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Investors are cautious following political uncertainty

By Reuters | Published Wed, October 11th 2017 at 16:31, Updated October 11th 2017 at 16:38 GMT +3

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya’s all share index slipped 1.24 percent on Wednesday while the blue chip index fell 1.14 percent after opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of a repeat presidential election set for Oct. 26, traders said.

Odinga, who successfully challenged the Aug. 8 re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, said the repeat poll should be canceled and a fresh election started after the election board has carried out reforms.

“There was cautious optimism but now political risk has risen considerably overnight driven by the opposition candidate’s withdrawal,” said Ken Minjire, the head of securities at Genghis Capital in Nairobi.

The all-share index has lost about 10 percent since the end of last month.

“There is actually no optimism. Most investors are very cautious at this time,” Minjire said.

After Odinga’s withdrawal, it is unclear whether repeat elections will be held on Oct. 26 or not. A court ruling on Wednesday said other candidates, none of whom polled more than one percent, could also be on the ballot, potentially giving Kenyatta someone to run against other than Odinga. 

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