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Volume of shares sold falls by half as bonds dominate

The number of shares traded on Thursday at the Nairobi Securities Exchange dropped by nearly a half with investors keeping off the market as stock prices recorded minimal movement.

There were 14,224,500 shares, worth Sh349 million, traded down from 38,642,800 units of Sh875 million the previous day.

The indicative 20 share index, which captures price movements in the market, gained 3.43 points to close at 3250.62 underlining slow activity in the market.

Telecommunication giant Safaricom was the largest mover with 7,026,900 shares traded at an average price of Sh20, a gain from the previous Sh19.90.

Insurer Britam Holdings moved 2,941,600 shares at Sh10.20 a unit up from Sh10.05 on Wednesday. Static share prices keep speculators who ride on capital gains from the market .

Eighteen counters, of the 64 listed companies, did not record any activity.

Analysts at research firm Stratlink Africa expect the market to remain quiet as investors turn to government securities whose yields are on the rise.

“With fixed-income yields likely to be on the uptick in the coming months in view of the government’s revised uptake of domestic borrowing, the market is likely to remain subdued,” said Stratlink Africa.

The Treasury has raised its local borrowing target to Sh294.6 billion from an initial Sh225 billion. Investors are likely to offer their cash to the government at a higher price to take advantage of the Treasury’s rising appetite for local debt.

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