Risky stock market given wide berth 2021

By John Otini
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020
Nairobi Securities Exchange. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary
    • Due to the 2022 elections,  some investors may opt ot play safe to study new policies, plans and focus that the new administration might adopt.
    • Kenya placed an order for Covid-19 vaccines jabs worth Sh10 billion to help curb the spread of the virus.

Performance of the stock market will continue to trail the money markets and fixed income next year even as Kenya warms up to a Covid-19 vaccine, analysts say.

According to Chief investment officer at Amana Capital Reginald Kadzutu, the stock market will continue to be weighed down by the national economic issues such as public debt and next year’s elections.

“The NSE was already ailing before Covid-19, so we expect this to continue and with the elections coming in 2022 investors will not want to keep their money in stocks waiting for three years to get returns,” said Kadzutu.

Key determinants

Kestrel Capital Chief executive officer Francis Mwangi notes that profitability of the listed companies and foreign investor interest will be key determinants.

“For me biggest item that will determine the NSE recovery are level of improvement in company profits and foreign investor confidence,” said Mwangi.

Kenya’s fixed income market has one of the highest returns in Africa alongside Ghana, Uganda and Zambia.

The analysts point out that an expected Sh99 trillion stimulus package in the US could increase money supply with overflows being felt in emerging markets like Kenya.

Market capitalisation at the bourse recovered slightly from its March lows of Sh1.9 trillion to Sh2.2 trillion.

With most counters returning negative performance, Treasury bills and deposits are returning upwards of 7 per cent to 12 per cent.

Lack of liquidity in the market saw the stock market suffer as the government spent a huge share of the revenues to repay its public debt while delaying payment of small businesses. This led to a cash crunch that also sucked funds out of the stock market.

Once pre-Covid taxes are restored, its is expected that the market will be tight, as more money goes to the government.

Head of research at AIB Capital Sarah Wanga says banks and Safaricom will recover in forst half of the year.

“The current prices are reflecting reduced earnings for companies, this will change in the first half of next year,” said Sarah Wanga of AIB Capital.