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Nairobi bourse chief’s resignation confirmed

Although the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) Chief Chris Mw ebesa resigned a month ago, it was only on Wednesday that the press got wind of t he abrupt end of his reign.

According to NSE first vice chairman Bob Karina, Mwebesa allegedly tendered his resignation letter to the NSE board over a month ago although the news was leake d to the media only on Wednesday.

The NSE board of directors is now set to meet Thursday to review a list of possi ble successors from which a replacement could emerge by the end of the week.

Karina said the news of Mwebesa’s departure would, however, not affect the bours e’s activities because “the NSE is currently run by a number of committees in ch a rge of various aspects of its operations.

“It would be wrong for a Chief executive to leave and the institution collapses, we will announce his replacement anytime after interviewing those whose names h a ve been forwarded to us by a professional recruitment agency.”

Stock analysts, who sought anonymity, Wednesday attributed Mwebesa’s departure t o bad blood between the directors and the CEO.

This, they said, made it difficult to implement the institutional market demutis ation programme.

Mwebesa who has been at the helm of the NSE since 2005, has been touted as one o f the most successful bosses of the market where he has steered the Exchange thr o ugh the highest recorded expansion and growth in its 53-year history.

During his tenure, the Nairobi bourse was the most successful in the East Africa n region and fifth largest in Africa.

His first term, which was expected to expire in July,was extended by three years by the new board.

His exit from the market will be remembered with mixed fortunes.

During his tenure, the market registered its best performance with the turnover hitting 6,000 mark and investors’ number increasing tremendously a few years ago .

In his time, over five Initial Public Offers (IPOs) were carried out, among them KenGen, Eveready, and second offer of Mumias Sugar’s Company, Kenya Reinsurance

Corporation and Safaricom Company.

The CEO also saw the transformation of the NSE from an old style bourse to an au tomated trading system.

His tenure also experienced some retrogressive trends — for example it was duri ng his reign that saw the collapse of two major stockbrokerage firms Francis Thu o and partners and the Nyaga stockbrokers going under with billions of investors’

savings.

The third firm, Discount Security, has been placed under the management of the C apital Market Authority.

He has left at a time when the bourse was planning to automate bond market in or der to enhance activities at the trading floor.

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