January 22, 2021 - 5 minutes read

22nd January 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

By The Vellum Team
KENYA

Banks sucked into Sh24.5bn State stipends row

The State Department for Social Protection has failed to account for Sh24.5billion stipends disbursed to the elderly, the disabled and orphans across the country, raising questions on whether the amount reached its intended beneficiaries.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu said the department has no records for the cash transfers effected in the year to June 30, 2019 through four contracted financial institutions, including Co-operative Bank of Kenya , Post Bank, Equity Bank and KCB Bank .

An audit revealed that the department did not have payrolls and reconciliation reports for each of the service providers. It also could not provide other key accounting records such as credit reports, dormant accounts reports, performance reports and balance returned to principal by clawback.

Source: Business Daily

DCI sets up land fraud team ahead of new title deeds roll-out

Land-related fraud cases will now be handled by a special team of investigators as the government moves to issue new title deeds to replace the old titles issued under the old laws.

The Director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti said he has appointed a team of 26 officers with backgrounds in land matters to the Land Fraud Investigations Unit.

The move, Mr Kinoto said, is in preparation for the roll out of the new lands digital migration programme, in conformity with the Lands Registration Act, 2012.

Source: Business Daily

NSSF buys Sh312m more KCB shares

National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has purchased an additional 8.55 million shares in KCB Group , raising its stake in the country’s biggest bank to 7.99 per cent.

Latest disclosures shows that the state-controlled pension fund closed last month with 256.903 million shares in KCB, being a rise from 248.3 million shares or a 7.73 per cent stake in October.

The latest shareholding means that NSSF has added 31.07 million shares in KCB between April and December 2020 amid the Covid-19 environment that saw the lender’s stock take a beating, making it attractive for purchasing by investors with a long-term view.

NSSF had a 7.03 per cent shareholding in KCB at the end of March last year. The onset of Covid-19 disruption in Kenya mid-March saw KCB share price close the year having retreated by 29.4 per cent.

NSSF’s purchases have contributed to local investors raising their aggregate ownership in the bank to a new high of 86.59 per cent from 80.91 per cent in March last year and end of 2017 when their stake was at 70.75 per cent.

Source: Business Daily

Matatu owners demand tax cut

Matatu operators are demanding that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) cuts the amount they are charged in advance tax per seat for their vehicles, citing reduced income due to Covid-19 regulations that have nearly halved vehicle capacity.

Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai said operators should be charged based on the Covid-19 mandated seating arrangements, which stipulate that a matatu can only carry 60 percent of its original capacity to maintain social distancing.

“The KRA is still demanding Sh720 per seat per year or Sh10,080 for a 14-seater matatu whose capacity has been reduced to nine seats, while a 41-seater buses that pay Sh29,520 per annum have had their capacity reduced to 25 passengers,” said Mr Kimutai.

Source: Business Daily

UGANDA

Payment platforms anchor recovery on schools’ reopening

The reopening of schools would deliver improvements in school fees transactions this year, players within the payments ecosystem have said.

The closure of schools triggered by Covid-19 left payment platforms unutilized thus leading to a massive drop in revenues.

Covid-19’s disturbing effect is well exposed through the School Pay platform, which is used by 15 banks and more than 5,000 schools.   

“In 2019, we collected Shs700b. In the first quarter of 2020, we had only collected about Shs200b. Post lockdown, we have collected about Shs70b,” Mr Osbert Muganga, the School Pay general manager, said. 

Source: Daily Monitor

TANZANIA

Dar Exchange debt market turnover jumps to hefty 2trillion

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) debt market registered the historical total turnover that crossed one trillion shillings last year.

The total bond turnover increased by almost 94.49 per cent to 2.12tri/- last year compared to 1.09tri/- in 2019. The debt analysts believed that the surge was the combination of both limited investment avenues and raising awareness.

Source: Daily News

Tanzania shilling trades flat

The Tanzanian shilling started the week trading flat against the dollar with inflows from the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and multinationals cushioning the increased appetite for USD from SMEs and manufacturers that was seen from last week.

According to NMB e-Markets, the trading session on Monday halted at 2307/2339 levels and the same trend is expected throughout the week.

The U.S. dollar held firm at a four-week high against its rivals on Monday as an undercurrent of risk aversion swept through currency markets in the backdrop of weakened U.S. economic data, knocking the Australian dollar and the euro lower.

Source: Daily News

Bank offers clients 57million in cashless payment campaign

In a massive campaign to promote cashless transactions in points of sales and instead prefer paying for goods or service through NMB MasterPass QR and E-commerce, NMB has rewarded 280 winners for taking part in the drive.

Each pocketing 100,000/- and 12 winners further getting Smartphones (Samsung Galaxy) valued at 2.4m/- each, the bank’s Relationship Card Business Manager, Yusuph Achayo said the MastaBATA campaign is healthy in limiting customers and the general public from carrying cash money that makes them become prone to robbery.

Source: Daily News

RWANDA

Stock Market defies Covid-19 pandemic to remain resilient

A vibrant bond market has carried Rwanda’s stock market through the turbulent year as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic exposed traders to risk averse, leading to sluggish activity on the equities market.

As the pandemic raged on, disrupting markets and negatively affecting the economy, appetite for more risk-free instruments like treasury bonds spiked, as equities stagnated for the biggest part of the year.

Source: Rwanda Today

Rwanda: Bumper harvest hits market, eases pressure on food prices

Rwandans have started enjoying lower prices of basic staple foodstuff such as legumes and potatoes as the early harvest begins to trickle into markets.

According to a survey at various markets in Kigali, prices of various staples harvested early this year have started easing.

 Domithile Muhawenayo, a food vendor at Nyabugogo market told Rwanda Today that the prices of agricultural commodities started dropping over the past three weeks.

Source: Rwanda Today

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