Thursday, June 13

Banking

British International Investment
    • The transaction marks the successful outcome of BII and I&M’s equity partnership for over 7 years as AfricInvest takes over.
    • The institution said that the sale to a like-minded investor is one of the most significant transactions in East Africa in recent years and represents a vote of confidence in the region’s financial services sector.
    • It is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and the Rwandan subsidiary I&M Bank Rwanda PLC is listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange.

    British International Investment (‘BII’)

  • British International Investment (‘BII’), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, has sold its 10.1 per cent stake in I&M Group PLC, the Eastern African banking group, to AfricInvest, a leading Pan-African Asset Management platform.

    The acquisition was made through East Africa Growth Holding, a special-purpose vehicle owned by AfricInvest.

  • I&M Group PLC is a leading banking group in Eastern Africa with a presence in Kenya,
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CBK
    • (CBK) retained its base lending rate at a high of 13 per cent for the second time.
    • This is the highest rate in 12 years, as the apex bank continues implementing monetary policies to manage stubborn inflation.
    • According to CBK data, the country’s borrowers had defaulted on about $4.8 billion as of April, the highest in 18 years, due to the tough credit market.

    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) retains high interest rates

    Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) retained its base lending rate at a high of 13 per cent for the second time driving the borrowing costs in Kenya to remain high for at least the next two months.This is the highest rate in 12 years, as the apex bank continues to implement monetary policies intended to manage the stubborn inflation, which slightly increased to 5.1 per cent last month from five per cent in April.

  • The base-lending
President Ruto
  • President Ruto calls for reforms in the IMF to address emerging global challenges and seeks flexible lending instruments, equitable special drawing rights, and debt financing plans.
  • He also advocates for governance reforms to better represent the Global South’s economic and demographic contributions.
  • These changes are crucial for maintaining the IMF’s relevance and effectiveness in fostering stability and sustainable development.

In a rapidly evolving global economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finds itself at a critical moment as President William Ruto of Kenya articulates in the latest issue of the IMF’s Finance and Development Magazine. With over eight decades of history, the IMF’s journey from supporting the gold standard to promoting flexible exchange rates and development financing mirrors the dynamic changes in the global financial architecture.

President Ruto says that the IMF has to adapt once again, highlighting four key areas for reform: lending instruments, special drawing rights (SDRs), addressing …

World Bank's concessional financing
  • 19 African Heads of State seek to triple IDA’s financing capacity to $279 billion by 2030.
  • IDA remains [Africa’s] most dependable source of capital, with every dollar of donor financing enabling an additional $3.5 in capital market leverage to amplify development impacts: President Ruto
  • We are united by a shared vision for the future of Africa—a continent rich in diversity, culture, and potential, thanks to its young people and natural resources: The World Bank Group President Ajay Banga.

In a historic gathering of 19 African Heads of State and government in Nairobi, Kenya’s President William Ruto has ramped up calls for increased concessional financing from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).

The rallying call, which was made during the International Development Association (IDA21) for Africa Heads of State Summit held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, reverberated with urgency and determination.

President Ruto’s plea sought …

Africa's $824Bn Debt
  • AfDB asks policymakers to put in place an orderly and predictable way of dealing with Africa’s $824Bn debt pile.
  • According to AfDB, Africa’s ballooning external debt reached $824 billion in 2021.
  • AfDB president says there is urgent need for increased concessional financing, particularly for low-income countries. 

Africa’s immense economic potential is being undermined by non-transparent resource-backed loans that complicate debt resolution and compromise countries’ future growth, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has said.

Adesina at the Semafor Africa Summit taking place on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank 2024 Spring Meetings, highlighted the challenges posed by Africa’s ballooning external debt, which reached $824 billion in 2021, with countries dedicating 65 per cent of their GDP to servicing these obligations.

He said the continent would pay $74 billion in debt service payments this year alone, a sharp increase from $17 billion in 2010. “I …

Kenya's remittance inflows
  • Remittance inflows for March grew to $407.8 million, up from $385.9 million in February, with the US maintaining its lead as the top source for Kenya’s remittances.
  • This was also higher by 14.2 percent compared to the $357.0 million sent in the same month last year (March 2023), according to official data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
  • The cumulative inflows for the 12 months to March 2024 totaled $4.4 billion compared to USD 4 billion in a similar period in 2023, an increase of 10 percent.

Kenyans living and working abroad sent home more money in March, boosting the country’s forex reserves and supporting families and friends.

Remittance inflows for March grew to $407.8 million, up from $385.9 million in February, with the US maintaining its lead as the top source for Kenya’s remittances.

This was also higher by 14.2 per cent compared to the $357.0 million sent …

gold-backed currency the ZiG
  • Zimbabwe is phasing out ZWL as it ushers a new gold-backed currency, ZiG, starting today, Monday, 8 April 2024.
  • The ZiG is anchored by 2.5 tonnes of gold in the central bank’s vault and a basket of foreign currencies held as reserves.
  • Zimbabwe’s new Central Bank Governor has announced sweeping reforms as the new currency enters everyday use.

Zimbabwe launched a new currency on Friday, 5 April 2024, called the Zimbabwe Gold or the ZiG. The launch of the new currency occurred during the announcement of the country’s latest Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) in an event presided over by newly appointed central bank governor John Mushayavanhu.

The MPS introduced measures and interventions to anchor the local currency and ensure exchange rate and price stability. The old currency, the ZWL, had depreciated to its lowest against the US dollar, roughly ZWL 32,000. It lost over 90 per cent of its …

Minimum capital requirement
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria has decided to increase the minimum capital requirement for lenders to bolster the country’s economy.
  • Nigerian banks now face weaker capital ratios and higher impaired loans.
  • The last time Nigeria recapitalised its banking sector dates back to 2004.

Minimum capital requirement for lenders

Following the surge in inflation levels, a deteriorating economy, and the plummeting of the Naira, the CBN has decided to increase the minimum capital requirement for lenders to bolster the country’s economy.

Under the new regulations, the Central Bank of Nigeria has raised the capital threshold for international banks to $359 million …

NCBA Group Profits
  • The Kenyan lender with subsidiaries in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda saw customer deposits close at $4.4 billion, 15.3 per cent, year-on-year.
  • Assets grew to $5.5 billion, 18.6 per cent up year-on-year.
  • During the year that ended December 31, 2023, NCBA’s loan book grew to $2.5 billion, up from $2.1 billion the previous year, signalling continued demand for credit.

Nairobi Security Exchange-listed bank–NCBA Group PLC has posted a profit after tax of $162.3 million in its full-year 2023, driven by positive operating income and a decline in loan impairment charges.

This was a 56 per cent increase compared to $104.2 million reported by the regional lender during a similar period …

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