2018 shaping up as worst year for Kenyan stocks

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-04 19:54:02|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- This year is shaping up to be one of the worst for investors at the Kenyan stock market as prices of various blue chips fall to a new low.

Several top stocks have fallen by between 27 percent and 80 percent since the start of January, highlighting the tough times for investors, who have seen their wealth at the market eroded by at least 6 billion U.S. dollars in nine months.

Market capitalization, which measures investors' wealth, stood at 22 billion U.S. dollars on Wednesday, having hit 29 billion dollars in April, data from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) shows.

Topping the list of stocks whose prices have dipped significantly is Uchumi, the financially troubled Kenyan supermarket. Since January, the stock has fallen 80.4 percent to trade at 0.009 U.S. cents.

Similarly, Athi River Mining Cement has declined 79 percent to trade at 0.05 dollars on Wednesday while battery maker Eveready fell 58 percent to stand at 0.01 dollars.

Others whose value had been eroded include Mumias (50 percent), Home Afrika (53 percent), Kenya Power (49 percent), Kenya Airways (42 percent), and Nation Media Group (41 percent).

Analysts have blamed the decline of fortunes at the Kenyan bourse on foreigners exiting a number of blue-chips.

February was the worst month at the bourse, with foreign investors selling shares worth 50 million dollars as they exited the market.

In May, investors sold off stocks worth 40 million dollars and September, 30 million dollars, analysis of the market information indicated.

The fall has, similarly, driven down other key indices of the market, with the NSE 20 share index falling 100 points since January to close at 2,861.39 on Tuesday.