The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: NSE Closes On a High, Safaricom Dominates

Equity turnover at the NSE on Friday was 510.76 million. Britam and Bamburi Cement reported 2013 earnings. The market traded higher today.

Agriculture: Sasini Tea and Coffee firmed 3.02 per cent to close at Sh17.05 and traded shares as high as Sh18, 8.76 per cent up at the closing bell. Sasini Tea is +16.38 per cent in 2014.

Commercial and Services: Safaricom was the most actively traded share for the second consecutive session and eased 0.42 per cent to Sh11.75 and traded 11.85 million shares. Safaricom has traded 39.29 million shares over the last two sessions. It is +8.29 per cent in 2013.

Insurance: Britam reported 2013 earnings, with profit before tax increased 12.27 per cent to Sh3.2 billion. However, earnings per share was unchanged year-on-year. Britam is in a dash for growth with full year revenue expanding 28.84 per cent to Sh15.13 billion.

It cited a 26.5 per cent acceleration in revenue for the insurance business in Kenya, a 62.6 per cent gain in asset management fees and an eye-popping 232.2 per cent gain via regional businesses (off a low base, admittedly).

Britam had rallied 20.46 per cent since the start of the year through this morning and that follows on a very powerful rally in Q4 2013. It corrected 2.19 per cent lower today to Sh17.85 and traded a million shares.

Banking: KCB firmed 0.56 per cent to Sh45 and closed the session trading at 45.50 +1.68 per cent session highs. It traded 2.28 million shares worth Sh103.25 million and demand outweighed supply by 20:12 at the closing bell.

Equity Bank firmed 0.75 per cent to Sh33.50 and traded 2.14 million shares worth Sh71.81 million. It has rallied 3.86 per cent this week.

Co-op Bank ticked 0.27 per cent up to Sh18.70 and traded 2.77 million shares worth Sh51.76 million. It is yet to release its 2013 earnings.

Barclays Bank eased 0.61 per cent to Sh16.20 and traded 1.17 million shares. It is -7.95 per cent in 2014 and trades on a PE (price/earnings ratio) of 11.57.

Industrial and Allied: Bamburi Cement reported 2013 earnings. Turnover declined -9.5 per cent to Sh33.93 billion. Net profit declined 24.76 per cent, making that a two-year losing streak. Earnings per share declined 21.52 per cent. Bamburi proposed a final dividend of Sh9, making that a total pay-out of Sh11 a share and a 4.76 per cent increase year-on-year.

In fact, Bamburi is paying out 115.18 per cent of its full-year earnings per share as dividend, which speaks to a management expressing confidence about 2014 or apparent looking for cash. It closed unchanged at Sh206 and traded just 300 shares.

East African Portland has been on a roll of late and rallied 4.94 per cent to Sh85. Portland has rallied +23.19 per cent in 2013 and sentiment continues to improve regarding its prospects, with a large land bank being touted as a way forward for retiring debt and dashing for growth.

Athi River Mining firmed 1.21 per cent to Sh83.50 and traded 5,100 shares.

EABL eased 1.15 per cent to Sh260 and traded 134,800 shares. It sits +18.72 above its 52-week's closing low of Sh219 from February 19 which constituted a selling climax and, the rebound from that level is a constructive and bullish signal for the share price going forward.

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