Business News Highlights

Cabinet approves law allowing borrowers to use household goods as collateral for bank loans

Kenya’s Cabinet has approved a new Bill that allows borrowers to use their household goods as collateral for bank loans. The new law seeks to empower a largely untapped market of borrowers who do not own land, which banks prefer to use as collateral.

Cabinet said that the Bill will provide for the creation of an electronic registry and create an enabling environment to lend against moveable assets as collateral. Goods listed in the registry may include cookers, fridges and other appliances. They will be listed using a unique identification number, allowing lenders to keep track of them. If made into law, the proposed Bill will allow borrowers to use their moveable assets to secure loans from different lenders.

KEBS bans use of twisted metal in construction

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has outlawed the use of twisted metal bars in construction due to safety concerns. Following consultations with local manufacturers, KEBS has deemed the bars unsafe and will phase them out in the coming months. The regulator said in a statement that going forward, only ribbed bars will be manufactured and sold in Kenya.

KEBS Managing Director, Charles Ongwae said that the new law will take effect on April 1, 2017, following an agreement from the Bureau, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and steel industry stakeholders.

Bliss GVS wins Sh11 billion contract to provide healthcare services to 304,000 Kenyans

Bliss GVS Healthcare Ltd, the Kenyan step down subsidiary of M/s Bliss GVS Pharma Ltd, has won a Three Year Contract worth $111.4 million (Sh11.3 billion) from Aon Kenya Insurance Brokers Ltd, for the provision of medical healthcare services in Kenya. The contract covers outpatient services for over 304,060 members.

The medical cover, to be managed by AON Kenya Insurance Brokers Ltd, will benefit the principle contributor, his/her spouse and up to four children. It provides for dental, optical an on outpatient basis and for maternity care.

NSE set to record 25 per cent decline in net profit in 2016

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is expected to record a decline of more than 25 per cent in net profit attributable to the shareholders of the Company for the financial year ended 31 December 2016 as compared to that for the same period ending 31 December 2015, its Board of Directors has said. This was due in part to a decline in equity market prices, with trading revenues accounting for 53 per cent of the Company’s revenues stream.

In a statement issued this morning, the NSE Board noted that over the course of 2016, the Kenyan economy and particularly the Capital Markets sector has remained resilient despite a challenging operating environment both locally and internationally. The Board added that the market has recorded increased volume of traded units for the period ended 30 September 2016 as compared to the same period last year. Though equities turnover decreased as at end of October 2016, compared to the same period in 2015, Bond turnover increased significantly. The Board noted that this segment continues to register good performance.

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