NSE HIGH

Safaricom’s share opens high, defy news of Collymore's exit

In Summary

• Government is pushing for the appointment of a Kenyan CEO to replace Collymore as adopted at a shareholder meeting in 2017.

• Collymore took a nine-month medical leave in late 2017 after battling cancer. 

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore speaks to the media after an investor briefing on the company's full-year results at its headquarters in Nairobi, May 11, 2016. Photo/REUTERS
Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore speaks to the media after an investor briefing on the company's full-year results at its headquarters in Nairobi, May 11, 2016. Photo/REUTERS

Safaricom Plc share Yesterday  defied news of chief executive Bob Collymore exit to close the day  at Sh28.60 up from a flat of Sh28 the previous day at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. 

The share had opened at 0.71 per cent high but eased to gain 0.54 per cent at the close of business, illustrating investors’ confidence in the largest Telco in the country in terms of revenue and customer subscription.

The price is however Sh5 lower compared to its all-time high of Sh33.50 last April.

 

On Monday, Reuters reported that Collymore who joined the firm in August 2010, taking over from Michael Joseph is planning to step down in August on health reasons.

“He wants to concentrate on his health so he did not wish to renew his contract,” Reuters quoted a government official privy to contractual arrangements.

Collymore, on the other hand, said he was still in discussions with the board, adding it would make announcements on the chief executive position at a later date.

“I have every confidence that whether I’m here or not, that this company will run ... This is an institution. It is not a company which is just run by a single person,” he said.

Yesterday, the company issued a statement, saying that Collymore's tenure at the firm is being deliberated by the board.

''At the onset, I would like to state that the Safaricom PLC Board has not made a decision on the matter," said Safaricom chairman Nicholas Nganga. 

He said this will be subject of deliberation by the board and once a decision is made it will be communicated at the appropriate time. 

The Kenyan government is pushing for the appointment of a Kenyan CEO to replace Collymore as adopted at a shareholder meeting in 2017.

The Telco will announce its financial results for the year ended March 31, 2018, on Friday.

Last year, its net profit grew to Sh55.3 billion, compared to Sh48.4 billion the year before on the back of M-Pesa and data revenues.

The news of his exit attracted uproar on social media, with Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) predicting the downfall of the company if a Kenyan citizen is selected to lead it.

Collymore took a nine-month medical leave in late 2017 after battling cancer. During his tenure, Safaricom’s share price has increased by more than 400 per cent from an initial offer price of Sh5.


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