Phew, so long an absence.............like there’s not been anything going on in the investment world. Well, over the past two months we got back to Kampala, the land of all nice things served with pot-holes in all roads. But it is lovely. Although, it is somewhat interesting when you do not necessarily have to rely on the internet to access the goings-on.
Anyhow, I have a lot of beef as an investor and on behalf of other investors. I’ve recently been trying to assess the viability of long term investing on the Uganda Stock Exchange. All indicators are that it is possible within certain constraints.
The last time a company dilly dallied with regards to an IPO, several investors (both seasoned and amateurs) got burned. Now, on getting to Uganda, one would have expected that the NIC IPO would be in the air with all the publicity. HELL NO! Apparently, these chaps just couldn’t piece together a comprehensive prospectus. It is at this point that a certain Safaricom comes to mind.
When newspaper reports suggest that NIC’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2008 were qualified by the auditors, it begs the question? Is the company worth selling to the general public especially given the fact that financial deepening is the ultimate goal of the Capital Markets Authority/Government? Either way, I still would not expect any company to submit a prospectus with unsigned reports from accountants, auditors, lawyers and valuers.
I have never ever invested in a company whose audit opinion was qualified in any way, shape or form but given the scenario and rumour surrounding NIC, this may be a first for me and I’m sure for several investors. I honestly can’t wait to see the prospectus though I believe the 162 million shares on offer (40%) are very few which gives the company to misprice the IPO.