Kenyan stocks fall to decades low over COVID-19 fears

Kenya’s top stocks fell on Tuesday pushing the benchmark index of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) to a level seen nearly two decades ago.

The NSE 20 Share Index, which measures the performance of the east African nation’s blue chips, lost 71.38 points in the Tuesday session to stand at 1,887.17, data from the NSE shows.

The decline was a continuation from Monday’s slide of 3.3 percent, which saw the index fall below the psychological 2,000 marks to stand at 1,958.55.

This is the worst that the Kenyan stocks have ever sunk, according to analysts, who have attributed the decline to jitters brought about by coronavirus, which have seen most foreign investors sell their stocks and exit the market.

Some of the blue chips which have declined significantly include Equity Bank, Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank and Kenya Airways, with most of the stocks falling between 8 and 10 percent on Tuesday.

Kenya has so far reported 25 COVID-19 cases.