Investors Diary

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NSE will be most Volatile in 2008

It is now evident that if the current political crisis is not resolved as soon as possible the NSE that is often the barometer of economic growth is in for the most volatile period with suppressed activity despite entry of foreign investors into the market.

Since the year began, the NSE has shed Sh44 billion in market capitalization from a high of Sh851 billion at the beginning of the year to Sh810 billion as at the close of trading yesterday - a five per cent drop.
During the same period, equity turnover has declined by almost 30 per cent from daily trades worth Sh505 million on December 24 last year to Sh347 million at the close of trading yesterday.

Economic Slowdown
Economists had predicted a slow down in the economy pointing to a dip in tourism revenues, disruption of agricultural production and lower business turnovers in the wake of recent political turmoil.

Investor Confidence
Pundits have been quite to point out that a speedy resolution of the current stalemate and rejuvenated investor confidence is key to a speedy economic recovery and renewed momentum in the equity market.

Post Election Violence
The outbreak of post-election violence has eroded investor confidence in the market leading to some of the most aggressive sale of shares at the bourse with retail investors as the most active.

January/February Trades
The market was throughout January characterised by thin trades with retail investors - rushing to liquidate their positions in the short term - as the main sources of supply.

Institutional Investors
Battered investor confidence has seen institutional investors concede that any resumption of normalcy at the stock market depends on a speedy settlement of the political crisis.

The Aftermath of Election 2007 on economy

The Nairobi Stock Exchange will remain volatile for most of 2008 reflecting the turbulence in the political arena that has been witnessed since the announcement of the controversial December 27 General Elections.

Most companies are now bracing themselves for downsizing and other restructuring measures geared towards cost cutting and enhancing profit margins.

Reduced Profitability
The profitability that has been witnessed in most banks at the beginning of the previous years quarterly results may be no more and by and large greatly reduced.

Economic Growth
The economic growth rate although deemed to remain resilient may not be sustainable if the spate of violence continue into the next quarter of the year and the government revenue collections will be greatly hampered.

Pillars of Vision 2030
The pillars of Vision 2030 that had been lauded to steer Kenya into rapid economic growth phase including Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information technology, Tourism and telecommunication are now reeling from the effects of the post election violence.