By Nick Thiong’o
Safaricom and Equity Bank shares were the biggest movers of trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the equity markets report for 2016 shows.
According to the report released by NSE on December 30, 2016, 2.3 billion Safaricom shares were traded in the year with a turnover of Sh43.4 billion in 53,616 trading deals.
Equity Bank shares traded were 717.46 million with a Sh25 billion turnover in 18,753 trading deals.
But the bear run in the market that started in 2014 continued to bite with investors in the listed companies losing close to Sh500 billion last year as.
The market report showed that share prices declined by 25.35 percent compared to the previous year.
What this means is that Sh489 billion was wiped out of the value of investor wealth in the listed companies. In 2015 year, the shares listed at the market were valued at Sh2.42 trillion compared to 2016 when the value had dropped to Sh1.931 trillion.
Only ten companies closed the year with stock prices higher than they were in 2015.
The best performing stock was Kenya Airways which closed the year at 19.39 percent higher than 2015. Kenya Airways stock has been rising since former Safaricom chief executive Michael Joseph took over as the board chair.
Safaricom shares ended the year 17.48 percent higher.
Preferential shareholders in Kenya Power closed the year with the value of their wealth higher than in 2015 while ordinary shareholders in the power distributor had their wealth decline.
Kenya Power has two types of preferential shareholders. The first type of preferential shareholders holds 1.8 million shares. These shares which are also listed the NSE had their prices up by 3.77 percent. The second type holds 350,000 shares which closed the year 9.89 percent higher.
Kenya Re and Jubilee holdings shares gained 7.14 and 1.24 percent respectively making them the only insurance shares that went up.
Other gainers were book publishing firm Longhorn and Unga Group, Eaagads and Nairobi Business Ventures.
Share prices of listed firms operating in construction took the heaviest hit at 34.45 percent with the sectors performance in the market pulled down by heavy declines in the prices of mining companies shares. Athi River Mining and East Africa Portland Cement shed off 38 and 49 percent of their share prices respectively while East Africa Cables closed the year 43 percent lower than the previous year.
10 companies lost more 50 percent of their value led by Uchumi which lost 63 percent.