HOLDING COMPANY PLANNED

Exchange suspends KQ trading for three months

This follows publication of National Management Aviation Bill 2020.

In Summary
  • The suspension took effect on Friday July 3 and will remain in force for  three months during restructuring and a government buyout.
  • The national carrier's share price went up 31%  per cent in value on Friday, a week after a bill to collapse it into an aviation holding company was tabled in Parliament.
NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo monitors the daily trading at the Nairobi Bourse,
NSE: NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo monitors the daily trading at the Nairobi Bourse,
Image: ENOS TECHE

The Nairobi Securities Exchange has suspended trading of Kenya Airways shares for three months following imminent corporate restructuring and a government buyout.

Suspension follows publication of National Management Aviation Bill 2020, sponsored by the government.

The suspension took effect on Friday.

"Kenya Airways had applied for suspension of trading in its shares and closure of its register until the conclusion of its future is determined," NSE said in a public notice by the Capital Markets Authority.

The national carrier's share price went up 31 per cent in value on Friday, a week after a Bill to collapse it into an aviation holding company was tabled in the Parliament.

The shares, which traded at Sh2.50 on Thursday last week, had been gaining 10 per cent since Monday, rising to Sh3.28 on Tuesday when it moved 1.3 million shares, the highest since January.

During the AGM last Friday, KQ chairman Michael Joseph was at pains to explain the firm’s perennial poor results that denied shareholders dividends for three consecutive years.

The airline reported a gross loss of Sh12.98 billion in the year ending December 2019, a 71 per cent drop compared to a Sh7.55 billion loss the previous year.

Shareholders incurred a Sh2.23 loss per share, almost double the Sh1.30 loss reported in the previous financial year.

At the AGM, shareholders welcomed the National Aviation Management Bill, 2020. It would create an aviation holding company under which the airline's balance sheet would be merged with the Kenya Airports Authority.

The law proposes KA, KAA, the Aviation Investment Corporation and other entities established will be subsidiaries of the Kenya Aviation Corporation (KAC), the proposed holding firm.

The objective is to improve the competitiveness of the Kenyan aviation sector.

(Edited by V. Graham)