Capital Markets

Kenyan shares edge up for eighth session in a row

The benchmark NSE-20 share index is up about 15 per cent this year. FILE
The benchmark NSE-20 share index is up about 15 per cent this year. FILE 

Kenyan shares nosed ahead for the eighth straight session on Friday, lifted by foreign investors buying of large-cap stocks, while the shilling held steady.

The benchmark NSE-20 share index rose 0.3 per cent to 4,749.32 points, and has recouped 2.17 per cent after a two-week dip when investors booked gains after half-year results.

Gains in a few big stocks, namely Safaricom and EABL - together more than 30 per cent of the entire market, have pushed the NSE-20 up. Elsewhere, support has been limited and the overall market is slightly weaker.

"Most of them (foreign investors) are of the view that the market is a bit overbought ... and it's not a good time to be very active," NIC Securities analyst Faith Atiti said.

The NSE-20 is up about 15 per cent this year and most of the support over the past two weeks has come from foreign investors.

Standard Chartered Bank rose 1.01 per cent to Sh299 while cement maker Bamburi Cement inched up 0.5 per cent to close at Sh210.

Safaricom, fell 0.6 per cent to close at Sh8 a share after closing its books on dividend payouts. The stock has risen just over 3 per cent in the last eight sessions.

On the foreign exchange market, the shilling closed at 87.55/65 to the dollar at 1300 GMT, little changed from Thursday's close of 87.50/60.

Traders say the shilling is likely to be trapped in a range of 87.30/87.70, though it might firm a touch if the central bank keeps mopping up liquidity.

On Friday, the bank bought Sh14 billion from the market via repos at a 7.041 per cent weighted average rate. It had received bids worth a total of 16.5 billion.