Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Business Briefs

Nakumatt over-expanding?
As Uchumi has sunk ever deeper into debt and losses (financial and customers) the Nakumatt chain has grown by adding new lines such as automotive, housing, cars, furniture into their supermarkets – and making their brand “all under one roof.” But of late Nakumatt has added new stores in Nairobi such that they may fall into the trap of Uchumi where new stores eat into old store sales. There are now two Nakumatt’s on Ngong Road (within two kilometres of each other. And with two Nakumatt’s on Kenyatta Avenue and signs of a third one going up on Moktar Daddah street (between Jevanjee and K street), to be known as "Nakumatt Lifestyle", there will be three Nakumatt’s in downtown Nairobi within a square kilometre of each other.

Kenya losing the peace dividend in Sudan
The Sunday Standard (Feb 6) identified how in-fighting and incompetence at the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs will lead to Kenyan companies losing business opportunities in the new Sudan to other countries. Britain and Denmark now have liaison offices in Southern Sudan, and South Africa has launched a massive program to bring their businesspeople to both Khartoum and Rumbek.

EABL cross listing
East African Breweries, who are the pre-eminent presence on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, have announced plans to also be listed on the Dar es Salaam stock exchange in a few months. Kenya Airways was the first company to do this, late in 2004, and its stock price doubled within weeks as Tanzanian investors bought into the stock. Will this happen to EABL? They did a 5:1 stock split late in 2004 that made their high-flying share price (500+ shillings a share) more affordable. It now trades at about 100 shillings/share.

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