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Nov 16, 2011

Total Kenya nine-month profit tumbles 67 percent

NAIROBI, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Kenyan oil marketer Total
posted a 67 percent plunge in nine-month pretax profit
on Wednesday after government price-capping squeezed margins,
sales costs rose and volumes slipped in a tough environment.

The company, part of French oil major Total SA,
made a pretax profit of 195 million shillings ($2.1 million) and
said it would have swung to a loss were it not for 200 million
shillings income from the disposal of assets.

Nov 9, 2011

Safaricom keeps FY guidance as H1 profit slumps

NAIROBI, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Kenya’s largest telecoms
operator, Safaricom , held firm on its full year
forecasts on Wednesday in the face a 48 percent slide in
first-half profit as costs rose and voice revenue slipped amid a
punishing price war.

Chief Executive Bob Collymore told reporters the company
expected its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) margin to finish in the low-to-mid 30s and
for revenue to grow by high single digits over the full year.

Nov 3, 2011

Kenya Airways raises H1 profit ahead of cash call

NAIROBI, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Kenya Airways used fuel
hedges to protect its bottom line from an escalation in direct
costs in its first-half ended September, it said on Thursday, as
it prepares to raise funds to finance its expansion.

The airline, 26 percent owned by Air France-KLM ,
posted a 38 percent jump in pretax profit to 2.83 billion
shillings ($29 million) as 1.45 billion shillings in realised
gains from fuel derivatives offset a 52 percent jump in direct
costs, which it blamed partly on higher jet fuel prices.

Oct 25, 2011

Kenya arrests “terror cell” member after blasts

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan police said on Tuesday they arrested a man suspected of belonging to a terrorist group, a day after two blasts in Nairobi killed one person and injured more than 20 others.

The suspect, who had Kenyan identity papers, was detained along with an arms cache including 13 hand grenades, an AK47 rifle, a machine gun, four pistols, ammunition and copies of military literature, they said.

Oct 25, 2011

Kenya Commercial Bank Jan-Sept profit jumps 40 pct

NAIROBI, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)
boosted net interest income and fees and commissions to
post a 40 percent jump in pretax profit to 9.1 billion shillings
($90.55 million) for its nine months ended September, it said on

The bank, which has the largest asset base in the country
and operates in several neighbouring countries from Rwanda to
South Sudan, said it was positive about the full year.

Oct 24, 2011

Second blast hits Kenyan capital, one dead

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Two grenade blasts killed one person and wounded more than 20 in Nairobi on Monday, two days after the U.S. embassy warned of an imminent attack as Kenya fights Islamist rebels in Somalia.

A grenade was thrown into a bar early in the morning, wounding 13 people, and police said a second device was thrown at a bus terminal in the capital just before 8 p.m. (1700 GMT), killing one person and leaving eight in a critical condition.

Oct 19, 2011

IMF upbeat on Africa growth, warns of global risks

NAIROBI, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund
said it was still positive about the growth outlook for
Sub-Saharan Africa as economies expand output in areas like
mining but warned that the global economic turmoil posed
potentially significant risks.

Regional economies are expected to post nearly 6 percent
average economic growth in 2012, rising from just above 5
percent on average this year, the IMF said, pointing to a better
outlook than in advanced economies, which are more likely to
experience a sharp slowdown due to global volatility.

Oct 18, 2011

Kenya lawmaker seeks to regulate banks’ lending rates

NAIROBI, Oct 18 (Reuters) – A Kenyan member of parliament
said on Tuesday he would propose a bill to regulate banks’
lending and deposit rates to stop their ‘sheer exploitation’ and
to mobilise funds for economic activities.

Martin Ogindo, legislator for Rangwe in western Kenya, said
the bill would set the minimum deposit rate at 70 percent of the
central bank rate and cap lending rates at no more than 400
basis points above the rate.

Oct 7, 2011

Kenya affirms commitment to floating fx rate

NAIROBI, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Central Bank of Kenya’s record
increase of its key lending rate was an “important” step
towards stabilising the ailing shilling, top government
officials said on Friday, reaffirming the country’s commitment
to a floating exchange rate.

Policymakers in east Africa’s biggest economy have struggled
to get to grips with rampant inflation and a battered local
currency this year, although Wednesday’s 4 percentage points
rate rise is expected to go a long way to restoring confidence.

Sep 30, 2011

Poor nations urged to tap Web fast for growth

NAIROBI (Reuters) – With online business increasingly driving economic growth, developing nations’ top priority should be the infrastructure their citizens need to get connected, delegates at an Internet conference in Nairobi said this week.

The Internet’s potential to raise living standards is under-exploited in the developing world, where just 21 percent of the population have access, compared with 69 percent in the developed world.