Duncan's Feed
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.

Mar 19, 2012

Kenya’s NBK pays first dividend in over a decade

NAIROBI, March 19 (Reuters) – National Bank of Kenya
is planning to pay its first dividend in more than a
decade, as the government attempts to sell a controlling stake
to investors.

In previous years, NBK had to use profits to pay off old
debts dating back to when the bank was plundered by the
political elite who took on loans and failed to repay. Now the
debt has been paid off, the bank is able to make payouts to
shareholders.

Mar 13, 2012

StanChart Bank Kenya reverses trading book losses

NAIROBI, March 13 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Bank
of Kenya reversed loss-making positions in its trading
book during the second-half of last year to secure a 7 percent
increase in pretax profit to 8.3 billion shillings ($100.67
million), it said on Tuesday.

The bank, controlled by Standard Chartered Plc, had
reported a fall in profit for the first half of the year after
yields on government securities shot upwards, leading to
unrealised losses in the trading book.

Mar 12, 2012

IMF sees Kenya economy growing 5 pct, inflation falling in 2012

NAIROBI, March 12 (Reuters) – Kenya’s economy is
likely to grow 5 percent in 2012 while its monetary policy will
help cut inflation to below 10 percent and eventually pave the
way for interest rate cuts, the International Monetary Fund said
on Monday.

East Africa’s biggest economy has forecast growth of 5
percent or more this year as long as rains vital to the key
farming sector do not fail. Kenya estimates its economy expanded
4.5 percent last year.