Kampala. Following a growth in dividends by five times for 2018 to Shs40 per share from 2017’s Shs7.6 per share, foreign institutional investors are buying Umeme shares as others opt out.
The Umeme counter has grossed Shs8.68b in the past three days from a sale of 28 million shares.
This has been a generally rare occurrence on the Uganda Securities Exchange given the volume and amounts involved.
According to an industry source who asked not to be quoted because they are not authorised to speak officially on the matter, the trend is driven by institutional investors.
“These are institutional investors,” he said, adding: “The ones that are selling have held the Umeme shares for a while and at this point they have nothing to lose as the share price itself is not bad.”
For those who are buying the aggregated 28 million shares bought in the past three days would fetch a dividend of more than Shs1.12b, which is worth the investment in that short time.
In 2017, regulatory requirement chopped off Shs115b off its profits to close that year with only Shs35b.
In 2018 the company almost quadrupled its profits at Shs132b thus the accruing dividend.
Umeme has been recording some good growth, especially in customer numbers which have grown to 1.3 million customers as of close of December 2018.
The shift to prepaid metering for most of its customers has greatly improved Umeme’s revenue streams.
However, the company still faces challenges such as collecting outstanding debts from government, where arrears of power bills are increasingly becoming exorbitant.
In the last six months, Umeme connected at least some 46 new industrial customers that have greatly boosted its numbers.
Source: Daily Monitor