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Shilling, stock market make gains after repeat election

Zachary Ochuodho and Reuters

The shilling yesterday rose slightly to close trading at 103.65 against the US dollar, a day after the presidential vote re-run results started trickling in. Also making gains were stocks at the Nairobi Securities Exchanges (NSE) where market indices closed on positive grounds.

On Tuesday, the local currency was under pressure and hit all-time low witnessed since mid-August to touch 103.85 as foreign investors exited shilling dominated assets ahead of the repeat poll on Thursday, while some importers bought their dollar requirements in advance.

“It is more or less status quo for the shilling until the numbers (election results) are announced,” said a currency trader told Reuters Pressure on the shilling increased after opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the re-run and demanded a fresh poll in 90 days, complete with fresh nominations.

“We were expecting a bump once the election took place irrespective of whoever wins,” said Raymond Kipchumba, a research analyst at Nairobi-based ABC Capital.

“As long as there was a form of an election taking place and either a government almost ready in place to take over or continue, we were expecting foreigners to come back.” At the NSE, the NSE-20 share index slightly increased by 45.74 points to 2,342.260 points, while the NSE-25 share index increased by 28.26 points to close at 4,144.82 points.

The All Share Index (NASI) rose by 1.76 points to close at 159.87 points. The market capitalisation too increased by Sh25.8 billion to close at Sh2.34 trillion, which was a 1.1 per cent increase.

As the bourse resumed trading after a two day break following declaration of public holidays on Wednesday and Thursday, turnover for the three-day trading week stood at Sh2.1 billion on a volume of 66.7 million shares against Sh1.9 billion on 74 million shares posted the previous week.

The banking sector was the week’s most active segment with shares worth Sh705 million traded or 33.30 per cent value of shares changing hands. Equity Group moved nine shares valued at Sh334 million at between Sh36 and Sh38. KCB Group touched a week’s high of Sh40 and a low of Sh36.50 with shares worth Sh331 million transacted.

Barclays Bank moved 1.5 million shares worth Sh14 million and closed the week at Sh9.15. Safaricom was the week’s heavily traded counter with 26.5 million shares valued at Sh647 million traded at between Sh23.75 and Sh25.50; this represented 30.55 per cent of the week’s traded value. During the week, the bond market registered reduced activity with bonds worth Sh3.5 billion transacted compared to Sh4.2 billion registered last week.

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