Ruto challenges capital market to drive Big four agenda

Nairobi Securities Exchange CEO Geoffrey Odundo (left) presents a gift to DP William Ruto (right) while NSE chairman Samuel Kimani (centre) looks on during the launch of 7th Building African financial markets (BAFM) seminar at Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi on April 19 2018. [Photo by Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has challenged the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) to take a leading role in the ‘Big Four’ development agenda through capital mobilisation.

Speaking in Nairobi during the seventh Building African Financial Markets seminar yesterday, Mr Ruto said capital markets were a key pillar in economic development and should help to promote asset ownership and wealth creation.

“We take our financial markets seriously and view them as an integral part of the national transformation paradigm,” he said.

“The 'Big Four' moment is also a moment for our financial markets to come of age and support rapid national socio-economic transformation.”

The DP said as capital markets explored emerging trends in the markets, the Government would provide the desired incentives and enabling environment to enhance their attractiveness.

Addressing the forum that brought together 26 capital markets from Africa, Ruto said the 'Big Four' agenda was “a big splash to create wealth that will lift every ship sailing in our ocean” and therefore required support from the private sector through a vibrant capital market.

According to him, the ambitious dream of job creation, affordable housing, an active manufacturing sector and universal healthcare would require active participation of the capital markets. 

“The capital markets have a key role to play in the revitalisation of the agricultural sector. I am asking them to urgently work on the launch of a transparent and efficient commodities exchange.”

Ruto called on capital markets to embrace technologies such as block chain to create a robust distribution ledger of movable collateral to promote financial inclusion for the sector.

Movable collateral was introduced last year to help Kenyans gain access to credit using movable properties such as animals but it has not been actively taken up due to lack of a collateral registry.

Ruto further said President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday had secured a platform for Kenyan companies to raise capital beyond Kenyan borders.

“Investors will have an opportunity to buy shares in National Oil Corporation to raise close to Sh100 billion, which will be used to build infrastructure to evacuate oil from Turkana,” he said.

On achieving universal health coverage by 2022 from the current 36 per cent, the DP said NSE could take advantage of the investment opportunities to reform the sector.

“A significant portion of proceeds of future issuance of Government infrastructure bonds will be earmarked for the health sector. The capital markets can leverage on this endeavour.”

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