The Kenya Re IPO opens in a week (July 18) and, it's a good time to assess the potential gains for a retail investor who subscribes.
While the prospectus is not yet out, all signs are that this will be a massive Kengen-like IPO, a quasi-monopoly with good growth prospects & profits that will stir the investment market. (I was wrong on most counts about the Eveready IPO)
But unlike Kengen, corporate and institutional investors have been allocated a good chunk of the cake, which they won't have to fight over with retail investors. So what's left for retail?
56,000 shareholders: According to reports, retail investors have been allocated a pool of 47%. That comes to 112.8 million shares of the 240 million shares offered. So 56,400 is the expected number of
retail investors [buying 2,000 shares at 9.50 each = Kshs 19,000 ($283)]. But Kengen drew many more than that and these were retail investors applying for several thousand shares (above the Kengen minimum of 5,950 shillings). And with so many pyramids schemes crashing down, those lucky to have got any cash out will hope to repeat the magic rise of Kengen on day one on listing. Plus commercial banks are still flush with cash and will probably offer more loans to buy shares.
oversubscribed = refund: budget a minimum two hours for queuing, filling out forms. IPO opens on July 18, closes on July 31. Then wait for about a month, till mid-August for results with the new shares expected to list towards month end (August 25 or September. Depending on the retail surge, one can expect between 1/3 and ½ of the shares applied for – meaning you pay Kshs. 19,000 for 2,000 shares but end
up with 700 shares worth Kshs. 6,650. This is followed by another hour visit to the stockbroker to trace the inevitable refund cheque in September.
Is it worth it? Probably, for Kenya Re. But why not sit out the Kenya Re IPO and wait for the shares to list at the end of August? The price will have changed, but if it's around 15 shillings, then you can buy as much as you want just by calling your
stockbroker and placing an order – by passing the headache of an IPO? 19,000 shillings will not earn much in any savings account, but at least the money is
available and within reach – as perhaps other share prices will drop within reach as investors cash out to buy into Kenya Re.
Still, it is insulting that some shareholders think of retail investors as emotional cattle who buy and sell on whims and don’t do any research and analysis. And
we don’t have the extra privilege granted to institutions who, this time, won’t have to pay any money until they get their share allocation confirmed.