The stock market rose one per cent to a year high Thursday, as investors anticipated positive results at the beginning of the corporate earnings period, while the shilling traded flat, supported by tax payments.
“The earnings season has kicked off and what can be seen, is guys taking positions,” said Samora Kariuki, an analyst at NIC Securities.
Cement manufacturer, Athi River Mining , was the top gainer of the main index, rising 8.8 per cent to Sh198 , while beer maker East African Breweries rose 1.3 percent to Sh227. Sudan’s currency hits low before Ramadan, stokes dissent
Mwanwhile Sudan’s currency fell close to its historical low against the dollar as demand for imported food surged before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, driving up prices and fuelling anger over a severe economic crisis.
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in power since 1989, has avoided an “Arab spring” but an austerity programme that included scaling back fuel subsidies sparked small-scale protests four weeks ago.
Sudan lost much of its oil resources when South Sudan seceded a year ago, exacerbating an economic crisis and depriving the state of its main source of revenues and dollars.
With Ramadan starting within a day or two, millions of Sudanese are stocking up on meat, spices and sweets to prepare the large meals they will eat in the evenings after fasting all day.
Anti-government protests have so far been small but anger over food prices is rising. Prices usually go up in Ramadan but this year they add to an inflation rate of 37.2 percent, more double than a year ago.
“It’s the most difficult Ramadan we’re facing because everything is so expensive. We are buying much less meat this year because we just can