The Nairobi Securities Exchange lost nearly Sh 250 billion in the year 2015, marking one of the worst years in the Stock Exchange’s history.
The loss was attributed to volatile Kenyan currency, rising inflation and surging interest rates.
Last year, banks increased lending rates to 30 %, forcing individuals to stop borrowing from financial institution. The Central Bank of Kenya also increased interest rate to an average of 15 %.
The performance was dimmed further with the closure of Imperial Bank late last year when CBKdiscovered financial anomaly resulting from the bank’s reporting system. This was followed by information that more than half of Kenyan banks could be closed down for failing to meet minimum threshold set by The Treasury.
Information in our possession shows that the NSE market capitalization shrank by 0.5 trillion in 2015, which was the highest decline since 2011 when NSE was listed as the worst performing stock market in Africa.
Following the losses incurred at the NSE, 16 companies operating at the market issued profit warnings to their shareholders. Indicating, investors would go home empty handed.
Sources within Insurance and Banking sector say several companies are set to retrench some of their employees in 2016 if the situation doesn’t normalize. Even Telecommunication companies are not left out either.Airtel Kenya is expected to retrench over 50 employees in 2016.Even the companies who are outsourced by the Telecom giant are facing the same challenge.IBM has written dismissal letters to most of their employees in Kenya, citing heavy losses .
Since this is a political year, business will be the most affected sector in the economy. The political activities will greatly influence the performance of the NSE which is one of the pillars of the economy. If the worst happens then the Government won’t manage to meet its tax obligations, thus resulting more job losses.