London, April 17, 2018 — President Uhuru Kenyatta today presided over the opening ceremony of the London Stock Exchange.
President Kenyatta who is accompanied by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma urged UK investors to invest in Kenya. The UK is a leading investor in Kenya with at least 220 British companies operating in Kenya running business valued at more than 2.7 billion Sterling Pounds.
President Kenyatta, who was joined by the Secretary State for International Development (DfID) Penny Mordaunt and the Chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group Donald Brydon, said Kenya is open for business and offers the best investment opportunity in Africa.
“Kenya has just recorded the best improvement in ease of doing business. We are inviting more UK companies to invest in Kenya,” said the President. “Kenya is the third most competitive country in Africa with a liberalised economy.”
He said the business environment in Kenya is supported by a strong telecommunication network, a reformed regulatory framework and an efficient aviation network.
The President said London is a strong partner for Kenya’s economy and this was evident when Kenya’s sovereign bond was oversubscribed by more than 7 times a few months.
“The United Kingdom continues to be a valuable economic partner in Kenya’s socio-economic policies,” said the President.
The President said the London Stock Exchange and the Nairobi Securities Exchange have entered into an agreement for dual listing and this will increase business between Kenya and then the UK.
He said the National Oil Company will dual list on both NSE and the LSE. Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau said he expected the listing to be completed next year.
Mr Brydon said the London Stock Exchange is real to partner with Kenya on the President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda for Kenya’s growth especially in affordable housing through securitisation.
President Kenyatta said the London Stock Exchange is also working with NSE on an initiative called the ‘elite program’ to support SMEs.
The British Secretary of State for International Development said Kenya and London are similar in the sense that they are both financial hubs.
She said London is the main financial hub for the Commonwealth nations but has more to offer than capital alone.
“We have more than capital to offer. We have the expertise to offer and that is why we have launched the commonwealth digital finance champions group.