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State in fuel subsidy pact with Kenya Power to tame costs

The State is in a fuel subsidy deal with Kenya Power to allow the utility to lower consumer electricity bills without hurting its cash flows. Mr Daniel Kiptoo, the director-general of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra), confirmed that the State is offsetting key levies charged on consumers including the fuel cost charges (FCC)— a levy influenced by the share of electricity from diesel generators.

Epra is mandated to publish new electricity prices each month to cater to fluctuations in fuel and water prices and foreign exchange rates…Daily Nation

Inside Safaricom top executive shake-up.

More than half of Safaricom’s executives have quit the telco over the past two years, allowing CEO Peter Ndegwa who replaced Bob Collymore in April 2020 to build his own team. Eight executives occupying the 11 C-suite seats at Safaricom have left during the period under review for roles outside the firm or at British Vodafone and South Africa’s Vodacom—which have a combined 40 percent stake in the Kenyan company.

This has allowed the firm to tap new skills in Kenya’s evolving telecoms market and shape the management in line with Mr Ndegwa’s strategy that seeks to maintain Safaricom’s profit trajectory….BusinessDaily

Another Sh37.3 million linked to junior Treasury employees frozen.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has obtained orders freezing Sh37.3 million belonging to four employees of the Treasury suspected to have been stolen from the government in the guise of allowances and facilitation fees.

The freezing of the funds in several accounts Robert Theuri Murage, Faith Kiptis, Esther Ngeru and Doris Simiyu now brings to Sh55 million the total amount preserved by the High Court, pending conclusion of investigations.

Last month, the court ordered the preservation of Sh18 million belonging to Tracy Njoki King’e for six months to allow the anti-graft body conclude a probe on whether the funds were stolen from the government…BusinessDaily

Brokerage firms choking as bearish run at NSE lingers.

At its peak in 2014, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) traded shares worth Sh215.7 billion, with its benchmark NSE 20 Share Index averaging 5,115 points during the year. What investors did not know was that this was the tail end of a bullish run that had lasted for a decade, and which had ushered in a new generation of stock investors while minting new millionaires by the dozen.

Fast forward eight years later, the stock market is yet to fully recover from a dip that set in from the second quarter of 2015, deepened by successive shocks that included the political heat of the 2017 General Elections, the Covid-19 scourge and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict…BusinessDaily

IFC bets big on Kenyan banks

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is channelling billions of shillings into Kenyan small businesses and women-owned enterprises through strategic loan partnerships with banks, plugging a gap in the local credit market that remains wary of risky SMEs.

The international financier’s exposure to local tier-one lenders through debt and equity totalled Sh105.8 billion at the end of 2021, comprising mainly of medium-term credit facilities that are also backed by fellow development finance institutions.

The IFC has recently committed $2 billion towards financing MSMEs in Africa, seeing them as the fundamental for delivery of essential services, job creation, and reducing poverty….BusinessDaily

Central bank must set cryptocurrency rules

A time has come when Kenya must regulate digital currency. The country has the highest proportion of crypto-owning citizens in Africa and we are at risk of falling behind in the race for the future of money. A report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development says that 8.5 percent of the population or 4.25 million people own cryptocurrencies.

Globally, central banks are in the race toward the first major rules on digital or virtual currency. About 105 countries are now exploring the Central Bank Digital Currency Tracker. The bottom line is that the race to the future of money is well underway but it is not too late for Kenya to catch up. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) can harness new technology to deliver safer and faster payments…BusinessDaily

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