Duncan's Feed
Jun 10, 2012

Anti-Shabaab Kenyan minister killed in air crash

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s internal security minister, who was closely involved in the fight against Somali militant group al Shabaab, was killed when the police helicopter he was travelling in crashed into a forest on Sunday.

George Saitoti, his deputy Orwa Ojode, two pilots and two bodyguards were killed when the aircraft came down outside the capital Nairobi and burst into flames, the government said.

May 28, 2012

Africa mustn’t let growth go to its head-AfDB

ARUSHA, Tanzania, May 28 (Reuters) – Africa’s robust 4.5
percent economic growth forecast for 2012 should not prompt
premature celebration, the African Development Bank (AfDB)
cautioned on Monday, citing the festering euro zone crisis and
chronic youth joblessness.

Ranked as the poorest continent in the world, Africa has
posted strong growth rates in recent years, second only to Asia,
drawing rising inward investment and giving rise to talk of its
economic resilience, accompanied by much self-congratulation
among officials.

May 18, 2012

Africa plan for $1 trillion trade bloc on track

NAIROBI, May 18 (Reuters) – Plans to create a 26-nation free
trade area by integrating three existing African trade blocs by
July 2014 are on track and the only major sticking point is
likely to be harmonising rules of origin, the three blocs said
on Friday.

The East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) aim to create a free market of 525
million people with an output of $1 trillion when they unite.

May 14, 2012

Africa Finance Corp eyeing $3 bln deals in a year

NAIROBI, May 14 (Reuters) – Africa Finance Corporation

(AFC), a Lagos-based development financier, is considering
potential investments worth $3 billion across sub-Saharan Africa
over the next year, its chief executive said on Monday.

Created in 2007 to help increase much-needed investments in
the key infrastructure, transport and heavy industries sectors
in Africa, AFC – 46 percent-owned by seven west African states
including Nigeria and Ghana – has already invested $500 million
in projects worth a total $4 billion from Cape Verde to Zambia.

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

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.