Nairobi Hotel Attack Kills 21, to an unbowed economy

Nairobi Hotel Attack Kills 21, to an unbowed economy
Civilians flee as security forces aim their weapons at the buildings of a hotel complex in Nairobi's 14 Riverside Drive

Kenyan forces ended a militant siege at a hotel and office complex in the capital that left at least 21 people dead.

The militants stormed 14 Riverside in Nairobi on Tuesday afternoon, a venue popular with business travelers and Kenya’s elites and home to offices of companies including Pernod Ricard SA and Dow Chemical East Africa Ltd , and the DusitD2 hotel, lasting over 19 hours. In a televised address to the nation, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta reported that all the attackers were killed.

Kenya, a regional hub for companies such as General Electric Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., has previously felt the economic impact from attacks that curbed tourism-one of its main generators of foreign exchange. The industry has recovered in recent years, with earnings climbing about a third year-on-year in 2018 to $1.54 billion.

The East African largest economy has witnessed a string of attackers since its troops set foot in Somalia on operation “linda Inchi” that so them later join the African Union mission troops in efforts to stabilize the Somalia state.

The latest attacker portrays a country whose economy has developed shock absorbers if the situation on its currency and capital markets is anything to go by.  The currency and equity markets were little changed.Investors’ wealth at the stock market increased by nearly Sh4 billion in Thursday’s trading, marking the second straight day of gains since Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the 14 Riverside offices and hotel complex.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) #ticker:NSE gained Sh19 billion on Wednesday, raising the market valuation since the Tuesday attack to Sh23 billion.

The sustained gains are seen as a positive sign of investor confidence in the medium and long-term economic fundamentals of the country, which has in the past suffered wealth erosion after similar terror attacks.

Market capitalisation at close of trading Thursday stood at Sh2.171 trillion, up from Sh2.167 trillion on Wednesday, while the NSE 20 share Index rose by 5.6 points to close at 2,849.8.

In a televised address on Wednesday, Kenya’s president vowed authorities would “seek out every person that was involved in the planning, funding and execution of this heinous act.”

“Throughout the breadth of Kenya and in our immediate neighborhood, multiple security efforts are under way to detect, deter, disrupt and defeat any terrorist operatives or groups,” Kenyatta said. “In the coming days and weeks we shall continue the never-ending work to strengthen our systems.”