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Foreign investors at NSE in 3-month buying spree

Foreign investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange
Foreign investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in April recorded a net buying position, extending the trend to the third straight month. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Foreign investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) #ticker:NSE in April recorded a net buying position, extending the trend to the third straight month.

Fresh data compiled by Standard Investment Bank (SIB) shows foreign investors closed April with net foreign portfolio inflow of $0.35 million (Sh35.39 million).

This, added to net buying in February and March, brings cumulative buying to Sh1.96 billion. It deepens the reversal of back-to-back net buying that had gripped the NSE for the 16 months to January 2019.

The last time foreigners ever turned net buyers for more than two consecutive months was between November 2016 and February 2017. During the four months, cumulative net buying was Sh3.11 billion.

Half of the top 20 stocks by market capitalisation had net foreign buying position in April. Equity #ticker:EQTY, East African Breweries Ltd #ticker:EABL , KCB group #ticker:KCB and British American Tobacco #ticker:BAT were of much interest to foreign investors, closing the month in a net buying position of $5.81 million (Sh587 million).

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Other counters that foreigners made more buys than sells include KenGen #ticker:KENGEN, Centum #ticker:ICDC , Stanbic Bank, NSE Ltd, Carbacid and I&M bank.

However, they turned net sellers in other top counters such as Safaricom, DTB and Cooperative Bank. Net selling in the three stocks was Sh628 million.

Data from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) shows that in the first quarter of 2019, average foreign investors’ participation in the bourse was at 74.91 per cent compared to 57.37 per cent recorded in a similar quarter last year.

CMA director of regulatory policy and strategy Luke Ombara said the net foreign buying and improved financial performance mainly by listed commercial banks helped boost activities on the bourse. Equity turnover for the first quarter stood at Sh45.25 billion.

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