By Bedah Mengo
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan bourse
is attracting a small number of local investors as potential
ones keep off due to shrinking stock prices.
has lost the sparkle of yesteryears when Kenyans would flock to
stock brokerage firms to open Central Depository and Settlement
(CDS) accounts and invest in stocks.
The East African nation’s citizens mainly invested in stocks
of homegrown firms that include Safaricom, Kenya Power, Kengen,
Kenya Airways and Mumias Sugar.
A majority of the stocks are currently trading below the
initial public offer price save for a few like Safaricom,
Kenya’s leading telecom, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank
The worst hit sectors include insurance, where Britam on
Monday traded at a low of 8 shillings (0.08 U.S. dollars),
Corporate Insurance Company (CIC) 0.03 dollars and Liberty 0.1
Kenya Power and Kengen in the energy sector, initially the
best blue-chip stocks at the stock market, are trading at lower
than the initial public offer price.
The former traded at 0.04 dollars and the latter 0.06 dollars
on Monday, the price they have stayed put since the start of the
Kenya Airways in the transport sector and Mumias Sugar in
manufacturing are the other worst performing stocks as the
companies continue to chalk up losses.
On Monday, the stocks traded at 0.03 dollars and 0.003
Some of the best performing stocks include Safaricom, which
traded on Monday at 0.27 dollars, over five times the IPO price,
while Equity Bank and KCB traded at 0.39 dollars.
The general decline in prices of stocks has affected
investors’ wealth, with market capitalization standing at 22
billion dollars on Monday, down from 26 billion dollars two
Similarly, the NSE 20 Share Index, which measures the
performance of blue-chip stocks stood at 2,639.22 on Monday, a
decline from over 3,000 dollars last year.
Latest data from the Capital Markets Authority showed on
Tuesday that the number of CDS accounts opened by locals in 2018
stood at 14,442 from a peak of 31,739 in 2015.
Fred Ajwang, a computer technician in Nairobi, who was
initially enthusiastic about the stock market, said Tuesday, he
cannot invest at the market due to low returns.
"My father introduced me to the stock market in 2007 by
offering to buy me 100 Kengen shares that were on initial offer.
"I later bought myself three other stocks but I am yet to
make any money from most of the shares," said Ajwang.
Ajwang, as many other small Kenyan investors, has, however,
invested at the debt market, last month buying into part of the
2.5 million dollars mobile bond dubbed M-Akiba floated by the
One only needs 30 dollars to invest into the risk-free bond,
making it appeal to many small investors, with the bond
recording 30,232 new registrations, according to Rose Mambo, the
chief executive of CDS Corporation.
Ernest Manuyo, a business management lecturer at Pioneer
Institute, attributed apathy of local investors towards the
stock market to several factors, among them declining stock
prices, reduced disposable income, lack of returns from previous
investments and rising cost of living.
Kenya Safaricom launches
fraud intelligence solution curb cybercrime
by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya’s telecom operator Safaricom
on Tuesday launched a fraud intelligence solution for financial
institutions in the country in order to curb cybercrime.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer of
Safaricom, told journalists in Nairobi that the anti-fraud tool
will help banks and insurance firms better authenticate mobile
and internet banking customers.
"In addition to authentication, the solution will also
provide financial firms with capabilities to better design their
lending propositions, enhance the registration and on boarding
of new customers, and also in managing phone numbers linked to a
customer’s accounts but which may no longer be in use,"
Safaricom controls approximately 65 percent of Kenya’s
telecom market which has an estimated 50 million mobile
"Through the years, we have developed in-house capabilities
that have helped us cut down on attempted fraud incidences
targeting our customers by more than 75 percent," he added.
He revealed that the solution works across the three channels
including USSD, internet banking and smartphone apps.
"Such banking channels have been on the rise in the country
corresponding with increasing internet and smartphone usage," he
Lopokoiyit added that the adoption of the anti-fraud tool is
expected to benefit the country through increased usage of
mobile and internet banking due to increased confidence both
from the financial sector and customers.
According to the telecom operator, there are currently more
than 3.5 million Kenyans who use mobile and internet banking
services in the country every month.
executives pledge support for anti-graft war
by Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Business leaders from the
Sub-Saharan African region on Tuesday renewed commitment to
support the war against graft that is responsible for the loss
of about 30 percent of the continent’s GDP.
The executives who attended the Africa Business Ethics
Conference in Nairobi said they will rally behind government-led
efforts to stamp out corruption which is to blame for stagnating
economic growth and jeopardizing security and cohesion.
"Corruption is a threat to growth of businesses and continue
to hamper efforts to address poverty and inequality in many
African countries," said Lee Karuri, the Chair of Kenya Private
Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Foundation.
"The private sector is therefore committed to assist
governments root out graft through legislation and public
awareness on the vice," he added.
Kenya is hosting a two-day Africa Business Ethics Conference
attended by industry executives, policymakers, scholars and
campaigners to discuss innovative ways of enhancing private
sector participation in anti-graft war.
The conference that runs from June 25 to 26 has been
organized by KEPSA Foundation through its Multi-sectoral
Initiative Against Corruption (MSIAC) and Centre for
International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
Lars Benson, CIPE Regional Director for Africa said that
strong legislation combined with political goodwill and
engagement of citizens is key to eradicate corruption in the
world’s second largest continent.
"Africa must build strong democratic institutions, enforce
the laws and engage the public in order to win the war against
corruption," said Benson.
He said that eradicating corruption will stimulate growth of
local enterprises while enhancing provision of critical services
like education, health, water and social security to the
Fatma Elmaawy, chief executive officer of consultancy firm,
Milestone Resources Solution, said that action on graft is key
to sustainability of African indigenous enterprises.
"Corruption has stifled growth of Africa’s small and medium
sized enterprises that provide bulk of new jobs and its
eradication will have impacts on service delivery and security,"
COMESA to prioritize
sanitary and phytosanitary
investment to promote cross-border trade
by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Common Market of Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA) member states plan to prioritize
sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) investment to promote
Thierry Mutombo, director for investment, promotion and
private sector development at COMESA, said almost 70 percent of
the reported non-tariff barriers in the region are constituted
by technical standards and SPS measures.
"Investments in SPS capacity in COMESA are still very low
both in the public and private sector, and most countries lack
coherence in the establishment of SPS priorities and related
investments," Mutombo said during a high-level meeting on SPS
To fully exploit the existing trade and market access
opportunities, the trading bloc must address constraints to
cross-border trade, Mutombo said.
He said evidence from analytical work and studies points to a
number of causes of SPS-related non-tariff barriers, which
undermine trade, industry competitiveness and market access.
"These include varied SPS standards and regulatory frameworks
across member states, absence of good regulatory practice and
common risk-based approaches to underpin legislation and
regulations and import conditions required to ensure
predictable, legitimate, harmonized SPS frameworks," Mutombo
According to the trading bloc, COMESA countries face SPS-capacity
challenges like poor awareness on SPS obligations and
responsibilities in the private and public sectors, and
inadequate capacities to negotiate equivalence and
mutual-recognition agreements for market access within the bloc.
Chris Kiptoo, permanent secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of
Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, said the subject of SPS
standards is a crucial element of Kenya’s trade policy.
"Compliance with SPS measures has opened tremendous export
opportunities for Kenyan producers and exporters, both at the
intra-regional trade level and at the international level,"
He said Kenya has made tremendous strides in the formulation
of plans, policies, laws, regulations, strategies and
institutional frameworks that provide for protection of human,
animal and plant life and health, which has enhanced the
competitiveness of the country’s exports in the domestic,
regional and international markets over the years.
National budgets occasionally do not have sufficient
resources to address all national priorities and needs, which
requires hard choices to be made between competing investments
that may all be required to bring appreciable benefits in terms
of export performance, agricultural productivity, environmental
protection and public health in the longer term, Kiptoo said.
"Thus, cross-sectoral collaboration and prioritization of
investments becomes important," he said.
"The diversity of strengths and weaknesses on the continent
demands greater collaboration between countries that belong to
the same free trade area."