Stock market index hits 22 month high

Stockbrokers on the floor of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Stockbrokers on the floor of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Nairobi Securities Exchange share index Monday hit a 22-month high on the first day of trading after President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected in a vote that the opposition insisted was rigged.

The NSE-20 index has risen nearly seven per cent since the election last Tuesday to close at 4, 077 points, the highest level since October 5, 2015.

But the value of shares traded dipped to Sh802.56 million on Monday, according to NSE data, from Sh1.41 billion on Friday when Mr Kenyatta had been highly expected to be announced the winner going by provisional count.

But it remained a large increase from the Sh166.6 million shares traded on Wednesday and Sh207.2 million on Thursday.

“The NSE 20 Share Index gained 99.96 points or 2.51 per cent to pass the psychological 4,000 mark to stand at 4,076.94,” said the NSE.

Response to opposition leader Raila Odinga’s call on people to stay away from work on Monday was limited with many businesses re-opening after being closed in a tense week after polls.

Analysts say they did not expect the post-poll disputes to disrupt what appears to be a recovery from a two-year bear run on the bourse.

“Market sentiment is positive. A lot of stocks have really sort of edged up and we have seen a lot of demand come back and this is across counters,” NIC Securities general manager Catherine Karita said in a telephone interview on Monday.

“We are seeing a lot of foreign play particularly on banks and that’s the biggest contributor in terms of turnover,” she said.

Mr Odinga, who has defied growing international pressure to accept the result or challenge it in the courts after violence that left more than 24 people dead, has promised a big announcement on Tuesday.

Traders said investors had been encouraged by endorsements of the election by foreign observers.

“We expect the market to remain bullish despite the slower corporate earnings growth in 2017 and investor sentiment to be neutral as investors take advantage of the low stock valuations,” analysts at Cytonn Investments said in weekly market update report.