5 September 2017

Kenya: Stockbrokers Suffer Losses After Activity Dips At NSE

Kenyan stockbrokers and investment bankers are the latest causalities of the bear run at the Nairobi Securities Exchange which has eroded the value of stock investments and left investors counting paper losses.

Activity on the bond market has also declined, with Ksh238.63 billion ($2.3 billion) worth of bonds traded in the first half of 2017, compared to Ksh263.21 billion ($2.6 billion) in the same period last year, representing a 9.34 per cent decrease.

Market intermediaries who rely mostly on commission income on stock and bond transactions have seen their income tumble due to reduced activity on the exchange.

"The drop in equity turnover at the exchange affected the income of all market intermediaries," said Amish Gupta, chief executive of AG Capital Ltd.

In a booming market, investment bankers usually diversify their income streams by offering advisory services in major transactions such as initial public offerings, rights issues, and mergers and acquisitions.

No rights issues

However, during the period (January-June) there were no rights issues and new listings on the exchange.

A review of the firms' performance during the six months to June 30 shows a decline in brokerage commissions and reduced consultancy and advisory fees with stock broking giants such as Dyer & Blair Investment Bank posting losses.

Other stockbrokers who posted losses during the period were Kingdom Securities, ABC Capital, AIB Capital and Cannon Asset Managers.

ICEA Lion Asset managers recorded a more than 50 per cent drop in net profit.

Generally, stockbrokers earn a commission of 1.78 per cent on equity transactions valued up to Ksh100,000 ($1,000) and 1.5 per cent for transactions above that.

During the six months to June the NSE recorded a five per cent drop in profit while the share prices of a number listed stocks continued trading below the par value.

These were Sameer Africa, Express Ltd, Kenya Airways, Uchumi, Olympia Capital Holdings and Mumias Sugar.

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