CMA aware of unfolding financial situation affecting market players

Written By: Claire Wanja
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Wycliffe Shamiah acting CMA CEO

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has issued guidance to enable various market players adhere to compliance requirements in a view of the emerging trends where Coronavirus is evolving as a major threat to the performance of the financial markets.

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In a statement Tuesday, CMA Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Wyckliffe Shamiah, says the deadline for all the licensed intermediaries, issuers of securities to the public, Collective Investment Schemes and other approved persons with timelines for submission and publication of audited financial statements in March and April 2020, has been extended by one month respectively.

He however, says that firms that can complete and file their statements and publish the same within the regulatory timelines, have been encouraged to do so to ensure investors obtain information in a timely manner.

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Mr. Shamiah added that the Authority as a responsive regulator was sensitive to the unfolding financial situation affecting market players and has relaxed disclosure obligations in relation to publication of  financial statements in two newspapers of national circulation until 30 June 2020.

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“To ensure timely and seamless flow of the required information to the investing public, CMA has directed that all required disclosures be published on the following platforms; own websites and social media platforms; Nairobi Securities Exchange website for all issuers and trading participants; and the CMA website by all entities affected by this guidance. However, firms that do not have no challenges publishing the same in the newspapers are encouraged to do so.” He said.

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Firms subject to other regulatory obligations beyond those of the CMA were advised to engage the relevant regulator(s) where an obligation may have been altered by the Authority’s guidance but is applicable under a different regime outside the Authority’s mandate.

Mr. Shamiah explained that assessment of secondary market performance indicates a decline in equity market prices, reflected in the stock indices, with the NSE-20 Share Index declining by 4.9 percent last week, compared to the significant decline of 11.5 percent in the previous week.

“The performance of the Kenyan market seems to be better off than many securities exchanges globally. Mixed performance is expected among listed companies as some of the sectors of the economy may be more affected than others.” He added.

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Noting that the exit by some foreign investors from the market has created an opportunity for local retail and institutional investors to take advantage of the undervalued shares of listed companies.

“Domestic institutional investors such as Pension Schemes, Collective Investment Schemes and Insurance Companies with a long-term investment horizon are encouraged to invest in blue-chip companies listed during this period subject to existing limits on asset class investments set out by their respective regulators.” Said Shamiah.

The Authority appreciated and said it supports the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

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