Kenya to begin privatisation drive, offers stakes in 11 companies

By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI (Reuters) -Kenya will start its privatisation drive by offering stakes in 11 companies including the state oil pipeline, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The 11 firms are among more than 35 companies that are slated for sale to partially help the government raise revenue in the face of growing debt repayments.

Apart from the Kenya Pipeline Company, which is wholly owned by the government, investors can buy stakes in one of the main convention centres in Nairobi, a text book publisher, agri-business firms and industrial companies, the ministry said.

The pipeline firm, which is profitable, has a monopoly on the transport of gas and white oil products, the ministry said in a notice, which also invited the public to share its comments on the plan by Dec. 11, as required by the constitution.

“Privatisation and restructuring is geared towards the government’s efforts for fiscal consolidation and spurring economic development,” the ministry added.

The East African nation last privatised a state-owned company in 2008 with an initial public offering of a 25% stake in telecommunications firm Safaricom.

The government revised the law governing the sale of state companies last month to the eliminate bureaucracy that had made the process grind to a halt, the president said last week.

(Reporting by Duncan MiririEditing by Miral Fahmy)