Raise money from stock exchange instead of loans, Ruto tells private sector

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Raise money from stock exchange instead of loans from financial institutions, Deputy President William Ruto has challenged private companies.

“The NSE is supposed to help us support more companies, especially the big ones, so that they can go to the stock exchange and instead of borrowing money they can list and raise capital for their expansion,” Ruto said during the official opening of the 7th Building African Financial Markets (BAFM) Seminar in Nairobi.

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) should do more to make sure more companies get listed at the Exchange the Deputy President said.

Ruto said the government is assisting the growth of the capital markets through incentives and an enabling environment.

“One such incentive, which should be exploited is the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement that was signed by 44 countries in Kigali, Rwanda last month. It allows African countries to trade and cushion themselves from foreign aid,” he said.

The government has tapped into the international market for financing, which he said was a deliberate strategy to create affordable capital for the private sector and reduce its cost.

“This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta was at the London Stock Exchange to ensure that we can dual list the National Oil Corporation to raise funds that will help us develop infrastructure for our oil,” he said.

The Deputy President said that capital markets are major components of transformation, sustainable development, wealth creation and should tap into and push the government’s Big Four priority areas of food security, manufacturing, housing and healthcare.

“Through diversification, innovation and cross-listing, they can expand opportunities for financing our growth, advancement and produce multiplier effects across all sectors,” Ruto said.

The NSE chairman Samuel Kimani said there are efforts to increase the number of listed companies in the country.

“We will hold talks with relevant stakeholders to come up with ways of ensuring this happens,” Mr Kimani said.

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