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Capital Markets

NSE chief talks up poor prices

Geoffrey Odundo
Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Geoffrey Odundo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Geoffrey Odundo says the current market decline has not been caused by the deadly Corona virus, amidst creeping anxiety that has seen stock prices fall.

Mr Odundo said the market is experiencing cyclical movements and urged investors to buy while stocks are at record lows.

About 80 per cent of the counters are lower than the price at a similar time last year, with only 13 counters having gained over the last 12 months.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ has been hit hardest with its price of Sh2.15 having witnessed a 64.2 per cent decline alongside Bamburi Cement #ticker:BAMB, 56.9 per cent, and Uchumi #ticker:UCHM at 54.1 per cent.

“The market has not had a direct impact on account of the outbreak and spread of the Corona virus. The ongoing trading trends reflect normal market cycles and portfolio shifts between emerging and frontier markets, as investors look to take profits during this reporting period,” Mr Odundo said.

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He said the fundamentals of the listed companies continue to be strong supported by an enabling micro-economic and political environment. Additionally, there are renewed growth prospects in the country both in the public and private sectors.

“The market is offering investors an attractive and affordable entry point as prices of stocks are poised to rise on account of enhanced performance of Kenyan companies in light of improving micro and macro-economic conditions,” Mr Odundo said.

Last week, the NSE 20 benchmark index dropped to 2,337 points or a 16-year low Friday as foreign investors withdrew amid turmoil in global markets over the coronavirus outbreak and profit-taking hitting banking stocks.

The virus has wiped out equity values due to mounting concern that it will stunt economic growth and corporate profits.

Foreign investors at the NSE, have been net sellers in the past three weeks as sell off hit stocks markets across the globe.

The market turned the corner on Monday as volumes traded increased by 6.7 per cent even as foreign participation rose from 61 per cent to 68.7 per cent.

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