Business highlights – October 23 2017

Business highlights – October 23 2017

International fashion brands partner with Kenyan manufacturer

International fashion brands including Arrow, Calvin Klein, Cherokee and Izod  have signed with Kenya-based firms, officials at the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) have confirmed. Hela Clothing, a new EPZ firm, is currently manufacturing Calvin Klein underwear. The company employs 1,500 workers and is in the process of expanding in a bid to double its workforce.

50% of manufacturers plan to lay off employees due to tough operating environment

At least 47% of Kenya’s manufacturing firms intend to lay off employees due to a projected slump in revenue growth, a third quarter report from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers has revealed. And while 22% intend to hire new ones, only 31% intend to maintain the same number of employees. The KAM survey found that about 59% of the firms pointed out lack of demand as a barrier to their revenue growth, 58% attributed the forecasted zero growth to legislative pressures, while 63% thought that competition from cheap imports is a key contributor to the predicted slowdown in growth. Reasons for sluggish growth included high prices of raw materials, capital constraints in terms of access to credit, taxation policies and a continuous trend in decreased profitability as per their performance in the last three months.

Chemotherapy and dialysis top list of insurance claims as NHIF pays Ksh5.9 billion in medical bills

Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, dialysis and diagnostic tests such as MRI and CT scans are some of the top medical insurance claims in Kenya, National Hospital Insurance Fund CEO, Geoffrey Mwangi has said. Official records show that the Fund paid Ksh5.9 billion in members’ medical bills in the four months to October while Ksh3.1 billion was paid out for specialised, major and minor surgeries alone during the review period, easing the cost burden on Kenyans undergoing surgical procedures in local hospitals. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy accounted for Ksh769 million while magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan and dialysis took out Ksh264 million.

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