Saturday, August 12, 2006

Googling out Corruption

There was an intriguing, and sadly funny, piece on Nation TV (NTV’s 9 PM news) last night where reporter Robert Nagila called the offices of a company that has a controversial $2m tender to supply raw material to EAPC.

Someone (perhaps some directors) could be overheard mumbling what to tell the reporter who had unexpectedly called, before coming back on the line to tell Nagila that all company information, including a (Nairobi) office location were confidential matters that he would not disclose.

A google search of the company name reveals that the only mention of the company are in Kenyan newspapers and only in reference to the supply contract. Not every answer is in Google/ search engines but it gives the impression that the company was formed for only one purpose, or has only one business, which is to supply EAPC.

Compare that to the expose by Sharesleuth of a dubious company attempting to rip off investors diving into the bio-fuel craze. Yet the owners of this company, which actually exists, engaged in more elaborate side tricks, including a reverse merger, to prop up and get their shares trading at rising prices.

Google/search engine results are not perfect it goes to show that the days of briefcase contractors of the Anglo-Leasing kind may be numbered since a simple Google such can reveal something or nothing about a company and its expertise. What would have happened if staff at the AG’s Chambers had googled the names of any of the Anglo Leasing companies? And would they still have signed off on these mind-boggling contracts with international (non existent) company?


kenyananalyst said...

Apparently the world shrinks daily all the more, even for the wisest of thieves.

annex said...

Banks:Looks like EAPC was/is a den of corruption despite their improved results. Both the former mgt (mapelu incl) & the other Directors cannot afford to play innocent. Massive corruption & inefficiency has been happening ubder their watch. I think the Govt should pressure lafarge to loosen the grip on the local cement industry by giving up some % of EAPC - equally the govt should also give up a similar % of their ownership inorder to improve the quality of the board.
NOTE:As govt divesture continues similar type corruption might also be going on in Govt controlled companies Kengen/KenyaRe/Pipeline. The parastatal vices still remain. Be warned when buying into these companies - some material facts (e.g. org.culture etc) are never disclosed in the prospectuses.

gathinga said...

its a shame that mapelu could have in bed with the sharks after all. with all the support that came his way from all quarters, one wonders whether there are any honest guys left......but how come eapc share price remains strong despite all this crap...even the fact that only 6% is listed doesnt add up!!

coldtusker said...

@annex: Reading the Kenya Times story, it seems to indict the chairman & not Ole Mapelu.

Regarding LaFarge's ownership in EAPCC, look at history. They always had a stake in EAPCC through Blue Circle PLC. LaFarge bought out Blue Circle in the UK thus inheriting EAPCC's ownership.

Thereafter, EAPCC had a Rights that most shareholders DID NOT take up thus LaFarge bought the shares to provide the requisite funding.

If LaFarge had not bought the Rights, EAPCC would have collapsed.

Similarly, Bamburi bought shares in ARM coz ARM was broke & thus Bamburi helped out by buying a stake.

Culture is not tangible thus my blog on this matter. What level of TRUST/FAITH do you have in the various firms' management/board?

Ken said...

I was suspicious of a CEO leaving such a lucrative post in a huff, there is much more to the boardroom squabbles than the press could make out.

Banks dont you think it's unfortunate brokers dont allow investors to short stocks in the NSE.
The agricultural sector seems to have been going down when everything else went up.

mushenzi said...

Yesterday Pan africa insurance share price rose by 20 shillings which was a 30 something percent rise. Doesn't the 10% change-of-price limit apply anymore at the NSE? Today they published their improved results which might suggest that buyers had insider info yesterday abt the improved perfomance....

Nelie said...

Panafrican rose 39 percent. NSE regulations allow for price swings immediately after results are out. Results were out on Friday so this was in order

bankelele said...

kenyananalyst: true, smaller world, difficult to hide

annex; Typical parastatal, but one which is lucrative and profitable.

Gathinga: I don't think MD was involved. Shares don't move much because there are very few available for sale

coldtusker: It appeaprs Lafarge was welcomed to support ailing companies, but now that they are strong, they are being asked to step aside

Ken: Someone is leaking all their secrets to NTV now. I don't knwo how shorting would work in the CDS era. Agriculture companies are few, mainly tea and they have had a tough two years. If Mumias Sugar was listed with them, the sector would have performed better

Mushenzi: I too was shocked by Pan africa, thought it was a typo

Nelie: Can you share the rules? (please link them for us).

Nelie said...

Just a random rule that knew - like the 10% price spread. Will ask NSE if they have them on website.

mushenzi said...

Nelie: U said results were out on friday. Having been published today does it mean u heard frm
internal sources. That notwithstanding, i think bloggers should be requested to share any
financial results info they get here in GOOD time. atleast we can make buy/sell decisions
before the market swings after the announcement...

Nelie said...

I could be wrong on the Friday posting. Don't take my word for it. Just heard it from someone.
couldn't open though

Riba Capital said...


Please give me your e mail address.

bankelele said...

Nelie: Will check the NSE and CMA rules

mushenzi: Maybe there was an investor briefing, but again the public could only have known earliest on the Monday news


entrepkik said...

I think the announcements take effect when the particular document(from the lister) announcing the special news/event reaching the NSE and NSE availing it to the trading floor. But I can swear that in two or three instances in the past I reason to suspect the same document reaching NSE twice in a matter of one/two weeks and therefore affecting the 10% rule.

There is very little immediate exposure of the investing public to these announcements prior to them being published in the newspaper, which I'm not sure is mandatory, infact I believe there are several which are never put in the press, and not so infrequent, they are published a day or two after they have been traded(cum announcement)

Anouncements are usually dished out to the brokers on the floor as the trading begins in the trading floor. NSE does not always pin them on the public board in the trading floor. How they expect the investing public(who are actually their customers and not the brokers!-who are unfortunately owners) to know about them is anybody's guese. They should at least be sending these announcement by email immediately they receive it. I once asked them about it and they said the companies are not responding to their request to be providing softcopies, but surely at least they should be able to communicate the main features of the announcement!

Syga said...

Don't worry, dear. Most companies doing shady deals usually get found out. But then, the damage would have already been done. These things don't just happen overnight. In order for dishonest transactions to take off and soar, gamekeepers have to look the other way their pockets bulging and with promises of more to come.

mwasjd said...

I guess the NSE and EAPC have something in common regarding shady under-the-table deals. Sad state of affairs if you ask me, regarding EAPC. Company has moved to profitability but corruption paints a bad picture. Lafarge brought in the much needed bucks, but any ideas about figuring where the buck stops won't help as seen by how inquiry commissions go.

Mushenzi, si what you are asking for is insider info which is illegal? Ama is it that the first to get the info straight from the trading floor rather than from a gazeti shouldn't be accused of being well prepared to take advantage of such price gains?

mushenzi said...

mwasjd> I wasn't requesting for insider info really, just well founded analytical predictions of the companies' perfomance/results just before periodical results are announced by those who understand the company WELL. Dangerous speculation from wajuaji (whose pride lies in misleading others) is not welcome tho'

Nelie said...

To all
If you had dinner with Bharat Thakrar, what questions would you ask him concerning Scangroup?

bankelele said...

entrepkik: Even on the trading floor, where are annoucenment placed? are they e-mailed to all brokers and media houses, simulatneusly?

Syga: I don't think companies are shady, mischief is by brokers

Mwasjd: EAPC is run like a parastatal when it is not one

Mushenzi: Coldtusker, Riba, Gathinga, stock-detective and others give good predictions. check them out

Nelie: I'd congratulate him and ask him to please show Manu Chandaria his Scangroup IPO prospectus.

Nelie said...

Thanks Kelele but that's not a question. What would you like to know about the company as a potential investor.

Ken said...

I would ask him which firms he has admired the most in the industry.
Which markets he thinks will be the fastest growing in Africa in the next 5 years.
What technologies and business trends are giving him sleepless nights.

That would paint a picture of whatever possible aquisitions he is looking at plus Scangroups expansion route.


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