Kenya’s financial market regulators on Friday outlined measures to ensure business continuity amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the east African nation.
The measures include the relaxing of regulatory flexibility, enhanced online trading of stocks and settlement of claims remotely to enhance social distancing, said the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the Capital Markets Authority(CMA) and Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) in a statement.
“Given the need to postpone annual general meetings, to help eligible shareholders access dividends during these difficult circumstances, the respective boards of issuers of securities have been allowed to proceed to declare and pay the dividends to their shareholders,” said CMA acting chief executive Wyckliffe Shamiah.
Shamiah noted that the regulator has allowed listed firms to publish regulatory disclosures on websites and social media platforms.
NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo said investors have been enabled to trade securities online and mobile platforms.
“Market players are encouraged to work remotely with trading systems accessed via virtual private networks,” he said.
He added that the industry is encouraging local firms capable and approved by the Ministry of Health to produce supplies required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic to raise capital through the NSE, with some of the compliance requirements eased.
CDSC chief executive Nkoregamba Mwebesa said that settlements are now being made through secure remote links as investors are able to check their portfolios via mobile apps.
Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Banks chief executive Willie Njoroge said the measures reduce the need for physical verification of documents and in-person visits while facilitating easy access to the market by investors as the country battles the pandemic. Enditem