Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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Market operations continue normally with steady growth in market activity amid Coronavirus threat

As the country grapples with how to contain the Coronavirus, the stock market players and regulators are working jointly to ensure that market activities continue normally.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) and the other market players are working closely to ensure normal operations during this time, despite the scaled-down physical interaction measures taken.

CMA Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Wyckliffe Shamiah, said the Authority has put in place necessary business continuity plans to ensure the safe and orderly conduct of its business during this time and is working with the entire capital markets industry so that appropriate measures are taken as the usual service is made available.

Mr. Shamiah observed, ‘’CMA continues to collaborate with NSE and CDSC, market intermediaries, issuers and other capital markets industry stakeholders to ensure that there is minimal disruption to market activities while supporting the Government of Kenya strategies to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.’’

He added that although the overall impact on the economy from what is being witnessed is likely to be enormous, the Authority is looking into measures that shall alleviate the resulting suffering to the industry.

He, therefore, said that following the recent Presidential Directive that suspended public gatherings and meetings among other measures, listed companies and licensed persons including collective investment schemes that were scheduled to hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) in March, April and May 2020, are advised to defer the meetings to a later date while ensuring all affected stakeholders are notified in good time.

Mr. Shamiah added that although the market had reacted immediately the first COVID-19 case was confirmed, it had since corrected itself and going by the subsequent activities, there exists a great investment opportunity that investors can take advantage of.

The NSE Chief Executive, Mr. Geoffrey Odundo, said, “We are witnessing some stabilization of market activity with signaling improvements in participation by local investors and increased inflow of foreign investor capital. This is reflected by the recovery witnessed in the NSE 20 share index in the last few days. We are happy to note that investors continue to diversify their portfolios across the various asset classes available at the Exchange.”

Mr. Odunda added that the NSE is confident that market performance will continue to improve steadily and urged investors to take advantage of online and mobile trading platforms to participate in the market and track their investments.

The CDSC Chief Executive, Mr. Nkoregamba Mwebesa, affirmed that sound Business Continuity Plans are in place to ensure seamless settlement of all securities traded at the exchange.

Mr. Mwebesa further noted that “in the endeavor to support the Government to contain the spread of CoviD-19, CDSC issued a circular to all its stakeholders providing alternative channels to be used for delivery of physical documents to minimize physical contact.”

CDSC continues to offer all services to the stakeholders and shall closely monitor the events of the Coronavirus as they unfold and adjust its’ business decisions as may be necessary.

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