NSE sees first main market listing since 2018 this year

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) expects its first main-market segment listing in more than three years to happen before the end of December and boost activity on the bourse.

“We have one application right now that’s being processed,” Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Odundo said in an interview. “It is for the main market segment.”

According to the Bloomberg report, this will be the first major deal since 2018 when Bank of Kigali listed on the Kenyan bourse by introduction, and 2014 when the NSE itself did an initial public offering. The exchange has struggled to find listings as more companies preferred to raise funds from elsewhere and investment largely slowed.

The All-Share index of the market valued at 2.15 trillion shillings ($17.9 billion) has dropped 17% since January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Foreign investors, who account for more than half of trading on the NSE, sold some of their holdings amid uncertainty from the Aug. 9 general election.

“We could close at least one” case on the USP this year too, Odundo said. “We’re just waiting for them to conclude discussions with their transaction advisers.”

The exchange’s USP has two listings which were made in May 2021 by Acorn Investment Management Ltd.’s Acorn D-REIT and Acorn I-REIT real estate trusts. They have raised 3 billion shillings on the platform and have a rights offer due to close at the end of September, Odundo said.

“We’ve seen increased interest to raise additional capital,” he said of the USP. The platform in July had its first negotiated trade, when the buyer and seller bargained the price directly with each other.

The NSE also plans to introduce asset pledging, an offering that will allow investors to use their securities as collateral for loans, Odundo said.

Source – Bloomberg

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