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Old Mutual Starts Coverage on KenolKobil With Buy; Total on Sell

KenolKobil Ltd., Kenya’s biggest oil marketing company, was rated buy, while Total Kenya Ltd., the local unit of Europe’s largest oil company, was rated sell in new coverage by Nairobi-based Old Mutual Securities Ltd.

KenolKobil’s fair-value price was set at 14.70 shillings and that of Total Kenya at 13.25 shillings, the brokerage said today in an e-mailed note to clients. KenolKobil rose 0.5 percent to 10.40 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, the capital. Total Kenya jumped 2.6 percent to 17.5 shillings.

“Our investment case on KenolKobil is informed by the company’s expansion strategy in sub-Saharan Africa,” Old Mutual analysts Eric Munywoki, Halima Saadia and Geoffrey Maina said in the report. “On Total Kenya, we think the outlook is constrained by a stagnant margin, low cost efficiencies and a poor cash position, due to the non-diversification from the local market.”

Tullow Oil Corp. and Africa Oil Corp. made Kenya’s first oil discovery last March. In February, East Africa’s largest economy, said it will offer as many as nine more oil and gas exploration licenses.

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