Duncan's Feed
Jun 13, 2013

East African states raise taxes to fund growing budgets

NAIROBI, June 13 (Reuters) – Kenya will ask for more cash
from its wealthy citizens through a capital gains tax while
Uganda will increase taxes to make up for falling donor support,
the finance ministers of both states said in budget speeches.

East African states have attracted higher foreign
investments in recent years due to robust economic growth rates,
but decades of bad management of public resources have left them
struggling with rampant poverty and unemployment among citizens.

Jun 4, 2013

Kenya central bank sees credit growth gathering pace

NAIROBI, June 4 (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank expects
commercial lending rates to fall and the pace of private sector
credit growth to pick up this year as the economy rebounds from
an election-related slowdown, its governor said on Tuesday.

An aggressive tightening of monetary policy to tackle
rampant inflation that began in mid-2011, and a slowdown in
economic activity ahead of the presidential vote in March saw
annual credit growth fall to about 12 percent in February from
35 percent in late 2011.

May 23, 2013

Rebound in key sectors seen driving Kenya economy in 2013

NAIROBI, May 23 (Reuters) – Kenya’s economy is expected to
expand by about 6 percent in 2013 thanks to a rebound in sectors
such as manufacturing and financial services, officials said on
Thursday.

The country’s $35 billion economy expanded by 4.6 percent
last year, only a touch more than in the previous year, as
activity was slowed by high costs and political uncertainty.

May 21, 2013

More credit data sharing seen lowering rates for Kenyan firms

NAIROBI, May 21 (Reuters) – Banks in Kenya are making a
long-awaited effort to share information about which borrowers
are reliable, a move that should make it easier for sound
businesses to get cheaper loans.

The initiative will extend information shared by banks to
include borrowers who repay on time rather than only data on
defaulters, a Kenyan credit bureau said on Tuesday.

May 17, 2013

Kenya’s National eyes funding in fight for market share

NAIROBI, May 17 (Reuters) – National Bank of Kenya
will raise more than 10 billion shillings ($119.3 million) in a
cash call next year to fund expansion and increased lending, its
chief executive said.

Ranked number 12 out of 43 lenders in east Africa’s biggest
economy, National declined from a top-three lender in 1996, as
its model of focusing on government banking and personal lending
was upended by newer, nimbler rivals like Equity.

May 14, 2013

Non-voice revenues drive Safaricom profit surge

NAIROBI, May 14 (Reuters) – A strong performance in its
money transfer service and non-voice revenues helped Safaricom
, Kenya’s top telecoms operator, post a 47 percent jump
in full-year pretax profit on Tuesday.

Safaricom, 40-percent owned by Britain’s Vodafone,
said pretax profit climbed to 25.5 billion shillings ($304.30
million) off the back of a 16 percent growth in total revenues.

Apr 23, 2013

Power cuts, bureaucracy and borrowing costs shackle Kenyan economy

NAIROBI, April 23 (Reuters) – From his leather chair in the
boardroom of Jamii Bora bank, Sam Kimani looks out over Kenya’s
booming capital city and laments the bureaucracy and power cuts
that drive up business costs and choke the supply of new homes.

He points through the window at the stand-by generator that
is an inevitable expense in east Africa’s biggest economy, and
he explains how the difficulties of tracking down land ownership
documents perpetuate Kenya’s housing shortage.

Apr 11, 2013

Kenya’s Housing Finance eyes more funding

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s Housing Finance (HFCK.NR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking to raise more funds in the second half of this year and increase mortgage lending as it expects last month’s peaceful elections to spur demand for houses.

Kenya’s second biggest mortgage lender said it would finalize plans for more funding in the next few months, having sold the last tranche of a 10 billion shillings ($118.5 million) bond last year.

Apr 11, 2013

Kenyan retailer Uchumi eyes Rwanda, South Sudan

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s Uchumi Supermarkets (UCHM.NR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the sole listed retailer in East Africa, plans to open six new stores in the next six months as well as expanding into Rwanda and South Sudan to tap new shoppers, its chief executive officer said on Thursday.

To fund the expansion Uchumi is preparing a cash call where 100 million shares will be offered to investors at a price that is yet to be determined, Jonathan Ciano told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit, confirming plans first outlined last year.

Apr 10, 2013

Kenya Commercial Bank targets SMEs to lift returns

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB.NR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), east Africa’s biggest bank by assets, plans to improve returns for shareholders by stepping up lending to fast-growing small and medium sized businesses, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Joshua Oigara told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit that the bank, which lags the returns of some rivals like Equity Bank (EQTY.NR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), aimed to lift its return on assets to 4.5-5.0 percent this year from 3.6 percent in 2012, and higher the year after.