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Equity edges EABL in bourse valuation on share price rally



Capital Markets

Stockbrokers at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Equity Holdings #ticker:EQTY has edged ahead of East African Breweries Limited (EABL) #ticker:EABL as the second-largest firm at the Nairobi bourse following a price rally last week.

Equity and EABL are now valued at Sh139.4 billion and Sh129 billion respectively as per Friday’s closing share prices of Sh36.95 and Sh163.

Equity gained 9.4 per cent in the last three sessions of the week while EABL dropped by 3.8 per cent, allowing the bank to pull ahead having trailed the brewer by Sh6.7 billion in market cap on Tuesday.

The two firms have been swapping position on the list in recent months, with Equity opening up a gap of more than Sh20 billion on EABL by the end of November following a rally that saw the lender’s share price hit Sh40.

This rally allowed Equity to surge ahead of EABL, which was trading at Sh162 going into December.

The brewer has since then traded as high as Sh197, allowing it to close the gap and at times surge ahead of Equity.

Both stocks, however, remain under pressure due to the foreign investor selling that has hurt large blue chip firms’ shares at the bourse.

For a long time, EABL was the second-largest firm after telecoms giant Safaricom.

But the brewing giant has lost 31 per cent of its market value in the past 12 months compared to Equity’s 14 per cent, allowing the banks to close the gap.

Safaricom remains the largest company at the bourse, accounting for 42 per cent of total market capitalisation.

Although the telco has not been spared the price slide affecting the market, its market cap is still bigger than that of the next 13 companies combined.

The firm has a market cap of Sh938 billion, having closed at Sh23.40 a share on Friday.

The next 13 firms, which include eight of the 12 listed banks, have a collective market cap of Sh910 billion.