Nairobi Stock Exchange

Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers facilitate trading the NSE, a leading African exchange based in Kenya and one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. Online trading is available for customers around the world via registered Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers, with a variety of instruments and markets, including shares, bonds and derivatives.

This article will explore what the NSE is and how it works, its history and structure, as well as the various indices, top listed companies, requirements and where to find today’s live share prices. It will also explain how you can compare and choose brokers with access to the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Alternatively, we have listed top brokers and platforms offering NSE trading in 2023 below.

Nairobi Stock Exchange Brokers

  1. Francis Drummond is a Kenyan broker and financial services provider offering access to exotic stock exchanges for securities investing.

  2. EFG Hermes is a MENA-focused online broker that offers OTC securities and CFD trading in a wide range of markets.

Comparing Nairobi Stock Exchange Brokers

Before you start trading on the exchange, you need to choose between Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers. With this comes lots of factors to compare whilst reviewing brokerage firms:

If you want to trade on the move, check whether NSE brokers offer a mobile app. Being able to access the full range of features and functionality of a desktop terminal via a mobile device will be advantageous, meaning you won’t miss out on any opportunities while away from a screen. NSE brokers that offer SMS alerts, customizable interfaces and intuitive navigation will rank highly.

Responsive customer service is another important aspect when comparing Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers. Check that a range of contact options is available, including an email address, phone number and live chat. It will be important to have access to support during market operating hours, particularly for proprietary software help or guidance to set up a new position.

EFG Hermes, for example, provides regional customer support for day traders. So individuals trading the Nairobi Stock Exchange from Kenya can contact the broker via a country-specific phone number, email and postal address.

Open An Account

Once you have chosen one of the top NSE brokers, it’s time to complete the registration process and open an account. You may be required to complete know-your-customer verification at this point and upload proof of address and proof of identity.

Some Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers will permit online-only applications, meaning a quick and efficient way to get started day trading.

Deposit Funds

The next step is to deposit funds into your account. Note, the Nairobi Stock Exchange trades in Kenyan Shillings (KES). Some global Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers may charge currency conversion fees at the latest rates if you are depositing in a currency outside of this. The dollar rate today can be found on Google or other charting and analytics sites. Other fees to consider when comparing brokers that support trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange include commissions, deposit and withdrawal charges and exchange transaction costs.

The best NSE brokers will be fully transparent when it comes to costs. Francis Drummond, for example, publishes information about charges and commissions for its brokerage services. This also includes information on account minimums, inactivity charges, plus deposit and withdrawal fees.

Research Stocks & Invest

As soon as your account is set up, verified and funded, you are ready to begin trading. Research the various NSE stocks available, check historical data and invest when you feel ready.

As with all trading, profits are not guaranteed so never invest more than you can afford to lose.

What Is The Nairobi Stock Exchange?

The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is based in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. Its head offices are located at an address on Westlands Road, Westlands, Nairobi, having moved to a new location and building in May 2013. While it is not one of the largest stock exchanges in the world, it is within the top 10 in Africa and available to trade via several Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers.

The NSE has a market capitalization (cap) of KES 2.248 trillion, or around $20 billion, according to its 2020 annual report. There are around 64 companies listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Stocks and shares at Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers are listed and traded on its mainboard, under the symbol NSE. The role and function of the Nairobi Security Exchange are to allow investors, young and old, to trade a range of instruments. These include standard stocks, indices such as the All Share Index, ETFs, derivatives (futures and options) and bonds.

Daily price lists can be found on the official website of NSE brokers, so check today to see current prices, latest share performance and top gainers, as well as historical data and share prices, charts and graphs. Stock updates and analysis can also be found on the live data feed provided by Wazua. A variety of online NSE brokers allow customers to trade on the Kenyan market.

Understanding the roles of the Nairobi Stock Exchange in the Kenyan economy is very important. It is one of the key features and benefits of the NSE, enhancing the growth of Kenya’s economy by encouraging savings and investment. Keeping this growth is one of the main challenges facing the exchange.

Nairobi Stock Exchange History

Stocks and shares were first traded in Kenya in the 1920s when it was a part of the British Empire. The market was not formal, as there were no rules and regulations to govern the activities. In 1954, the Nairobi Stock Exchange was setup up as a voluntary association of stockbrokers. Africans were not permitted to trade securities, so the market was confined to the resident European community. After the attainment of independence in 1963, the market opened to all Kenyan residents.

In 1988, the first privatisation occurred through the Nairobi Stock Exchange. 20% of the government shares in Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) were sold to the public, with the government retaining 80% ownership of the bank. In 1994, the NSE 20-Share Index recorded an all-time high of 5030 points.

The largest share issuance in the history of the Nairobi Stock Exchange occurred in 1996, with the privatisation of Kenya Airways. After selling a 26% stake to KLM, the government of Kenya proceeded to offer 51% of Kenya Airways PLC shares to members of the public. More than 110,000 shareholders acquired a stake in the airline as the government reduced its stake from 74% to 23%.

2006 saw the implementation of live investing at the NSE with the addition of automated trading systems. This was furthered in 2007 when the exchange implanted its Wide Area Network (WAN), allowing NSE brokers and investors to conduct trading remotely.

In 2014, the NSE self-listed its own shares on the Main Investment Market Segment of the NSE, after receiving permission to demutualize. It became only the second self-listed African stock exchange, after the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Nairobi Stock Exchange Owners & Management

The shares of the Nairobi Stock Exchange are listed and traded on the exchange’s own board. The primary shareholders (owners) are Standard Chartered Kenya Nominees (21.75% ownership), CFC Stanbic Nominees Kenya Limited (7.67% ownership), the Treasury of Kenya (3.37%) and the Investor Compensation Fund Board (3.37%).

The Nairobi Stock Exchange is governed by its board of directors, which governs all corporate actions. The board is headed by chairman Mr Kiprono Kittony and vice-chairman Mr Paul Mwai. The NSE’s CEO is Mr Geoffrey Odundo, who has a team of executive directors to help deal with the day-to-day management of the exchange. This involves everything such as news announcements, financial statements, performance reviews, dividends announcements for the end of 2023 and the publication of equity statistics.


The Nairobi Stock Exchange is divided into four market fragments:

  • Main Investment Market Segment (MIMS): This is the fundamental fragment of the NSE and contains 48 stocks equal to 99.5% of the NSE market cap.
  • Alternative Investment Market Segment (AIMS): This is the section for medium-sized organizations.
  • Fixed Income Securities Market Segment (FISMS): This fragment is the market for exchanging fixed pay securities such as corporate and government securities.
  • Growth Enterprise Market Segment (GEMS): This section has five registered stocks and has less rigid pre-requisites than the other sections.

Note, NSE brokers will not necessarily offer trading on all stocks from the four segments.

Nairobi Stock Exchange Indices

The NSE All-Share Index is the primary index for the Nairobi Stock Exchange. This index represents the performance of all shares listed on the NSE and is the best indicator of the overall performance of the stock exchange. Index graphs are available showing past points from yesterday or as far back as you want to go.

Other indices include:

  • FTSE NSE Kenya 15 Index
  • FTSE NSE Kenya 25 Index
  • FTSE ASEA Pan African Index
  • FTSE NSE Kenya Govt. Bond Index
  • NSE 20 Share Index (The mean of the top 20 performing companies each year)
  • NSE 25 Share Index (represents the performance of Kenyan companies listed on NSE)

Nairobi Stock Exchange Listing Requirements

To be listed on the Main Investment Market Segment of the market with companies and banks like Safaricom (SCOM) and Equity Bank Group Holdings, companies must meet certain criteria. An organisation needs to submit five years of inspected financials, three of which must be productive years. It needs to have KES 50 million worth of completely settled up shares capital and KES 100 million in resources.

Nairobi Stock Exchange Trading Hours

The opening hours of the Nairobi Stock Exchange have changed throughout the years. As it stands, the NSE is open Monday through Friday from 09:30 to 15:00 East Africa Time (GMT +3). Look out for updated operating hours via Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers.

Trading Holidays

Knowing whether a stock exchange is shut for holidays in 2023 or beyond is important for any investor. We have compiled this list of the Nairobi Stock Exchange’s holidays, so you do not have to search for a PDF every day to see if it is open. Additionally, keep an eye on NSE brokers’ published market holiday calendar as these dates should also be reflected here. The list shows each day the exchange is closed:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1st
  • Good Friday – April 2nd
  • Easter – April 5th
  • Labor Day – May 1st
  • Eid al-Fitr – May 14th
  • National Heroes Day – October 20th
  • Independence Day – December 12th
  • Christmas – December 25th
  • Boxing Day – December 26th

Top Companies / Biggest Players

The five biggest stocks on the Nairobi Stock Exchange account for 75% of all investor wealth. So, who are the biggest players? We have compiled this list of the top five companies on the NSE with their respective market capitalization in brackets:

  1. Safaricom (KES 1.520 trillion)
  2. Equity Bank (KES 196.23 billion)
  3. Kenya Commercial Bank, KCB (KES 147.50 billion)
  4. East African Breweries Limited (KES 124.15 billion)
  5. Co-operative Bank (KES 73.046 billion)

The best Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers will provide comprehensive insights into leading stocks, along with key financial metrics and significant market movers.

Why Trade At NSE Brokers

While you will not find any popular US companies listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, it does have some interesting and exciting stocks available. NSE brokers present a great opportunity for investors to diversify their portfolios with companies not listed on the top exchanges, such as Safaricom and Kenya Commercial Bank stocks.


History Matters

It will not happen every time but history can repeat itself. Always research historical data, statistics and trends, as they could indicate the future movement of a stock or asset on the exchange. Look out for Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers that offer state-of-the-art investing technology meaning you can view or overlay historical information onto current market price graphs or charts.

Demo Accounts

The best Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers will offer a demo account. Demo profiles are a great place to complete training before you risk real capital on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. They allow you to learn about the platform and practice strategies completely risk-free.

Follow The News

News announcements can have a big impact on the values of stocks and indices. Stay up-to-date with the latest announcements and financial news so that you can get ahead of the curve with new price movements. This may include updates or changes made by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). The top Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers will integrate this within their platform interface or via the customer portal for on-hand, live information.

Final Word On Nairobi Stock Exchange Brokers

The Nairobi Stock Exchange is home to the largest companies in Kenya. While it is not one of the biggest stock exchanges in the world, it should not be overlooked as it represents a great opportunity for investors to diversify their portfolios with exciting stocks at the heart of the Kenyan and African economies. If you want to start trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange today, follow our step-by-step guide to choosing between platforms and brokers with access to the NSE.


What Is The Best Stock To Buy On Nairobi Stock Exchange Brokers?

There is no simple answer as to what the best stock to buy on the Nairobi Stock Exchange is. The top five companies listed usually have the highest trading volume and liquidity, so these could be a good place to start.

Can UK Traders Buy Stock On The Nairobi Stock Exchange Via Online Brokers?

Yes, UK traders can buy stocks and shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Simply open an account with one of the registered Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers that offer access to the exchange to begin.

Is The Nairobi Stock Exchange Worth Investing In?

The Nairobi Stock Exchange may well be worth investing in, depending on your portfolio, risk appetite and goals. The exchange provides access to some different companies not listed on top exchanges and gives investors a chance to diversify their portfolios.

When Is The Nairobi Stock Exchange Open?

The Nairobi Stock Exchange opens for five and a half hours, Monday to Friday. It opens from 09:30 to 15:00 East African Time (GMT+3). This will be reflected in your Nairobi Stock Exchange brokers’ platform.

Is The Nairobi Stock Exchange Open Today?

The Nairobi Stock Exchange closes on nine weekdays each year. It is always closed on weekends. Check our calendar above to see whether it is open today. The best NSE brokers will also list market closures and opening times on their website or platform.