Thursday, June 29, 2006

When will uchumi shares resume trading at the NSE

The government, through the minister of trade had promised to re-open some of Uchumi's stores this week. However, the PS came out yesterday saying the action would be delayed pending consent from the board of PTA bank and the recruitmnent of new managers. This will take some weeks.

This is good news to invesors as it means they will ultimately be able to recoup their cash. I have received queries from some investors as to when they will be able to trade their shares on the market again. This will take time.................actually years. There are several conditionsythat have to be fulfiled before Uchumi can be allowed to trade again.

The business has to get out of insolvency:
This is a tall order which means the company has to trade back to ptofits to the tune of after tax profits exceeding Kshs. 1.3bn. This is the deficit in their books as per the last financial statements. Alternatively, shareholders will have to inject additional capital to close this gap.
The secured creditors (PTA & KCB banks) will have to be paid .
The Business will have to firmly come back to the black to the extent that the CMA is satisfied that the company cannot slide back to insolvency.

Considering the performance of Uchumi before they got in the red and also of their competitors, all being well, its my opinion that at least three years are required before uchumi can be allowed to trade again. This is also on condition that on repopening, kenyans agree to shop at Uchumi.

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