November 20, 2008 / 3:45 PM / 11 years ago

Kenya's bourse appoints new chief executive

NAIROBI, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The board of Kenya’s Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday named Peter Mwangi, a 39-year old former managing director of a large listed company as chief executive after the previous one quit, officials said.

Former chief executive Chris Mwebesa tendered his resignation a month ago, but the announcement was made on Wednesday.

“Peter Mwangi espouses credentials that are critical to the continued sustainable growth of the bourse,” NSE chairman James Wangunyu told a news conference.

“He also has extensive experience that is critical to the entire market at this particular juncture,” he added. Mwangi’s appointment takes effect immediately, he said.

The NSE, which says it is the fifth largest stock market in Africa, has been reeling from the global financial crisis.

Its main 20-share index .NSEK has shed more than 30 percent since June as investors, rattled by the global economic situation, sold their shares.

Mwangi, formerly managing director at Centum Investments ICDC1.NR, said he would carry on with various ongoing initiatives at the bourse.

He said demutualisation of the NSE’s shareholder structure ranks “very, very highly” in his list of priorities.

There are moves to integrate the NSE with other regional stock exchanges in Uganda and Tanzania through a single trading platform.

Together with regulator, Capital Markets Authority, NSE is also keen to expand an over-the-counter market where securities in small firms can be traded.

Although it had a sustained bull run beginning in 2005, the market has been tainted by the closure of two brokerages during the period for misuse of investor funds.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Wangui Kanina and Elaine Hardcastle Email: Nairobi.newsroom@reuters.com; Tel: +254 20 222 4717 For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/

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