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Kenya’s bourse closes week on low as foreigners stay away       

By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) closed the week Friday on a low as both turnover and key indices dropped considerably.

The benchmark NSE 20 Share Index declined 12.65 points to close at 3,764.44 points while the NSE All share Index (NASI) was down by 0.11 points to close at 165.91 points. The NSE 25 Share index, however, went up to stand at 4,307.07.

Turnover declined 61 percent to close at 2 million U.S. dollars on a volume of 10 million shares down from 15 million shares worth 5.6 million dollars in previous session.

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Safaricom, Cooperative Bank, Centum and Equity Bank accounted for 79 percent of today’s total turnover.

However, the most traded counters were Safaricom, KCB, Mumias, Cooperative Bank and Home Afrika, moving 2.6 million, 1.7 million, 900,000, 800,000 and 700,000 shares respectively.

Foreign participation stood at 43 percent and local participation stood at 57 percent, with the latter mainly responsible for the fall as they cut trading.

The bond market recorded a rise as securities worth 23 million dollars were traded up from 8 million dollars.

However, despite the surge, weekly turnover declined with bonds worth 65 million dollars transacted compared to 132 million dollars registered the previous week.


Kenyan shilling firms with Central Bank support

By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan shilling ended Friday firmer as it rose slightly against the U.S. dollar, reversing a negative trend witnessed during the week.

The shilling traded at an average of 103.3 to the greenback but gained marginally as the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) was said to have used its forex reserves to buttress it.

The apex bank on Friday quoted the local unit at 103.29, a better performance from the previous day’s 103.32.

On the other hand, commercial banks placed the value of the shilling Friday against the dollar at between 103.13 and 103.45.

The Central Bank, according to the financial institution’s traders, used some 147 million dollars to support the shilling during the Friday trading.

The currency has been under pressure from various quarters, according to analysts. First, there is a rising demand for dollars from various importers, especially those shipping in oil.

Second, a negative political environment following the cancellation of Aug. 8 presidential polls results has heaped pressure on the currency.

On Tuesday, the electoral commission pushed the repeat polls nine days back to Oct. 26 from Oct. 17 as political bickering rose following the release of full ruling by the Supreme Court on Wednesday on why it cancelled the polls.

Kenya’s forex reserves currently stand at 7.5 billion dollars, which is five months of import cover


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