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East Africa

Treasury’s appetite for foreign debt seen as shilling’s biggest risk

bureau

Kenya’s growing appetite for foreign debt could be the largest risk to the shilling’s stability this year as local factors including drought and prolonged politicking that dominated last year give way to external shocks. The currency was fairly stable in the past year – barely half a percentage weaker – supported by a central bank that constantly mopped up liquidity ...

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Rwanda central bank trims key repo rate to 5.5% from 6% previously

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The Rwandan central bank trimmed its key repo rate to 5.5 percent from 6 percent previously, the bank’s governor announced on Thursday. Governor John Rwangombwa said the government wanted to continue to drive economic growth. “We decided to reduce the repo rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent to continue supporting the financing of the economy and we are building ...

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Kenya: How Imperial Bank’s mega theft stalled Fidelity’s sale

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The High Court has relaxed its freeze on the assets of a controversial businessman linked to the theft of Sh44.9 billion in the collapsed Imperial Bank, paving the way for Mauritian lender SBM Holdings to complete acquisition of the troubled Fidelity Bank. The businessman, Firoz Jessa, is one of the shareholders in W. E. Tilley, a fish firm at the ...

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Kenya: Banks at crossroads as landscape changes fast

cash

Banks will need to go back to the drawing board if results for the third quarter are anything to go by. The numbers cannot be more revealing; that big players have on average shed up to a quarter of their revenues relative to a similar period a year ago with other previously profitable names sliding into loss territory. Experts are ...

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Exports to top Kenyan tea markets drop 15 per cent

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Tea exports to major markets in the year to October dropped 15 per cent compared with the same period last year with all the top buyers except Pakistan registering significant decrease. Statistics from the Tea Directorate indicate the exports fell to 351 million kilogrammes (Kg) this year from 441.9 Kg between January and October last year. The September report by ...

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Sh30bn bond hits demand for T-bills

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The demand for short-term government paper remained sub-par last week as investors kept eyes trained firmly on this month’s Sh30 billion bond auction, which closes on Wednesday. The new issue, a re-opening of previous 10 and 15-year bonds, is also likely to benefit from a more liquid market after the government moved to release Sh77 billion county funds, which have ...

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Kenya: Safaricom bets on voice identity to rein in fraud

scom

Listed telco Safaricom has introduced voice biometric system aimed at reducing fraud and helping its customers to reduce cases of identity theft. The system, dubbed Jitambulishe, will allow customers to access Safaricom services such as resetting M-Pesa PIN and PUK requests through a faster and less intrusive vetting process. The system aims to cut down the number of steps a ...

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Tanzania restores power in parts of country after nationwide outage

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Tanzania’s power utility said on Friday it had started to restore electricity to parts of the country after the East African nation was hit by a country-wide blackout on Thursday morning. “Efforts are ongoing to make sure that power supply is restored to all parts of the country,” the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) said in a statement. TANESCO ...

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East Africa:Burundi’s inflation rises to 17.6% yr/yr in October

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Burundi’s inflation accelerated to 17.6 percent year-on-year in October from 15.2 percent in September due to rising food costs on local markets, official figures showed on Monday. Food inflation jumped to 28.0 percent in the year to October from 23.9 percent in September, the Institute of Economic Studies and Statistics (ISTEEBU) said in its monthly report. Advertisement The tiny East ...

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Kenya: Unclaimed assets now hit Sh25bn

kariuki

Unclaimed cash and securities surrendered to a State agency have hit Sh25.9 billion as managers of non-compliant firms face heavy penalties and jail terms. While the agency is now holding a large haul of cash, most of the surrendered assets are by publicly traded firms. Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) chief executive Kellen Kariuki said by September 30, it had ...

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