Kenya govt to privatise 35 state companies, president says

By Reuters

Kenya’s President William Ruto said on Thursday the government was poised to privatise 35 state companies and was looking at a further 100 firms after enacting a law last month to cut down on bureaucracy.

Kenya last privatised a state-owned company in 2008 when it issued an IPO for 25% of the shares in telecommunications firm Safaricom (SCOM.NR).

In 2009, the cabinet approved a list of 26 firms to privatise, including the Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Electricity Generating Company, and banks, but no action has yet been taken.

“We have identified the first 35 companies that we are going to offer to investors,” Ruto told a meeting of African stock market officials in the capital Nairobi.

Ruto did not name the companies and Finance Minister Njuguna Ndung’u declined to do so.

Kenya is grappling with acute liquidity challenges caused by uncertainty over its ability to access funding from financial markets before a $2 billion Eurobond matures next June.

The law signed by Ruto last month calls for privatisation to be done through methods including IPOs and the sale of shares through public tendering.