The capital market is part of the financial market that provides funds for long-term development. This is a market that brings together lenders (investors) of capital and borrowers (companies that sell securities to the public) of capital.
Establishment of the Capital Markets Authority
In the 1980s the Government of Kenya realized the need to design and implement policy reforms to foster sustainable economic development for an efficient and stable financial system. In particular, it set out to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy, reduce the demands of public enterprises on the exchequer, rationalize the operations of the public enterprise sector to broaden the base of ownership and enhance capital market development. It had become evident that the commercial banks could not support and sustain a desirable economic development because they could not offer the necessary long-term credit.
In 1984, a study on the Development of Money and Capital Markets in Kenya was jointly undertaken by the Central Bank of Kenya and the International Finance Corporation with the objectives of making recommendations on measures that would ensure active development and strengthening of the financial sector. This became a blueprint for structural reforms in the financial markets. The Government further re-affirmed its commitment to the creation of a regulatory body for the capital markets in the 1986 Sessional Paper on "Economic Management of Renewed Growth".
In November 1988, the Government set up Capital Markets Development Advisory Council and charged it with the role of working out the necessary modalities including the drafting of a bill to establish the Capital Markets Authority (the Authority).
In November1989, the bill was passed in parliament and subsequently received Presidential assent (The Capital Markets Authority was set up in 1989 through an Act Parliament (Cap 485A,Laws of Kenya). The Authority was eventually constituted in January 1990 and inaugurated on 7th March 1990. The Authority is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal.