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Kenya Airways Hits Two-Month Low on Rights Offer: Nairobi Mover

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Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya Airways Ltd., sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest airline by passenger numbers, fell for a second day in Nairobi trading, closing at its lowest level in two months, before a planned rights offer.

The stock of KQ, as the airline is known, dropped 1.3 percent to 18.65 shillings by the 3:00 p.m. close in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. This is the lowest level since Dec. 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“It appears people think a rights issue is going to be dilutive and are reducing their positions ahead of the announcement and maybe buy back when they know the level of dilution,” Eric Musau, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone today.

The carrier is looking to fund expansion in Africa with the rights offer. KQ plans to increase the number of aircraft to 107 by 2020 from 34 while raising the number of destinations to 115 destinations from 56, according to an e-mailed statement on Feb. 5. The national carrier also plans to have twelve cargo freighters by 2022. It plans to raise as much as 23 billion shillings ($276 million), Business Daily, a Nairobi-based newspaper, reported on June 6, citing the Finance Ministry.

“KQ wants to grow too, but the rights issue to kick start a new round of aircraft purchases is tough to place,” Renaissance Capital said today in an e-mailed note. “Even if successful, the risks are high, as competition for travel in Africa is getting stronger, and we believe the state of Nairobi airport does not make it an obvious hub.”

Crested Stock & Securities Ltd. of Uganda and Orbit Securities Co. of Tanzania have been appointed to advise on the offering in the respective countries, the Nairobi-based carrier said in an e-mailed statement on Feb. 5. Standard Investment Bank is the lead sponsoring broker in Kenya, while CFC Stanbic Holdings Ltd. is the lead transaction adviser for the rights offer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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