27th January 2023 Trade and Financial Services Round Up

  • 27 Jan 2023
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 〜 by The Vellum Team


Banks’ Sh224bn record profits signal bonus, dividends boom

Banks’ pre-tax profits for 11 months to November last year hit a record Sh223.7 billion on increased lending, setting the stage for a dividend windfall for owners when full-year results are announced in March. Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) economic indicators show that the pre-tax earnings are already 25 percent ahead of the 178.8 billion that was posted in a similar period in 2021 and the Sh194.8 billion for the full year.

Increased profits in the sector set up investors for another year of dividends, with lenders such as KCB, Equity, Absa Kenya and Standard Chartered Bank Kenya that had cut or frozen payouts in 2020 due to Covid-19 disruptions having resumed or increased payouts last year. The profit boom also sets the stage for bonus payments to bank executives in a sector known to pay higher rewards to top managers.

Nine listed banks—Equity, KCB, Co-op Bank, NCBA, Standard Chartered Kenya, Absa, Stanbic, DTB and I&M— last year nearly trebled the dividend payouts to Sh51.7 billion for the 2021 performance, up from Sh18.8 billion in 2020.

(Source: Business Daily)

KRA to monitor telcos’ daily sales in tax evasion fight

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has flagged mobile telecom operators for possible under-declaration of airtime, Internet and mobile money transaction sales as it seeks to monitor the firms’ revenues on a daily basis. The taxman said the planned integration of its tax system with telcos, which are amongst the biggest taxpayers, will give it real-time access to the transactions with the intention of compelling the firms to remit taxes daily.

The taxman says the plan to link its tax collection system to mobile financial platforms will allow it to access till and pay-bill accounts of traders to weed out cheats. KRA commissioner-general Githii Mburu said the telcos are the next stop for integration of tax systems after a successful pilot with betting firms.

(Source: Business Daily)

Lawyer Adil Khawaja replaces Uhuru ally as Safaricom chair

The board of Safaricom has named Adil Khawaja as its new chairman following the exit of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ally, John Ngumi. Mr. Khawaja’s election as chairman comes slightly over a month after he joined Safaricom as a director in a board shake-up seen to align the firm with the new administration.

Safaricom announced his election on Thursday in a statement signed by CEO Peter Ndegwa. He has previously served on the boards of other top Kenyan firms, including Kenya Power and KCB. Among the projects he will help shepherd at Safaricom, which is the most profitable company in East Africa, is the scaling up of operations in neighboring Ethiopia, after the launch of its network there last year. The changes cut shot the reign of Mr.  Ngumi, who was one of the favorite board appointees to cash-rich parastatals during the Uhuru administration.

(Source: Business Daily)

KCB names Rwandan unit boss National Bank MD

KCB Group has picked the managing director of its subsidiary Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), George Odhiambo, as the new MD for the National Bank of Kenya.

He replaces acting NBK boss Peter Kioko, who was picked in June last year after Paul Russo was named KCB Group CEO, taking over from Joshua Oigara, who retired. Mr. Kioko was the director of finance and strategy at the KCB Kenyan subsidiary.

Mr Odhiambo is credited with turning around the Rwandan operations and was appointed to lead its merger with Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) in April last year. He has been replaced by Patience Mutesi, who until last week was the Rwanda country director of TradeMark East Africa, a role she has held since July 2016. Ms Mutesi will take charge of BPR effective February 1, 2023.


How govt propelled new banking industry profitability bar

Tanzania’s banking industry has demonstrated resilience by effectively fulfilling its role as a key liquidity provider for the economy, thanks to the government’s concerted efforts in creating a friendly business environment for building a robust sector.

Despite the unfavorable global circumstances brought by high inflation, the war in Ukraine and Covid-19, the country’s banking sector has continued to provide the needed boost to the economy.

The government’s move to make an impactful banking sector is witnessed by the high private sector credit that grew by 22.6 per cent in the year ending December last year, compared to 7.8 per cent in the previous year.

The latest Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic report for December attributes the high private sector lending to improved economic activity and the impact of monetary and fiscal policies executed to limit adverse spillover effects of the global supply shocks.

(Source: Daily News)


Questions linger over UgShs16trn refinery project

President Museveni returned to the US, mid-last month to attend the second US-Africa summit convened by the Biden administration, followed by a face-to-face meeting at the White House which reinforced that he is still Washington’s point man.

Most noteworthy from the trip to Washington DC, was the lightning-speed announcement of the looming Final Investment Decision (FID) for the $4.5b (UgShs16 trillion) Greenfield refinery. This followed a side meeting between Mr Museveni and executives of the Albertine Graben Energy Consortium (AGEC), a special-purpose vehicle of American and Italian firms.

AGEC was in 2017 awarded the tender to design, finance and construct the 60,000 barrels per-day (bpd) refinery in Buseruka Sub-county in Hoima District. The land for the project is contiguous with the 29 sq.km acquired in 2013 to accommodate among others, the Kabaale International Airport and industrial park.


(Source: The Daily Monitor)


Kagame, IMF boss discuss deeper partnership

President Paul Kagame and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), held discussions on ongoing partnership on January 25 at Village Urugwiro.

Georgieva is in Rwanda on a three-day working visit ending January 26, which seeks to deepen climate financing schemes for developing countries in the region and explain the operational context of the IMF’s new Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST).

(Source: The New Times)



Ethiopia’s untapped investment opportunities revealed for firms, institutions at Global Investment Forum

The two-day “Invest Origins”, which is designed to draw high-caliber, diverse investment into Ethiopia’s expanding market by sharing information on landholdings ready for project co-designing and incubation to full maturity, among others, has continued by revealing the untapped investment opportunities in the country.

Opening the forum, Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said pharmaceutical medical manufacturing is one of the investment opportunities in Ethiopia. The government is committed to enhancing economic growth as the country places an investment opportunity for health as well. According to the minister, studies by the African Development Bank have shown that 70 percent of the needed medicine in Africa is imported from other continents.

Manufacturing is therefore the focus area of not only the continent but also the country, she noted, adding that as a country more than 90 percent of the needed medicine supplies of Ethiopia are imported. Land Bank and Development Corporation CEO, Lensa Mekonnen said that identifying investment portfolios has been one of the priorities of the corporation, alongside working on designing how to engage with investors.

(Source: ENA)