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USE halts Kenya Airways trading as ownership restructures

By Samuel Sanya

Added 17th November 2017 04:16 PM

The suspension of trading means shareholders of Kenya Airways cannot sell their shares.

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The suspension of trading means shareholders of Kenya Airways cannot sell their shares.

The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) halted trading of shares in Kenya Airways on Friday to facilitate debt to equity conversions in the troubled airline.

“A series of inter-conditional transactions have been entered into with a number of key creditors, as well as re-organisation of the company’s share capital,” USE’s chief executive, Paul Bwiso, said in a statement on the voluntary suspension of trading in Kenya airways.
 
“If successfully concluded, the transaction may have an effect on the price of the company’s shares,” he added, noting that the suspension could continue beyond November 28.
 
The suspension of trading means shareholders of Kenya Airways cannot sell their shares on the exchange and neither can buyers take up stock till the suspension is lifted at a future date.
 
Trading of the Airlines stock was suspended on Wednesday at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), a day earlier, on the market where the company is originally listed. On Monday, Kenya’s Treasury and 10 local banks said they had converted their debt, worth more than Ksh44 b (about sh1.5 trillion).
 
The government's stake under the plan will rise to 48.9% from 29.8%, while the banks' stake - acquired under a special purpose vehicle known as KQ Lenders Co. - will stand at 38.1%. Cumulatively, the Kenyan government and the ten banks will own a majority 87% stake.
 
Speaking at a media briefing on Friday 17th November in Nairobi, Kenya airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz noted that the airline had narrowed its pretax loss to Ksh3.77b (about sh132b) for the quarter ended September 2017 according to a Reuters report.
 
The report noted that Kenya Airways ferried more passengers, cut costs and benefited from improved passenger yields. Mikosz noted that figures would have been better had it not been for the political environment in Kenya which affected tourist arrivals.

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