Trading of ARM shares suspended at NSE

The capital markets authority has come under sharp focus following its failure to protect investors with listed cement maker ARM.

This follows the decision to suspend the shares of the company from trading and the placement of the firm under official administration.

ARM cement shares have dropped from an all time high of 98 shillings per share four years ago to 5.50 shillings by the close of the market last Friday.

The company that has been trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange for the last 21 years has close to 1 billion shares issued to the public.

The company has chalked up debts running close to 15 billion shillings and has defaulted on several occasions while being forced into debt financing to pay up creditors.

In June the company reported a pretax loss 7.5 billion shillings almost twice the 4 billion shillings it reported in 2016.

On Saturday PricewaterhouseCoopers said that ARM Cement was put into administration, a day after long serving chief executive officer Pradeep Paunrana stepped down.

On Monday investors were left in shock after the shares of the troubled cement maker were suspended from trading at the Nairobi securities exchange.

The focus is now turning to the capital markets authority over delays in stepping in to bring sanity in the management of the listed company.

CMA will also be hard pressed to explain how its risk supervision department failed to warn the public against investing in the shares of the company when it was all evident that the company was unhealthy financially.

The latest developments in corporate Kenya are likely to shake investor’s confidence a few months after another corporate behemoth; Nakumatt was placed under statutory management.






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