CMA and NSE challenged on efficiency

August 26, 2008

, NAIROBI, August 26 – The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) have been urged to improve their efficiency and enhance their capacity.

Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Mutula Kilonzo said Tuesday that the reforms in their regulatory regimes would not only attract investors but also ensure that the bourse was able to handle the issuance of huge financial instruments such as infrastructure bonds.

The ministry plans to launch a Sh34 billion infrastructure bond which will be used to improve the road network in the city.

And citing the recent delays in processing Safaricom IPO refunds, Kilonzo questioned the bodies’ capacity to handle such big transactions.

“We will not be able to raise money from the bonds, if the financial sector cannot handle this issue efficiently,” he said. “The time for reform is now.”

Kilonzo called on the Finance Ministry to float the Sh20 billion sovereign bond saying the time was ripe for country to do so.

The government had planned to issue the bond in the first quarter of the year but the process was delayed following the chaos that rocked the country during the same period.

Kilonzo has been on record saying that two international organisations have expressed their willingness to lend Sh80.4 billion to Kenya for the upgrading of Nairobi as a modern metropolis.

At the same time, he revealed that he was in talks with his Lands counterpart James Orengo to set aside 100 acres within the metropolitan area for the development of a flower wholesale shop.

This, he explained, would be part of a plan to create a wholesale market within the city.

Observing that the Small and Medium Enterprises would not be left out in the development of the metropolis; Kilonzo said an agency would be set up to deal, manage and promote small businesses across major towns.

“We will provide facilities for them to exploit their desire for enterprise because they are part of us and we will embrace them in our plan,” Kilonzo pledged.

Responding to criticism that his ideas for modernising Nairobi were over-ambitious, Kilonzo called on all Kenyans to support him in fast-tracking the implementation of the programs.

“The time to catch up is now. The rest of the world will not wait for us to reach 2030. In fact some of these countries are already copying our proposals because we have been slow in executing them,” he warned.

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