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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kenyan market ripe for digital wallet innovations

A new global Mastercard study has revealed a growing demand for digital payment innovations.
Mastercard Division President Daniel Monehin (left), Diamond Trust Bank CEO Nasim Devji (second left), KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara (second right) and Nakumatt Holdings Managing Director Atul Shah (right) in a past function. A new global Mastercard study has revealed a growing demand for digital payment innovations. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By WINFRED KURIA
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Digital payments in Kenya have grown exponentially over the last two years with digital cards serving more than 10 million users, a new MasterCard study reveals.

Comesa lobby urges South Sudan trade reforms

COMESA Business Council wants South Sudan to remove restrictions on movements of goods and people to boost trade along the Northern Corridor.
Comesa Business Council stakeholders during a workshop at Nairobi Safari Club on September 17, 2015. The business council wants South Sudan to remove restrictions on movements of goods and people to boost trade along the Northern Corridor.  
By OTIATO GUGUYU
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Regional business lobby wants South Sudan to remove restrictions on movements of goods and people to boost trade along the Northern Corridor.

Blogs & Opinion

Property briefs


Kenya Revenue Authority's headquarters at Times
Kenya Revenue Authority's headquarters at Times Tower in Nairobi. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has started hiring agents to collect data on buildings and their owners to establish if they are tax-compliant. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By KIARIE NJOROGE
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NAKURU MEADOWS PROJECT: Private equity firm Phatisa is set to fund the construction of 140 residential houses in Nakuru in a deal with real estate developer Tamarind Properties. The

Set up fund for traders, Treasury told

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (right) with PS Kamau Thugge (left).
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich (right) with PS Kamau Thugge (left). PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By OTIATO GUGUYU
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Small scale traders want Treasury to set aside money for lending micro and small enterprises as stated in law.
Kenya National Alliance for Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) will Thursday hold a forum on a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) over delays in implementing the Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Act 2012.

Safaricom Sacco share issue targets Sh1 billion for expansion

Safaricom Sacco has issued new shares seeking Sh1 billion to fund strategic expansion.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore during the release of the company's full year financial results on May 7, 2015. Safaricom Sacco has issued new shares seeking Sh1 billion to fund strategic expansion. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By BRIAN NGUGI
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Safaricom Sacco has issued new shares seeking Sh1 billion to fund strategic expansion.
It also plans to construct a 15-storey office complex opposite the Safaricom headquarters.

Sh6bn housing project takes off








Erdemann Property will Friday break ground for a Sh6 billion residential housing project in Athi River.
Erdemann Property managing director Zeyun Yang (left) with suspended Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development Ms Charity Ngilu at the ground breaking for the Great Wall phase two in Nairobi in 2014. Erdemann Property will Friday break ground for a Sh6 billion residential housing project in Athi River.  
By MOSES OMUSOLO
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Property developer Erdemann Property will Friday break ground for a Sh6 billion residential housing project in Athi River.
The investment will be the company’s third phase of Great Wall Gardens, which would see the setup of 2,000 units comprising two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments.

Carlson Rezidor to open second Radisson Blu hotel in Nairobi




Carlson Rezidor is set to open a second high-end Radisson Blu hotel in Nairobi in 2016 on a property adjacent to State House.
New York-based hotel group Carlson Rezidor is set to open a second high-end Radisson Blu hotel in Nairobi in 2016 on a property adjacent to State House. PHOTO | COURTESY 
By OTIATO GUGUYU
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New York-based hotel group Carlson Rezidor is set to open a second high-end Radisson Blu hotel in Nairobi in 2016 on a property adjacent to State House.

Bank denies it sold Karen land to city businessman


Barclays Bank CEO Jeremy Awori during an investor briefing on the bank's half-year performance on August 13, 2015. Barclays Bank denying that it transferred land in Karen, Nairobi, to businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Barclays Bank CEO Jeremy Awori during an investor briefing on the bank's half-year performance on August 13, 2015. Barclays Bank denying that it transferred land in Karen, Nairobi, to businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By PAUL OGEMBA
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Barclays Bank denying that it transferred land in Karen, Nairobi, to businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose.
The bank’s head of legal affairs Waweru Mathenge told the court on Wednesday that their records show that the land was transferred in January 1983 but not to Mr Rose.

Muthama faces defamation suit

From left, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, Wiper Democratic Movement Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale dance during a rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on September 23, 2014.
From left, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, Wiper Democratic Movement Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale dance during a rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on September 23, 2014. PHOTO | GERALD ANDERSON | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By SAMWEL BORN MAINA
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By STELLA CHERONO
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Police have said they have enough evidence to charge Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama with making defamatory remarks against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint himself oil minister


Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari gives an
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari gives an interview to Agence France-presse at his hotel during the 25th African Summit on June 14, 2015 in Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO | MUJAHID SAFODIEN 
By AFP
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LAGOS
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is to take personal charge of the country's crucial oil portfolio, his spokesman said on Tuesday, as a deadline loomed for him to finally nominate his cabinet.

Uhuru Kenyatta urges unity to fight terrorism

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Interior
President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery at the opening session of the Leaders' Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism hosted by US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 30,2015. PHOTO | PSCU 
By PSCU
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NEW YORK
Unity will defeat terrorism across the world, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
The President said the global community and individual nations must remain united to confront terrorism and violent extremism.

SDGs: How Kenya helped to set up new goals for the world to achieve

Ambassador Macharia Kamau addresses a press conference in New York on August 2, 2015.
Ambassador Macharia Kamau addresses a press conference in New York on August 2, 2015. PHOTO | MARK GARTE | COURTESY 
By VERAH OKEYO
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Elated that he had met a Kenyan at the media centre at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Mexican Jose Miguel Pedrosa asked a Kenyan in broken English: “Do you run?”
“Not even if my life depended on it”, answered the journalist.

World leaders adopt ambitious UN goals to end extreme poverty in 15 years


Teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks
Teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks at a press conference during the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2015 in New York. She urged leaders to zero in on promoting education even as world leaders pledged to end extreme poverty within 15 years, adopting an ambitious set of UN goals to be backed up by trillions of dollars in development spending. AFP PHOTO 
By AFP
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UNITED NATIONS
World leaders on Friday pledged to end extreme poverty within 15 years, adopting an ambitious set of UN goals to be backed up by trillions of dollars in development spending.

Kenya seeks UN Security Council support to drop Ruto's ICC case


International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Kenya will use the UN Security Council to rally support in its bid to have the case against Deputy President William Ruto at the ICC dropped. AFP PHOTO | STRINGER
International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Kenya will use the UN Security Council to rally support in its bid to have the case against Deputy President William Ruto at the ICC dropped. AFP PHOTO | STRINGER 
By BERNARD NAMUNANE
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Kenya will use the UN Security Council to rally support in its bid to have the case against Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court dropped.

Teachers strike: TSC advertises 70,000 temporary positions

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chairman Lydia Nzomo (left) with Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia at a press conference at the TSC head office in Nairobi on September 5, 2015.
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chairman Lydia Nzomo (left) with Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia at a press conference at the TSC head office in Nairobi on September 5, 2015. The TSC has advertised positions for 70,000 relief tutors. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By MARYANNE GICOBI
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The fate of the striking teachers now hangs in the balance after their employer advertised positions for 70,000 relief tutors.

Working for 11 hours a day linked to higher risk of stroke

A tired worker. Death from overworking is believed to result from a repetitive triggering of the body’s stress response mechanism. PHOTO | FILE | FOTOSEARCH 
By SARAH OOKO
In Summary
  • Working trends in Kenya have changed over the years with a majority of employees working for more than eight hours a day. Some work through the weekends.
  • To curb the adverse effects of stress, the WHO urges organisations to ensure that job demands and pressure matches employees’ knowledge and abilities.
  • Doctors are also advising employees to set realistic targets for themselves, develop proper time management skills and build self discipline to allow them have work-life balance.

Working for 55 hours or more weekly increases chances of getting heart diseases and stroke, a new study published in the Lancet journal has revealed.

Embrace the seven pillars of corporate governance

Opinion and Analysis
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during his inaugural Press conference at the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi on September 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON  NJAU
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during his inaugural Press conference at the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi on September 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU  
By RICHARD GITONGA

Why have so many countries in Africa been eluded by prosperity? There are obviously a myriad of reasons.

Uproar over hefty cost of parastatals’ Mombasa meeting

Corporate News
A ship docks in Mombasa. Kenya is eyeing more Ethiopian goods to pass through its ports. PHOTO | FILE
A ship docks in Mombasa. Kenya is eyeing more Ethiopian goods to pass through its ports. PHOTO | FILE 
By DAVID HERBLING, hdavid@ke.nationmedia.com

An ongoing meeting bringing together all executives of State corporations has caused an uproar after a consumer lobby raised queries over the seminar’s fat budget estimated to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of shillings.

Kenyan road contractor sues Indian firm over Sh165m deal

Corporate News
Bridgeways Contractors have filed an application in the High Court claiming Vil Limited is liquidating its assets in Kenya to evade paying a Sh165 million debt. PHOTO | FILE
Bridgeways Contractors have filed an application in the High Court claiming Vil Limited is liquidating its assets in Kenya to evade paying a Sh165 million debt. PHOTO | FILE 
By BRIAN WASUNA, bwasuna@ke.nationmedia.com

A Kenyan road contractor has asked the High Court to place a caveat on Indian firm Vil Limited’s assets over a Sh165 million debt it claims arose from a road construction deal.

Regulator links tourism decline to hotel quality

Corporate News
Tourism CS Phyllis Kandie with businessman Chris Kirubi (centre) and tour operators chairman Adam Jillo when she launched the ‘Make It Kenya’ campaign this month. PHOTO | FILE
Tourism CS Phyllis Kandie with businessman Chris Kirubi (centre) and tour operators chairman Adam Jillo when she launched the ‘Make It Kenya’ campaign this month. PHOTO | FILE 
By MATHIAS RINGA

The Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) expects to have finished classifying Kenya’s hotels by June next year.

MultiChoice says it pumped Sh15bn into economy last year

Corporate News
From left: MultiChoice East Africa regional director Stephen Isaboke, CA director-general Francis Wangusi and KBC managing director and MultiChoice Kenya chairman Waithaka Waihenya during the release of the study on Sep 29, 2015. PHOTO | FILE
From left: MultiChoice East Africa regional director Stephen Isaboke, CA director-general Francis Wangusi and KBC managing director and MultiChoice Kenya chairman Waithaka Waihenya during the release of the study on Sep 29, 2015. PHOTO | FILE 
By OKUTTAH MARK, mokuttah@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • MultiChoice says it pumped Sh15bn into the Kenyan economy through taxes, jobs and procurement of goods and services locally.

MultiChoice — the owners of pay television company DStv, has claimed that it contributed an estimated Sh15.1 billion to Kenya’s GDP last year through direct and indirect payment of taxes, employment and procurement of goods and services locally.

Mumias reports Sh4.6bn after-tax loss as sales halve

Corporate News
A tractor offloads sugarcane at Mumias Sugar factory in Kakamega County after the firm re-opened  earlier in the year under new management. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE
A tractor offloads sugarcane at Mumias Sugar factory in Kakamega County after the firm re-opened earlier in the year under new management. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE 
By JOHN GACHIRI, jgachiri@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • The NSE-listed sugar company has been in financial difficulty due to mismanagement, shortage of sugarcane and cash flow constraints.
  • Analysts say that even if Mumias gets its act right it is still financially susceptible to imported sugar, which is cheaper.

Mumias Sugar Company nearly doubled its loss to Sh4.6 billion in the financial year ended June 2015, while its sales more than halved in the same period.

GDP growth drops to 5.5pc on cooling construction

Money Markets
Road construction. PHOTO | FILE
A road under construction. PHOTO | FILE 
By BD REPORTER
In Summary
  • Agriculture is estimated to have expanded by 5.4 per cent during the second quarter of 2015 compared to a 2.1 per cent growth for a similar quarter in 2014.

Kenya’s economic growth slowed down to 5.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2015 from 6 per cent in the same period last year, the statistics bureau announced Wednesday.

Cameron warms to Uhuru in push for better ties with Kenya

Mr Cameron addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on Sunday. PHOTO | AFP
Mr Cameron addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on Sunday. PHOTO | AFP 
By NEVILLE OTUKI

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is lobbying for British troops to continue training in Kenya beyond the October deadline as London seeks to strengthen ties with Nairobi.
The military pact, which has run for 40 years, expired in April but was extended by six months to October for further talks after the two countries failed to reach a deal on a number of issues.

Treasury eyes Sh5bn from first mobile phone-based bond to be issued in Oct

Money Markets
Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. He said the interest rate from the debt will be higher than that payable on deposits to commercial banks. PHOTO | FILE
Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. He said the interest rate from the debt will be higher than that payable on deposits to commercial banks. PHOTO | FILE 
By GEORGE NGIGI, gngigi@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • Members of the public will be able to invest as little as Sh3,000 in the M-Pesa- linked M-Akiba bond.
  • The government declined to disclose the rate of return for the bond.
  • However, it could mirror the most recently issued five-year paper that is at an interest rate of 13.2 per cent, payable every six months.

The first exclusively mobile phone-based Treasury bond amounting to Sh5 billion is to be sold to the public from mid next month.

Interbank rate now hits 27pc on tea bonus circulation

Money Markets
People walk past CBK head office. The regulator’s report shows that the interbank rate rose from 17.9pc. PHOTO | FILE
People walk past CBK head office. The regulator’s report shows that the interbank rate rose from 17.9pc. PHOTO | FILE 
By GEOFFREY IRUNGU, girungu@ke.nationmedia.com

Posted  Tuesday, September 29   2015 at  18:43
In Summary
  • The interbank average lending rate stood at 13.44 per cent on September 10, but scarcity of liquidity has been pushing up the short-term price of money among banks.

The rate at which commercial banks lend to each other overnight has doubled in three weeks reaching an average of 26.75 per cent as at 2.45pm Tuesday, thanks to the concentration of tea bonus cash in a few banks.

Military, parastatals Sh153bn wage bill biggest, says Treasury

Money Markets
University workers during a past demonstration over wages. PHOTO | FILE
University workers during a past demonstration over wages. PHOTO | FILE 
By ALLAN ODHIAMBO
In Summary
  • Remuneration to the two workers’ groups amounted to Sh152.8 billion in the 2014/15 financial year—the single highest amount paid out.
  • The huge payout to parastatals is likely to reinforce plans to reform the sector amid concern over high recurrent costs.

Salaries of parastatal workers and the military take up the largest chunk of the national wage bill, data released by the Treasury showed, even as pressure piled on the government to tame its recurrent expenditure.

Skilled engineers and technicians critical for rapid economic takeoff

Opinion and Analysis
Engineering students at Egerton University during a recent demonstration to protest what they termed the institution’s failure to register them with the Engineers Board of Kenya. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH
Engineering students at Egerton University during a recent demonstration to protest what they termed the institution’s failure to register them with the Engineers Board of Kenya. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH 
By GEORGE WACHIRA
In Summary
  • Kenya must sufficiently develop these professionals to fuel the engine of growth

In the past few months when most of Europe was facing insurmountable challenges with the huge influx of Middle East refugees, the Germans saw an opportunity in the crisis.

Njoroge says banks partly to blame for shilling’s woes


Money Markets
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during his inaugural Press conference at the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi on September 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON  NJAU
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during his inaugural Press conference at the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi on September 29, 2015. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU  
By GEORGE NGIGI, gngigi@ke.nationmedia.com
In Summary
  • CBK governor Patrick Njoroge on Tuesday said he had tightened oversight over currency dealers to stamp out indiscipline after noting that movement of the shilling was being driven by release of inaccurate information into the market.
Dr Njoroge said he had tightened oversight over currency dealers to stamp out indiscipline after noting that movement of the shilling was not purely a factor of demand and supply of the dollar but was also being driven by release of inaccurate information into the market.

September inflation ticks up to 5.97pc

Money Markets
A fruit and vegetables market in Nyeri. Proposed laws aim to restrict sale of food items to markets. PHOTO | FILE
A fruit and vegetables market in Nyeri. Proposed laws aim to restrict sale of food items to markets. PHOTO | FILE 
By BD REPORTER

Posted  Wednesday, September 30  2015 at  14:29
In Summary
  • The period also saw a slight drop in the cost of electricity helped by lower diesel costs and a stable exchange rate.

Inflation for the month of September rose slightly to stand at 5.97 per cent from 5.84 per cent in August on a marginal rise in food prices.

Nigerian president to become oil minister in new Cabinet

Politics and policy
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari gives an interview to Agence France-presse at his hotel during the 25th African Summit on June 14, 2015 in Johannesburg. AFP 
By Reuters
In Summary
  • A collapse of global oil prices has whacked Nigeria's public finances and weakened its naira currency, delaying public salaries and fuelling inflation.
  • Not only is oil money stolen through accounting gymnastics and oversight gaps, but oil itself goes missing at unmetered oilfield wellheads, pipeline taps and export terminals.
  • A minister of state will oversee the day-to-day issues of the petroleum sector, he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari will hold Nigeria's oil portfolio in his new Cabinet, rather than trust anyone else with the source of most of Nigeria's revenue, he told Reuters on Tuesday.

Pay-as-you-go solar lighting systems slash household budgets

Corporate News


Leah Tallam charges her phone using the M-Kopa III home system in Eldama Ravine. Each battery-powered 8W system has three lights, a phone-charging facility and a chargeable radio. Georgina Goodwin/M-KOPA Solar
Leah Tallam charges her phone using the M-Kopa III home system in Eldama Ravine. Each battery-powered 8W system has three lights, a phone-charging facility and a chargeable radio. Georgina Goodwin/M-KOPA Solar  
By DAVID HERBLING, hdavid@ke.nationmedia.com

Leah Tallam is excited that one of her household expenses will be switched off at the end of this month: lighting costs.

The 42-year-old milk vendor said she is just about to finish paying for her M-Kopa solar kit, and is looking forward to enjoying free lighting, phone charging and power for her radio.

Centum boss James Mworia appointed to NSE board

Money Markets
Centum CEO James Mworia. PHOTO | FILE
Centum Investment CEO James Mworia. The company more than doubled its bonus payouts to staff to Sh1 billion in the year ended March. PHOTO | FILE 
By MUTEGI MUGAMB
In Summary
  • “Mr Mworia has been appointed as a director of NSE with effect from September 16,” said the bourse in a statement. “Mr Mworia has received several awards…in recognition of his efforts and outstanding achievements as the group CEO of Centum.”

Centum Investments chief executive officer James Mworia has formally been appointed to the board of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) having been elected in June to replace Uchumi CEO Jonathan Ciano.