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NSE wipes out Sh156.4b investors' cash despite gains in some counters

BUSINESS
By Patrick Alushula | March 7th 2017

Investors at the Nairobi Securities (NSE) have lost about Sh156.4 billion in paper wealth since January, with only 14 out of the 64 counters recording gains.

Market capitalisation, a measure of the investors' wealth on the bourse, closed last week trading at Sh1.76 trillion compared to Sh1.92 trillion at the beginning of trading in January.

Despite recent swings on the market that has seen the NSE 20 index bounce to a level above 3,000 points and back below the psychological level, most stocks continue to shed off prices.

But on top of the gainers' list dating back from January, cement maker, East African Portland Cement, leads with a 14.89 per cent rise. Its share closed last Friday at Sh27, up from Sh23.50 at the beginning of the year.

Investors are beginning to warm up to the share of the company that announced a 42.1 per cent drop in full-year profit to Sh4.2 billion even as its negative working capital more than quadrupled to Sh2.85 billion.

The gain from the cement maker is a reverse from last year when it lost about 53 per cent of its share value.

Media firm, Standard Media Group, is the second highest gainer of the year. The Group, home to The Standard newspaper, The Nairobian, Standard Digital, Radio Maisha, and Kenya Television Network (KTN) has seen its shares jump by 13.63 per cent to Sh18.75. it had opened the year at Sh16.50 per share.

Last week, the group defied the challenging odds in the media industry to post a net profit of Sh198.5 million for the financial year that ended December 31, 2016, being 169 per cent growth in net earnings from a loss of Sh289.6 million the previous year.

TPS Eastern Africa, another firm in commercial and services space, has made a gain of 12.20 per cent year-to-date. In energy and petroleum sector, Umeme Ltd has gained by 10 per cent, while KenGen has rose by 7.76 per cent to Sh6.25.

In banking, Standard Chartered bank is trading at about Sh207, being 9.52 per cent higher than it was at the beginning of trading in January. NIC Bank has so far gained by 4.81 per cent to Sh27.25.

The two are yet to release the full-year earnings for the 2016 financial year. This is expected to have an impact on the share price. So far, both Barclays Bank and Stanbic Bank have made public their results.

Despite the huge loss, battery maker, Eveready East Africa, has made a gain of 8.51 per cent to Sh2.55. Investors are still warming up to the share despite announcing a loss of Sh206.5 million in January for full year ended September 30, 2016. The loss was 2.47 per cent higher than in previous financial year.

Out of the five counters that made a gain last year, Kenya Airways (KQ) and British American Tobacco (BAT) are the only two stocks that have maintained a good run.

Loss making KQ has so far gained 1.71 per cent to Sh5.95, while BAT share has made a gain of five per cent to Sh10.50. Last year, BAT rose by seven per cent, while that of KQ gained by 22 per cent.

Other counters that have pressed through a generally depressed market include BOC Kenya, Carbacid, Nairobi Ventures and Williamson Tea.

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