One of the consequences of the prolonged bear run at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has been a failure to attract quality listings in the past decade.
New listings via large IPOs have the effect of rejuvenating a stock market by bringing on board new investors whose participation is key to price discovery for stocks.
This is why the decision by three companies to put on ice plans to join the bourse is a big blow. The move is likely to puncture offshoots of optimism for a market that desperately needs good news.
To win new listings, the Treasury through the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) must incentivise firms joining the bourse, whether through tax breaks or by lowering the cost of listing.
Addressing the dollar access problem should also help bring back foreign investors, who have the much-needed muscle to mobilise large volumes of capital that can drive up share prices.
The stock exchange has done well in introducing a variety of products, improving its trading systems and linking with other African markets.
All that is needed now is help to bring back investors to the trading table.