British American Tobacco #ticker:BAT led the top counters whose share price recovered on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the first quarter of the year, rising 31.5 percent to Sh475 on a dividend payment promise.
The cigarette maker made strong revenues of Sh25.3 billion and decided to reward shareholders with a dividend of Sh41.50 per share, boosting the stocks appeal at a time most counters remained depressed.
The final dividend, when added to the interim dividend already paid, gives a total dividend of Sh45 per share.
Capital Markets Authority policy and strategy director Luke Ombara said most other counters at the NSE remained flat because investors did not expect dividends and held shares for the long-term waiting for pandemic woes to pass.
“Volatility has been on a decline as the market gradually has adjusted to the Covid-19 pandemic as a new normal with investors holding out their positions in view of predictability in dividend announcements and other corporate actions by listed companies, especially in the telecommunications and banking sector,” he said.
During the quarter under review, the average NSE 20 Share Index volatility stood at 0.37 per cent slightly higher from the previous quarter volatility of 0.35 per cent.
The other counters whose prices rallied included HF Group (20.7 per cent), Stanlib Fahari iReit (19.8 per cent), Eaagada (14.4 per cent), Williamson tea (12.8 per cent) and TPS East Africa (12.1 per cent).
The CMA soundness report indicated that during the quarter, generally, several listed companies share prices declined due to the difficult business environment as a result of the impact of Covid-19.
The hard economic environment impacted the performance of several listed firms and as a result, many issued cautionary profit warnings.