NSE 20 Share Index falls below 4,400 points support

Blue chip losses weighed down the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s main NSE 20 Share Index as it dropped by 49 points to 4,354 — its lowest level since the first week of January 2013.

Of the top four counters at the NSE that account for 52.9 per cent of the market capitalisation, only East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) recorded a share price gain Monday, at a marginal 0.3 per cent or Sh1 to Sh295 a share.

Safaricom ceded further ground, losing 1.7 per cent to Sh14.10 following on last week when the telecommunications operator closed six per cent lower week-on-week at Sh14.40 on Friday.

The market has been weighed down by foreign investor sell-offs amid cautious trading by locals, while a number of negative financial performance announcements by listed firms last week added to the gloom.

“A slimming number of financial results were positive and the large cap stocks failed to suspend the market,” said Genghis Capital in a market report.

The top banking counters of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Equity Holdings, which are third and fourth in capitalisation at the market respectively, also dropped in price as banks continued to take a beating in the market at a time they are reporting their half-year earnings.

Equity slid by 3.8 per cent or Sh1.50 to S7.75 a share, representing a 14-month low for the lender. KCB on its part lost two per cent or Sh1 to close the day at Sh49 a share, marking its first drop below the Sh50 mark since June last year.

Standard Chartered also continued with its slide, dropping a further six per cent to Sh264 after shedding 8.5 per cent last week.

Kenya Airways, coming off Thursday’s announcement of a record Sh25.7 billion net loss for the financial year ended March 2015, closed the day 4.4 per cent lower at Sh5.45 a share.

The market capitalisation at the bourse stood Sh19 billion lower at Sh2.058 trillion on account of the big cap losses.

On the gainers side, the insurance stocks of CIC Insurance and Liberty Holdings led with gains of 6.4 per cent and 5.8 per cent to close the day at Sh7.45 and Sh23 respectively.

IandM Bank also saw a significant gain, closing up by 3.7 per cent at Sh110 per share.