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Morning brief: 18-December-2017

Hot off the press

  • KQ board to decide on contracts of five expatriates
  • Tourism defies election jitters to grow 7.7%

KQ board to decide on contracts of five expatriates
The Kenya Airways board of directors is set to decide on the fate of five expatriate managers who were hired by new CEO Sebastian Mikosz and whose contracts have now expired .The five expatriates were head-hunted from LOT Polish Airlines as part of the team expected to turn around the fortunes of the financially troubled national carrier. Read more (Source: Business Daily)
Our Take
The five Polish expats were hired in September with the approval of the KQ board. The team was supposed to serve the company for three months and thereafter, a decision was to be made whether their contracts would be renewed. According to the carrier’s chairman, Michael Joseph, a decision will be made early next year. The company’s reason for hiring these expats was to strengthen the transformation office with a team of airline professionals who have accomplished similar goals before (they had previously worked with KQ’s CEO in rescuing LOT Polish Airlines). Looking ahead, if their contracts are renewed, we anticipate these executives to continue to bring along new strategies and expertise in KQ’s key operation areas to drive revenue growth and support its bottom line subsequent to the carrier’s restructuring plan.

Tourism defies election jitters to grow 7.7% y/y in 3Q17
Tourist arrivals rose 7.7% in the three months to September, defying the gloom that was expected with the prolonged electioneering period ahead of the August 8 poll. Tourism is one of the few sectors that managed growth in a quarter that saw private sector activity drop to record lows as prolonged political instability exerted a heavy toll on the economy. Read more (Source: Business Daily)
Our Take
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WITC) Benchmarking Report 2017, Kenya’s tourism industry is expected to grow at an annual average of 6% over the next decade. Looking ahead, this will be beneficial for TPS Eastern Africa to leverage on. Although the company increased its loss to KES 188.8M (-227.6% y/y) its sales remained intact, dipping only  -1.3% y/y to KES 2.6B. The boost in tourist numbers in 2018 may bolster the growth of its top line going forward.
Trading highlights

  • Safaricom moved 11.9M shares in an intraday range of KES 24.50 – 27.50. The telco closed trade down 25 cents to KES 26.75.
  • Co-op Bank moved 8.5M shares to lead banking sector volume and closed trade at an unchanged price of KES 16.00.
  • KenGen traded 4.5M shares and closed trade up 10 cents to KES 8.75. 

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