Kenya’s stock market to withstand political storm

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) will withstand political shock and emerge stronger, the NSE Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Odundo has said.

In a statement sent to media houses Monday, Odundo noted that the ongoing political stand-off had impacted negatively on the performance of Kenya’s stock market but reiterated that Kenya’s stock market resilience and its ability to recover much faster from such shocks.

We’re hopeful that our own political issues will be put to rest soon. We are looking at a couple of IPOs next year and the government is also looking at ways to restart the privatization programme, he added.

He explained that if the country was to get two companies from the infrastructure and energy sectors, interest from the corporate side will spark- off and will help in the market recovery.

Odundo was at the 7th Annual EFG Hermes London Conference, where opportunities in the Nairobi Securities Exchange were discussed on-stage with a large gathering of global investors, fund managers and financial institutions said the recent development of domestic capital pools in form of buoyant pension and mutual fund industries will help

in boosting market liquidity.

We are very committed to having pension funds enhance liquidity in the market, we are looking at how direct property ownership can be reduced from 20 percent to Two percent to support the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market, Mr. Odundo said.

The CEO said the regulator will work closely with other stakeholders to increase access and education for retail investors through the use of technology.

Kenya has a very advanced mobile money platform that we have successfully leveraged. We are encouraging the rollout of products on that platform and this year we launched a retail mobile bond for the government of Kenya which is just a start in educating the public on capital market securities, he explained.

Odundo noted that the second level will be the use of the broking network to aggregate the clients.

A lot of brokers have now developed online trading platforms to encourage real-time access and transparency. We have a very young population, we encourage simulation trading before even going into live trading as part of an educational, entertaining initiative. Those are the key steps in our efforts to increase retail investors , education and access for the investors, he said

The 7th A nnual EFG Hermes London Conference, the largest Middle East, North Africa, (MENA) and Frontier Investor Conference has recorded the attendance of global investors with more than Sh. 900 trillion (USD 9 trillion) in aggregate assets under management and a large line-up of senior executives from leading listed companies based in MENA, Sub-Saharan

Africa, and Asia.

According to EFG Hermes Frontier Chef Executive Officer, Ali Khalpey investors are increasingly seeking opportunities in Frontier Emerging Markets that will drive the lion’s share of global growth over the coming decade and their objective is to bridge the gap between global capital and opportunities in high growth markets such as Kenya in a holistic manner.

Source: Kenya News Agency