Amazing Success Stories: Top Companies Listed on NSE Kenya

Today we highlight some amazing corporate success stories. Companies that embraced excellence, innovation and a go-getter spirit. As a result, they have risen to the top to be listed on the  NSE Kenya. This culture of resilience and excellence has helped them overcome the many challenges every business faces in its journey to achieving their corporate visions.

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE Kenya)–A story of evolution


1954:The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) was registered as a stockbrokers’ association. Back then buying and selling of shares was negotiated over the phone or over a cup of tea.

1990-1991: The CMA was constituted in January 1990 through the Capital Markets Authority Act. The following year the NSE was registered as a private company limited by shares. It also moved its business to a physical trading floor and adopted an open outcry system. Now the stockbrokers congregated on the trading floor to bid and sell shares.

1994-1999: The NSE changed to a company limited by guarantee. It also adopted a computerized clearing system. This facilitated faster payment and delivery of stock certificates to investors. By 1995 the total number of stockbrokers on the NSE was twenty. Important developments occurred in the years leading to the new century. The Investor Compensation Fund in 1995, the Association of Kenya Stock Brokers in 1997 and the Central Depository and settlement corporation limited (CDSC) in 1999.


2000-2010: The CDSC began the operations of the central depository system in 2004. Investors could now operate electronic share accounts through their brokers or banks. They no longer had to trade through paper stock certificate forms. In 2006, NSE implemented its own automated trading systems, allowing for live trading.

The following year they launched a Wide Area Network (WAN) platform. This allowed for remote trading. Stockbrokers could now trade through their linked terminals in their offices. In 2009, they launched automated trading in government bonds.

2011- 2020: Changed name from Nairobi Stock Exchange to Nairobi Securities Exchange. This was in an effort to pave the way for the inclusion of a wider range of financial products. In 2012 achieved a system capable of facilitating online trading. In 2014, the CMA approved NSE’s demutualization and IPO.

The NSE Kenya is now a public company worth billions of Kenyan shillings. It has over sixty listed companies and over twenty trading participants. The NSE Kenya is also one of the largest stock exchange in Africa. It might not be at the level of the larger and more developed securities exchanges but is on the right track.

The Fintech industry is ever-evolving. Companies have to adapt to remain relevant and maintain their competitive advantage

Centum investments–A story of one man’s drive for excellence.

Centum is the leading investment company in Kenya. Its also listed on the NSE Kenya. It began as an affiliate of the Kenyan government-owned Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation. In 2008, it rebranded into Centum Investment Company Limited. The government of Kenya is still a major shareholder through ICDC. But most of the shareholding is now under private ownership. The renowned Kenyan billionaire Chris Kirubi being the majority shareholder

In the same year, Dr James Mworia joined the company as its CEO at the young age of 30. He came in with a very ambitious plan. His goal was to grow Centum Investments several times over its progress in the past 50 years.

Under his leadership, the company embarked on an aggressive growth strategy. This has included:

Cutting Losses

2009 exit of its Rift valley railways investment with a 30% loss of initial investment value. Despite the loss, this was a timely exit which minimized potential losses. One trait of a great investor is the ability to take losses and get out of poor investments before they turn worse.

Real Estate Portfolio

The company has also built an extensive real estate portfolio. The most popular being the Two Rivers Development in Kiambu. This includes a shopping mall, residential apartments, hotels, commercial offices, and recreational facilities. One of the main challenges commercial property investors face is the decline in demand for commercial space.

So, Two Rivers Development achieving an occupancy of over eighty per cent has made it a worthy investment. Other notable real estate investments include the 10,254 acres Vipingo Development in Kilifi and 389 acres mixed-use Pearl Marina Development in Uganda.

Private Equity Portfolio

The firm has also had successful and profitable exits from some of its private equity investments which include Almasi Beverages, Nairobi Bottlers, and UAP.
It has also grown its private equity portfolio with the acquisition of Sidian Bank (formerly K-Rep Bank) and 17.8%% shareholding in Isuzu East Africa. Isuzu has a 38% market share of new vehicles in Kenya.

Centum assets under management (AUM) have grown from 8 billion to over 66 billion Kenyan shillings over the past decade. Dr Mworia has achieved his ambitious plan and then more over the past twelve years.


Companies are shutting down, and millions of people have lost their jobs. Many more are being forced to take unpaid leave or pay cuts. The coronavirus pandemic is causing an economic meltdown all over the world.

At such times it’s important for Kenyans to have faith and trust that they will overcome this pandemic. Kenyans are strong and capable of great feats. Tough times don’t last forever and great opportunities lie ahead for those who learn, adapt and innovate.

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