The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in recent years has been hit hard by the exit of foreign investors and a macro-economic downturn, driving a long bear run. In the first three months of 2023, investors at the bourse lost Ksh205 billion in paper wealth as the exchange continued to feel the pain of international and domestic economic shocks.
“Domestic investors also slowed down trading as they waited on booking capital gains as most listed firms did not pay any interim dividend,” explained the CMA. “With foreign investors flight to other markets, domestic investors have been left holding onto securities with minimum trade.”
However, various major local investors have continued to shake up the market with big-money plays. Among the whales of the NSE is Baloobhai Patel, who owns huge chunks of many of Kenya’s largest publicly-listed firms, from multiple banks to manufacturers and insurers.
Disclosures reveal billionaire investor Baloobhai Patel purchased an additional five million shares in Absa Bank Kenya Plc last year, cementing his position as the single largest local investor in the lender.
His shares in Absa Bank Kenya Plc rose from 42.5 million in the year ended December 2021 to or 47.5 million shares the following year – increasing his stake from 0.78 percent to 0.88 percent .
He is the third-largest shareholder after two foreign investors including the parent company Absa Group. With Absa paying a Ksh1.15 dividend per share for the last financial year, Patel received Ksh54.7 million as a final dividend.
Besides Absa, Patel owns stakes in companies including Carbacid Investments, Sanlam Kenya, Bamburi Cement and Co-op Bank.
In February this year, Patel bought an additional 14.6 million shares in Co-operative Bank, securing his position as the second-largest individual investor in the lender. This increased his stake in the bank to 0.94 percent from 0.69 percent.
In 2021, Patel purchased an additional 7.9 million shares of Bamburi Cement for over Ksh300 million. The move more than doubled his holdings in the firm to 14.9 million shares or a 4.12 percent stake.