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Markets

Kenyan shares drop after Raila pulls out of election

Investment brokers on the trading floor of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. PHOTO | FILE
Investment brokers on the trading floor of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. PHOTO | FILE 

Kenya’s all share index slipped 1.24 per cent on Wednesday while the blue chip index fell 1.14 per cent after opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of a repeat presidential election set for October 26, traders said.

Odinga, who successfully challenged the August 8 re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, said the repeat poll should be cancelled and a fresh election started after the election board has carried out reforms.

“There was cautious optimism but now political risk has risen considerably overnight driven by the opposition candidate’s withdrawal,” said Ken Minjire, the head of securities at Genghis Capital in Nairobi.

The all-share index has lost about 10 per cent since the end of last month.

“There is actually no optimism. Most investors are very cautious at this time,” Minjire said.

After Odinga’s withdrawal, it is unclear whether repeat elections will be held on October 26 or not.

A court ruling on Wednesday said other candidates, none of whom polled more than one percent, could also be on the ballot, potentially giving Kenyatta someone to run against other than Odinga.

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