March 30, 2015

Got roses this Valentine’s Day in the US? They probably came from Kenya

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(CNN)If you were the lucky recipient of a bunch of fragrant roses this Valentine’s Day, it’s likely that they came from Kenya. The country is the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world, accounting for around 35% of all sales in the European Union. Famed for being long-lasting, Kenya’s roses, carnations and summer flowers are also popular in Russia and the U.S. where last week several growers showcased their blooms at the World Floral Expo in Los Angeles. The event is one of the industry’s largest and gathers over 80 exhibitors from across the world, with several Ethiopian…

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You can build a decent house in Kenya in one month

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Changing technology in the real estate sector has given homeowners a reason to smile because some of the new technology is offering affordable costs of building homes. With various options available in the construction industry, home owners can breathe a sigh of relief due to affordable yet reliable forms of construction brought about by various forms of technologies. Expandable Polystyrene Technology is the use of petroleum by-products and steel to manufacture prefabricated slabs that can be used as walls. The petroleum by-products are heated and expanded to form the foam slabs used in this technology. Koto Housing is one such…

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How 23-year-old built one of Kenya’s top deal-making law firms

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Right from the onset, Edward Mungai is quick to point out the difference between legal dramas on television and the actual business of law. “People are used to watching legal dramas on TV and think there is drama in the legal industry, but look around you, where do you see drama?” Mr Mungai occupies the corner office at MMC Africa Advocates, the firm he started from scratch two decades ago, when he was 23 and straight out of law school. The firm has grown to become one of the largest deal-making outfits in Kenya. Brand visibility In the 20 years…

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KFC says its Kenya chicken is safe amid global fears

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Global fast food chain KFC has said chicken served in its Kenyan outlets is “safe” but fell short of disclosing the extent of use of human antibiotics by its local suppliers. Global fast food chains including McDonalds and KFC have come under international pressure over the heavy use of human antibiotics while rearing chicken. Experts say the heavy usage, which is intended to ward off infections even as the chicken are reared in crowded and sometimes unhygienic conditions, has aggravated the rise of deadly “superbugs” that resist treatment in human beings. “At KFC, the safety and wellbeing of our customers…

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The changing face of Nairobi’s Karen

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Once known for its serenity and magnificent standalone houses, Karen in Nairobi is slowly opening up to multi-dwelling units and other modern types of houses. From the predominantly British-style town houses, it is is embracing modern villas, town houses and maisonettes. One of the new developments in Karen is Bogani Villas, a $10 million (Sh900 million) housing development by China Wu Yi Kenya Company Ltd on Kasuku Close off Bogani Road. The project, which consists of 10 five-bedroom all ensuite villas sitting on five acres  – each villa will cost $1 million (Sh90 million) – started in October last year…

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Super rich Kenyans hold 30pc of their property portfolio abroad, says report

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Wealthy Kenyans are investing significant amounts of their wealth outside the country with Britain being their preferred destination for property purchases. Knight Frank, the publisher of a new report on real estate and wealth, said the rich hold an estimated 30 per cent of their property portfolio outside the country with most putting money in building of retail shopping property in Britain. Ultra-high net worth individuals in the country, each with wealth amounting to more than Sh2.8 billion or $30 million, prefer to put the rest (70 per cent of total) of their property investments in the local real estate…

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Facebook payment platform threat to M-Pesa, say experts

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Research analysts at the Standard Investment Bank see a threat to Safaricom M-Pesa’s future business plans in Facebook’s new mobile payment services. In a research note sent to investors on Thursday, the analysts said the probability of the service being rolled out globally increases competition to mobile payment services such as M-Pesa and limits future growth plans. Safaricom on Thursday however said it does not see any immediate threat in the Kenyan market. “The service is only enabled for Facebook users to send money to each other in the US, we do not see any immediate impact here in Kenya….

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American beer Budweiser enters Kenyan market

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Budweiser, one of the world’s biggest selling beers, is set to make an entry into the Kenyan market next week stepping up competition for local alcohol consumers’ wallets. The Kenyan beer market is already served by the biggest local brewer EABL, Keroche Breweries, South Africa’s SABMiller and a host of other imported brands. Viva Global will be the official importers and distributers of the American beer, which will be targeting young middle class consumers aged between 21 and 45. “Lots of Kenyans come across it in the US and Dubai. It is a brand in huge demand,” said Meera Karia,…

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Here’s why most Kenyans cannot acquire homes

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Most Kenyans, especially those living in urban areas, cannot afford to own homes because they are bogged down by a host  of challenges, a housing survey report released on Monday this week says. It cites the high cost of land and building materials and  the high cost of finance, as well as  high poverty levels,  as the most critical challenges. These are further aggravated by high interest rates on mortgage and inadequate funding systems to facilitate a mortgage. Commercial banks and microfinance institutions charge individual developers an average interest rate of between 19.2 per cent and 19.6 per cent per…

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Top Kenyan billionaires have assets worth Sh2.76bn each

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Kenya added five individuals to the list of its ultra-wealthy population last year, taking the tally of those with Sh2.76 billion ($30 million) in net worth countrywide to 115. The number of individuals with more than Sh9.20 billion ($100 million) in assets – known as centa-millionaires – increased by just one, to 32 in 2014, while dollar billionaires declined to one from just two individuals in 2013. The data are contained in The Wealth Report 2015 published by Knight Frank, based on a survey carried out for it by WealthInsights. The report will be released in Nairobi tomorrow. The slow…

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