UK Property Firm St. Paul’s To List On NSE

UK firm St Paul’s Property Trust Plc is set to become the second real estate company to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

A Nairobi Securities Exchange staff (left) attends to a customer at the bourse in Nairobi on July 28, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

A Nairobi Securities Exchange staff (left) attends to a customer at the bourse in Nairobi on July 28, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

The company plans listing by the end of the year and will join Home Afrika as the only other listed property company on the NSE Growth Enterprise Market Segment (Gems).

The move to list will give Kenyan investors exposure to the UK’s property market.

“Many Kenyan investors are already investing into UK real estate for their own account. St Paul’s will give a formal structure for this, as well as provide liquidity through the listing,” said chairman Patrick Walker in a statement.

“The group will maintain high standards of corporate governance with the appointment of external non-executive directors, who have track records of achievement and excellence with public companies.”

Mr Walker was formerly managing director of property management firm Tysons and regional director for Knight Frank.

St Paul’s mainly invests in prime properties outside central London whose main tenant is the government and related agencies.

The firm said having the government as its main tenant ensures stability in rental income. It will also pay investors from gains made in selling properties.

“Investors will receive returns through dividend distribution of rental income, special dividends on sale of properties and value-added opportunities,” it said in a statement.

Transaction advisers said the listing is expected to attract large investors such as pension, insurance and investments firms that want to invest in dollar-denominated securities.

“We foresee a smooth transaction and we’re already getting strong interest from the local market. This is a stable and innovative proposal at an excellent time,” said Burbidge Capital chief executive Edward Burbidge.

“It offers exposure to lower risk UK commercial real estate, through a NSE-listed investment vehicle, which will give investors diversification from the Kenya shilling.”

Burbidge Capital are the nominated advisers while Coulson Harney will handle the legal work. Deloitte are the reporting accountants and Levanter Africa are in charge of communications.

Loss-making Home Afrika floated its shares in July 2013. St Paul’s will also join London-based Atlas Development and Support Services which cross-listed on the NSE in December 2014.

– Business Daily