Kenya: UAP Shares Spice Nairobi Bourse

The Kenya stock market began the year on a high note with the start of trading of UAP Holdings new shares in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) market last week.

2013 promises to be another year of increased activity on the Nairobi Securities Exchange after a very active 2012.Speaking at the launch of the OTC market for UAP shares, Group Chairman Dr. Joe B Wanjui said the trading of the Group's new shares would provide investors in UAP with liquidity of their shares following the successful conclusion of UAP's Public Offer in December 2012.

"We are very excited to offer investors in UAP and the general public liquidity in their shares and a trading platform in advance of the planned listing of UAP shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) in a period of 12 to 18 months," said Dr. Wanjui.

"We believe the OTC market will provide an efficient price discovery mechanism and opportunity for the general public to acquire shares in UAP."

The launch of the OTC market follows a successful Public Offer concluded in December 2012, which saw the company float 12.5 million shares to the public at a price of Kshs 60.

The Public Offer was oversubscribed with a subscription level of 130%. Out of the target $8.8 million, the Offer raised $11.4 million, with a total of 951 new investors. The Public Offer is one of the key milestones in the long history of UAP Group, which has been characterized by steady, prudent and profitable growth focused on wide geographical coverage. Currently, the Group has a total of 11 operating companies in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda, with a total premium income in excess of Kshs 7 billion and total assets in excess of Kshs 22 billion.

As part of its real estate investments, the UAP Group has developed commercial properties in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan with total lettable space in excess of 1 million square feet. The Group has also obtained license to begin operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is in the final process of entering the Tanzania market. UAP Group has recorded impressive growth in earnings over the years. The Group recorded a significant improvement in its 2011 financial results over 2010 on all key measures, with excellent growth in profitability, driven by a strong growth in written premium, investment income, and material uplift in new business growth.

"The revenues generated by our core insurance business has continued to grow on the back of a strong value offering from our operations resulting in retention of existing business, new business growth through introduction of new products and enhancement of our existing distribution channels." said Kiarie.

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