Agony as investors fail to buy Safaricom shares
Published on April 23, 2008, 12:00 am
By John Njiraini
Mr Edward Gathege is a distraught man. He was a shareholder at the defunct Nyaga Stockbrokers. His shares worth about Sh800,000 were sold without his consent in February, and he has been camping at the offices of the joint statutory managers for days on end.
So far he has opened a new CDS account, the process of securing the shares and transferring them has been depressingly slow, and his plans of selling some of the shares and use the proceeds to buy Safaricom did not bear fruit. Because of this he is a bitter man.
“I really wanted to buy Safaricom shares but I can’t,” he told The Standard.
Today about 130,000 retail investors who had entrusted their wealth with collapsed Nyaga Stockbroker are in a state of desolation after missing a chance to invest in the Safaricom IPO which closes at 3pm today.
Although the Chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange, Mr Jimnah Mbaru, had promised the investors in March that they would get their dues in time to invest in the offer, this has not be the case.
Mr Wycliffe Shamiah, Nyaga Stockbrokers joint statutory manager, said they were in the process of receiving claims before they start to settle them.
“We are still in the process of verifying the shares then we embark on payments,” he said, adding they are yet to ascertain how much money Nyaga had in their accounts.
He, however, added that some investors whose shares were not sold have transferred to new brokerage companies.
Shamiah acknowledged that many investors have been passed by the opportunity to buy Safaricom shares because even after transfer, they had to wait for four days before they could sell them.
Nyaga Stockbrokers was put under statutory management in February after it emerged the firm was experiencing financial problems and had resorted to trading in investors shares without consent.