Stakeholders at the Nairobi Securities Exchange are in a process of lobbying for a policy that would force listing of private firms on the bourse, a process called Initial Public Offering (IPO).
If adopted, the policy will see successful local private firms cede part of their shares to Kenyans.
According to NSE Chief Executive Officer, Geoffrey Odundo, the move will see Kenyans enjoy the success of the companies by getting an opportunity to own shares in the firms that continue to thrive in the local markets.
“We have done and are focused on requesting government to change policy that will see successful private companies with a huge impact on the economy list at NSE. Kenyans who support these companies must become part of this success,” Odundo stated on Thursday during the launch of the NSE’s third Trading Bell TV Series in Nairobi.
The CEO further noted that NSE is in talks with the government to allow opening of new public listings via privatisation of known profitable State entities.
Odundo gave an example of the 2006-2008 period when entities like Safaricom and KenGen went public.
Following the Kenyan move, in 2006 Tanzania followed suit, forcing its telecommunication and mining companies to go public.
The policy gave Tanzanians opportunity to own part of companies’ stakes while reserving major stakes for the government, Odundo says.
Private entities that would go public, will be expected to make financial disclosures while abiding by set timelines, open themselves to investor scrutiny, conform to set corporate governance practices as well as coming up with policies that promote gender equity.
This includes making public their financial results quarterly and annually as well as holding shareholders meetings.