Duncan's Feed
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.

Mar 8, 2012

Kenya’s Equity Bank says may raise new funds in 2013

NAIROBI, March 8 (Reuters) – Kenyan lender Equity Bank
may raise more capital next year to support its
fast-growing business, its chief executive said on Thursday
after unveiling a 42 percent rise in pretax profits last year.

With operations in five east African countries and a knack
for rolling out innovative banking services, mainly targeted at
the lower end of the market, Equity has become one of the most
traded firms on the Nairobi stock exchange since listing in
2006.

Feb 21, 2012

Pan Africa Insurance pretax profit falls 17 pct

NAIROBI, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Kenya’s Pan Africa
Insurance Holdings posted a 17 percent decline in
pretax profit for 2011 to 552 million shillings ($6.6 million,
hit by lower valuations of its bonds and equities portfolios, it
said on Tuesday.

Controlled by South African insurer Sanlam, Pan
Africa commands around 23 percent of the life cover business in
the east African nation of 40 million people.

Feb 16, 2012

Barclays Kenya sees credit squeeze if rates capped

NAIROBI, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Kenya could suffer a
credit squeeze if a move by parliament to control banks’ lending
rates were to succeed, the managing director of Barclays Bank of
Kenya said.

Aggressive monetary tightening to curb inflation and prop up
the east African country’s currency has seen commercial banks
raise lending rates to about 25 percent from 15 percent since
October, and lawmakers are pushing a new law to cap the rates.

Feb 14, 2012

Kenya finmin says inflation easing, urges banks to cut rates

NAIROBI, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Kenya’s acting finance
minister said on Tuesday that inflation in east Africa’s biggest
economy should continue to fall and urged banks to cut lending
rates to help the middle class.

Aggressive monetary tightening since October and slight
declines in prices of food and fuel saw the inflation rate fall
in January for a second consecutive month, to 18.3 percent after
it hit a peak of 19.7 percent in November, fanning widespread
discontent.

Jan 24, 2012

Insight: As Africa’s consumers rise, so does inequality

NAIROBI (Reuters) – In a cafe on the terrace of a Nairobi mall, well-heeled Kenyans sip coffee as shoppers in the car park navigate between BMW X5s, Toyota Land Cruisers and Mercedes. A nearby cinema last month advertised an array of Hollywood fare including Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball.”

Sales at this Java House outlet along the Ngong Road were up last year, says Kevin Ashley, a Californian who co-founded the chain of 14 coffee houses 13 years ago. Kenya’s rich and new middle classes have a growing taste for lattes and ice cream.

Jan 24, 2012

As Africa’s consumers rise, so does inequality

NAIROBI, Jan 24 (Reuters) – In a cafe on the terrace
of a Nairobi mall, well-heeled Kenyans sip coffee as shoppers in
the car park navigate between BMW X5s, Toyota Land Cruisers and
Mercedes. A nearby cinema last month advertised an array of
Hollywood fare including Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball”.

Sales at this Java House outlet along the Ngong Road were up
last year, says Kevin Ashley, a Californian who co-founded the
chain of 14 coffee houses 13 years ago. Kenya’s rich and new
middle classes have a growing taste for lattes and ice cream.