Frank Mwiti succeeds Geoffrey Odundo at NSE

Frank Mwiti succeeds Geoffrey Odundo at NSE. 

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday appointed former Ernst and Young (EY) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) executive Frank Mwiti as chief executive.

Mwiti, who was the immediate former regional African markets boss for Big Four consulting firm EY, will steer the 69-year old exchange from May through a difficult phase that has been marked by a string of bourse exits and a market rout that has underlined investor jitters.

"The board is confident of Mr Mwiti's strategic capabilities and exceptional experience in frontier, emerging and developed markets and will play a critical role in accelerating the next phase of growth of the NSE as well as support Government's capital markets agenda," said NSE board Chairman Kiprono Kittony in a public notice.

Mwiti will take the helm of the NSE at a time the bourse and Kenya's capital markets regulator are keen to stimulate more firms to list at the bourse and end a listing drought.

He also takes over at a time the NSE is expected to come into focus as the Ruto government moves to accelerate the disposal of State-owned agencies through sale of shares at the bourse.

The NSE has been banking on its new incubation programme in a bid to raise the number of companies listed on the stock market, as well as lobbying the government to sell poorly performing State-owned enterprises and additional shares in successful blue chips such as Safaricom and KCB to the public.

President Ruto earlier said the government would privatise 35 corporations over the next year.

The President expects most of the privatisation to be undertaken through public offers at the NSE which he noted would also give citizens an avenue to buy into the companies.

The NSE, which has over 60 listed firms, has in recent years suffered a dearth of IPO listings, which are key in introducing new investors into the market.

It has instead seen a raft of listings by introduction, largely limited to small firms under its Growth and Enterprise Markets Segment, which have failed to excite the market much.

This is a departure from the past where the NSE has been waiting on businesses to put their house in order then approach them for listing, a process that has proved slow and sometimes exposed new shareholders and creditors to losses.

The Capital Markets Authority eyed to raise number of total listed firms by last year to 105 in line with its master plan.

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