30th April 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

April 30, 2021 - Reading Time: 4 minutes - By Wanjiku Mwai

Ajua acquires rival in drive for Africa small enterprises

Kenya-based customer experience intermediary Ajua has acquired WayaWaya, a local artificial intelligence and machine learning firm.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ajua, which assesses customer feedback, said in a statement the acquisition of WayaWaya will allow it to integrate Janja, a payments bot system, to automate much of their products such as allowing SMEs to automate responses to customers.

“The acquisition of WayaWaya is an important milestone for us, as we make a significant leap in ensuring the customer experience journey for businesses across the continent is seamless,” said Ajua founder and CEO Kenfield Griffith.

Source: Business Daily Africa

Safaricom share hits all-time high on Ethiopia bid

Safaricom’s share price closed at an all-time high of Sh39.9 on Wednesday as investors rushed to buy on news that the telecoms operator is close to securing an operating licence in Ethiopia.

This pushed the telco’s market value to nearly Sh1.6 trillion – the highest level since the company started trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on June 9, 2008.

A total of 11 million shares worth Sh441.7 million changed hands at a price of between Sh39 and an all-time high of Sh40.2, bringing the average for the day to Sh39.9.

Foreign investors were net buyers of the telco’s shares, according to a report by stockbroker AIB-AXYS Africa.

Source: Business Daily Africa

KRA wins Sh672m tax row in land sale to mall, Safaricom

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has won Sh672 million from a deal where a private equity firm Actis had sold land where Garden City Mall stands and separate property to Safaricom Plc in 2015.

Tax Appeals Tribunal agreed with the taxman that Ruaraka Diversified Investments, which is associated with the London-based private equity fund, should remit the money to KRA because the company failed to pay tax from profits of about Sh1.4 billion earned in three transactions, after acquiring the land from East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) .

Source: Busines Daily Africa

Airtel to pay Ksh 2 Billion  for expired license

The Kenyan government has ordered Airtel Kenya to first pay $20.025 million (Ksh.2.15 billion) for its expired license before commencement of talks on the rule that requires telecom providers to sell 30% stake to local investors within the next three years.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said that Airtel must first renew their license which expired in February 2015. The telco is locked in a court stalemate with the regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya over the renewal of its license. At the moment, Airtel Kenya is operating using a license acquired from Essar (yuMobile) whose assets it acquired in 2014.

Source: BM Business Consultancy


Othieno Mayende is new Chairman of KCB Bank Uganda

KCB Bank Uganda Limited has appointed Constant Othieno Mayende its chairman Board of Directors. Othieno Mayende will replace Aga Sekalala Jr, whose term recently came to an end.

Othieno Mayende has over 23 years’ experience in banking, strategy formulation, business development, financial management, audit, and quality assurance having held senior positions in a number of reputable private and public sector organizations in Uganda and Rwanda.

He holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Research Methods from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland as well as Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Source: The Independent

Airtel Africa appoints Olusegun Ogunsanya as CEO

Airtel Africa plc has announced Olusegun “Segun” Ogunsanya as their new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Segun Ogunsanya who has been Managing Director and CEO Nigeria since 2012, is to succeed Raghunath “Raghu” Mandava, as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in October, 2021. Mandava recently informed the Board of his intention to retire.

The new CEO will join the Board of Airtel Africa plc, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, with effect from 1 October 2021.

Source: The Independent


PUMA increases fuel market share

PUMA Energy Tanzania has increased its number of petrol stations by 19 percent from 52 to 62 stations for the past five months in efforts to extend its wing in the fuel business in the country.

The company is owned jointly by the government and the Puma Investments Ltd, each with a share ownership of 50 per cent.

According to the Company’s Retail Manager Venessy Chilambo, from January this year, Puma Energy Tanzania has established ten new petrol stations in the regions of Kagera, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, and Tanga.

Source: Daily News

TBL profit plunges by 41pc as Covid-19 impact hits revenue

Tanzania Breweries saw its profit drop by 41 percent after the company’s revenue were hit hard by Covid-19 that disrupted consumption and economic activities around the world.

Net profit of the company listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange dropped to Sh89 billion in 2020, compared with the Sh150.21 billion recorded during the previous year, according to a statement posted on the DSE website.

TBL Group managing director Mr Philip Redman stated that the company’s revenues were adversely hit by the pandemic as the sales volume of its products dropped.

Source: The Citizen

Industry leaders pour out their hearts over bad laws

Manufacturers and politicians have warned that “misuse” of the Economic Sabotage and Anti-Money Laundering laws is impeding investments as they erode investor confidence in the country.

Some investors are among people who have been charged with economic sabotage and/or money laundering, which are non-bailable offences under the laws.

Pundits are calling on the government to revisit the laws which, they say, their interpretation makes nearly anything considered economic sabotage or money laundering.

Speaking at a recent breakfast meeting that involved members of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) and the minister for Investment, the Sumaria Group managing director, Jayesh Shah, said interpretation of the two laws can be very wide, and is left to the discretion of law enforcers.

Source: The Citizen


Kagame: AfCFTA widens scope for Africa’s agri-business potential. President Paul Kagame on Thursday said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a relief to the continent’s food security challenges, stating that it will among others open up new market fronts, ending the continent’s reliance on food imports.

Source: The New Times


CBE Earns 13.4bln Birr Profit in Nine-Month

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) says on Wednesday it has made a profit of 13.4 billion birr in the past nine months.

The amount has increased by 5bln birr from the profit registered in the first half of the current 2020/21 fiscal year.

Officials of the state-run Bank are reviewing the performance of the 9-month plan.

President of the Bank, Abe Sano, on the occasion, said the bank has earned over 55.8 billion birr during the period.

Source: Ethiopian Monitor

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