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Nairobi bourse turnover drops as local investors retreat

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Some 70 million shares worth 17 million U.S. dollars were traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Thursday, a decline from 135 million valued at 23 million dollars in previous session as local investors retreated.

Their participation stood at 42 percent on Thursday from 70 percent in the previous session.

Foreign investors’ participation, on the other hand, stood at 58 percent as they accounted for 46 percent total buying and 71 percent selling.

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecom was the top traded stock during the session after moving 23 million shares from 17 million shares on Wednesday at unchanged price of 0.23 dollars.

At the second spot was Cooperative Bank which traded 16 million shares at 0.14 dollars, a marginal rise.

British America Tobacco moved 10 million shares to clinch the third spot while Equity Bank and power generator Kengen closed the list of the five most traded stocks during the session by moving 9 million and 2.3 million shares respectively.

The NSE 20 Share Index was up 26.5 points to close at 3,659.28 points while the NSE All share Index (NASI) was up 0.43 points to close at 152.99 points.

At the secondary bond market, turnover dropped to 16 million dollars from 24 million dollars in the previous session.



Kenya’s bourse on a rally lifted by local investors

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) turnover and the key index were on a rally Wednesday boosted by local investors.

Equity turnover went up 109 percent to close the day at 23 million U.S. dollars on a volume of 135 million shares up from 35 million worth 11 million dollars.

The NSE 20 Share Index, on the other hand, ended the session at 3,632.80, an increase of 32 points from the previous level.

Local investors’ participation during the session stood at 76 percent with the foreigners, who cut both sales and purchases, accounting for 24 percent of trading.

Insurance firm Britam was the most traded stock, moving 104 million shares at 0.15 dollars, a 9 percent rise. The share was mainly traded by local investors.

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecom came second with 17 million shares transacted at unchanged price of 0.23 dollars.

At the third spot was Scangroup which moved 5.6 million shares while Kenya Re, an insurance firm, and Cooperative Bank closed the list of the five most traded stocks during the session by moving 1.8 million and 1.5 million shares respectively.

At the secondary bond market, turnover dropped from 34 million dollars to 24 million dollars while the NSE All Share Index closed the day at 152.56 from 152.19.


Kenya to diversify exports to reduce trade deficit

NAIROB (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to diversify its exports products in order to reduce its trade imbalance, a government official said on Wednesday.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Dr Chris Kiptoo told a media briefing in Nairobi that the country’s export product base remains narrow with the top five products accounting for 52 percent of total exports in 2016.

“Kenya needs to increase the number of products its sells globally in order to reduce its trade deficit and enhance its foreign exchange earnings,” Kiptoo said during the launch of the National Export Development and Promotion Strategy for Kenya 2017-2022.

The strategy aims to spur growth and transform the performance of the trade sector significantly.

The country’s main exports include tea, horticulture, coffee, titanium, textile and apparels while major imports include petroleum products, capital goods and chemical fertilizers.

Although the value of Kenya’s exports has increased from four billion U.S. dollars in 2010 to 5.78 billion dollars, it has been marked by major oscillations in the last five years.

Government data indicates that the value of imports has increased from 7.8 billion dollars in 2010 to 14.3 billion dollar last year.

Kiptoo noted that the balance of trade has continually registered a deficit that has on average widened by an annual average of 11.4 percent.

He said that the country’s export markets are also relatively concentrated and in need of diversification.

“In fact ten countries accounted for 61 percent of exports, while five out of the top ten markets were in Africa,” he added.


Somalia, South Sudan, DRC new major destinations of Kenya’s exports

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s exports to Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan are on the rise with the countries emerging as the next major destinations for the East African nation’s goods.

New economic data on Thursday painted the countries as the new frontier for Kenya as it seeks to grow its exports to other African countries.

The data from the Central Bank of Kenya covering the first quarter of this year indicated that Kenya exported to Somalia goods worth 58 million U.S. dollars in the first three months of 2017.

This was a rise from 53 million dollars in quarter four of 2016, with Somalia accounting for 4 percent of Kenya’s total exports to Africa during the period.

On the other hand, exports to the DRC during the period in review stood at 48 million dollars, which was however a slight decline from 51 million dollars in the previous quarter. The country accounted for 3.2 percent of Kenya’s total exports to Africa.

Similarly, Kenya’s exports to South Sudan in the first quarter stood at 45 million dollars, a huge jump from 40 million dollars in the previous period.

The three countries follow Uganda and Tanzania respectively as the major destination of Kenya’s exports, with the East African nation exporting mainly manufactured goods, fuel and agricultural produce to the countries.

Analysts noted that Kenya is keen on raising its exports in such countries as those to Europe and Asia have seemingly stagnated. Kenya’s exports to African countries increased 1.2 percent in the three months of this year, pushed up by rise in exported goods to the Comesa region.

They stood at 364 million dollars in the first quarter of this year, from 359 million dollars in the period of October-December, with the surge of exports to Somalia, DRC and South Sudan contributing to the swell.



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