The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation on Mauritian-owned lender SBM Holdings over suspected fraudulent trade in treasury bonds.

The inquiry will spotlight irregular trade where multimillion-shilling bond transactions saw SBM Bank lose an undetermined amount of cash.

The Sunday Nation has learnt that a treasury dealer and head of balance sheet management at SBM Bank, Mr Stephen Lagat, in August last year approved a transaction in which SBM Bank was duped into selling a bond at a price other than the prevailing market rate…NATION MEDIA

The past week turned out to be an eventful one for asset manager Cytonn Group; two unrelated pronouncements were made, which could impact the future of the firm for good, depending on their outcomes.

First, the High Court sanctioned administrator of Cytonn Group’s investment funds —currently under administration — called for meetings with investors to determine the fate of their wealth worth billions of shillings.

And days later, a bench of three judges of the Court of Appeal ruled that Cytonn boss Edwin Harold Dande alongside three others were culpable of fraud when serving their former employer, British American Asset Managers…NATION MEDIA

Kenya’s official foreign currency reserves have fallen by $621 million (Sh70 billion) since the beginning of the year, largely due to repayments of loans from China for the construction of the standard gauge railway.The hard currency reserves, held by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), shrunk from $8.817 billion (Sh1.001 trillion) at the beginning of January to $8.196 billion (Sh931.3 billion) on February 10.

World Bank data shows that Kenya’s external debt payments in January stood at $458.7 million (Sh52.1 billion), of which $388.6 million (Sh44.2 billion) was due to China in interest and principal repayments. Kenya borrowed a total of $5.08 billion (Sh577 billion) in 2014 and 2015 from China to fund the Mombasa-Naivasha SGR line, with the loan repayments kicking in from January 2020 after a five-year grace period….Business Daily

The proposed Central bank digital currency (CBDC) will help bring down the transaction fees currently charged on digital payments in what could make it the biggest competitor to Kenya’s mobile money sector.

The banking regulator says the virtual currency that will be exchangeable on a one-to-one basis with physical cash would work in a similar way to the existing mobile money product in the market, with users able to transfer it between wallets or accounts.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in a discussion paper on the digital currency that with existing digital money options in the country such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa having achieved wide usage and inclusivity, the CBDC will mainly target cost reduction and easing transactions across different platforms….Business Daily

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