Remarks By Paul Muthaura, Acting Chief Executive – Capital Markets Authority, During The Launch Of The UAP Holdings Limited Public Offer
PS, Ministry of Finance: Mr. Joseph Kinyua
UAP Holdings Limited Chairman, Joseph B Wanjui,
NSE Chairman, Mr. Eddy Njoroge
Directors and Chief Executives of UAP Holdings Limited, NSE and CDSC
Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
All protocols observed
- I am delighted to be here today to witness the launch of the UAP Holdings Limited public offer. This is the third company after Deacons (2010) and SMEP (2012) to raise funds through the capital markets without necessarily listing, effectively freeing up Ksh. 5.7 billion worth of investible funds. We believe that through this initiative, the UAP Group will access the equity capital needed to fund its growth initiatives and enhance its shareholder value creation potential. This process will undoubtedly also widen the company’s shareholder base and enable the Group to comply fully with recent regulatory changes applicable to licensed insurance companies operating in Kenya. By introducing additional products for investment into the capital markets UAP has performed a key role in supporting the mobilization of savings further underpinning the importance of the capital markets in the attainment of Kenya’s aspirations to be a middle-income economy under the Vision 2030;
- We have noted that more and more companies are accessing the capital markets to raise long term capital without necessarily opting to list on the Exchange in the immediate term. This development undoubtedly serves to broaden the available avenues through which the capital markets can be used by issuers to raise capital. This innovation is providing investors with more variety in investment options thus deepening the products available in the Kenyan market.
- We are well aware that UAP shares will be trading in an Over the Counter Market (OTC). World over, OTC trading forms a key component of a vibrant capital market as it provides some form of incubation for companies preparing to list on the main market. Indeed, with more issuers electing to issue securities without listing on the Exchange, we see a greater need to work with the market towards the development of operating mechanisms for a formal Over the Counter (OTC) market for equities in order to ensure robust systems providing post trade transparency and settlement stability. This will undoubtedly promote liquidity and price discovery, enhance efficiency and ease the transferability of securities.
- Taking into account the recent private equity investments into UAP, their timing on coming to the market is all the more significant as they evidently appreciate not only the capital raising potential of the capital markets but also the increased transparency and strengthened corporate governance that comes with a public offer.
- In all events, we would encourage companies that are not listed to consider listing at the formal exchange, which has very important benefits that include but are not limited to preferential corporate tax treatment, lower withholding tax on dividends, increased company profile and more transparent price discovery. We believe that this is the beginning of the road to greater prosperity for UAP which achievement will be best measured when it lists at the NSE and even goes further to cross-list in other securities exchanges in the region in future.
- Ladies and gentlemen: The Nairobi Securities Exchange has itself been undergoing a number of reforms key of which include the introduction of Growth Enterprise Market Segment to cater for Small and Medium Enterprises who may find the eligibility requirements for listing in the Main Investment Market Segment (MIMS) and Alternative Investment Market Segment (AIMS) too stringent. We would encourage companies falling in this category to take advantage of this new segment. Kenya is destined for significant activity in exploration and mining industry and in addition to the expected rise in the number of oil and gas companies, there will be substantial demand for goods and services through horizontal and vertical linkages that will require capital that the GEMS will provide.
- I take this opportunity to laud the Government for its consistent support to the development markets through an enabling policy and regulatory framework and reiterate our appreciation for its keen interest in the development of the capital markets which is a clear testimony of how important the capital markets in Kenya is viewed at the highest level of policy making.
- As I conclude, let me take this opportunity to thank everyone in this room here today for taking the time to witness this great moment. This is just the beginning of great things to come.