NSE vows to end six-year IPO drought
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is on course to ensure 10 companies are listed on the bourse by next year.
Chairman Kiprono Kittony said structures are being put in place to make this a reality ahead of the listing of the firms in the stock market. He also asked Kenyans to take advantage and open Central Depository System (CDS) accounts ahead of listing the 10 firms.
In October, President William Ruto announced that 10 new firms would be listed by next year after a six-year drought.
“If you have not opened a CDS account, we are encouraging the public to open these accounts as soon as possible. From next year, we will be moving around to engage firms and make the president’s directive a reality,” Kittony said yesterday.
He made the remarks when the Khetias Supermarket opened its 22nd retail chain in the country and third store in Eldoret town. The NSE chair said this was the right time for Kenyans to invest in the stock markets.
“The stock markets are driven by upturns and downturns. It is a good time to buy shares when they are cheap. For instance, today Safaricom is 29 and tomorrow it might go over 42,” added Kittony.
Currently, the bourse has 63 listed stocks with a total market capitalisation of Sh1.9 trillion, of which Safaricom controls 50 per cent market share. President Ruto said his government would bring to the bourse through initial public offerings (IPOs) between six and 10 companies, urging the private sector to also list at least five companies on the bourse.
Listing of additional shares of State corporations will end a six-year IPO drought at the NSE that has lasted since October 2015 when the Stanlib Fahari REIT was listed.
The last successful privatisation by the government was the Safaricom IPO in 2008, meaning that no State-owned firm was sold at the NSE during the 10-year tenure of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Former President Mwai Kibaki privatised six companies, including Kengen, Kenya Reinsurance, Safaricom and Mumias Sugar, through the NSE between 2003 and 2008.