KENYA AIRWAYS NEW SHARES START TRADING
Yesterday saw the first day of trading of the new shares Kenya Airways had issued under a share rights issue, which raised nearly 14.5 billion Kenya Shillings. While short of the full subscription by some margin the funds generated will nevertheless be enough to make relevant downpayments towards new aircraft on order and payments towards a guarantee required for a loan guarantee, essential to maintain production slots at Boeing in particular for the ordered 9 B787 Dreamliners.
At hand to celebrate the event at the Nairobi Stock Exchange was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport Mr. Joseph Kinuya, notably the Kenyan Government now holds nearly 30 percent of the companys shares, Kenya Airways Chairman Evanson Mwaniki, Chief Executive Dr. Titus Naikuni, members of his top management team and representatives of their financial advisory team and the outgoing CEO of the Capital Market Authority Ms. Stella Kilonzo.
The crucial threshold of Kenyan ownership to maintain Kenya Airways status as a national airline and to retain traffic rights under bilateral air services agreements, has also been maintained with a percentage of 55.24 percent, which is however down from previously 62.8 percent, showing that international investors saw the earnings potential of The Pride of Africa in coming years.
Trading in the new shares however was below the pegged share rights value of 14 KShs with only in average 13.20 KShs, attributed at least in part to the recent announcement of literally halved profits compared to last year, and volumes traded were just below 4 million shares yesterday.
The airline is on an aggressive growth path with monthly aircraft deliveries scheduled until March next year of new Embraer 190 jets, to be followed by additional orders of B737-800s before in the first quarter of 2014 the new B787 Dreamliner is due to come on line. Under their strategic Plan Mawingo Kenya Airways plans to fly to all political and commercial capitals of Africa by the end of 2013 before then adding more international destinations, mainly in India and China to reach 115 worldwide by 2021 with a tripled fleet of 119 aircraft including a fleet of dedicated cargo planes.
Watch this space for regular and breaking news from East Africas vibrant aviation scene.
(Celebrating success KQs CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni and the Stella Kilonzo, CEO of the CMA, with others)