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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Airlines could face new protocols to curb Ebola


A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia. An American doctor battling West Africa’s Ebola epidemic has himself fallen sick with the disease in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse said on on Sunday. PHOTO | AFP      
In Summary
International Civil Aviation Organisation Secretary General Raymond Benjamin said, “Until now (the virus) had not impacted commercial aviation, but now we’re affected.”

Montreal/Freetown. The deadly Ebola virus hitchhiking across borders for the first time aboard a pan-African airline could spell new flight restrictions aimed at containing outbreaks, the world aviation agency said Tuesday.

JK wins another global award

President Jakaya Kikwete  
By The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
News of the award was released yesterday in a communication delivered to the President at the State House in Dar es Salaam, says a statement issued by the State House.

Dar es Salaam. President Jakaya Kikwete has been named “Icon of Democracy Award” winner for 2014 in Africa, it was announced yesterday.

Michael Jackson's Neverland home to be sold


Michael Jackson's famous Neverland Ranch is to be sold. The Santa Barbara property will reportedly be put on the market by Colony Capital - who own a primary stake in the estate - after buying out the late singer's Sh2 billion ($23 million) mortgage to save it from foreclosure in 2008 - in order to recoup the debt they are owed on the house. PHOTO/FILE
Michael Jackson's famous Neverland Ranch is to be sold. The Santa Barbara property will reportedly be put on the market by Colony Capital - who own a primary stake in the estate - after buying out the late singer's Sh2 billion ($23 million) mortgage to save it from foreclosure in 2008 - in order to recoup the debt they are owed on the house. PHOTO/FILE 
Michael Jackson's famous Neverland Ranch is to be sold.......................................................................

Blogs & Opinion

Equity Bank rakes in Sh7.7bn profit for six months


Equity Bank chief executive James Mwangi during an investor briefing at the bank's offices in Nairobi on July 30, 2014. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
Equity Bank chief executive James Mwangi during an investor briefing at the bank's offices in Nairobi on July 30, 2014. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By NATION CORRESPONDENT
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Equity Bank has posted a 21 per cent increase in profit after tax for the first six months of 2014, as performance in non-funded income grows.

Savannah Cement targets roads


By NATION REPORTER
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Savannah Cement is targeting the road construction sector, as it brings to the market a specially developed product.

Jamii Bora to finance electricity connection


Kenya Power personnel replace a transformer in Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE
Kenya Power personnel replace a transformer in Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By IMMACULATE KARAMBU
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Kenya Power and Jamii Bora Bank have signed an agreement that will see new applicants financed to get connected to electricity.

Lenders reduce mortgage rates


HassConsult’s Farhana Hassanali-Hashmani (right) and Sakina Hassanali speaking at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, during the launch of the Hass Index and Mortgage report for the second quarter of 2014. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
HassConsult’s Farhana Hassanali-Hashmani (right) and Sakina Hassanali speaking at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, during the launch of the Hass Index and Mortgage report for the second quarter of 2014. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By JOSHUA MASINDE
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At least five banks have cut their mortgage lending rates over the past three months, signalling mounting pressure for lower charges.

Boeing says 533,000 new pilots needed in next 20 years


A Kenya Airways Boeing 777-300ER at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Kenya Airways  flights from West Africa are safe, the national carrier has said amid concerns that passengers from the region could transmit the deadly Ebola virus. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION
A Kenya Airways Boeing 777-300ER at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. US planemaker Boeing said about 533,000 new commercial pilots would be needed worldwide in the next two decades to cater to a growing global fleet. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION 
By AFP
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US planemaker Boeing said about 533,000 new commercial pilots would be needed worldwide in the next two decades to cater to a growing global fleet.

KCB posts Sh8 billion half-year profit


Kenya Commercial Bank Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara (left) and group Chairman Ngeny Biwott at a past event. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION 
By RAMENYA GIBENDI
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Kenya Commercial Bank has posted a 14 per cent after-tax profit for the half year ending June 2014, riding on increased lending activities and growth in non-funded income.

Kenya Planters Co-operative Union directors ‘stage coup’


The entrance to the Kenya Planters’ Co-operative Union premises in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
The entrance to the Kenya Planters’ Co-operative Union premises in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By MWANIKI WAHOME
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Kenya Planters Co-operative Union directors yesterday staged a coup against the Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development ahead of elections it has called for Thursday.

Obama cites Kenya’s Luo culture in talk on polygamy


US President Barack Obama speaking during the Fellowship for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in Washington, DC on July 28, 2014. He referred to polygamy in traditional Luo culture and said while the practice might have made sense years back, it may not be useful in contemporary society. AFP PHOTO | MANDEL NGAN
US President Barack Obama speaking during the Fellowship for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in Washington, DC on July 28, 2014. He referred to polygamy in traditional Luo culture and said while the practice might have made sense years back, it may not be useful in contemporary society. AFP PHOTO | MANDEL NGAN 
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
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Washington DC
President Barack Obama on Monday cited the example of Kenya's Luo community in criticising the contemporary practice of polygamy.

US President Barack Obama to launch leadership centre in Kenya


Josephine Kulea listens as President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Young African Leaders Initiative summit in Washington, DC, on July 28, 2014. WHITE HOUSE PHOTO | PETE SOUZA
Josephine Kulea listens as President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Young African Leaders Initiative summit in Washington, DC, on July 28, 2014. WHITE HOUSE PHOTO | PETE SOUZA 
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
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WASHINGTON, DC
The United States will establish a leadership centre in Kenya to train young East Africans for executive positions in business, government and civil society, President Barack Obama announced Monday.

Up to 10,000 new teachers to be hired


Pupils of Wambi Primary School in Muhoroni, where MP James Oyoo broke the ground on July 29, 2014, for the building of modern classrooms at a cost of Sh5 million. The Teachers Service Commission has asked prospective candidates to apply for 10,000 teaching jobs in different counties by August 11. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Pupils of Wambi Primary School in Muhoroni, where MP James Oyoo broke the ground on July 29, 2014, for the building of modern classrooms at a cost of Sh5 million. The Teachers Service Commission has asked prospective candidates to apply for 10,000 teaching jobs in different counties by August 11. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By OUMA WANZALA
More by this Author
More than 10,000 new teachers are to be hired starting next week.
Of these slots, 5,000 teachers will replace those who have left the service due to retirement, death or other causes, while 5,000 will boost the numbers of the existing workforce, said Mr Gabriel Lengoiboni, the secretary of the Teachers Service Commission.

Committee set to ensure journalism training standards

Media Council of Kenya CEO Haron Mwangi. He has announced that a committee has been formed that will inspect and ensure all media training institutions in Kenya conform to set journalism standards. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

Media Council of Kenya CEO Haron Mwangi. He has announced that a committee has been formed that will inspect and ensure all media training institutions in Kenya conform to set journalism standards. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA  NATION
By EVELYNE MUSAMBI
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Journalism and media colleges will undergo inspection in two months in order to ensure they conform to the set standards as stipulated in the Media Council Act 2013.

Kenya border health staff on Ebola red alert


Members of medical charity Doctors Without Borders put on protective gear at the isolation ward of Donka Hospital on July 23, 2014, in Conakry. AFP PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI
Members of medical charity Doctors Without Borders put on protective gear at the isolation ward of Donka Hospital on July 23, 2014, in Conakry. AFP PHOTO | CELLOU BINANI 
By NATION REPORTER
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The Kenyan government has enhanced screening at border points to prevent and contain the spread of Ebola.
In a tweet posted Wednesday, the Kenya National Disaster Operations Centre said port health officers are on standby and are vigilant as the virus spreads in West African countries.

Westgate attack suspects face more charges


The Westgate mall terror suspects, from left, Hussein Hassan Mustafata, Aden Dheq, Liban Abdiraham and Mohammed Ahmed Abdi in a Nairobi court. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU
The Westgate mall terror suspects, from left, Hussein Hassan Mustafata, Aden Dheq, Liban Abdiraham and Mohammed Ahmed Abdi in a Nairobi court. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU  
By VINCENT AGOYA
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Additional charges have been filed against four suspects linked to the Westgate shopping mall attack.
The prosecution Thursday added three more charges against the accused.

Brewers in court to protest Kebs order on methanol

Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) has issued new directives on the use of methanol and ethanol in drinks.

Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) has issued new directives on the use of methanol and ethanol in drinks. PHOTO | FILE 
By THOMAS KARIUKI
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Alcohol brewers have moved to court to protest new directives by the Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) on the use of methanol and ethanol in drinks.

Mauritius firm to give SMEs unsecured loans

  Customers wait to be served at Standard Chartered Bank branch in Nairobi. Photo/FILE 
Customers wait to be served at Standard Chartered Bank branch in Nairobi. The bank's annual Grand Sale will see consumers offered loans for as little as 10.9 per cent. Photo/FIL
By Sandra Chao-Blasto
In Summary
  • The business cash advance facility is targeted at 15,000 merchants of the Afb retail card and those registered on the Kopo Kopo platform.

Mauritius-based finance company Afb has launched a credit facility targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that find it difficult to get financing from traditional lenders.

Jamii Bora bond investors to get Sh400 million shares

Corporate News
 
Jamii Bora Bank chief executive Samuel Kimani (left) with Postbank acting managing director Anne Karanja during the signing of an agency banking agreement on July 22, 2014. Photo/Diana Ngila
Jamii Bora Bank chief executive Samuel Kimani (left) with Postbank acting managing director Anne Karanja during the signing of an agency banking agreement on July 22, 2014. Photo/Diana Ngila 
By MUGAMBI MUTEGI, pmutegi@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Jamii Bora Bank has planned a Sh1 billion rights issue in September to finance its expansion plans.
  • Besides part-conversion of the bond into equity, the bank has plans to sell a Sh200 million stake to a strategic investor, while Sh400 million will be raised in cash.
  • The additional funds collected from the cash call, the bond conversion and strategic investor will increase Jamii Bora’s core capital to Sh2.4 billion, allowing it to grow lending to small and mid-sized (SME) enterprises.

Investors holding up to Sh400 million worth of Jamii Bora Bank’s corporate bond have committed to convert their interest into shares, helping to raise 40 per cent of the lender’s targeted amount in the upcoming rights issue.

Jamii Bora courts Kenya Power clients

Corporate News

Jamii Bora Bank chief executive Samuel Kimani (left) with Postbank acting managing director Anne Karanja during the signing of an agency banking agreement on July 22, 2014. Photo/Diana Ngila

Jamii Bora Bank chief executive Samuel Kimani (left) with Postbank acting managing director Anne Karanja during the signing of an agency banking agreement on July 22, 2014. Photo/Diana Ngila 
 
By MUGAMBI MUTEGI

Jamii Bora Bank is seeking to grow its loan book by lending cash to Kenya Power customers for connection to the national electricity grid.

Nakumatt cleared to take over Dar Shoprite stores

Corporate News


A Nakumatt outlet. The retail chain will take over three Shoprite stores in Tanzania. Photo/FILE
A Nakumatt outlet. The retail chain will take over three Shoprite stores in Tanzania. Photo/FILE 
By SIMON CIURI
In Summary
  • Fair Competition Commission of Tanzania confirmed that it had given a green light for the transaction that will see Nakumatt stores in Tanzania increase to four.
  • The acquisition has been valued at about Sh4 billion.
  • Shoprite exited Tanzania after about 12 years in the country after being accused of importing the bulk of its products from its mother company in South Africa.

The Tanzanian competition watchdog has cleared Nakumatt’s bid to take over three stores owned by South African retailer Shoprite in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, moving the buyout closer to conclusion.

Corporate News

Nakumatt eyes first Kenyan supermarket entry into Juba and Burundi

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A Nakumatt outlet in Kigali, Rwanda. The Kenyan retail chain is targeting entry into South Sudan and Burundi. NATION PHOTO|CYRIL NDEGEYA
A Nakumatt outlet in Kigali, Rwanda. The Kenyan retail chain is targeting entry into South Sudan and Burundi. NATION PHOTO|CYRIL NDEGEYA 
By SIMON CIURI
In Summary
  • The expansion into Juba and Bujumbura will cost an estimated Sh1.5 billion.
  • Nakumatt is seeking to export the shopping mall culture to the largely informal retail markets of Burundi and South Sudan.

Nakumatt Supermarket is targeting entry into South Sudan and Burundi, making it potentially Kenya’s first big retail chain to open shop in the two countries.

Lower costs raise Equity Bank’s profit 21.4pc

Corporate News
An Equity Bank agency in Nyeri. Agency banking has lifted the bank's half-year profit. PHOTO|FILE
An Equity Bank agency in Nyeri. Agency banking has lifted the bank's half-year profit. PHOTO|FILE 
By DAVID HERBLING
In Summary
  • After-tax profit grew 21.4 per cent to Sh7.6 billion in the period to June 2014, compared to Sh6.3 billion in a similar period a year earlier.
  • Mr Mwangi said that Equity Bank has turned to diversifying revenue streams to cut over-reliance on funded income and offset a depressed interest income yield of 300 basis points following a cut in lending rates.

Equity Bank’s net profit for the first half of the year jumped by a fifth helped by increased earnings from fees, commissions and low operational costs.

Centum cuts staff bonus pay by 7.9 pc

Corporate News

Centum CEO James Mworia explains the Two Rivers housing project at the company’s investor briefing on June 10, 2014. Photo/FILE

Centum CEO James Mworia explains the Two Rivers housing project at the company’s investor briefing on June 10, 2014. Photo/FILE 
By VICTOR JUMA
In Summary
  • The investment firm says it pays bonuses if shareholder funds or the net asset value rises by more than 15 per cent in a financial year.
  • Centum’s seven executives earned a bonus of Sh96.9 million last year, down eight per cent from Sh105.3 million in 2012.

Centum Investment cut staff bonuses by nearly eight per cent last year but the payout still exceeded the overall employee salaries for the year, the company’s annual report has showed.

Centum paid Sh1 billion for stake in Genesis

Money Markets

Centum CEO James Mworia explains the Two Rivers housing project at the company’s investor briefing on June 10, 2014. Photo/FILE

Centum CEO James Mworia explains the Two Rivers housing project at the company’s investor briefing on June 10, 2014. Photo/FILE 

By GEORGE NGIGI
In Summary
  • Centum Investments acquired a 73.3 per cent holding in the fund management company in December last year.

Centum Investments has disclosed it paid Sh1 billion for a majority stake in fund manager Genesis Kenya.

UAP to list real estate holdings at Nairobi bourse

Money Markets
UAP Holdings Ltd group managing director Dominic Kiarie at a past function in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
UAP Holdings Ltd group managing director Dominic Kiarie at a past function in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 
By GEORGE NGIGI, gngigi@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Firm in process of structuring Reits that allows holders to share rental yields of listed property.
  • I-Reits facilitate introduction of property worth at least Sh300 million into the securities exchange through sale of stake to the public.
  • Some of the property owned by the firm include Telkom Plaza, Union Towers and Equity Centre which hosts Equity Bank.

Financial services group UAP Holdings is packaging its commercial property into a real-estate investment vehicle as it prepares to list it at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Titanium miner seeks to reschedule loans after exports delay

Money Markets
Base Titanium facility in Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE
Base Titanium facility in Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE 
By GEORGE NGIGI
In Summary
  • Base Resources is pushing for up to four-month extension from its financiers who loaned it Sh18.3 billion ($215 million) for exploratory works at Kwale and construction of infrastructure, including a port at Likoni.
  • The company started making sales from the Kwale project in February this year against the schedule of October 2013.
  • As of June, it had sold ilmenite and zircon deposits worth Sh1.9 billion.

Coast-based Base Resources is seeking to reschedule its loans following delayed exports at its titanium mines in Kwale.

Will my father survive retirement without a wife?


It is a well-established fact that following the death of a wife, the widower then follows, often because of a “broken heart”. File 
By Dr Frank Njenga
In Summary
Why should the people of the local community welcome him back, now that he cannot offer any public service?

My father recently retired to a lonely rural home after many years of public service in Nairobi. Although he has money to rely on, and we are there for him — although we stay in Nairobi and he is in Nyahururu — we feel that loneliness might kill him faster than any ailment. 

Why Africa airlines charge highest fares in the world



Low cost airline EasyJet parked at Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. AFP PHOTO
Low cost airline EasyJet parked at Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. AFP PHOTO 
By DANIEL ONDIEKI

International coverage of Africa tends to be overly negative, focusing on war, disease and poverty. Unfortunately, the facts of life are that we are indeed bottom of the table as pertains most measures of economic development.

Flour millers get e-kit to test for micronutrients

Magazines


A supermarket attendant arranges packets of flour. Millers will now be able to test for fortification on site using iCheck. PHOTO | FILE
A supermarket attendant arranges packets of flour. Millers will now be able to test for fortification on site using iCheck. PHOTO | FILE 

Food fortification test has gone digital with industrialists switching to the use of iCheck test kit to measure micronutrients in food.

Safaricom forum that grooms women in technology comes of age


Ms Angela Wamola during a recent Women in Technology networking forum in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY
Ms Angela Wamola during a recent Women in Technology networking forum in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY 
By SIMON CIURI, sciuri@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Women in Technology (WIT) platform brings together women within and out of the industry with aim of mentoring and growing them in their careers.

Women in Technology (WIT), a Safaricom platform that seeks to break the dominance of men in technology, has come a long way in the short span of about two years.

Use internship to make government truly ‘digital’

Magazines


Uncollected ID cards at a government office. One of the areas that need urgent automation is identification. PHOTO | FILE
Uncollected ID cards at a government office. One of the areas that need urgent automation is identification. PHOTO | FILE 
By  Mbugua Njihia

The government is recruiting volunteers aged between 22 and 30 years for a one-year internship programme. The individuals should be recent university graduates, according to adverts.