Published:Wednesday | January 10, 2024 | 12:05 AM
The Jamaica Stock Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange, NSE, have signed a memorandum of understanding committing to financial market collaboration.
The JSE expects the collaboration to open up opportunities for green bonds and real estate investment trusts. It will allow Jamaican stocks to cross-list in Nairobi and Kenyan stocks to trade on the Kingston exchange.
Currency in both countries are trading at around the same rate relative to the US dollar. The Kenyan shilling is valued at Khs158 to the USD, while the JMD is valued at around $156 to the USD.
There are 61 companies listed on the NSE with market capitalisation of US$9.19 billion in October 2023.
JSE stocks are valued at around US$12.7 billion.
Both NSE and JSE are also publicly traded.
The Nairobi exchange serves both retail and institutional investors who want to invest in frontier equity markets and derivative products.
Institutional investors make up to 65 per cent of the exchange’s investor base.
At their current value, NSE stocks are at less than half the value sported in the year prior to the pandemic – US$9 billion to US$10 billion now, compared to US$25.1 billion then.
Researcher and analyst Bryan Keogh wrote in November that Kenya suffered steep losses on its stock market, year to date, making it “the worst performing globally”.
Keogh says the stock market matters for the Kenyan public for several reasons, among them the fact that more than 60 per cent of the retirement savings of Kenyans may be invested in the stock market.
Signatories and participants in the MOU signing included JSE Group Managing Director Dr Marlene Street Forrest, NSE CEO Geoffrey Odundo, NSE Chairman Kiprono Kitony, Chairman of the Kenya Capital Markets Authority, Ugas Mohammed, and CEO of the Kenya Capital Markets Authority, Wycliffe Shamiah.