June 4, 2021 - 5 minutes read

4th June 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

By Acha Ouma
KENYA

Digital lenders call for laws that will spur sector growth

Digital lenders have asked legislators and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to enact non-restrictive laws that will spur the growth of the sector.

This comes in the wake of the Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to curb high digital lending rates.

The bill, set for debate before Parliament, will grant CBK powers to regulate digital lending rates in what is seen as a key step to tame an industry that has for years remained un-regulated.

Online lenders will also be subjected to similar rules to commercial banks, including having to seek the CBK’s approval for new products and pricing if the Bill becomes law.

Source: Business Daily

High M-Pesa-to-bank deposits raise agent commissions 18.4pc

Safaricom’s commissions paid to M-Pesa agents rose 18.4 percent in the year ended March on the back of increased bank deposits via the mobile money platform due to the removal of transfer fees last year.

The telco paid the agents Sh28.21 billion, up from Sh23.82 billion in the year ended March 2020, as M-Pesa to bank transactions surpassed bank to M-Pesa transfers for the first time.

M-Pesa Africa managing director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said the platform saw a significant jump in deposit volumes as customers used M-Pesa to deposit money they would have otherwise deposited directly to banks.

Source: Business Daily

Family Bank to issue Sh4 billion corporate bond in growth drive

Family Bank is returning to the corporate bond market, seeking to raise Sh4 billion to fund its growth.

The lender says it has received approval from the Capital Markets Authority to raise the funds by way of a public offer.

The bank plans to raise another Sh4 billion within the next five years in multiple transactions, raising the potential total debt issuance to Sh8 billion.

“We are positioning the bank for the second phase of growth as per our 2020-2024 strategy anchored on growth and stability of the bank,” Family Bank’s chief executive Rebecca Mbithi said in a statement.

Source: Business Daily

Uhuru Kenyatta makes U-turn on centralised ICT tenders

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reversed a 2018 executive order that placed the procurement of ICT goods and services by ministries and State corporations under one roof and in the hands of the Ministry of ICT.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the reversal is targeted at improving spending.

“To ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the utilisation of ICT related expenditure, we propose to decentralise the provision for ICT expenditure under the State department for ICT and distribute to the respective Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs),” he said in amendments to the 2021/22 Budget Estimates sent to Parliament.

Source: Business Daily 

Business Registration Service draft bills

The Business Registration Service has developed the following draft bills:

  • The Registration of Business Names (Amendment) Bill 2021
  • The Movable Property Security Rights (Amendment)Bill 2021
  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2021
  • The Hire Purchase(Amendment) Bill 2021
  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2021
  • The Business Registration Service (Amendment )Bill 2021

And it invites stakeholders to review and submit their inputs on the draft bills by 7th June 2021

UGANDA

IMF extends second Covid-19 credit facility to Uganda

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has extended a second credit facility to Uganda that will seek to shore up and enhance economic recovery subdued by Covid-19 disruptions.

The $1b (about 3.547 trillion) facility, facilitated under the Extended Credit Facility programme has been a subject of discussion since March.

The discussions, which have been largely virtual,  were completed at the close of last month.  

In a statement early this week, Mr Amine Mati, who led the IMF team in the virtual discussions, noted, the agreement was, however, subject to approval from the IMF executive board.

This will be the second time IMF is extending support to Uganda to shore up sectors including health, social protection and macroeconomic stabilisation that have been hit by Covid-19.

Source: The Monitor

Inflation drops to 1.9 per cent

Headline inflation dropped to 1.9 per cent for the period ended May compared to 2.1 per cent in April, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The drop is the first measurement under a new inflation calculating methodology that Ubos introduced.

The new methodology recently added new items to the Consumer Price Index.  

The drop was mainly attributed to a decline in the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which dropped to -3.5 per cent in May compared to -2 per cent in April.

Source: The Monitor

TANZANIA

DSE suspends trading of JATU shares

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) has suspended agro-business JATU from trading for a period of two months.

According to the DSE, the suspension is necessary because of the ongoing Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 15,000,000 new shares.

“Following the guidance from Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA), notice is hereby given on the suspension from trading of JATU shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) effective from June 1 to July 28, 2021, to necessitate the synchronisation of JATU’s Corporation Actions related to split for existing listed shares and price adjustment as well as the ongoing new IPO,” reads the statement

Source: The Source

Zanzibar issues 45bn/- for youth empowerment

Zanzibar youths and women were on Thursday implored to grab business financing opportunity under the 20 million US dollar (over 45bn/-) empowerment programme.

Zanzibar’s Trade and Industry Development Minister Omar Said Shaaban said here the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the revolutionary government, were co-funding the ambitious five-year programme, whose executing agent, is the Small and Medium Industrial Development Agency (SMIDA).

Source: Daily News

RWANDA

Rwanda conducts study on how to leverage ports it owns abroad

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has embarked on a study that will guide infrastructure development and other investments at ports that Rwanda owns in Djibouti, Tanzania and Kenya.

This land was donated to Rwanda by host governments through different bilateral cooperation agreements signed over different periods of time.

In size, the Mombasa plot in Kenya is 12.8 hectares, Tanzania’s Isaka dry port is 17.5 hectares whereas the two plots in Djibouti account for 60 hectares combined, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Source: The New Times

Rwanda, partners commit to bridge digital gap

The Ministry of ICT and Innovation, MasterCard Foundation and Cenfri on Wednesday, June 2, have signed a tripartite MoU which seeks to initiate a three-year digital transformation programme which aims at enhancing the country’s digital capabilities and systems.

Cenfri is a pan-African think tank whose aim is to deepen financial inclusion across the continent.

The development comes after the government charted an ambitious plan to achieve rapid digital transformation and embrace the digital economy, scale up service delivery as well as creating more job opportunities for nationals.

Source: The New Times

ETHIOPIA

Interim Administration, Finance Ministry Launch Tigray Emergency Recovery Plan

he Interim Administration of Tigray and Ministry of Finance have launched Tigray Emergency Recovery Plan(ERP-T) following a stakeholder consultation.

According to a press statement of Ministry of Finance, a broad stakeholder consultation was held in Mekelle city yesterday to review and endorse the Tigray Emergency Recovery Plan with the leadership of the Interim Administration of Tigray and Ministry of Finance.

During the consultation, Tigray Interim Administration Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abraham Belay underscored that it is essential to start recovery and rehabilitation efforts early in order to ensure rapid recovery and reduce the need to depend on humanitarian assistance for an extended period.

Source: ENA

Some 25,000 Houses in Mekele to Be Electrified with Cost of 405 million Birr

Ethiopian Electric Utility disclosed today that projects are underway to electrify more than 25,000 houses in Mekele city of Tigray region with a cost of 405 million Birr.

Ethiopian Electric Utility Tigray Region Branch CEO, Mesefin Gebremedehin told ENA that the electrification project being carried out in 19 new settlements of the city is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Source: ENA

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