East African Securities Market

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Kainvestor, a blogger who follows the Kenyan market, says it looks like East Africa is stepping back from regional financial integration:

It seems we are reversing on the pledge of having an East African Securities Market any time soon. Although Kenya firms such as KCB Group are...in the process of cross-listing, joining others like KQ and Jubilee Insurance which have already done so, our partners in regional bourse integration seem to have sinister ideas of the same process.

My question for Kainvestor - how much of this has been driven by the financial crisis, if at all?

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Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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kainvestor
November 27, 2008

The hidden hand of the global financial crisis in ‘almost stalling’ the East Africa Bourse integration is both direct and indirect. The crisis has, like in every other securities market in the world, led to a massive exodus of investors from the three East African bourses – especially in the Kenyan NSE. The timing of the Safaricom IPO, the largest in the Sub-Saharan region, could not have been worse. Foreign investors who bought into the offer behaved in the most unprecedented way by dumping their shares on the slightest sign of gains, leaving the NSE really depressed. At the moment market players are pointing fingers at Morgan Stanley who had been entrusted with the foreign applicants to the IPO.

But still all ‘our’ troubles cannot be blamed on the global financial crisis. The three East African governments have been treating each other with a lot of suspicion and are not in favour of the regional market integration. While all this is going on, the citizens of these countries are interacting more freely than ever before, doing a lot of business and in total disregard of their governments’ regressive policies to the integration process.