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NSE urges firms to tap bourse

Zachary Ochuodho @zachuodho

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has encouraged listed firms to tap into the capital markets to raise funds to assist them grow and expand their businesses.

Speaking yesterday during the bell ringing ceremony of Britam Holding Plc, NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo said there is a need for firms to use Kenya’s capital markets to strengthen their capital base and fund their expansion strategy.

AfricInvest bought 360.9 million new shares in Britam Holdings Plc at Sh5.7 billion at a subscription price of Sh15. 85 per share in November last year.

Odundo said International Finance Corporation (IFC) injected Sh9.2 billion into the firm as an initial public offer (IPO) a while back pushing NSE’s market capitalisation to a historical high of Sh2.650 trillion from 2.640.55 trillion.

“The investment by AfricInvest was well received by your shareholders and the investing public. This is a clear pronouncement of the confidence in which the market holds in the long-term strategy and management of the company,” Odundo said.

Britam Group managing director Benson Wairegi said the investment by AfricInvest into Britam makes it a strategic partner in the company.

The funds will support strategic projects in the group, including the consolidation of the group’s leadership position across its various businesses in insurance, asset management and property in line with the company’s 2016-2020 strategy.

“We chose to partner with AfricInvest because of their deep financial sector knowledge as well as their extensive experience working with insurance firms across the continent both of which we hope to leverage,” he said.

He said the partnership will unlock higher shareholder value as well as consolidate AfricInvest’ board into Britam, giving it the confidence that the company requires to grow.

AfricInvest made the decision to invest in Britam a month after IFC released Sh3.6 billion to fund strategic projects in the company.

“We recognise Britam as a market leader and hope that the investment will help them achieve the objectives laid out in their 2016-2020 strategy,” said AfricInvest East Africa MD George Odo.

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