kenya airways shares suspended as government hunts for buyer

Kenya Airways shares suspended as government hunts for buyer

The shares of Kenya Airways, the flag carrier airline of Kenya, have been suspended from trading for another year from 5 January, according to a statement from the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE).

The Kenya flag carrier has been struggling to return to profitability. The airline’s shares have been suspended from NSE since July 2020. 

The NSE reportedly said in a statement, “The extension of the suspension of the shares seeks to enable the company to complete its operational and corporate restructure process.” 

Recently, Kenya’s government agreed to take over Kenya Airways’ (KQ) outstanding loan of $485 million as part of its rescue plan. The government has already started a restructuring process of Kenya airways ahead of a potential sale of the airline.

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In December 2022, Kenya’s President William Ruto said that the Kenyan government was ready to sell its entire stake in the airline. During an interview with Bloomberg, Ruto reportedly said, “I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag, that’s not my business.”

On the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC, the Kenyan President said that the government was looking for partnerships that would make Kenya Airways a profitable company.

According to Africa Intelligence, Ruto recently formed a team in order to meet with potential investors who would buy the government’s stake in the airline. 

In October 2022, the airline defaulted on its repayment obligation of an $841.6 million loan from the US Export-Import Bank. In December, the International Monetary Fund announced a $447 million loan for Kenya under a 38-month aid programme.