CAPITAL FLIGHT

NSE foreign investor outflow hits 8 year high on Covid-19 scare

Panic trading intensified in April and May

In Summary

•Kenya’s capital market recorded a net foreign portfolio outflow of Sh10.3 billion in Q2, 2020 as compared to an inflow of Sh1.1 billion the corresponding quarter last year.

•CMA is spearheading the implementation of a short-term capital markets recovery strategy expected to militate against existing and emerging risks.

NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo monitors the daily trading at the Nairobi Bourse,
NSE: NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo monitors the daily trading at the Nairobi Bourse,
Image: ENOS TECHE

The coronavirus scare saw foreign investors offload Sh10.3 billion of investment on Kenya’s capital market in three months to June, latest statistical bulletin by Capital Market Authority shows.

The panic trading which intensified in April and May triggered the highest investor outflow since 2012.

Kenya recorded an inflow of Sh1.1 billion similar quarter last year.

 

Kenya’s capital market recorded a net foreign portfolio outflow of Sh10.3 billion in Q2, 2020 as compared to an inflow of Sh1.1 billion the corresponding quarter last year

"This drastic change can be attributed to the panic trading brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ CMA report said.

Even so, average foreign investors' participation in Q2 accounted for 64.6 per cent on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) compared to 61.1 per cent recorded in Q1, indicating a 3.45 per cent  increase growth.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) posted mixed results in the quarter ended June, with the equity turn over dropping by 9. 5 per cent, confirming a decrease in trading activity at the bourse as investors took leave to absorb Covid-19 shocks.

However, market capitalisation recorded a 4.38 per cent increase to Sh2.1 trillion compared to Sh2.01 trillion in the first quarter.

Volumes traded also increased by 4.51 per cent to 1.42 billion compared to 1.36 billion in the previous quarter.

Additionally, a comparison of other composite indicators such as the NSE All-Share and NSE 20 Shares indices in the succeeding quarters indicate that the NSE All Share Index recorded a 4.37 per cent increase to close the quarter at 137.68.

 

NSE 20-Share Index recorded a 1.22 per cent decrease to close at 1,942.12 due to foreign investor flight.

Top five counters at NSE increased dominance by a percentage, accounting for 87 per cent of total market capitalisation in Q2 compared to 86 per cent same period last year.

The report shows that Safaricom which continues to command above 50 per cent of total tradings at the Nairobi bourse, Equity Bank Group, East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), KCB Group and Co-op Bank Group accounted for Sh1.8 trillion of  Sh2.1 trillion of the total market cap.

The market concentration by few companies has been the weakest link at the Nairobi bourse, with analysts worried that a slight crush one of the dominant players, especially Safaricom, which controls Sh1.14 trillion of the market cap can tumble the bourse.

According to CMA’s director regulatory policy and strategy Luke Ombara, the authority is spearheading the implementation of a short-term capital markets recovery strategy which is expected to militate against existing and emerging risks.

"CMA has in recent times partnered with NSE and other relevant partners to drive listing at the bourse, one of key measure towards spreading the concentration risk,’’ Ombara said.

In the primary treasury bonds market, the government issued six Treasury bonds, seeking to raise Sh205.6 billion but received subscriptions worth Sh249.82 billion. In the end, however, it accepted bonds worth Sh137.35 billion, indicating a 54.97 per cent acceptance rate.

In the secondary bonds market, bond market turnover decreased by 13.11 per cent with Sh136.7 billion worth of bonds traded compared to Sh157.3 Billion traded in the first quarter.

The turnover dropped by 32.2 per cent on an annual basis, with data showing that only a turnover of Sh136.6 billion compared to Sh201.5 billion same quarter last year.

As at June 30, the total outstanding amount for corporate bonds was Sh27.93 billion. This was a 17.68 per cent decline from Sh33.93 billion as at March 31 owing to the redemption the Centum Bond Senior Unsecured Fixed Rate and Equity Linked notes in Q2 2020 worth Sh6 billion.

The derivative market registered a 14.90 per cent decrease in trading to 257 contracts traded in Q2 from 302 contracts traded in Q1 .

Similarly, the turnover and the number of deals in Q2 recorded decreased activity of 49.9 per cent and 16.36 per cent respectively.