Shares–Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro has bought more shares in Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
This move makes him top shareholder in the government utility provider.
A report by Business Daily on Friday August 4 confirmed that the UDA MP has bought an additional share 5.2 million making him now owner of 32.5 million shares.
This means he could simply buy out the company should that level to takeover be announced by the State.
An estimate by Business Daily puts him at nearly 1.67 percent stake in the multimillion utility company.
By last year, Nyoro was at 27.29 percent shares and his buying of more shares tightens his grip as the single largest individual shareholder in the near-monopoly electricity distributor.
The publication reported that MP Nyoro’s current ownership in the struggling utility is valued at sh 48.75 million, with the additional purchases in the year ended June worth nearly sh7.92 million.
Kenya Power shares have gained a modest 4.83 percent over the last year, closing trade on the Nairobi Securities Exchange NSE at Sh1.52 on Thursday compared with sh 1.45 per unit in August 2022.
Mr Nyoro, who chairs the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the National Assembly, said last September he started his investment journey in the equity market as a first-year student at Kenyatta University.
Kenya Power, which is among firms analysts say is undervalued on the NSE, is grappling with a weakening shilling, which has eaten into its earnings for the financial year ended June.
The State-controlled firm alerted investors in May that net earnings for the review year would fall by more than a quarter compared with dh3.5 billion in the prior year.
The free-falling shilling has significantly increased the burden of paying commercial loans that are dollar-denominated and also the purchase of electricity, which is priced in the US currency.
The Kenyan currency lost about 18.20 percent of value against the greenback, according to official exchange rates, closing in June at 140.52 units from 118.89 units in July 2022.
Kenya Power posted a sh1.1 billion net loss for the half year ended in December, blamed on the weak shilling and the 15 percent electricity tariff cut that was implemented in January 2022 under President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The power subsidies were scrapped by the William Ruto administration at the end of December.
The power distributor had estimated the loss in revenue arising from the tariff discount between January and December 2022 at sh 26 billion.
The firm’s revenues were further boosted in April after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority approved increased electricity tariffs, the first since 2018, hitting middle-class households and small commercial consumers hardest.
For instance, households and businesses paid sh 1,320.50 on average to buy 50 kilowatts-hour (units) of electricity in July, 65.7 percent more than Sh796.83 in the prior year, according to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
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