The Nairobi Securities Exchange aims to launch derivates market in first half of 2019

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Executives at the Nairobi Securities Exchange told Reuters that the exchange aims to launch a derivatives market in the first half of 2019 after long delays. The exchange also wants to list at least two new firms by the end of the year.

Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main entry point for foreigners seeking to invest in East Africa, has worked on plans for a derivatives market for years but has previously said it was taking longer than expected to set up the infrastructure.

The exchange’s derivatives market director, Terrence Adembesa said “the general idea is to launch within this half of the year”. He added that tests had been completed and a final request for approval to start trading had been sent to the regulator.

Adembesa did not give details of contracts to be traded, but the exchange said in the past it would start with stock index futures and would add single stock and currency futures later.

Exchange executives have said launching derivatives trading would boost liquidity on the bourse, which has 65 listed firms. It will become the second exchange in Sub-Saharan Africa to take such an initiative, after Johannesburg.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange, business development director, Bahati Morara revealed the bourse aimed to list two new companies, supermarket chain Tuskys and state-run National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), by the end of 2019.

To raise $1 billion in a dual listing on the Nairobi bourse and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) by early 2019, the Kenyan government announced its intention to list NOCK in September 2017. Morara said “we are looking at a crosslisting this year”. She noted that the Nairobi bourse had been in talks with the LSE on an initial public offering (IPO) for NOCK since last year.

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