Bloomberg reported that Kenya was near to signing an $800 million three-year loan facility with Citibank, StanChart, Standard Bank Group and Rand Merchant Bank.
Bloomberg also confirmed the government had secured a further $500 million from lenders led by the Trade and Development Bank, an East African trade-finance bank based in Burundi. The 10-year loan is in addition to the $250 million it raised from the same lenders last month. There is quite a lumpy roll-over in play in 2017 and the government is moving with despatch ahead of the full-blown election cycle.
The Nairobi All Share firmed +0.27 points to close at 124.93. The NSE 20 rallied +19.15 points to close at 2964.48 to close at a more than four-week high. Equity turnover clocked Sh579.835 million. The full year earnings season kicks off as early as tomorrow and earnings will be the tone-setter for the market for the next few weeks.
Sasini Tea and Coffee rallied +5.79 per cent to close at a 2016 high of Sh21.00 with 54,100 shares changing hands. Sasini is +9.375 per cent in 2017.
Kenya Airways surged +9.35 per cent to close at Sh5.85 and making that an eye-popping +18.18 per cent gain over two trading sessions. Kenya Airways is unchanged for 2017 and needs to clear 7.10 a high from November 2016 from a chart perspective to really get the bulls' juices flowing.
Safaricom closed unchanged at Sh18.00 and traded 9.925 million shares worth Sh178.731 million. Safaricom rebounded violently from this level in the middle of January. The price is underwritten at this level.
Standard Chartered rallied +4.188 per cent to close at a 2017 high of Sh199.00 on good volume of 121,300 shares worth Sh24.167 million. StanChart is the only bank share to be in positive territory in 2017 at +4.76 per cent year-to-date. Similarly last year StanChart was the only banking share to produce a positive return for shareholders.
Kenya's largest bank, KCB Group, is to lay off more than 500 employees citing "evolving technology changes and a dynamic regulatory regime.” KCB firmed +1.04 per cent to close at Sh24.25 and traded 225,300 shares signaling supply exhaustion at these levels.
Equity Group closed unchanged at Sh27.00 on the day it announced it is set to roll out agency banking in Zanzibar, where it commenced operations last week with its first branch. Equity is -10.00 per cent in 2017 and traded 6.508 million shares worth Sh177.263 million.
Barclays Bank, which is set to release full-year earnings tomorrow, firmed +0.61 per cent to close at Sh8.30 and traded 405,500 shares. Barclays Bank is -8.79 per cent in 2017, but has rallied an eye-watering +16.90 per cent in February admittedly off a bombed out deeply oversold level at the end of January.
KenGen closed unchanged at Sh6.55 and traded good volume of 10.163 million shares worth Sh66.572 million. KenGen is +12.93 per cent in 2017 and this up-move has been on significantly more volume than its volume moving average.