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Capital Markets

Market gains Sh6.5bn after Tuesday hitch

Nairobi Securities Exchange
Stockbrokers at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Trading resumed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Wednesday following Tuesday’s unexplained technical glitch that halted systems for half a day leaving the bourse investors counting heavy losses.

Investors gained Sh6.5 billion on resumption of trade Wednesday following resolution of the glitch.

The value of shares stood at Sh2.085 trillion at the close of business up from Sh2.078 trillion on January 8 when the market halted trade at 11.52 am Tuesday.

"Market activity was upbeat on the background of increased trading hours vis-à-vis Tuesday’s session; equity turnover soared 406.2 percent to USD 7.6 million. Foreign investors dominated trading, accounting for 84.1 percent of total turnover," said broker Standard Investment Bank (SIB) daily report

The market closed 10.87 points lower at 2769.78 points, weighed down by losses on blue chip counters, which normally attract heavy foreign investor trading.

The number of shares traded rose by 26.4 million to Sh32 million from Sh5.6 million on January 8, a pointer to the heightened trading on the back of pent-up demand following the resolution of the glitch.

The value of shares traded jumped 406.2 percent to Sh779.5 million compared to Sh154 million Wednesday.

“The market rose Wednesday but it remains a market in the clutches of a bear desperately looking for a positive catalyst,” said chief executive of data vendor Rich Management Aly- Khan Satchu.

It is the latest in a streak of costly glitches at the NSE in recent years.

NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo did not respond to queries on the recurrence of the hitches.

“The NSE wishes to notify market participants, investors, key stakeholders and the general public that trading at the NSE has been temporarily halted due to a technical hitch which occurred on January 8, 2019 at 11.52 am,” said the NSE in earlier in a statement Wednesday.

Stockbrokers in particular lose whenever there is limited or no trading, given that they derive their income from the commissions charged on trades.

The NSE’s Automated Trading System (ATS) connects remotely to stockbroker offices, allowing them to trade from their premises.

The ATS system came live in September 2006, replacing the open outcry system that had been in place since the establishment of the bourse. The loss of a half a day’s trading is likely to depress the market numbers for this week.

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