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Kenya’s most savvy investors

By Dominic Omondi | September 29th 2020 at 09:00:00 GMT +0300

Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Group CEO addresses shareholders at Equity Group’s 16th Annual General Meeting in Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri]  

Forget reinventing the wheel. If you want to make money at the stock exchange, then follow these 12 savviest investors whose collective investment in the top 20 listed companies is valued at Sh25.6 billion.

They have been shrewd in the way they have made their business decisions, with some content with the dividend that comes with their stake in the market.

A dividend is a sum of money paid regularly by a company to its shareholders out of its profits. Indeed, the blue-chip stocks that these savvy individuals have put their money in have earned their stripes for the way they have consistently been profitable.

The profitability of a company also has the effect of swelling the share price at the stock market. And this is where the second set of investors at the stock market comes in. They are the patient investors - those who observe the gyrations of the stock market like a predator on prey. They know that in the end, everything will fall in place.

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Of course, not all stocks will make you money. But these investors have proven to Kenyans that there is always opportunity and money to be made in a big way by dealing in shares.

But there are higher chances of hitting it big with liquid counters such as Safaricom, Equity Bank, KCB, East Africa’s Breweries Ltd (EABL), Britam, Centum Investments, Diamond Trust Bank, ABSA Kenya, Co-operative Bank of Kenya and Scan Group.

Some of these investors are bankers such as James Mwangi of Equity Bank and Gideon Muriuki of Co-operative Bank.

There are also entrepreneurs such as Chris Kirubi who owns a significant stake at Centum, which owns Two Rivers Mall, among other investments. Other prominent entrepreneurs are Baloobhai Patel, who owns the Sankara Hotel and businessman-cum stockbroker Jimnah Mbaru.

Here is a list of investors with the most shares at NSE’s blue-chip companies.

1. James Mwangi

For the 20 most valuable companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the CEO of Equity Bank has the most valuable stock at the Nairobi bourse valued at Sh5 billion.  He owns 127,809,180 shares at Equity Bank valued at Sh4.55 billion at Sh36 a share as per last week’s trading. He also has shares at Britam worth Sh532 million. With his shares at Equity, Mwangi also sits on the board of the country’s second-largest bank by asset size and is entitled to a hefty salary and director’s allowance besides pocketing dividends from the profits that the bank makes.

2. Chris Kirubi

He is the second top investors in blue-chip stocks. Kirubi has a significant shareholding at Centum Investments, which has interests in banking, retail, agriculture, real estate, education, among other investments. His stake at Centum, over a third, is valued at Sh4.1 billion. The flamboyant businessman, who was also a disc jockey before he underwent cancer treatment last year, has a significant interest in a number of firms.

3. John Kibunga Kimani

Kimani is perhaps one of the most active stock investors. With shares valued at over Sh3.4 billion. The recluse billionaire has interests in most of the bluechip companies including East African Breweries, Safaricom, Centum Investments and Nation Media Group (NMG). The 73-year-old has a significant stake in Kakuzi, an agricultural company, valued at Sh2.4 billion.

7. Sandip Kana Sinh Babla

The Bablas have substantial shares at KCB and Safaricom, all valued at Sh2.1 billion. If you combine their shareholding, they come third at the KCB after Treasury and NSSF.

4. Jane Wangui Njuguna

Jane Wangui is the wife of Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi. Like her husband, she also has shares at the bank valued at Sh2.1 billion. Wangui, together with Equity Bank founder Peter Munga also run an investment vehicle called Filimbi Ltd, which is among the top shareholders of Britam.

5. Baloobhai Patel

Patel, a businessman and entrepreneur, is the current managing director of Transworld Safaris Ltd, which he also owns. He also owns minority stakes in a number of publicly listed companies at the NSE — Abasa Kenya, Bamburi Cement, Diamond Trust Bank and Safaricom. He has a 35 per cent stake in Carbacid Investments (which is not among the NSE-20 firms), taking his wealth tally to Sh1.7 billion. He owns most of the shares with his wife Amarjeet Baloobhai. Their wealth at the bourse is more than Sh1.7 billion. They also have interests in firms outside the NSE-20. Together with the former Attorney General Charles Njonjo, they are shareholders of Grenadier Limited which owns high end Sankara Hotel.

8. Chirag Minesh Solanki and Kalavati Menesh Solanki

They have a Sh1.9 billion stake at KCB Bank.

9. Gadhi Pulin Mahendra and Family

This family has shares valued at Sh1.4 billion at EABL and Safaricom.

10. Jimnah Mbaru

Jimnah Mbaru, the former chairman of the NSE, has Sh1.38 billion shares in Britam Holdings. He is among the first six founders of the NSE and owns stockbroker firm, Dyer and Blair. The 65-year-old also has shares in Equity Bank and TransCentury. He also has vast interests in a number of firms.

11. Gideon Muriuki

The CEO of Co-operative Bank is the largest individual shareholder of the bank that is majority-owned by cooperative societies. His shares at the lender are valued at Sh1.23 billion. Besides, benefitting from dividends paid from the profits, he is paid a salary and is given an allowance as a director at the bank. He also sits on the Board of Kingdom Bank, formerly Jamii Bora, which Co-operative Bank recently acquired.

6. Benson Wairegi

The CEO of Britam Holdings. He has shares at Britam and Equity Bank valued at Sh1.04 billion.

12. Peter Munga

The founder of Equity Bank has shares valued at Sh949.5 million at Equity and Britam. He has since offloaded most of his shares at Equity.  

Chris Kirubi Peter Munga James Mwangi
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