Banks bouy share, shilling steady
30 July 2014, 22:45
Nairobi - Kenyan banks buoyed stocks while the
shilling was little changed on Wednesday, with traders expecting inflation data
due on Thursday to have little impact on the local currency which is seen
trading in a narrow range.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange's main NSE-20 share index
closed 0.6 percent higher at 4,891.03.
KCB Bank Group's shares closed up 0.9 percent at 54.00
shillings a share, while Equity Bank's shares ended the session up 0.6 percent
higher at 45.00 shillings.
Equity reported a 21 percent rise in first half 2014 pretax
profit to 10.82 billion shillings, while KCB has said it will to release its
results on Thursday.
Ian Gachichio, research analyst at Kestrel Capital, said foreign
investors were buying KCB stock ahead of the results.
"They have been accumulating on KCB for the past couple
of weeks. The results are being announced tomorrow, so probably in anticipation
of those results, the signal is that investors expect them to be
favourable," he said.
On the currency market, the shilling closed at 87.70/90 to
the dollar, barely moved from Monday's close of 87.70/80. Kenyan markets were
closed on Tuesday for a national holiday.
Earlier in the session the shilling had touched 87.60/80,
before giving back its gains.
Most traders forecast the shilling to stay in a tight range
between 87.50-88 in coming days.
Traders said the market expected inflation to rise again.
Year-on-year inflation inched up to 7.39 percent in the year to June from 7.30
percent in the previous month. "The market has factored in for the
inflation figure to go slightly up again," Joshua Anene, a Commercial Bank
of Africa trader, said. The consensus estimate is for 7.63 percent, a Reuters
On the secondary market, government bonds valued at 2.72
billion shillings were traded, up from 1.04 billion shillings traded on Monday.