In the face of a prolonged downturn on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), plans for three corporations, including Credit Bank, to debut on the bourse have been put on hold, raising concerns over the unfavourable pricing of their shares in the current market climate.

The NSE, grappling with a broad decline in stock values, notably affecting esteemed companies such as Safaricom, KCB Group, and East African Breweries Plc (EABL), is navigating challenges tied to factors like an exodus of foreign investors.

Revealing this setback, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) disclosed that Credit Bank and two undisclosed companies from the food processing and mining sectors have chosen to defer their listing plans.

Wycliffe Shamiah, the Chief Executive of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), reported that at least three companies, initially preparing to enter the market, have postponed their plans, citing the need for more time.

He noted that most of these companies have evaluated the existing conditions and concluded that they would wait.

"We know at least three companies which were preparing to come to the market have postponed and they said that they wanted more time. Most of them have just looked at the conditions and said we would wait. The values of most of the listed securities have gone down," Shamiah said.

Intricacies surrounding the cost of listing, tax burdens, and an increasingly unpredictable business landscape have contributed to these decisions within the private sector.

Shamiah elucidated, stating, "What is affecting the private sector is now the cost of listing, taxation, and then the environment where people feel perhaps you will not know what will happen tomorrow."

Undeterred by the prevailing market challenges, Credit Bank affirms its dedication to the eventual listing.

Betty Korir, Managing Director of the bank, reassured, "Credit Bank is committed to listing at the NSE."

She conveyed ongoing dialogues with key stakeholders, encompassing regulators, the investing public, and shareholders, with the collective aim of ensuring a successful listing.

The market's prolonged downturn, initiating in 2015, has been attributed to multifaceted factors, with industry analysts highlighting the depreciation of the shilling and the scarcity of dollars as pivotal hurdles to market resurgence.

Paul Mwai, Vice Chairman of the NSE and CEO of AIB-AXIS Capital Ltd., underscored the currency predicament, asserting, "The depreciating currency and the unavailability of dollars are significant issues for foreign investors."

As of September 30, the aggregate market value of all listed stocks on the NSE experienced a 10.72 per cent contraction, diminishing from Sh1.66 trillion ($10.84 billion) to Sh1.48 trillion ($9.67 billion) in the preceding quarter.

Over the same period, the NSE 20 Share Index and NSE All Share Index saw respective declines of 4.2 per cent and 11.01 per cent, settling at 1,508.75 and 95.22.

The overarching bear market conditions have fostered a circumspect business environment, prompting Credit Bank and two other companies to defer their public debut amid the prevailing economic uncertainties.