Today, I received good news. And no, I had not won the numerous SMS lotteries or got a tax waiver like our MPs were used to. Though I would not mind the two, the news was more important.
Apparently, Kenya’s economy expanded by 4.9 % in the first quarter of the year. This is compared to 4.3% this year. Though a 0.6% increase is nothing to pop the champagne about, I put it on ice for two reasons.
The first was the sectors that drove the growth. The data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed that construction, financial services, transport and communication sectors were the main drivers.
The Financial Sector powered the steam of economic growth, growing by 10.7%. The sector encompasses banks, insurance companies and other players in the financial ecosystem. The sector has never disappointed. Last year, it grew by 8% while in 2009 growth was 4.6%, the highest of all sectors. It is growing sector.
This brings me to the next reason why I am happy. You and I have a chance to invest in that growing sector. This is courtesy of the British American Initial Public Offer. This week, British-American Investments Company (Kenya) Limited got the nod from Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to raise KSh5.85 Billion though an IPO. It is the holding company of British-American Insurance Company (Kenya) Limited , British-American Asset Managers Limited and Britam Insurance Company (Uganda) Limited.
The company will now be floating 650 million new ordinary shares at a discounted offer of Ksh9 per share. The offer opens on 12th July 2011 and closes on 5th August 2011.
And just like the sector, British-American has been on an upward growth. The group’s gross profit rose to KSh2.87 billion in 2010. Total assets increased 55% from KSh16 billion to KSh25 billion, assets under management for the asset management subsidiary rose by more than 100% to KSh17.3 billion up from KSh8.4 billion registered in the year 2009. Total assets managed by the Group grew from KSh25.0 billion as at 31 December 2009 to KSh43.0 billion as at 31 December 2010. The company also has stakes in Equity Bank and Housing Finance, both in the sector.
Need I say more? On Monday, we have chat with the company’s CEO Mr Benson Wairegi.
Good day and Good luck!