Duncan's Feed
May 10, 2012

Price hikes, money transfer arm revive Safaricom

NAIROBI, May 10 (Reuters) – Higher call charges and a strong
performance at its money transfer business helped Safaricom
, Kenya’s top telecoms operator, to report a
smaller-than-expected fall in full-year pretax profit on
Thursday.

The company, which is 40 percent owned by Britain’s Vodafone
, posted a 5.4 percent drop in pretax profit to 17.37
billion shillings ($208 million), which beat analyst forecasts
of a decline of between 10 to 15 percent.

May 3, 2012

S.Africa’s FirstRand plans Kenya bank acquisition

NAIROBI, May 3 (Reuters) – South Africa’s FirstRand Bank
plans to acquire a mid-sized Kenyan bank when the
opportunity arises to boost its presence in the largest economy
in one of the fastest-growing regions on the continent, its
Africa head said.

Foreign lenders have been looking to set up operations in
Kenya, driven by a desire for a piece of the action in a market
where collective industry profits jumped 20.4 percent last year
to 89.3 billion shillings ($1.07 billion).

Apr 26, 2012

Kenyan banks eye solid earnings despite high rates

NAIROBI, April 26 (Reuters) – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)
and Equity Bank predicted strong profits this
year after a resilient performance in the first quarter in the
face of high interest rates and inflation.

The central bank raised its key lending rate by 11
percentage points to 18 percent in the final quarter of last
year to prop up the shilling and fight high inflation, creating
worries that the demand for loans would fall and defaults rise.

Apr 19, 2012

Nakumatt: From mattress shop to African chain

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Nakumatt, Kenya’s largest retailer, plans to expand across Africa by focusing on opening stores in more eastern Africa countries over the next two years, its managing director said on Thursday.

After starting three decades ago as a small mattress shop in the provincial town of Nakuru, family-owned Nakumatt has grown into a firm with $500 million annual turnover and pan-African ambitions.

Apr 19, 2012

Kenya’s Safaricom to lay fibre for “data tsunami”

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s top telecoms operator Safaricom (SCOM.NR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will lay a fibre-optic cable network to offer faster and more efficient Internet data services in expectation of a mobile “data tsunami”, its chief executive said.

Safaricom, in which Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has a 40 percent stake, has a big lead over rivals such as the local unit of France Telecom (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), but its network has been struggling with fluctuating data speeds and dropped calls.

Apr 17, 2012

StanChart to ride Africa consumer boom

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Asia-focused Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it aims to double its branches in Africa to ride a consumer boom which has several years to run in the fast-growing continent.

The consumer business in Africa made up $131 million of the bank’s total pretax profit of $6.78 billion in 2011 but earnings rose 27 percent from the previous year on the back of growth in segments like personal loans.

Apr 17, 2012

Kenyan TransCentury expects jump in profit

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s TransCentury (TCL.NR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects net profit for the first half of this year to surpass full year profit for 2011 after it tripled capacity at its electric cable and transformer plants, its chief executive said on Monday.

Founded just over 10 years ago as an investment club, the firm has grown into a specialist infrastructure company with interests in power, transport and engineering thanks to rapidly growing demand for energy and infrastructure in the region.

Apr 4, 2012

AfDB head cautions on use of Africa’s newly-found oil cash

NAIROBI (Reuters) – African nations joining the elite club of oil and gas producers should invest in education and roads while supporting traditional sectors to avoid the “oil curse” trap, the head of the African Development Bank said.

Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda have all discovered oil and gas in recent years, thrusting them into a crossroads between following the likes of diamond-rich Botswana into prosperity or the likes of Nigeria into over-dependence on oil.

Mar 22, 2012

Kenya Airways eyes $3.6 bln expansion in five years

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya Airways will spend $3.6 billion over the next five years on new planes and routes, mainly to connect travellers between Africa and Asia, its chief executive said.

Titus Naikuni said trade between Africa and China and India had soared in recent years, growing at an annual rate of about 200 percent, creating huge opportunities in the travel market.

Mar 20, 2012

Kenya central banker weathers parliament, Twitter storm

NAIROBI, March 20 (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank chief
marched out of a hotel last month, barely pausing for questions
as the markets buzzed with rumours a parliamentary committee was
set to call for his removal over a year’s-worth of market chaos.

Sure enough, that day the committee investigating how the
local currency lurched from one record low to another, sending
inflation through the roof, recommended Njuguna Ndung’u step
aside pending an investigation.