State to sell its shares in cement firm

State to sell its shares in cement firm
Published: 26 September 2006

The Government is preparing to sell its shares in East African Portland Cement Company through the Nairobi Stock Exchange. 
 
Without releasing a timetable, Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi said the government had fulfilled its duty of delivering the cement manufacturer to profitability. "It’s time for the government to offload its shareholding," he told reporters yesterday. 
 
The Government owns 25 per cent of Portland while the National Social Security Fund controls 27 per cent. French conglomerate Lafarge holds 41 per cent shares. Dr Kituyi said the three shareholders would be meeting in the second week of next month to discuss the government’s shareholding. 
 
Also on the agenda is the appointment of a managing director to replace Mr Zakayo ole Mapelu who resigned early last month. They will also come up with a method of dealing with Lafarge’s shareholding. Lafarge also has shares in other cement manufacturers Bamburi (73 per cent) and 15 per cent in Athi River Mining. 
 
Portland is also embroiled in claims of irregular listing at the Stock Exchange, with only 6.3 per cent of shares held by other investors. The rules say that a company should have a minimum 25 per cent shares listed at the NSE and therefore available for trading.