The Nairobi Stock Exchange: the Heart of Business in Kenya
One of the largest stock exchanges in Africa is the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), with the fourth largest trading volume across the continent.
There are more than 20 licensed stock brokers at the exchange. Currently the NSE is trading more than a 100 million shares each month, and plays a large role in the economic growth of Kenya.
History of the Nairobi Stock Exchange
The NSE began in the early 1920s while Kenya was considered a colony under British control. It was an informal marketplace for local stocks and shares. By 1954, a true stock exchange was created when the NSE was officially recognized by the London Stock Exchange as an overseas stock exchange.
After Kenyan independence from Britain, the stock exchange continued to grow and become a major financial institution. The facilities have modernized since the original "handshake over coffee" method of trading. The NSE has recently adapted an automated trading system, to keep pace with other major world stock exchanges.
Member of the ASEA
The NSE is part of the African Stock Exchanges Association. The ASEA was founded in the early 1990s to create a way for all the stock exchanges in Africa to communicate and stay organized. There are about 20 exchanges in the ASEA.
Businesses Listed in the NSE
There more than 50 businesses and companies listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange, including Sasini Tea and Coffee Ltd., Kenya Airways, Jubilee Insurance, Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd., and KenGen Ltd. Most of the businesses in the exchange are in the financial or industrial sectors, though agriculture and other commercial services are also represented. Also listed are treasury bonds issued by the Government of Kenya. Occasionally, there are also privately issued corporate bonds as well.
The NSE is located in the city's central business district, on the first floor of the Kimathi Street Nation Center. Trading takes place 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) but only between the hours of 10am and 12 noon.
The official website of the exchange offers investors an opportunity to monitor the trading action and movement of stocks. There is a real-time ticker showing gains and losses as they happen, as well as notices that effect the operation of the NSE.
Nairobi Stock Exchange - Official site
Nairobi - Main page