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February 20, 2019

KQ closes at a fresh high as changes loom

Kenya Airways plane at Moi International Airport.  Photo/FILE
Kenya Airways plane at Moi International Airport. Photo/FILE

International markets are a mixed bag. Crude oil in New York is trading above $50.00 a barrel and at $50.65 last near a 12 month high. Sterling was last at 1.2263, and got a fillip from a two-year high inflation print. Standard & Poor’s upgraded Kenya’s credit outlook to stable from negative.

“Since our last review, government financing pressures have abated somewhat, interest rates have come down, and the exchange rate has remained stable. Additionally, we understand oversight at the Public Debt Management Office has been bolstered and new debt-management systems have been introduced. We view these factors as supportive of the government’s creditworthiness,” says S&P in its latest update.

Trading was thin at the Nairobi Securities Exchange yesterday and clocked just Sh140.807 million. The Nairobi All Share improved 0.24 points to close at 136.63. The Nairobi NSE20 firmed 5.99 points to close at 3249.67

The pilots' union Kalpa called off an indefinite strike which was set to begin yesterday. Michael Joseph, a board director, is to be named the new chairman to replace Dennis Awori. However, the fate of chief executive Mbuvi Ngunze, who pilots have said must go, was not immediately clear. Kenya Airways surged +4.34 per cent to close at a fresh multi-month high of Sh4.80. Joseph can argue there is a 'Michael Joseph' effect given that the share price has rallied +26.315 per cent over the last four weeks. Buyers outpaced sellers and traded 308,800 shares.

Safaricom eased -0.50 per cent to close at Sh19.75 and traded 909,500 shares. It has not traded less than a million shares for eternity. Deacons rebounded +9.52 per cent to close at Sh6.90. NIC Bank was the most actively traded bank share and retreated -2.65 per cent to close at Sh27.50 and traded 1.163 million shares worth Sh32.012 million. NIC Bank is -36.41 per cent in 2016.

Standard Chartered rallied +3.37 per cent to close at Sh184.00. Stanchart is the only banking share that has posted a positive return in 2016 at the NSE.

KCB Group firmed 0.92 per cent to close at Sh27.25 and traded just 141,200 shares. Barclays Bank eased -1.22 per cent to close at Sh8.05 and traded 573,100 shares. Jubilee Holdings firmed a shilling to close at Sh474.00 and traded 36,200 shares. Jubilee is -2.066 per cent in 2016 and has outperformed its insurance peers.

Total Kenya rallied +3.45 per cent to close at Sh18.00 and match a five-month high. Today's bullish price action was effected on good volume action of 694,800 shares worth Sh12.506 million. Total Kenya is -1.36 per cent year to date. Total Kenya reported a 37.349 per cent first-half earnings per share acceleration.

KenolKobil firmed +3.603 per cent to close at Sh11.50 and traded 462,900 shares. EABL rebounded +1.49 per cent to close at Sh272.00 and was trading at 280.00 +4.48 per cent session highs at the finish. EABL traded just 400 shares signalling sellers are now extinguished below Sh280.00.

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