5th March 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

March 5, 2021 - 5 minutes read
KENYA

City Hall seeks new terms for Sh4.5 billion KCB loan

City Hall has revealed plans to restructure a Sh4.45 billion KCB Group loan in a bid to end a legal showdown with the lender and avoid property auction.

The county said that it will approach the lender and re-negotiate the terms of the loan to pay Sh55 million monthly over eight years.

City Hall did not disclose if it will seek a review of the interest rate from the 13 percent that KCB Group charged after it inherited the loan from Equity Bank .

The two are locked in a legal dispute after KCB Group sought court orders last year to enforce collection of the debt raising fears of property auction to recover the money.

KCB Group inherited the loan from Equity Bank in September 2014 and offered City Hall a grace period of six months before it could start servicing the debt over eight years.

Equity lent the now defunct Nairobi City Council Sh5 billion in 2011 to pay statutory deductions but the loan was transferred to KCB Group.

Source: Business Daily Africa

Equity sets aside Sh75bn for SMEs

Equity Bank has said it plans to lend Sh75 billion to small businesses at concessionary terms, noting that it will not participate in the State-led credit guarantee scheme.

Chief executive James Mwangi said Equity Bank has secured a mix of guarantees and cheap long-term loans from several development finance institutions that will unlock the funds for lending at 13 percent interest for five years.

In September last year the Kenyan government said it will provide Sh10 billion to guarantee commercial loans for SMEs in a bid to cushion them from the economic fallout arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

The loans would be issued through local banks which would be partly reimbursed for defaults alongside collateral provided by SMEs.

Source: Business Daily Africa

NSE plugs derivatives market into global data platform

The Nairobi Securities Exchange has integrated its data for its derivatives market with global data platform Refinitiv, giving investors across the globe a real-time view of the market.

London Stock Exchange listed Refinitiv runs the Elektron Real Time platform that will now carry the updates on the NSE’s single stock futures and index futures products. The integration went live on Monday.

The NSE trades Safaricom , KCB , KenGen , Equity Bank , BAT Kenya , EABL , Bamburi and the NSE 25 index on the derivatives market, dubbed Next.

NSE chief executive officer Geoffrey Odundo said partnering with Refinitiv will help meet international investors’ demand for real time data of the NSE’s derivatives market.

Source: Business Daily Africa

UGANDA

MTN Partners With IMG to Provide Telemedicine Services

MTN Uganda and International Medical Group and International Medical Center have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide digital health services across the country.

Telemedicine is a situation where a medical doctor interacts or offers medical services to a patient through internet enabled devices like computers, smartphones.

Speaking at the event launch at International Diagnostics Center, in Kampala on March 03, executives said, patients will be scheduled on payment of a consultation fee of Shs15, 000 through the MTN mobile money platform.

Source: allafrica.com

Uganda Tourism set to receive COVID-19 vaccine on March 5

The Uganda Ministry of Health is finalizing efforts to start COVID-19 vaccinations on March 10, 2021, after officially launching on March 8, with the tourism sector among priority sectors.

Priority will be guided by occupational risk of infection, risk of developing severe disease, death from COVID-19, and demographics (depending on age, gender, and geographical location).

From the tourism sector are tour operators, guides, airline workers, immigration workers, Uganda Wildlife Authority, etc., who have been prioritized for the vaccination.

The Government of Uganda purchased 18 million doses of Astra Zeneca vaccines, and donations are due to arrive from other countries as well.

Source: Daily Monitor

TANZANIA

Goods exports rise by 8pc in first half 2020/21 fiscal year

GOODS’ exports increased by 17.6 per cent to 3,576.8 million US dollars as a result of rise in non-traditional exports of gold, horticulture products and some manufactured goods.

According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Monetary Policy Statement for the Mid-Year Review 2020/21, non-traditional exports increased by 31.9 per cent to 2,957.2 million US dollars.

During the reference period, the exports of gold increased by 28.9 per cent to 1,631.6 million US dollars on account of increase in both volume and price and accounted for 55.2 per cent of non-traditional exports.

Manufactured goods exports improved, owing to good performance in exports of textiles, iron and steel products, glass and glassware.

Traditional exports amounted to 442.7 million US dollars compared to 638.0 million US dollars mainly driven by decline in exports of cashew nuts.

Source: Daily News

NMB acquires China Commercial Bank

THE Bank of Tanzania (BoT) with acquisition and operation of the law, transferred all assets and liabilities of China Commercial Bank Limited to NMB Bank Plc after the financial institution’s operations were suspended in November last year due to regulatory challenges.

The Central Bank Governor Prof Florens Luoga said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that BoT, NMB bank and other stakeholders are continuing to prepare legal procedures on how to complete the process of transferring over the China Commercial Bank Limited assets and liabilities.

Source: Daily News

Airtel, TPB Bank partner to offer digital financial services

AIRTEL Tanzania has announced a new partnership with TPB Bank with the aim of improving and expanding digital financial services to Tanzanians.

Airtel Money Director, Isack Nchunda said, “the partnership will greatly help improve the services we provide by benefiting our Airtel Money agents located everywhere in the country where TPB has a branch.”

Airtel money customers will now be sure to make their transactions absolutely secure wherever they are, such as saving or withdrawing money from TPB bank directly into their Airtel money accounts in order to make various service payments such as Luku, Water bills, DSTV or paying government utilities.

Source: Daily News

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia could cancel offer of new concessions if bids are too low

With Ethiopia reported to have in mind a minimum amount that it aims to raise from the sale of new licences, which it is offering as part of the opening up of the country’s telecoms sector, it has been suggested the sale process could be scrapped if such valuations are not realised. According to Bloomberg, Eyob Tekalign, the state minister responsible for the country’s privatisation process, confirmed that three independent teams have calculated the value of the two new telecoms licences that are being offered, with these valuations said to have informed the government’s expectations of what it should raise from the sale. However, the minister was also cited as saying: ‘If we get the value we expect from the bidding process, we will go ahead … If not, we will have another look.’

Source: commsupdate.com

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