In Kenya, inflation will trend southwards, though not as fast as economist opine. The rains that came in November/December have impacted the food regions differently and though food will be cheaper, it won't as cheap as opined. Finally, interest rates. Banks reacted naturally to avoid a massive npl problem and lengthened the repayment periods, but a Kenyan who had a loan in August now has more liabilities than he/she envisaged. For the tightening not to become another monetary policy screw up, its imperative that the governor and his MPC team reverse the interest rate increases by March at the latest.
Assuming the above holds, I expect the NSE not to trouble 3,500 with exception of the period between now and March reporting season. I will be looking at the following stocks:
- Car & General-has an expansive product range and now has the regional coverage to cater for pretty the whole of EAC and the horn. Clearly, it does feel the pain of any fx volatility, but its products have a strong future as the regional economies all grow and consumption grows.
- Centum, there are some who are sceptical about what James Mworia is doing, but I am convinced that by 2014, this stock will look very cheap compared to a Ksh12.50 entry price.
- Crown Berger-as I have said elsewhere, real estate growth will resume next year with a vengeance and this paint seller is well placed in this market.
- Equity remains a stand out in the banking sector. The agency banking model is still not being felt, but if you talk to saccos you get the idea that many realise what this model is doing which is to pitch the battle for deposits at their level. As a general comment, I think that if the credit spread control is brought, it will impact those banks that are heavily dependant on interest income. Equity still derives a bigger chunk from F&C compared to rivals.
- Eagaads-only NSE that gives exposure to coffee. The crop is not being stolen because its become edible, but because the price per kg is now comfortably around Ksh130, For farmers. Eagadds is able to get a premium over this. Secondly, Eagadds has very good real estate in the sort after Kiambu county.