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Only 11 counters gain in January as bear run persists at Nairobi Securities Exchange

BUSINESS NEWS
By Patrick Alushula | February 3rd 2016

NAIROBI: Only 11 of the 64 counters at the Nairobi bourse closed January in green as bear run continues to take toll on investors.

Consumer goods firm Eveready East Africa emerged as the top gainer, managing to grow its share price by 15.09 per cent.

In January, Eveready announced a 56 per cent reduction in its losses to post Sh78 million loss for the financial year ended September 30, 2015. The market reacted positively to this, with the stock recording a 10.91 per cent jump in the last week of January.

East African Portland Cement share price was up 8.7 per cent closing the month as the second highest gainer.

Agricultural stocks failed to continue with last year’s stellar performance that saw them occupy the first five positions on top gainers of the year. Only Naushad Merali owned Sasini Limited managed to grow its share price in January, recording a 7.69 per cent gain. Other counters in the agricultural segment have seen their share prices tumble. Three stocks from this segment feature among the top ten losers in January.

The biggest casualty is Williamson Tea, whose share price shed off Sh214 (53.37) per cent, making it one of the worst performing stock. Limuru Tea and Kapchorua Tea saw their share prices drop by at least 18 per cent.

Uchumi Supermarket’s stock has shed 31.11 per cent to close January trading at Sh7.55. The revelations that former managers looted the supermarket including Sh900 million raised through a rights issue may have hurt the share price. “The money was wired to Uganda and Tanzania but it did not reflect in either country in stocks,” Chief Executive Julius Kipng’etich said on the sidelines of the January 20 Annual General Meeting.

Last year’s top loser Atlas Development & Support Services Limited continues to perform poorly as its share price dipped to Sh1.80, a 14.3 per cent drop. The stock was trading at Sh12.5 by close of 2014. The firm has since shut down its Kenyan operations and relocated to Ethiopia.

LIQUID COUNTERS

The bourse closed the first week of January with a market capitalisation of Sh2.04 trillion but this was reduced by 5.7 per cent to close January with Sh1.92 trillion, meaning Sh12 billion was lost in under a month.

During the month, banking and telecommunication were the most liquid counters. Safaricom remained the heavily traded counter with 118,201,900 shares. Other active counters were Kenya Commercial Bank (91,863,300), Equity Bank (47,157,300), Co-operative Bank (29,653,700) and KenGen (26,642,200).

Having closed last year with the worst performance in four years, the NSE is yet to shake off its 2015 blues as both NSE All Share Index and benchmark NSE 20 Index dropped in January.

The NSE 20 Index, which measures the mean of share prices of the top 20 stocks, dropped by 6.6 per cent to wrap up January with 3777.17 points. On the other hand, NSE All Share Index that considers all the counters on the bourse recorded 6.1 per cent drop. It had closed 2015 with 145.70 points.

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