Business news highlights

NTA survey report reveals how governors misuse funds

The National Taxpayers Association (NTA) has released a report showing how six counties misused funds meant for development. The report, dubbed County Citizen Report Cards (CRCs) was released yesterday and reveals that at least 16 per cent of funds allocated for development projects were wasted.

The analysis also shows that out of the Sh1.7 billion allocated to the six sampled counties, Sh274 million was wasted. Some Sh9 million was unaccounted for while Sh26 million went to abandoned projects in the counties. Meanwhile, Sh273 million was used in projects that still need additional funds.

Kenya to deepen bilateral relations with Mexico

Kenya is set to further deepen its bilateral relations with Mexico, the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs has confirmed. Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki met with Mexican Ambassador to Kenya Erasmo Martinez who called on her at Harambee House office Nairobi on Tuesday. The two held talks on various aspects of mutual benefit to both countries.

Kenya and Mexico established diplomatic relations on 15 March 1977, fourteen years after Kenya gained independence from the United Kingdom. In March 1981, Mexico opened an embassy in Nairobi. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, both nations have increased their involvements in mutual scientific, educational and cultural exchanges cooperation. In 2014, two-way trade between both nations amounted to $13.9 million (Sh1.4 billion).

Bamburi Cement to donate land as firm moves to support tourism sector

Regional manufacturer, Bamburi Cement has reaffirmed its commitment to Kenya’s tourism sector following the company’s assurance to donate land aimed at supporting the industry.

Bruno Pescheux, Managing Director of Bamburi Cement, stated that the firm will offer its support to the sector.  Pescheux was speaking during a courtesy call to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Tuesday. The two discussed the renewal of an MOU, where Bamburi Cement would donate land to put up a Convention Centre in support of the tourism industry.

Tanzanian-owned M Oriental Bank begins operations in Kenya

Bank M Tanzania has officially kicked off operations in Kenya by acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Oriental Commercial Bank. The lender will now operate as M Oriental Bank after getting regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

Bank M Tanzania Chief Executive Sanjeev Kumar says the bank will start operations with eight branches which were originally Oriental’s and plans to open six more in the near future.

Kumar said during the launch of M Oriental bank in Nairobi on Wednesday that the acquisition of the 51 per cent is expected to be completed by September 2016. The new bank will kick off with an operating capital of Sh2.5 billion and would be targeting Sh5 billion following the proposal by Treasury to raise banks’ capital to Sh5 billion from the current Sh1 billion.

AFC in Sh303Bn deal with Harith General Partners to provide power to African countries

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Harith General Partners have created a new energy joint venture capable of generating 1,575 megawatts (MW) of electricity in at least 10 African countries by merging assets totalling $3.3 billion (Sh303 billion).

The agreement comes at a time when chronic power shortages are one of the biggest obstacles to growth in countries across Africa. It also comes hot on the heels of Kenya’s palns to construct the region’s largest wind power farm, a move that will aid the country in further driving down the cost of electricity.

 

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