Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan stock market
took a beating in 2018, with most investors suffering losses as
securities end the year lower than they started in January.
Out of the 60 stocks listed at the
market, only seven picked capital gains this year as the rest
tumbled by up to 87 percent in value, an analysis of the Nairobi
Securities Exchange (NSE) data showed on Thursday.
It was a bearish year for the Kenyan
bourse, characterized by foreign capital flight as the investors
sold most of the blue-chip stocks and exited the market for the
better part of 2018.
Top gainers included Unga Group,
KenolKobil, Express Kenya and Barclays Bank, with the stocks
going up by between three percent and 48 percent during the
year, market data showed.
Deacons, Uchumi, Kenya Orchards,
Eveready, Kenya Power, Kenya Airways, East African Cables, Athi
River Mining Cement and Home Africa were among the biggest
losers at the Kenyan bourse.
Of the losers, financially troubled
fashion store Deacons and troubled supermarket Uchumi were the
worst hit, going down 87 percent and 84 percent respectively as
of Dec. 24 trading.
Electricity distributing firm Kenya
Power, which was dogged by corporate governance issues, has had
its stock fall by 63 percent as investors disposed it off.
The decline in a majority of stocks
has seen all the bourse main indices led by market
capitalization, similarly, end lower in 2018.
Market capitalization, which measures
shareholders wealth, stood at about 2.1 trillion shillings
(about 20.6 billion U.S. dollars), as at Dec. 24 NSE trading,
having shed off some eight billion dollars since April. In
April, the index hit a high of 29 billion dollars, market data
On the other hand, the NSE All Share
Index stands at an average of 140 points, which is 17 percent
lower year-to-date while the NSE 20 Share Index, which measures
stocks of the best performing blue-chips, dropped below the
psychological 2,800 points. The index has fallen 25 percent
The index on Dec. 24 stood at 2,796.72
and like the rest of the indices, it is highly unlikely that it
will rise significantly in the few trading days left this year.
Analysts attributed the bad run for
the Kenyan stocks this year to a number of factors including
corporate governance issues several companies faced, financial
troubles for some listed firms, foreign investors’ flight and
lack of new listings due to restrictive regulations.
As at the end of the third quarter,
foreign investors sold off stocks worth some one billion dollars
as they exited the market.
The exits were highest in January,
March and May, but the investors started to troop back to the
bourse in the third quarter.
Geoffrey Odundo, the NSE chief
executive, noted recently that good corporate governance ensures
effective management of an organization, which improves business
performance and attracts investors.
Despite the decline, Kenya’s capital
markets remain the most sophisticated in East Africa, with 60