George's Feed
Mar 9, 2012

U.S. urges Malawi leader to allow freedom of expression

NAIROBI, March 9 (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official
urged Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Friday to respect
his citizens’ right to freedom of expression, days after he
accused Western donors of funding an opposition protest movement
in his country.

Mutharika told state radio on Sunday that the opposition
planned to stage demonstrations in March financed by foreign
donors – some of whom have frozen aid because of concern about
his increasingly tight grip on power in the impoverished
southern African country.

Feb 14, 2012

Kenya lawmakers want central banker investigated in shilling row

NAIROBI, Feb 14 (Reuters) – A Kenyan parliamentary
committee has asked central bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u to
step aside from his post, it said on Tuesday, proposing an
investigation into how he handled the local currency’s plunge to
a historic low late last year.

The shilling hit a record low of 107 per dollar on Oct. 11,
but has since strengthened more than 20 percent after the
central bank raised its key lending rate to 18 percent in
December from 7 percent in September.

Jan 5, 2012

Kenya wind power project to start by April: official

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Construction of a 310 megawatt (MW) wind power project in Kenya is expected to start in April after its financiers complete due diligence on the project, a senior company official said on Thursday.

Most of Kenya’s power is generated by hydroelectric plants, which are prone to the vagaries of frequent droughts, which cut water levels in dams, lead to power outages and force east Africa’s biggest economy to rely on diesel-powered generators.

Nov 25, 2011

Kapchorua, Williamson H1 profit helped by tea prices

NAIROBI, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Kapchorua Tea
and Williamson Tea, which have the same directors, both
reported a jump in first-half profit, helped by higher tea
prices and a weak Kenyan shilling.

Williamson said pretax profit jumped 64 percent to 1.07
billion shillings ($12 million) in the six months to
end-September, while Kapchorua’s profit doubled to 268 million.

Nov 22, 2011

Kenya almost-doubles inflation target to 9 pct

NAIROBI, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank
changed another key policy aim by almost-doubling this fiscal
year’s inflation target to 9 percent, just weeks after being
driven to make a huge rate rise to combat soaring inflation and
save the plunging shilling.

Tuesday’s unveiling of the new target, for the year running
July to June, followed months of trenchant criticism of the bank
for not taking aggressive action to stop the shilling’s slide on
the back of double-digit inflation and a yawning balance of
payments gap.

Nov 8, 2011

Kenya starts FTSE-based stock indexes, eyes bonds

NAIROBI, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Nairobi Securities Exchange has
launched two stock indexes in conjunction with FTSE Group, and
said on Tuesday it planned to start one for Treasury bonds next
year.

The FTSE NSE Kenya 25 Index will comprise the
bourse’s 25 most liquid stocks, while the FTSE NSE Kenya 15
Index will be made up of the exchange’s 15 largest
stocks by market capitalisation.

Oct 31, 2011

IMF sees slower Kenya growth, approves extra funds

NAIROBI, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund
on Monday trimmed its 2011 growth outlook for Kenya on Monday
and backed further funds to boost the country’s foreign exchange
reserves to help tackle a widening balance of payments gap.

The Washington-based body gave the green light to a $250
million top-up to a $500 million extended credit facility,
pending full board approval, and said Kenya’s central bank
should tighten monetary policy further to stem high inflation.

Oct 24, 2011

Branchless banking lifts Kenya Equity profits

NAIROBI, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Equity Bank’s
nine-month pretax profit rose 39 percent as its push into
branchless or agency banking drove growth in deposits and loans,
Chief Executive James Mwangi said on Monday.

Kenya’s central bank allowed banks to start offering
services through agents such as retail stores and service
stations last year to deepen access to financial services in a
country where a third of the population lacks access.

Oct 13, 2011

Kenya will fight shilling volatility – Finmin

NAIROBI, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Kenya’s Treasury will act
decisively to stem local currency volatility, Finance Minister
Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday, adding the shilling’s weakness
is not due to economic fundamentals which he said were broadly
sound.

Minutes later, at the same press conference, the central
bank said it was intensifying its efforts to mop up shilling
liquidity, underscoring efforts by policymakers to display a
coordinated response to tackling the currency crisis.

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.