NAIROBI, September 1 — Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Friday temporarily halted trading after key indices plunged following the annulment of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win.
The Supreme Court on Friday nullified the Aug. 8 election after agreeing with Opposition leader Raila Odinga that polls were not free and fair.
The court ordered new elections in 60 days, with the ruling having caught investors at the stock market off-guard.
The market lost 485 million U.S. dollars in about 10 minutes following the ruling as market capitalization, which measures investors wealth, declined from its previous value of 24 billion dollars.
Several stocks plunged after the 11.30 a.m. ruling. Among them were Safaricom by 5 percent, KenGen 7 percent, Kenya Power 9.7 percent and Equity Bank 6.3 percent.
The NSE All Share Index, on the other hand, plunged by a massive 9.7 percent after the Supreme Court ruling.
“In line with trading rule, we halted trading from 12.30 p.m. to 1 p.m. as the NSE 20 Share index performance decreased by over 5 percent,” said the NSE.
Similarly, the NSE 20 Share Index dropped marginally by 0.21 dollars while the NSE 25 share index declined 7.5 percent. Trading, however, resumed at about 1 p.m.
“In the short term, we are likely to see the markets weakening as political tension resumes over the next two months,” analysts at Exotix Capital said.