21st August 2020 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

August 21, 2020 - 5 Minutes Read - By The Vellum Team
  • Ethiopia Airlines and Ethiopian Chefs Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that enables them to work on catering service and food tourism development.
  • Ministry of Finance disclosed that Ethiopia has finalized preparations to commence the first phase of public-private partnership program by launching the construction of two solar projects in the coming two months.
  • New Zealand is looking to support Ethiopia’s plans to enhance renewable energy capacity through exploiting its geothermal resources, Ambassador Mark Ramsden said.
  • Treasury takes up Sh78bn from 11-year projects bond. Investors rallied for the 11 year infrastructure bond whose sale concluded this week, bidding Sh101.5 billion against the target of Sh70 billion to give the Treasury a big boost in achieving its domestic borrowing target for the current fiscal year. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the government’s fiscal agent, took up Sh78.64 billion from the bids offered by investors, at an average rate of 11.302 percent. Analysts said the uptake of the bond met market expectations due to its tax free status and poor performance of equities.
  • State mortgage firm to raise green bond 2021. The Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) plans to issue a green bond by the end of next year to shore up cash for lending to retail lenders. The bond will be placed privately with institutional investors, fund managers and pension funds, but is currently not contemplated to be offered to the public as is the case with Treasury bonds. As a green bond, the expectation is that the money will go into ensuring that climate-friendly buildings will be given priority in the financing.
  • Efforts by the Kenya Tea Development Agency’s to stop the implementation of new industry regulations through Parliament has been challenged after legislators failed to agree with their argument.
  • South African retail giant Massmart has increased its footprint in Kenya with the opening of a new KES 500 million (approx. USD 4.6 million) building material outlet at the Waterfront Mall in Karen.
  • Taxi hailing service Bolt is venturing into the food delivery business in Kenya targeting alternative revenue streams as the market has seen reduced mobility in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Hacking groups using the Covid-19 pandemic as cover conducted more than 500,000 phishing attacks in Kenya over the three months to June, the second highest tally among African countries.
  • Auctioneers shut down Tuskys Supermarket store in Kisumu’s United Mall over KES 26 million (approx. USD 240,000) rent arrears, highlighting the depth of the retailer’s financial woes.
  • Ex-Nakumatt CEO left banks with worthless security. Bank of Africa won the claim to the Sh2 billion property in court and will auction the asset on Monday to recover Sh700 million advanced to the collapsed retailer. But evidence produced before High Court judge Mary Kasango indicates that the property was used as security to tap loans from other banks. Mr Shah used his company Collogne Investments, which owned the Sh2 billion property in Nairobi’s Nakumatt’s guarantor to the multiple bank loans. Regulatory filings indicate that Nakumatt owed DTB Bank Sh3.6 billion, Standard Chartered Sh900 million, KCB Sh1.9 billion, Bank of Africa Sh328 million, UBA Sh126 million and GT Bank Sh104 million.
  • Shares dip at NSE drove Britam into half-year losses. The financial services company saw the worth of its shares at the Nairobi bourse shed Sh3.2 billion in the six months to June, compared to a gain of Sh2.5 billion in a similar period a year earlier. This wiped out the gains from the rise in revenue from insurance, which rose 8.5 percent to Sh14 billion, and led to a Sh1.6 billion loss from a Sh1.6 billion net profit a year earlier. Britam managing director Benson Wairegi attributed the loss to the plunge in shares at the NSE in the wake of Covid-19.
  • Kagame calls for African readiness to acquire Covid-19 vaccine. President Paul Kagame has requested the African Union Chairperson to consider appointing an African Head of State to commence engagements to ensure that Africa has access to Covid-19 vaccine once it’s available.
  • Random mass testing for Covid-19 returns to Kigali. Random Covid-19 testing returned on the streets of Kigali on Thursday as the Ministry of Health looks to generate latest data concerning the prevalence of the virus in the city. This will be the second time such exercise is being conducted.
  • RwandAir will on August 21 resume four weekly flights to Kinshasa as the airline gradually picks pace to shake off the challenges endured during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Under Vision 2050, Rwanda envisions becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2035, and a high-income country by 2050. This requires high domestic savings rates of more than 30 percent of its Gross Domestic Product GDP, as per information from RNIT.
  • More than 200 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the 10th AGRF Summit to be co-hosted by the Rwandan government and AGRF Partners Group, which will be held virtually from September 8 to 11.
  • NMB Bank dividend paid to the government has increased by 45 percent to 15.2 billion for last year compared to the preceding one, thanks to the outstanding profit posted during the period.
  • The shilling is projected to maintain its stability against the US dollar in this quarter three, backed by agricultural inflows which are expected to match with demand.
  • Despite partnering with telecoms, banks continue to fill the impact of mobile money as it eats into their asset quality and profits. Mobile money at its inception disrupted the financial sector, and banks despite the hesitation, jumped onto the bandwagon
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