The stock value of blue chip companies like Equity Bank and EABL faced a decline at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) after foreign investors withdrew Ksh11.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
The investors (foreign) who are estimated to make up around 70 percent of daily trading at the NSE turned to fixed income assets such as government bonds.
A market report by Standard Investment Bank (SIB) indicates that in March alone, when the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic hit hard in other parts of the world, investors withdrew Ksh9.1 billion.
In February, the foreign investors shed shares worth Ksh2.76 billion, as a precaution as the share values were set to slump.
This year’s market was predicted to outshine last year’s market, prompting the investors to buy shares worth Ksh555 million in January.
Investors have also been withdrawing in other markets such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia.
In the first three months of 2020, companies such as Safaricom, EABL, Equity Bank and Bamburi cement lost share value by up to Ksh523.9 billion.
The foreigners shed shares worth Ksh4.9 billion at Safaricom, Ksh3.9 billion at KCB Group, Ksh1.76 billion at Equity and Ksh183.7 million at Co-operative Bank.
KCB shares declined 35.2 percent in Quarter One to Ksh35, Equity Bank by 36.5 percent to Ksh33.95 while Safaricom fell 16 percen to Ksh26.40.
The gainers were companies less popular with foreign investors such as Carbacid with 12.5 percent rally, followed by Eagaads, BOC, Limuru Tea, Olympia and Uchumi.