Kenya seeks another debt service suspension to June 2022

KENYA –  The government of Kenya has sought the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) extension to June 2022, a one-year extension from the earlier granted June 30, 2021, debt service suspension secured in January. Besides the relief under the DSSI, the country is also pursuing new limits access to International Monetary Fund funds through the reallocation of existing special drawing rights and the allocation of new special drawing rights. Such facility will allow faster access of disbursements from the IMF Rapid Credit facility and the Rapid Finance Instrument, granted to countries…

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Guaranty Trust Bank eyes Kenyan financial institution

KENYA –  Nigerian multinational financial institution GTBank, has revealed  plans to buy a rival bank in Kenya, adding to the growing list of Nigerian lenders closing acquisitions locally to grow market share. The London and Nigeria Stock Exchanges listed bank said it wants to tap into East Africa’s biggest economy. “I think the place we would still like to do business or do an acquisition is Kenya,” GTB’s managing director, Segun Agbaje told reporters during an investor call, responding to a question about whether there was a plan by the…

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Kenya’s Housing Finance joins international money transfer business

KENYA – Housing Finance Company of Kenya (HF) has partnered with digital payments firm Interswitch Group to offer International Money Transfer (IMT) as part of expansions of its digital banking services. With the IMT, the lender’s diaspora customers can remit funds into any HF account and also allows a simplified channel for them to make their loan or mortgage payments. The partnership comes on the back of HF’s turnaround strategy that is set to see the Kenya’s premier mortgage lender transform into a full-service bank. HF Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Kibaara said…

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Diamond Trust Bank (K) to shut six branches by end of October 2021

KENYA – Nairobi Securities Exchange listed lender Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) is expected to shut six branches by the end of October as part of efforts to consolidate its physical footprint in Kenya. In a notice issued to the press, the lender said it had received approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to consolidate its branches. “The DTB branch consolidation will affect locations where branches identified for merger are co-located or in close proximity to each other. The affected branches will cease operations with immediate effect,” DTB announced.…

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Motor dealer Car & General ups its stake in microlender Watu Credit to 29%

KENYA – Automotive and engineering products dealer Car &General (C&G) has invested an additional US$353,736 in microlender Watu Credit Limited, raising its stake in the company to 29 percent in the year ended September 2020. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm previously held a 26.5 percent interest in the lender. The investment in Watu Credit has helped C&G to boost its sale of motorcycles and tuk-tuks, which are hugely popular modes of transport in Kenya. The microlender funds acquisition of the two and three-wheeled autos including brands sold by C&G…

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Kenya in first recession since 2000 as Covid-19 ravages the economy

KENYA – Kenya slid into a recession for the first time in two decades in the third quarter of 2020 as measures introduced by the East African nation to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hurt output. Gross domestic product in East Africa’s biggest economy fell 1.1% compared with a year earlier, after shrinking a revised 5.5% in the second quarter, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics told Money Web. The outcome matched median of three economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Before the decline in the…

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Kenya’s diaspora remittances hit US$3.1b despite Covid-19 pandemic

KENYA – Kenyans in diaspora sent home more than US$3.1 billion last year, according to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data, a significant increase from the US$2.8 billion recorded in 2019. The month of December last year saw the highest remittance from the diaspora of US$25.9 million, largely attributed to supporting festivities and preparations for re-opening of schools. “This remarkable growth of remittances has been supported by financial innovations that provided Kenyans in the diaspora more convenient channels for their transactions,” read a statement from CBK. It is only in…

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Central Bank of Kenya floats US456m infrastructure bond

KENYA – The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is inviting bids for its US$456 million Infrastructure Bond (IFB) with a tenor of 16 years to fund infrastructure projects in the current fiscal year. This is the second bond with the 2020/21 fiscal year after the re-opening and tap sales of FXD1/2012/15 and FXD2/2019/15 in December 2020. Investors are required to submit their bids for the bond at a minimum of US$9,119 whose sale closes on 19th January 2021. The bond has a value date of 25th January 2021 and the bids for…

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Kenya to register strongest economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa at 6.9% – World Bank

KENYA – The World Bank has forecast Kenya’s economy to rebound at 6.9% in 2021, the highest growth in the continent. In its Global Economic Prospects for this year, World Bank however revises the expectations downwards to 5.75% for 2022. At a distant 6.9%, Kenya’s rebound is expected to be slightly stronger, although below historical averages, among agricultural commodity exporters. Other countries that are expected to register notable growths include Rwanda and Botswana at 5.7% each, Tanzania, Cabo Verde, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire at 5.5 % each. In East Africa,…

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Kenya’s Mwalimu Sacco edges key shareholder out of Spire Bank, begins search for strategic investor

KENYA – Kenya’s Mwalimu National Sacco has acquired 100% ownership of the trouble-ridden local bank Spire Bank in a tactical move to eventually offload the shares to a strategic investor after close to six years of clinging to an investment that went bust. The giant teachers’ Sacco finally edged out business tycoon Naushad Merali from the bank in a share-purchase deal deemed as the ticket for attracting deep pocketed investors with much-needed resources and expertise to turn around the loss-making third-tier lender. Spire Bank’s acting managing director Brian Kilonzo told…

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