By Eric Ombok | From Bloomberg News
Kenyan stocks rallied to a record high in the longest winning streak in almost 10 months as investors who pulled money from Nigeria bought into East Africa’s biggest economy.
The FTSE NSE Kenya 25 Index rose for an eighth day in Nairobi, the capital. Kenya, an oil importer, is benefiting from lower energy costs that have curbed inflation and attracted foreign investors who sold shares in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer.
Kenya is “getting some foreign inflows because other markets such as Nigeria are not stable,” Eric Musau, an analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone Wednesday. “Their currency has been under a lot of pressure.”
With an economy projected to accelerate in 2015 at the fastest pace in four years, Kenya’s most-traded shares match Namibia in the year’s best performance among 14 African gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Growth is forecast at 6.2 percent from 5.3 percent in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund. Nigerian stocks are the world’s second-worst performers this year and the naira currency has weakened 8.1 percent.
Kenya’s stock index climbed 1 percent to 231.88 by the close with 14 shares rising, seven falling and four unchanged. Gains were led by Kenya Power & Lighting Ltd., which advanced 5.6 percent to 17.90 shillings after saying on Tuesday that first-half net income rose 39 percent.
“Demand has started building up as the earnings season comes in,” Musau said.
CIC Insurance Group Ltd., the second-biggest insurer by premiums, climbed 2.2 percent to 11.50 shillings, while Co- operative Bank of Kenya Ltd. increased 3.7 percent to 21.25 shillings.