KQ shares suspended from trading on the NSE


KQ shares suspended from trading on the NSE
FILE PHOTO: Kenya Airways planes are seen parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport near Nairobi, Kenya March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

In Summary

  • The shares of carrier Kenya Airways has been suspended from trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) effective Friday.
  • The suspension, a routine procedure ahead of an eventual delisting of the company's shares from the bourse comes as the government moves to fast track the re-nationalization of the carrier.
  • The suspension applied for by KQ and approved by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) will remain in effect over the next three months.

The shares of carrier Kenya Airways has been suspended from trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) effective Friday.

The suspension, a routine procedure ahead of an eventual delisting of the company’s shares from the bourse comes as the government moves to fast track the re-nationalization of the carrier.

The suspension applied for by KQ and approved by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) will remain in effect over the next three months.

Last week, the government submitted the National Aviation Management Bill in the National Assembly, a legislation expected to rubber stamp the buy-out approved by the house last year.

Kenya Airways is expected to become a full government entity upon the passage and accent of the bill under a new entity- the Kenya Aviation Corporation.

The new entity will further comprise a new Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and the Aviation Investment Corporation.

To complete the buyout, the National Treasury is as the majority shareholder in KQ expected to buyout minority shareholders who include local commercial bank and Dutch based carrier KLM.

The Treasury holds a majority 48.9 percent stake in KQ or an equivalent 2.8 billion shares out of a total 5.8 billion shares as at the close of 2019.

Investors have in recent weeks moved to take up a greater stake in anticipation of higher gains from the government buyout process.

On Thursday, KQ’s share price closed the day’s trading at a higher Ksh.3.83 a piece having risen from a low price of 88 cents on April 27.

The Treasury is expected to engage the minority shareholders to establish a final buying price for the outstanding shares.

Investors are expected to receive payments in the form of Treasury bills and bonds.

The National Assembly gave its nod for government to re-acquire KQ which was privatised in 1996 as a means to restore the struggling carrier back into profitability.

The authorization followed KQ’s flawed attempt to enter into a joint venture with KAA to co-operate the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) under the management of the then CEO Sebastian Mikosz.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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