The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) reportedly outperformed all other African nations by closing at 18.5% in 2019 due to telecoms giant, Safaricom’s profitable stock.
Safaricom — Kenya’s largest communications provider and financial institutions listed on the East-African bourse played major roles in the stock exchange’s profits, ensuring a combined 79.8% of the NSE’s market value. The telecom company possesses 49% of the bourse’s market value alone.
Though relatively smaller than other African stock exchanges with just 62 firms listed, the NSE closed 2019 with a significant gap ahead of other bigger stock exchanges in Africa. For instance, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (8.24%) and the Casablanca Stock Exchange in Morocco (7.72%) did not make significant gains compared with the NSE. On the other hand, the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined by 14.5%.
Safaricom reportedly gained a majority of its profits from M-Pesa and other mobile data revenue growth. The company has retained its influence as the nation’s telecoms giant,
According to Geoffrey Odundo, Chief Executive of the NSE, the stable Kenyan shilling in 2019 also contributed to the attractiveness of the stock exchange to investors, who saw that Kenya possessed lower currency fluctuation risks relative to other emerging markets.
“The fact that it outperformed other key markets means investors were more comfortable with main metrics such as stability of currency and free entry and exit of funds,” said Mr Odundo.