Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telco, recorded the biggest loss at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), following a massive exodus of foreign investors.
The telco accounted for 71.4 percent or Ksh210 billion of the Ksh294 billion paper loss recorded among the listed companies.
This is despite Safaricom’s profit after tax declining slightly by 1.7 percent to Ksh67.4 billion on the impact of Ksh4.66 billion financing costs for the expansion to Ethiopia. Despite the drop in profits, Safaricom announced a Ksh30.04 billion after an earlier interim payout of Ksh25.6 billion, something that was expected to retain investors.
NSE’s market capitalisation dropped to a 20-month low of Ksh2.176 trillion on Friday in the tumble that started on April 13, when the market capitalisation stood at Ksh2.471 trillion.
Other companies that shed their value at the bourse include East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), Cooperative Bank, Equity and KCB Group.
Equity Group, the largest lender by assets, shed 8.5 percent on its share price to Ksh45.5 per unit, translating to a Ksh16 billion loss while KCB Group share price dropped to Ksh35.70 per share, a drop of 17.3 percent or Ksh23.9 billion.
The drop at the NSE comes despite most lenders recording improved profits in the financial year 2021, declaring humongous dividends for their investors. The nine listed lenders declared a combined dividend of Ksh51.7 billion for the period, up from Ksh18.8 billion in 2020.
In 2021, the banking sector recorded 73 percent growth in cumulative gross profit to Ksh194.8 billion, as it recovered from the Covid-19-led economic slowdown of 2020.