Gearing up to invest in Kenya


Peter Nge’no, general manager at UAP investment, says investing is not a short term project and investors must be in for the long haul.

“If you expect to get into the stock market and make money in a six months or a year a you’re kidding yourself. Look at some of the richest people in the world like Warren Buffett. He’s about 80 but it took him a long time to accumulate his money,” he said.

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Nge’no says a good starting point is the stock market as there are many options such as investing directly through a broker or investing via a unit trust. Another investment opportunity is through infrastructure projects such as railways, roads or cement industry.

“Look at the companies that will support infrastructure developments so for example you can look a cement company. So if you know there are going to be a lot of roads or infrastructure spends, then you know there’s going to be a lot of cement that’s needed.

“You wouldn’t necessary be able to invest directly in the project, but by proxy you can invest through the company that will be supplying cement or telecommunication equipment of things like that,” said Nge’no.

In terms of maturity periods or turnaround times of investments Nge’no says when negotiating project finance you will find out how long the project to take to build. Creditors or banks will usually give a grace period during which you’re not paying any interest on your loan.

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“These things are already negotiated in the contract because banks themselves don’t want to the project to fail so they try and make it as simple as possible so that the company can manage the debt.”

Nge’no adds that education around investment is important to empower people and that the CMA is currently on a drive to educate the public about the benefits of investing.