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Investor Handbook

Acquisition

An acquisition is when one company makes a bid to acquire control of another (called the target). It can either be hostile or friendly.

Active Shares

These are shares which are most frequently traded (bought and sold) at the NSE, as distinguished from partly active shares in which trading is not as frequent. The shares of most leading companies are active.

Agent

An agent is an appointed representative (of a stockbroker or investment bank) who is authorized to transact the business of buying and selling shares for a commission through and on behalf of the stockbroker or investment bank.

All or None (AON)

This is a restriction placed on a buy or sell order that instructs the broker to fill the order completely by the close of the market or the order should not take place.

Allotment Letter

This is the document issued by a company to its investors showing the number and value of shares allotted to the applicant after successful subscription.

Amalgamation

This is when two companies, previously independent of one another, combine to form a new company.

Annual Report

A publication issued by a company to its shareholders at the company’s fiscal year-end. The document typically includes financial statements, reports on operations, the auditor’s report and other relevant information on the company. It is mandatory for all public companies.

Annual General Meeting

This is a mandatory meeting held once a year by all public companies. The directors of the company report to the shareholders on the year’s performance and future of the company. All shareholders are invited and allowed to ask questions. Notice of such a meeting is mandatory.

Articles of Association

This is a document describing the purpose, place of business and details of a company. Every incorporated company in Kenya by law must have and submit this document to the registrar of companies and work by what it stipulates. The articles of association together with the memorandum of association form the constitution of a company.

Ask

It is also known as the offer price. It is the lowest price which a seller is willing to accept for a security. It also typically stipulates the amount of the security the seller is willing to sell.

Assets

This is anything owned by a company that has a market value. This includes land, buildings, equipment, furniture, cash, bank deposits, manufactured goods ready to be sold, goodwill, trademarks etc.

At Best Order

This is an instruction from a client to a broker authorizing the broker to use his discretion and try to execute an order at the best possible prize.

Authorized Shares (Stock)

This is the total number of shares that a company is permitted to issue according to its memorandum and articles of association. This number can only be increased if a resolution is passed to that effect by the majority of the shareholders and an application made to the registrar of companies.

Authorized Share Capital

The authorized share capital is calculated by multiplying the nominal share value with the total number of authorized shares. This is stated in the memorandum and articles of association as required by law.

Automated Trading System (ATS)

This is the online trading system software used at the Nairobi Securities Exchange to effect all trading transactions. It can be accessed through the NSE trading floor (through the Local Area Network) or from the stockbrokers’ offices (through the Wide Area Network). It is completely controlled and managed by the NSE.

Averaging Down

Buying more shares in a company at a price that is lower than the price paid for the initial investment. The aim of averaging down is to reduce the average cost per share bought.

Advocacy

Lobbying

Union

Market Growth

Investor Education

Code of Ethics

Investor Protection

Investor Education

  • Secondary Market : 

    A secondary market is one where investors purchase securities e.g. shares from other investors rather than from the issuing company. The Nairobi Securities Exchange is the secondary market in Kenya for trading of such securities. Purchasing shares through an IPO is called the primary market, and any subsequent trading in those shares is called the secondary market. 

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  • Unit Trust : 

    This is a collective investment scheme that pools funds together from small investors by issuing units and is constituted under a trust deed. The funds are invested in a wide range of securities and are managed by a professional manager.

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  • Offer : 

    This is the lowest price that an investor is willing to sell their shares for. 

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  • Defensive Stock : 

    These are shares of companies that have maintained a record of stable earnings and continuous dividend payments even through periods of economic downturn. They tend to fall less in a bear market and therefore provide a safe return to an investor’s money.

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  • Controlling Interest : 

    This is holding a sufficiently large number of shares in a company to enact changes (or control) in its policies. Ownership of 50% plus one of the equity shares in a company can give an individual or group the voting power to influence a company’s decision. If the shareholding is dispersed among people who do not bother to vote (usually small shareholders), controlling interest of the company can be achieved with shareholding of a lot less than 50%

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