THE Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), has suspended Kenya Airways (KQ), share trading on its main bourse to pave way for restructuring process spearhead by the Kenyan government.
The bourse said their counterpart—Nairobi Securities Exchange—also notified them for the same move in Kenya due to the ongoing discussion which will result into 100 percent buy-out from existing shareholders by the Kenyan government.
“DSE has also been notified of the suspension from trading of the [KQ’s] shares on the [main markets] of the Nairobi Securities Exchange following directives from the Capital Markets Authority Kenya to suspend,” DSE notice said.
The suspension starts Monday, though was not given a timeline on DSE, in Kenya, NSE said the exercises will last three months.
Last Friday, NSE said in a statement that KQ had applied for the suspension. This will also see the airline’s shares register closed until the state of its future is determined.
“The company’s operational and corporate restructure and government buy-out is now imminent following the publication of the National Management Aviation Bill, 2020, on 18th June 2020,” said NSE.
Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has approved the suspension, which will see KQ shareholders unable to buy or sell their shares during the period.
The suspension sets in immediately and will remain in force up to October 3 and comes at a time. KQ shares have been experiencing a rally, defying the generally bearish bourse since Covid-19 struck in mid-March.
Orbit Securities said in its weekly market synopsis KQ share defied all the headwinds the airline faces and gained 45 percent to close at 80/-for the week ending last Friday.
“Moreover,” Orbit said, “the move is to allow the ownership restructuring of the airline whereby the government is buying out all other shareholders”.
The return of KQ to the NSE now lies in the hands of Kenya’s Parliament given that the passage of the National Aviation Management Bill 2020 will see government take back full control of the national carrier by October and delist it.
The loss-making airline, which is 48.9 percent government-owned and 7.8 percent held by Air France-KLM, was privatised 24 years ago but sank into debt and losses in 2014.
Air-France-KLM, which had the option of selling its stake to the government and staying on as a technical partner for the airline, has opted to exit.