Kenya : gov’t vows to inovate in market capitalization

A man walks out of the Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya's capital Nairobi. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Kenya has been advised to boost investment in the capital markets through privatization of state corporations and review of restrictive rules.

The changes, according to Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, would ensure active participation in the capital markets and encourage new listing, which has eluded the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the last several years.

“Despite Kenya’s sophisticated capital markets relative to its east African peers, ease of entry and exit is hampered by restrictive regulations and low market liquidity, which contributes to high transaction costs,” noted Cytonn in an investor report on Monday.

The firm called for enhancement of investor education and evaluation of tax and regulatory frameworks to encourage financial stability and transparency of financial information.

Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Paul Muthaura said recently the regulator is reviewing its listing rules, including requirements that firms must have been profitable in the past three or five years, and the standards on debt to equity levels.

Kenya’s capital markets are considered the most sophisticated in east Africa, with 62 listed companies and a market capitalization of 2.1 trillion shillings (20.6 billion U.S. dollars).

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