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CFC insurance shares trade at NSE

Friday, April 22, 2011 - 00:00 -- BY LOLA OKULO
NSE
An investor looks at the digital board at the Nairobi Stock Exchange(NSE)

CFC Insurance holdings shares traded for the first time at the Nairobi Stock Exchange yesterday after a de-merger with CFC Stanbic Holdings which separated the banking and insurance business of the group.

CFCIH now becomes the fourth insurance company to list on the NSE after Kenya Reinsurance Corporation, Jubilee and Pan-Africa. CFCIH’s majority shareholder is Liberty Holdings a multinational firm affiliated to the Standard Bank Group based in South Africa which has a 56.82 per cent stake.

It comprises of Heritage Insurance Company and CFC Life Assurance Limited. The de-merged companies however still remain as part of Standard Group.“The market has been struggling to value supermarket style services and this is why the separation was important,” commented Mike du Toit, Managing Director of CFCIH. He noted that the separation will enable the individual firms to focus on their core businesses.

NSE Chief Executive Peter Mwangi noted that the investors’ appetite at the bourse had increased and that the market was entering a new phase of growth.

The new 515 million shares which were listed yesterday at the market by way of introduction opened trading at Sh6.52 per share. According to Mwangi, CFCIH’s listing is the first introduction on the NSE since that of Equity bank in August 2006.

Shareholders of CFC Stanbic gave their approval for the de-merger last August and CFCIH received approval to sell the introduction shares in November 2010.

The last time there was a new listing on the NSE was in December 2008 when Co-operative Bank shares started trading according to NSE boss Mwangi who noted that the market has now recovered from effects of global economic crisis.“It marks the beginning of a new growth phase in our markets. We can confirm that an additional two new companies have commenced the process of applying to list their shares on the stock exchange and hopefully they will be listed before the year ends,” Mwangi noted.