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Covid-19 has especially affected equity markets but even as economic activity picks up, according to Mr Ongodia, equity markets are still below average.

In its results released during the annual general meeting recently, Xeno founder, Aeko Ongodia, said regional equity funds performed the best among its funds while domestic equities recorded the worst performance.

Regional equity funds contributed the best yield for local investors due to the lifting of interest rate caps in Kenya, according to unit Xeno, a trust fund manager.

In its results released during the annual general meeting recently, Xeno founder, Aeko Ongodia, said regional equity funds performed the best among its funds while domestic equities recorded the worst performance.

“Xeno Uganda regional equity fund was our best performing fund. It returned 39.1 per cent in 2019 compared to -7.5 per cent in 2018,” he said, noting the Kenyan market at the beginning of 2019 was tepid but picked up at the end of the year due to the lifting of interest rate caps for commercial banks.

Kenya in September 2018 set interest rate caps for commercial lending, limiting the interest banks could charge customers, a move that sent the financial industry spiralling.

However, in November last year the law was repealed and according to Xeno, this led to positive performance of regional equities, which include banks and telecoms such as Safaricom, among others.

Xeno has over Shs8b in assets under management invested in regional equity markets, domestic equity markets, money markets and bonds for 978 unit holders by the end of 2019.

While the money market fund had an average yield of 11.7 per cent in 2019 compared to 9.3 per cent in 2018, the bond fund had an average yield of 15.8 per cent from 14 per cent in 2018.

Domestic equities recorded the worst performance with -13.2 per cent in 2019 from 15.6 per cent in 2018 on account of negative sentiment in the market that resulted in low trading on the Uganda securities Exchange.

“There was little trading in the domestic equity market, low demand and therefore prices dropped,” Ongodia said.The low demand for trading of the shares of companies listed was despite the positive performance by companies on the stock exchange such as Stanbic Bank and Umeme, among others.USE has 17 listed companies nine of which are cross-listings from Kenya.The fund whose customer base is 10 per cent corporate entities and 90 per cent individual investors says 60 per […]

Banks have become a core need in our economy. This is because they not only enable you to deposit and withdraw money but they also give you a platform to save, invest and acquire loans at reasonable rates. We have so many banks in Kenya, thanks to economic growth and development. Today, I would love to let you in on the top 10 best banks in Kenya as listed below

> KENYA COMMERCIAL BANK [KCB]

Founded in 2015, the KCB has been one of the fastest-growing licensed commercial banks in Kenya. It is currently the largest bank in Kenya in terms of asset value. It has since spread roots to Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. Its latest feature is the KCB Mpesa which enables you to get a loan if you are a registered Safaricom user.

2. EQUITY GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED

It is one of the youngest banks of Kenya, having been founded in 2014. Equity bank, just like any other bank, offers services and products such as savings and investments, mortgages, loans as well as microfinance. It was founded in Nairobi, Kenya and later spread across Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and DRC. Its lending rate is at 13% interest rate p.a. The introduction of the Eazzy app made it so easy for clients’ banking needs.

3. STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

It is commonly referred to as Stanchart Kenya. It is a subsidiary of the British multinational financial conglomerate. It was founded in 1910 and its headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1989, its stock was listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, offering 21 million shares to the public. Unique services include infinite debit card, exclusive globally recognized credit card, convenient digitally-enabled banking and payment services, and preferential pricing. Its latest feature, the Mobile Banking app, has made it so easy for clients since they are able to carry out transactions at the comfort of their home.

4. BARCLAYS BANK

It is owned by the Absa Group Limited. Its products include mortgages, savings, investments, loans and credit cards. It was established in 1916 and got licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya and has since become widespread in towns and cities in Kenya.

5. COOPERATIVE BANK OF KENYA

Founded in 1965, Coop bank has become one of the best performing commercial banks in Kenya. It boasts of 10.44b profit in half-year 2019.6. DIAMOND TRUST BANKIt is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network. […]

The Board of Directors of HF Group Plc is pleased to announce the
appointment of Mr. Adan Daud Mohamed as a Non-Executive Director of
its Mortgage subsidiary, HFC, effective 19th October 2020.
Mr. Mohamed has been involved in legal practice in the United States
and Kenya for over 17 years. He was admitted as an attorney at law by
the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota (USA) in the year 2003. Mr.
Mohamed practiced in Kenya as an advocate of the High court of Kenya
since 2007. He is currently the senior partner at the law firm Michael
Daud & Advocates. He is a leading expert in Anti-Money Laundering
regulations and policies in Kenya having been the lead in the drafting of
the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act of Kenya, 2009.
In addition to his distinguished career in legal practice, Mr. Mohamed has served blue chip institutions
at the very top. He joined the HF Group Plc Board as a Non-Executive Director on 15th October
2012 and chairs the Board for the property development subsidiary, HF Development and Investment
Company. He previously served as the Chairman and a Member of the Board of Trustees at the
National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in Kenya, by far the region’s largest pension provider for a
period of six years.
Disclaimer: This announcement is for information purposes only. It has been issued with the approval
of the Capital Markets Authority pursuant to the Capital Markets (Securities) (Public Offers, Listing
and Disclosures) Regulations 2002 as amended. As a matter of policy, the Capital Markets Authority
assumes no responsibility for the correctness of the statements appearing in this announcement.

Announcement made via Nairobi Securities Exchange website.

When the Central Bank of Kenya announced in March that lenders would offer a repayment holiday on personal and business loans distressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there was excitement among many borrowers.

A big number were only coming to terms with sudden loss of income following tough economic shutdowns. To cushion borrowers, the banking sector regulator announced that all loans as of March 2, 2020 would be eligible for short repayment holidays or rescheduled payments of up to a year.

Among those beaming with relief at the time was 34-year-old Munyaka Njiru, who rushed to his bank to take advantage of the deal.

Mr Njiru, the proprietor of Bucketlist Adventures, a tour firm, said yesterday he saw the repayment holiday as a huge relief on his outstanding car loan. The hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit as the pandemic suspended international and local transport.

But Mr Njiru now says the relief has turned into a nightmare. He regrets that if he knew then what he knows now, he would not have signed on to the deal allowing him a break from repaying his Sh200,000 loan balance.

Demanding interest

After six months, the bank recently wrote to Mr Njiru demanding interest of upto Sh24,000 that had piled up over the repayment holiday period. "The deal with my bank would have been a huge relief for me. But it has turned into a raw deal," Mr Njiru told the Nation.

"The bank explained they had been loading up interest during the six-month period and this means I will end up paying upto Sh24,000 more," he said, expressing his disappointment with the whole State-backed relief programme. The bank has asked him to pay Sh45,000 at once, failing which the loan will be considered to have fallen into arrears.

Under CBK’s initiative, individuals and companies could take a repayment holiday, lengthen the tenure of their loans, or opt to just pay the interest for a period of time. The relief also applied to credit card debt and mortgages.

"I would not have signed up if I knew I would eventually pay more," said Mr Njiru, echoing the sentiments of many unsuspecting borrowers who aimed to take advantage of the relief programme.

Banks appear to have taken advantage of a broad guideline by the CBK, which allowed the lenders to restructure loans by either freezing interest payments, or fees, or offering a moratorium on interest or the principal repayments.Borrowers who […]

Residents of Mahiga-Meru village chase desert locusts using old aluminium cooking pots, iron sheets and twigs, in Laikipia County (file photo). Top Kenyan banks have yielded to the Covid-19 pandemic with grim prospects of weaker profitability, slowed loan book growth and a surge in the volume of bad loans, signaling reduced dividends for shareholders and reduced corporate tax to the government this year.

According to a special report by rating agency Fitch on eight banks that control 83 percent of the industry’s deposits and 76 percent of the total assets, weaker operating conditions have resulted in substantially lower earnings and profitability metrics for the lenders that have also borne the brunt of huge loan restructuring to protect borrowers whose loan repayments have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The situation has been compounded by the severe locust infestation since July 2019 which could create further pressure on the banks’ asset quality through lending to the small-scale farmers and farming communities.

Debt relief measures granted to distressed borrowers to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subdued loan growth are also expected to dampen profitability.

Fitch, through its report titled ‘Coronavirus Impact on Large Kenyan Banks’ shows that the annualised average net income to average equity ratio of these large banks declined by 730 basis points (bp) to 11.6 percent in the first six months of this year.

The report dated October 8 shows that the lenders — KCB, Equity, NCBA, Co-operative Bank, Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), Absa Bank (Kenya) Standard Chartered Bank (Kenya) and Stanbic Bank (Kenya) — started the year 2020 on a weaker footing characterised by deteriorating asset quality, with an average impaired loan ratio of 11.2 percent last year compared with 9.9 percent in 2018.

KCB’s asset quality deterioration was largely driven by the consolidation of National Bank of Kenya (NBK), which pushed its impaired loan ratio upwards by 300bp to 15.4 percent in 2019.

"Risks are tilted to the downside again. The coronavirus pandemic will reverse the benefits to banks from the repeal of the interest rate cap in terms of lending growth, asset quality and earnings," said Vincent Martin, an analyst at the rating agency.

Personal lending

According to Fitch, banks with the largest exposures to personal lending are particularly exposed to higher loan impairments, with other stressed sectors including manufacturing and trade.

Based on Fitch’s estimates, the most exposed (based on 2019 figures) to personal lending among the large […]

Kenya Commercial Bank has shut down one of its main branches after a South Sudanese envoy collapsed and died.

Confirming the Thursday afternoon incident KCB, in a statement, said it had opted to close KCB Advantage center at Kencom House along Moi avenue indefinitely.

The bank revealed that it had already reported to police the matter involving 66-year-old Michael Nyang Jook, the South Sudanese ambassador to Eritrea.

"We regret to confirm that a customer at our KCB Advantage Branch, Moi Avenue, Nairobi collapsed and died this afternoon during a visit to the branch. The incident was reported to the police, and they took over the matter," the statement read in part.

According to the police report, the ambassador collapsed after complaining he was experiencing difficulty in breathing.

The incident was reported at the Central Police Station under OB/22/102020.

On the shutdown, KCB said, "We encourage our customers to visit our other Advantage Centres or use alternative banking touchpoints such as cash recyclers, ATMs, cash deposit machines, Mobi, KCB M-Pesa, Vooma and internet banking."

The KCB management also sent message of condolences to the family of the deceased.

"We condole and stand with the family during this difficult time," the statement concluded.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 © Boeing Thyme Opco, a company affiliated to Cyrus Capital, has acquired the brand and the remaining assets of flybe. (BE, Exeter ) and plans to revive the carrier as an "essential regional connectivity" provider, administrator EY said in a press release distributed to the British media.

The value of the transaction was not disclosed. It was still subject to certain confidential conditions.

flybe.’s remaining assets were purely non-aviation and consisted of office equipment and the like, as well as intellectual property. The carrier’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) was suspended but valid as of September 7, 2020, although the UK Civil Aviation Authority would have to reinstate its Operating Licence before the restart – the document was revoked in late April 2020.

Thyme Opco said that while it was seeking to revive flybe., the carrier would be smaller than before its collapse. Still, the investor plans "to create valuable airline industry jobs, restore essential regional connectivity in the UK and contribute to the recovery of a vital part of the country’s economy". The airline could restart in early…

Nigeria has granted daily traffic rights to British Airways , Virgin Atlantic , and Turkish Airlines , while continuing to ban other European carriers over reciprocal visa issues.

From October 2, British Airways and Turkish Airlines, along with Ethiopian Airlines , RwandAir , ASKY Airlines , and Air Côte d’Ivoire have approval to operate daily flights to Lagos and Abuja , according to the latest flight schedule update from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Africa World Airlines has approval to operate twice-daily flights to Lagos and daily ones to Abuja; while Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways , Delta Air Lines , and Kenya Airways may now fly daily to Lagos, according to the approval signed by NCAA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Captain Musa Nuhu.

Meanwhile, the West African country continues to blacklist Lufthansa , Air France , and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines over travel restrictions imposed on Nigerian tourist visa holders by the European Union. This despite a meeting between Nigeria’s Aviation Ministry and EU ministers last month when…

SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int’l ) has confirmed it will launch scheduled services from both Mumbai Int’l and Delhi Int’l to London Heathrow starting on December 4, 2020.

Flights from Delhi will operate 2x weekly and from Mumbai weekly. The services will be SpiceJet’s first intercontinental services. The low-cost carrier is a predominantly domestic airline […]

Members of the public observe a one-meter distance as they visit a Safaricom mobile shop along Nairobi It was a rainy Monday evening on October 23, 2000 and all roads led to the Carnivore grounds, Nairobi.

That evening, Kenya’s second mobile telecommunications firm Safaricom was officially launching its services under the tagline, The Better Option.

KenCell, the first private mobile service provider to get operational licence following the passing of the Kenya Information and Communications Act 1998 had already started rolling out services, and Safaricom was playing catch up.

That night, Safaricom introduced its services with four offerings that reshaped the telecommunications landscape in the region, and paved the way for the most profitable company in East and Central Africa in years to come.

First, the telco announced that a Safaricom line would retail at Sh2,500. Secondly a toll free ‘100’ number was now open for subscribers seeking customer care services and users could buy airtime scratch cards from Sh100, the lowest denomination then. Read More

Subscribers on the new network would also be billed per second instead of per minute. These offerings served as a game changer for the telco as well as the sector. It enabled many working-class consumers to obtain mobile phones and afford airtime to use their phones.

In two years, Safaricom doubled the number of subscribers and by October 2004, it had hit two million subscribers. It also counted Sh5 billion in profits, earning it the first of many best company accolades at the annual Company of the Year Award.

“All the decisions we made in the early days were made on gut feeling and instinct,” Safaricom former Chief Executive Michael Joseph told employees and shareholders at the company’s 19th anniversary celebrations last year. “Fortunately, we made more right decisions than wrong ones.”

Twenty years later, those decisions have propelled Safaricom to a corporate behemoth valued at Sh1.2 trillion and still growing.

Safaricom now counts 65 per cent market share in the mobile subscriptions, 99 per cent in mobile money transfer, 68 per cent in mobile data and 33 per cent in fixed data. Additionally, Safaricom products and services enjoy popular traction and are disrupting traditional industries.

Through Fuliza, the overdraft facility launched in January 2019, loans valued at Sh245 billion have been disbursed to 20 million subscribers in one year. This is almost a third of the Sh640 billion loan book held by the country’s largest commercial bank by assets KCB Group. […]

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – Nabo Capital, a subsidiary of Centum Investment Company Plc, has launched a collective scheme that will provide up to 1.4 million boda boda riders with a tech-enabled savings and investments platform.

The platform, launched today at Nairobi’s Pumwani Social Hall in an event presided by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will see the boda riders build a nest egg by saving Sh50 per day.

Nabo Capital will manage the funds in the Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) for the boda boda riders, under the strict regulations of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

The scheme will begin by enrolling 100 riders from each of the 47 counties, gradually building up to cover the 1.4 million boda boda riders countrywide.

“This is about empowering the youths and giving them a chance to build stability in their lives by scaling up their businesses to the highest levels attainable,” said the Centum Group CEO James Mworia.

The riders will make the daily contributions via mobile money though a USSD number or mobile app and stand to earn interest at a rate higher than bank deposits and the 364-day Treasury Bill.

“The plan is to develop and progress them in life, to move from riding a boda boda, to owning one, to running a fleet,” said the Nabo Capital Managing Director, Pius Muchiri.

The Boda Boda fund shall be the first sub-fund under the umbrella collective investment scheme dubbed Uhuru Sovereign Trust Fund that targets the youth and Kenyans working in the informal sector.

The platform, intended to promote financial inclusion and financial freedom, has been developed by Centum through its subsidiary companies including Nabo Capital which will be the fund manager, Sidian Bank which will be the receiving bank and Tribus TSG which developed the mobile application.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) became the third highest paid electricity producer in Kenya in its first year of operations.

The firm, which operates a wind farm in Marsabit County, earned Sh11 billion in the year to June 2019 from the supply of electricity to Kenya Power.

LTWP started operations in October 2018, which means it could have made more from supply of power to the national distributor had it covered a full financial year (July 2018 to June 2019).

The highest paid producers were KenGen, majority owned by the government, and OrPower 4 owned by the US firm Ormat Technologies and producing power in Olkaria using geothermal, according to Kenya Power financial results. Read More

KenGen earned Sh47.3 billion split into Sh36.89 billion as non-fuel cost and Sh10.47 billion for fuel costs.

Non-fuel costs cater for among other things electricity a plant produces and sells to Kenya Power. Fuel costs are paid to power producers running thermal plants to compensate them for fuel cost.

OrPower 4 was paid Sh12.58 billion during the year.

Kenya Power attributed the surge in the amount of power being fed to the national electricity as among the factors that led to decline in its profit for the year.

Non-fuel costs went up to Sh76.73 billion as of June 2019 from Sh64.83 billion in June 2018.

The company reported a profit after tax of Sh261 million in the year to June 2019 from Sh3.26 billion a year earlier.

“Our trading performance fell short of our expectations due to an increase in energy with the expanding renewable capacity,” said the company in its annual report.It added that more renewable energy was aimed at enhancing the company’s sustainability and make power affordable for all Kenyans while reducing dependency on thermal generation.While there was a general reduction in the money paid to thermal power plants, they still made a substantial amount.Among the top earners were Uganda Electricity Transmission Company, which earned Sh3.86 billion in both non-fuel and fuel costs by exporting power to Kenya.Iberafrica earned Sh3.98 billion while Rabai Power was paid Sh3.8 billion, Tsavo Power Sh3.67 billion and Thika Power Sh3.5 billion. Kenya Power published its results for the financial year to June 2019 belatedly following a delay in hiring the Auditor General, who has to go through the company’s books before they are made public. VIDEOS