The local market entered a bear run on the previous working day, surpassing the 20% benchmark, as an increasing number of listed companies announced losses. The market further embedded itself into a bear run today, at a 23% decline, as Nairobi All Share Index dropped 1.38% to close the trading day at 137.51 and the NSE-20 shed 2.17% to 4080.83. Market capitalisation maintained its downward trend, by dropping 1.38% in today’s trading session, to close at KES. 1931Bn. Equity turnover was the only marker to record an increase, as it garnered 12.91% to KES. 722Mn; a trend observed throughout the week.
Liberty Kenya Holdings Limited joined a fellow insurer- UAP Holdings Limited- and three other listed companies in registering a decline in profits on their half year results; as the former recorded a 9% decline in PAT to KES. 419Mn. Similar to the aforementioned, the insurers performance was not as negative as initially perceived as gross earned premiums grew 20% and total income grew by 10%; despite a 47% slump in investment income, due to a reduction in mark-to-market values of held securities.
Medical and group life lines of business were major growth contributors, emphasising the increased depth in channel engagements and focus of retail businesses. The statement of financial position borne more good news for Liberty as a 6% increase in total assets resulted in improved capital adequacy, above regulatory requirements. The company maintains a positive outlook, influenced by leveraging on strong brands and accessing pan-African expertise and capabilities; however, the decline of costs and management of benefits would be key to realising an improvement in performance come 2H15.