Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro has come out to respond to conjectures on how he became the largest individual shareholder at Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).

Nyoro spoke as it emerged his shares in Kenya Power as an individual shareholder rose to 27,291,400 as at June 2022 moving him from 12th to 8th largest shareholder overall.

The report shared by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) revealed that the vocal UDA party lawmaker had tripled his shares from 9,116,800 shares at the end of June 2021.

In a post on his Facebook page on Monday, Nyoro he had opted to purchase stakes in Kenya’s largest power company while still a student at Kenyatta University (KU) years back.

“The investment has been accumulated over time. Several years back. We started off in stockbroking from 1st year on campus (KU). Thereafter running a firm in the sector. And later a Private Equity (PE) firm. This specific counter probably for the last 3 or 4 years,” Nyoro said in the post.

He says he decided to use his name while investing in the Kenya Power stocks, unlike others who use nominee accounts, as he had nothing to hide.

“Some shareholders prefer to use their actual names while investing, others use "nominee accounts" to hide identities. We are in the earlier category since we don't see the need to use the latter one. Majority of the top shareholders have chosen ‘nominee accounts’. Some are individuals, others pension funds etc,” he said.

Nyoro attributed his investment move to a “gut feeling” even as he added that, according to him, Kenya Power shares were cheap but the power company was grossly undervalued.

“The stock is cheap, actually a penny stock. Currently trading at below Ksh 2. With gross full-year revenues of Approximately Ksh 150 B, assets of around Ksh 325B, probably Kenya Power is undervalued. The market values the company at around 1% of its assets base. The current market capitalisation is at around Ksh 3B,” he argued.

Kenya Power stocks were retailing at Sh1.76 at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Monday.

“GoK owns approx 50.1% of Kenya Power. All directors are therefore appointed by GoK. Our small stake is passive. We make zero decisions and are therefore purely a silent, retail investor,” Nyoro added.

The UDA MP expressed optimism his stocks will rake him a lot of cash when the troubled electricity supplier bounces back to profitability.

“With gross full year revenues of Approximately Ksh150 B, assets of around Ksh325B, probably Kenya Power is undervalued. The market values the company at around 1% of its assets base. The current market capitalisation being at around Ksh 3B,” Nyoro added.

He had a word of advice for Kenyans intending to purchase stocks in Kenya Power even as he warned the information he had shared on his social media page was not from an expert.

“Any Kenyan can buy shares. You just need to open a CDS account from a stockbroking firm. Many banks also offer those services,” he concluded.