Kenya Capital Markets Regulator Plans Waivers to Spur Listings

(Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority is proposing exemptions for companies that weren’t fully tax compliant in the past with the view to increasing listings on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The proposed waivers will be included in the 2018-19 budget and are intended to help small- and medium-sized enterprises feeling sensitive about giving their tax history to “come to the table,” CMA Chief Executive Officer Paul Muthaura told journalists in the capital, Nairobi.

The move will benefit all by raising capital for companies, boosting the number of listed firms and widening the tax net, he said. The agency also wants exemptions for some early-stage venture-capital funds targeting high-risk businesses. The funds will be restricted to “sophisticated” institutional investors who are able to assess the risks involved, Muthaura said.

The CMA is targeting at least three listings on the Growth and Enterprises Market Segment annually to raise companies on the NSE to more than 100 and to grow market capitalization to 4 trillion shillings ($40 billion) by the end of 2019 from about 2.6 trillion shillings, according to Terry Adembesa, head of derivatives at the NSE.

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