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Student hostels developer Acorn Holdings has quoted its two Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) products worth Sh7.5 billion at the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s (NSE) recently opened unquoted securities platform.

 

The development and Income Reits, worth a total of Sh7.5 billion and trading at Sh20 per unit, are the first products to be listed on the unquoted securities platform (USP), which was launched in December to offer a more transparent over-the-counter marketplace for shares of unlisted companies.

 

Acorn chief executive Edward Kirathe said that the move to tap into Kenya’s capital market will unlock growth opportunities as it seeks to grow its capacity in student hostels.

 

“Quoting on the USP will provide current and prospective investors exit and entry points for their investment, unlocking the billions of shillings held in land and property,” said Mr Kirathe during the listing yesterday.

 

 

FOUR PROJECTS

Acorn’s D-Reit vehicle will build the student hostels, after which the I-Reit will acquire the properties and hold them for rental income. Acorn has completed four projects in Ruaraka, Jogoo Road, Parklands and Madaraka, with another seven in development and pre-development stages.

 

NSE chairman Kiprono Kittony said that quoting the Reits on the USP will allow the asset class to access a wider pool of investors, enhance liquidity of their shares as well as support capital raising needs in the future.

 

UK High commissioner Jane Mariott said floating the two products opens an investment path where local and foreign investors keen on green investments will readily inject funds, as was the case when Acorn dual floated its green bond at the London Securities Exchange and at the NSE raising Sh4.3 billion.

 

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said public-private partnerships were key to addressing the student housing deficit, adding that universities have idle land that could hold hostels via PPPs.

 

Business Daily Africa