US and China tariff war hurts trade at Kenyan bourse

US and China tariff war hurts trade at bourse

Investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange last week incurred a loss of Sh118.7 billion as a result of tension in global trade, sparked by looming trade war between the U.S. and China.

Central Bank Weekly statistical bulletin show that all indices and market capitalization declined, slowing post dividend growth momentum witnessed a fortnight ago when the bourse recorded an equity turnover growth of 46.82 percent.

The bourse recorded a market capitalisation Sh2.51 trillion down from Sh2.63 trillion recorded the previous week, representing 4.5 per cent drop.

The Nairobi All Share Index (NASI) posted 170.19 points, 4.5 per cent lower than 178.21 witnessed the previous week. NSE20 and NSE25 shrunk by 2.9 and 1.03 per cent respectively.

“Shareholders incurred a paper loss of Sh 118.7 billion as measured by decline in market capitalisation. The low performance could be a reflection of trends in global markets in reaction to tensions in global trade that may impact global economy,” said CBK.

Last week, US President Donald Trump said he was considering an additional 10 per cent tariff on $200 billion (Sh20 trillion) worth of Chinese goods, triggering a sharp reaction overseas. This saw major stocks register an average drop of 150 basis points.

Global cigarette firm British American Tobacco took the most hit as its share shed Sh10 to close at Sh610 on Friday. Generally translating into a Sh1 billion loss considering that it is has 100 million shares at NSE.

Other firms whose share sunk include I&M Bank which shed Sh2 to trade at Sh116 while East Africa Portland Cement’s share dropped by 8.05 per cent to close the day at Sh20. Kenya Airways closed at Sh11.40.

The government’s intention to raise capital locally through long term issues suffered a major blow during the week when its recent Sh40 billion 25- year bond received a paltry 25.33 per cent subscription.

Generally, volume of bonds traded declined by 14.99 percent in the week, posting a turnover of Sh14.6 billion compared to Sh17.2 billion obtained the previous week.

Treasury bill auctions reported a subscription of 214.71 per cent, an indication that investors are more interested in short term government papers. The auction received bids worth Sh51.53 billion against an advertised amount of Sh24.0 billion.

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