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NSE mulls policy forcing listing of private firms

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Stakeholders at the Nairobi bourse are lobbying for a policy that will seek to have the most successful and impactful local private companies cede part ownership to Kenyans by listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo said Kenyans should enjoy the success of companies that provide essential goods and services by getting a chance to own a stake in these firms.

“We have done and are focused on requesting government to change policy that will see successful private companies with a huge impact on the economy list at NSE. Kenyans who support these companies must become part of this success,” he said Thursday.

Speaking during the launch of the NSE’s third Trading Bell TV Series in Nairobi, Mr Odundo said they were also engaging government to open up new public listings via privatisation of known profitable State entities like during the 2006-2008 era when KenGen and Safaricom went public.

A similar move was carried out by Tanzania since 2006, forcing its telecommunication and mining companies to go public in order to give citizens an opportunity to own stakes while reserving major stakes for the government.

The policy heightened activity at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange with all IPOs reserved for Tanzanian companies and individuals only.

Going public in Kenya means companies must make financial disclosures while abiding by set timelines, open themselves to investor scrutiny, conform to set corporate governance practices as well as being expected to formulate policies that promote gender equity.

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