A month into the new year, it has been a slow start to 2024 for the stock market at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The NSE All Share Index and the NSE 20 Share Index have dropped 0.43% and 0.12%, respectively, since the beginning of the year.
The NSE All Share Index is a broad market benchmark that measures the average performance of all the companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The NSE 20 Share Index, on the other hand, is a blue-chip index that measures the performance of the top 20 companies on the NSE.
In the slow start for the market, a handful of stocks are shining. These are the top 5 companies driving the stock market based on year-to-date gains.
1. Liberty Kenya – 35%
Liberty Kenya Holdings Ltd (LBTY) is an insurance company. It operates in more than a dozen countries in Africa. The company has a long menu of insurance plans for retail and corporate customers. Apart from its flagship insurance business, Liberty also offers property development and asset management services to corporate clients.
Liberty shares have gained more than 35% since the beginning of the year.
2. Sanlam – 17%
Sanlam Kenya Plc (SLAM) is an insurance company. It offers several types of insurance plans for individuals, groups and corporations. In addition to its main insurance business, Sanlam also provides asset management, financial planning and retirement fund management services.
Sanlam shares have gained 17% year-to-date.
3. Williamson Tea – 13%
Williamson Tea Kenya Plc (WTK) grows, processes and sells tea products in the domestic and international markets. It operates tea farms in the Rift Valley regions of Changoi, Kaimosi, Kapchorua and Tinderet.
Williamson is the company behind popular premium tea brands such as Duchess Grey, Mint Garden, Lifeboat Tea and Purple Blush.
Williamson shares have gained nearly 13% since the beginning of the year.
4. Equity Group – 12%
Equity Group Holdings Plc (EQTY) operates a portfolio of commercial banks across the East Africa region. It provides consumer and business banking services.
Apart from the regular banking services, Equity also offers investment management and securities trading services. Equity is one of the largest bank companies in Kenya.
Equity shares have gained nearly 13% year-to-date.
5. Bamburi Cement – 12%
Bamburi Cement Ltd (BAMB) operates in the construction materials industry. It manufactures cement used in various construction work.
The company sells its cement under brands such as Powercrete, Nguvu, Powermax and Powerplus. Bamburi also sells ready-mix concrete and precast concrete products. The company sells its products in Kenya and Uganda.
Bamburi shares have gained about 12% year-to-date.
These are the top 5 companies driving the stock market so far in the year. But they are not the only ones you might want to consider if you’re looking for the best companies to invest in Kenya. You may also want to check out the 5 NSE companies that made investors proud in 2023 and the 10 most valuable companies in Kenya and what fuels their growth.