January 24, 2017

Shock as Kenyan Stocks Rated the Worst in the World in 2017


Bloomberg has released a report indicating that Kenyan stock prices at more than three-year lows. The report also indicates that the stock prices will fall further as domestic investors favor bonds while the foreign buyers wait for lower valuations. Since January 1 shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange have dropped 6.9 percent. This is a decline from last year’s 8.5 percent. Investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) lost over a Sh100 billion in 2016 after a majority of stocks across all counters saw their values eroded. This as the market sustained a bear run – a period of time…

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Kenya forming partnerships with world renowned celebrities to lure tourists


Kenya is forming partnerships with world-famous artistes to lure tourists keen on trailing the footsteps of their icons to the country. The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chief executive Dr Betty Radier reckons that visiting celebrities are a magnet for tourists from their home countries and beyond, and have the potential to mint revenue for Kenya from ‘icon-trailing’ visitors. She said the sponsored artistes would be at liberty to brand hospitality facilities as well as plant trees within protected game sanctuaries which would be named after them and later used to sell the attraction sites globally. Dr Radier spoke as she…

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Burger King says cut-back on antibiotics use does not apply in Kenya


American fast food chain Burger King has said a pledge it made to cut down on usage of antibiotics in chicken in the US and Canada does not apply to the Kenyan market. Restaurants Brands International, which owns Burger King, has committed to use chicken that are reared without antibiotics, but only for stores located in the two countries. The company will make the move in the US stores this year followed by Canada in 2018. Heavy usage of antibiotics is blamed for increased cases of drug resistance in humans. Burger King opened its first outlet at The Hub mall…

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International hotels firm up plans to open doors in Kenya after years of delay


This year is set to be a busy year for the hotel industry as several global brands line up to open their doors in Kenya. Hotel Pullman Nairobi is one of the outlets confirmed for opening in 2017. Mombasa businessman Amjad Rahim, owner of the building that will house the hotel, confirmed that the hotel will open this year, but remains non-committal on the exact date. The 340 –room Pullman Hotel Nairobi will increase Nairobi’s bed capacity in tandem with growing demand for accommodation and meeting rooms driven by the city’s status as the regional hub for many multinationals. The…

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How This Man Built A $70 Million Advertising Empire In Kenya


Bharat Thakar, a Kenyan national, is the founder and CEO OF WPP Scangroup, East Africa’s largest Integrated Marketing Communications company. In 1982, Thakrar founded Scanad, his first advertising agency, and through a blend of organic growth and acquisitions, built it into Scangroup, an African marketing communications behemoth that is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of more than $70 million. In 2013, Thakrar, 63, and other shareholders ceded a controlling stake in the business to WPP, a British multinational advertising and public relations company. Scangroup subsequently rebranded to WPP Scangroup. Thakrar still remains the company’s…

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Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP) Group pursues 6 officials for stolen millions


IN SUMMARY A forensic audit on the investment group’s operations by KPMG revealed that half a dozen top executives were discreetly siphoning cash meant for projects and investments. Mr Korir expressed frustration that despite reporting the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in March 2015, police are yet to take any action on the case. The integrity queries at FEP add to a list of scandals that have rocked corporate Kenya in the recent past. Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP) Group has hired an asset recovery agent to pursue six former senior managers and confiscate Sh67 million allegedly stolen from…

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Court battle reveals Housing Finance’s Sh4bn hidden bad loans, cooking of books


In Summary Mr Isika says in a suit he has filed against the mortgage lender that high-ranking executives have over the years colluded to hide a massive Sh4.3 billion bad loans mountain, offering shareholders and regulators a false financial position. The former director of credit claims in court filings that Housing Finance Group managing director Frank Ireri and his HFC counterpart, Sam Waweru, engineered his sacking after he raised questions about the risk that such a huge and hidden bad loans book posed to the company. The suit papers further claim that a select group of Housing Finance employees have…

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Embattled tycoon to add luxury houses estate along Kiambu Road


A company associated with embattled business tycoon James Samuel Kinyanjui has started building phase two of a luxury houses estate along Kiambu Road. Edenville Estate, which Mr Kinyanjui claims to own in court papers, will see the development of three and four-bedroom maisonettes on a 42-acre piece of land. Mr Kinyanjui in a court case against the Banking Fraud Investigation Unit (BFIU) held that he owns the luxury EdenVille Estate. The businessman is in the suit trying to block the BFIU from freezing his bank accounts and assets for alleged involvement in money laundering. He also claims to have founded…

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Can you design an affordable house? You could be part of Sh10 million prize


Shelter Afrique, one of the continent’s housing development finance institutions, has announced a competition that will boost affordable housing in Africa and see winners take home $100,000 (Sh10million). The competition dubbed; 5,000 For 5,000 Homes, aims at stimulating innovative thinking on how a sustainable, friendly home can be designed and produced at a capital cost of no more than $5,000 (Sh500, 000). Shelter Afrique managing director James Mugerwa (pictured), said evidence of a rising middle class abounds in sub-Sahara Africa’s largest cities. “However, there is another uncomfortable and increasingly often less told, story of Africa’s urban poor. This competition aims…

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Safaricom-backed Taxi hailing app Little Ride introduces Sh100 base fee after fare slash


Safaricom-backed taxi hailing app Little Ride has introduced a base fare of Sh100, barely two weeks after slashing its prices by a third. The latest fee is currently effective in addition to the recently announced charges. Fares are also rounded up to the nearest 10. Little Ride now charges Sh30 per kilometre down from Sh55 per kilometre in Nairobi and Mombasa. During the announcement of the new rates two weeks ago, the firm left time charges unchanged at Sh4 per minute with no flat base charge or price surges like its main competitor, Uber. “We have just matched the price…

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