18 April 2018

Kenya: National Oil Eyes Sh100 Billion in London Bourse Listing Cash Call

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday told UK investors at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) that National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) will next year list on Nairobi and London bourses.

The dual-listing on LSE and Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) targets to raise $1 billion (Sh100.62 billion under prevailing rates) through a sale of shares in an initial public offering.

Nock will use the proceeds to buy back up to 35 per cent stake in two oil blocks in Lokichar Basin in Turkana.

UK's Tullow Oil and its two partners have struck recoverable oil reserves estimated in the upwards of 750 million barrels in blocks 13T and 10BB south of Turkana since they made the first discovery in February 2012.

Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau, who is also in London, had said last November the contract for the concession of oil blocks to current operators has a clause allowing the government to exercise a back-in right.

"The percentage we can buy back is 15 in one block and 20 in the other. The listing should raise enough money for the purchase," Mr Kamau said on November 30.

"We are now listing something that is real. The existing operators of the oil blocks are already involved... it is something that is in the contract."

Tullow controls half of the oil reserves in the two oil-rich blocks, while Canadian-owned Africa Oil and Total hold a 25 per cent stake each.

Total became an owner last August after it bought out Maersk Oil of Denmark in a share and debt swap with the firm's parent company, Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk.

Full-scale production is planned from 2021 following last October deal between the government and Tullow to build an 865-kilometre pipeline linking the Turkana oil fields to Lamu port (under construction) at a cost of about Sh210 billion.

Nock, incorporated in 1981, is involved in the marketing of petroleum products (downstream), development of petroleum infrastructure (midstream) and exploration of oil and gas (upstream activities).

The dual-listing will be facilitated by an earlier memorandum of understanding between LSE Group and NSE, enabling dual-listing of Kenyan shares and bonds in London.

"The United Kingdom continues to be a valuable economic partner in Kenya's socio-economic policies," said Mr Kenyatta in a statement.

LSE Group chairman Donald Brydon said London was also keen to partner with Nairobi in affordable housing through securitisation.

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