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Bourse sheds US $ 941 million in May as foreigners exit market

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Investors’ wealth at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) declined by 941 million U.S. dollars in May, hit by drop in prices of large capitalization stocks as foreigners’ exited market, analysts said on Tuesday.

Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, said in a brief that market capitalization, which measures shareholders’ wealth, ended the month at 24 billion dollars after shedding the millions of dollars.

Some of the large stocks that declined during the month were Diamond Trust Bank, Barclays Bank, Cooperative Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank, which fell 11.2 percent, 10.9 percent, 8.4 percent and 8 percent, respectively, with the fall attributed to the bank’s closing their books for dividend payment.

The decline in investors’ wealth happened even as turnover during the month increased by 22 percent to 183 million dollars from 150 million dollars in April.

"Foreign investors remained net sellers this month as they sought to realize the capital gains on various counters, in addition to receiving dividend income.

Most investors exited the market at the relatively healthy valuation, with possible re-entry at cheaper valuations in the future," Cytonn said.

All the markets’ indices, similarly, maintained a downward trend, with the Nairobi All Share Index, NSE 20 and NSE 25 declining by 3.9 percent, 10.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

"We expect the market to remain supported by improved investor sentiment as the economy recovers from shocks experienced last year," said Cytonn.

On Monday, the NSE 20 Share Index dropped by 60.14 points to stand at 3,273.22 points.


Kenyan shilling surges against the dollar

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan shilling appreciated considerably against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday to cross to the 100 level boosted by growth of inflows.

The local unit rose to trade at between 100.80 and 100.90 on Tuesday, up from 101.40 in the Monday trading session.

The Central Bank of Kenya placed the shilling at 100.91 to the dollar, a significant surge from 101.39 in the Monday session.

Commercial banks in the East African nation, on the other hand, quoted the shilling at an even higher position of between 100.60 and 100.80 from 101.30 and 101.50.

Currency traders attributed the surge of the shilling to offshore investors at the debt market and some commercial banks disposing their dollars.

Against the British pound, the shilling declined marginally to close the day 134.86 from 134.87 from the previous session.

According to Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, the shilling is expected to strengthen against the dollar boosted by horticulture, offshore investors and diaspora inflows.



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