So what is the difference? Does it include Hellios' holding (which its supposed to be holding for 7 years)? Even worse than a spilt, an additional float of shares will presumably mean that potential investors will have to be offered a discount almost certainly based on most recent price.

Bottomline: The additional free float might not be greeted as positively as Equity is hoping even if the share has stellar performance underpinning its future.

PS: My thinking is that brokers under the mistaken impression that more supply means more commissions for them are pushing for some of these moves. Lakini supply has to equal demand otherwise NSE will stay bearish,,,


Ssembonge said...

Maina, I've not been keeping upto date with the Kenyan dailies. Do you have a link regarding the information?

MainaT said...

Here you go Ssem.

The story is still threadbare where the details are concerned.