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January 18, 2019

NSE to unveil app as Kenya hosts Africa stock exchanges

Nairobi security exchange chief executive Geoff rey Odundo monitors trading at the NSE headquarter on August 22,2017/ ENOS TECHE
Nairobi security exchange chief executive Geoff rey Odundo monitors trading at the NSE headquarter on August 22,2017/ ENOS TECHE

Nairobi Securities Exchange is set to roll out a digital campaign to attract youthful traders into investing in capital markets.

Speaking to the Star, NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo said they are planning to come up with a mobile app which will break down complex capital market information for ordinary Kenyans.

"Kenya has made great strides in terms of mobile phone technology and penetration. We will  leverage on these gains to launch the NSE app and SSD code where users will access simplified information on how to invest in capital market,’’ said Odundo.

Last year, Kenya issued the first ever government bond traded exclusively on mobile phone, a move that attracted investors from the bottom economic pyramid. Dubbed M-Akiba, investors in this bond received their first dividends via M-Pesa last week.

Various tech firms and banks including NIC have products that enable customers to trade in shares on their mobile phones. Others include SBG Securities which launched M-share that allow investors to buy and sell shares directly on the NSE

Although he did not give timelines on when the app will be launched, NSE’s digital campaign is seen as a wider plan by security exchanges in Africa to leverage on technology to grow the capital market.

Kenya will from Thursday this week host the Africa Security Exchange Seminar, bringing together 28 stock exchanges in the continent.

Odundo said Kenya is honoured to host the seminar which will bring together the best brains in the African financial sector and financial technology space.

"We are bringing capital markets home. Expect top-notch insights on capital market investment as we prepare investors for greater growth in the sector through technology," said Odundo.

The two day event, slated for Thursday and Friday this week will run under the theme Adaptive innovation as a lever for growth and sustainable development of African financial market. 

The seminar is coming at the time when reports are showing that foreigners are controlling the continent’s capital market, an aspect attributed to poor knowledge of the market by local investors  

Although foreigners' level of participation at the NSE has been dropping since mid-last year, they still control the market at more than 50 per cent.

According to the latest soundness report by Capital Market Authority (CMA), foreigners’ participation at NSE dropped to 49.14 in June last year but has since regained to 55.69 per cent.

Their dominance has however slowed significantly from a whopping 79.81 per cent in January last year. The same scenario is replicated across the continent, with almost a half of the companies which make up the JSE’s Top 40 are owned by foreigners

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