Capital Markets

NSE outperforms its peer African bourses


Nairobi Securities Exchange trading floor. PHOTO | NMG

The Nairobi Securities Exchange #ticker:NSE (NSE) is outperforming peer bourses in Africa this year, boosted by higher share prices among selected blue chip firms.

The NSE All Share Index has a year-to-date gain of 6.6 per cent, putting it ahead of fellow exchanges in Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, which together with the NSE are considered to be in the second tier in Africa, behind South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange which is the only one classified as tier one.

Markets data from the various stock exchanges in Africa shows that Nigeria and Tunisia’s stock exchanges have a negative return this year at -4.2 per cent and -0.7 per cent respectively.

Morocco’s Casablanca stock exchange all share index (1.2 per cent) and Egypt’s EGX 100 index (1.8 per cent) also trail the NSE all share index in year-to-date returns.

Only the smaller exchange of Ghana Stock exchange at a gain of 13.4 per cent is outperforming the NSE this year.

While the NSE has not been immune from the negative hit on the economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, its indices and other key performance indicators have been boosted by a number of key stocks that have defied the general downturn in the market.

Investors have mainly followed stocks promising a dividend payout or those deemed to be safe investments that can offer long-term stability.

BAT Kenya is the top performer among the large listed firms with a 34.2 per cent gain since beginning of the year. The company is today due to close its books on a Sh41.50 per share final dividend for the year ended December 2020.

Other top gaining blue chips include Nation Media Group at 26.5 percent, EABL at 13.6 per cent, Equity Bank at 9.4 percent and Safaricom at 8.3 percent.

Safaricom’s recent rally that saw the stock touch an all-time high of Sh39.25 was prompted by the announcement of a Sh0.45 per interim dividend, on which books closed on March 5.