As Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest mobile operator shakes-off its financial hardship, the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) says it will benefit from the recovery, easing fears of significant losses by the public pension body.
According to officials at the Kacyiru-based pension firm, the company (SSFR) made a financial outlay of $7.6 million (Rwf4 billion) to purchase stake in Safaricom during its Initial Public Offer (IPO) last year.
Daniel Ruti Kayonga, SSFR’s Principal Communications Officer said Safaricom faced economic difficulties as a result of Kenya’s post election violence, and also when most of the foreign shareholders sold off their shares.
“After all the hardships, SSFR never sold it shares because there was hope that the company share prices would pick up. Now the share price has gained from Ksh2 to Ksh3.9,” Kayonga told Business Times yesterday.
The company’s shareholder funds also rose to Kshs51.1 billion (Rwf378 billion) in the financial year March 31, 2009, representing an increase of 19.9 percent.
Safaricom’s financial statement show that total active subscribers increased to 13.36 million people, representing an increase of 30.6 percent while the new subscribers on their network increased by 3.1 million in the year.
As a result, Safaricom says it remains the market leader in Kenya with a customer market share estimated at 79 percent.
“The double digit revenue growth continued, increasing Kshs70.48 billion representing a growth of 14.8 percent and the market share estimated at 83 percent impacted positively by the company’s customer remaining the highest in the Country,” a statement by Safaricom reads in short.
Koyonga said that pensioners should not be worried because Safaricom invested its funds well, leading to the quick recovery. He said investments were directed into the commercial lunch of the 3G network during the quarter of the year.
As Safaricom’s expects to sustain its strategic growth through enhancement of network expansion SSFR hopes Rwanda’s public pension money will be protected.