[Kenya Business Week] The UK, China trade factor
Fresh from discussing bilateral ties with the United States, Kenya has overt the past few days held trade negotiations and deals with UK and China as the super powers seeks to grow their influence in the country.
In her maiden trip to Africa, UK Prime Minister announced £300 million worth of deals with African nations. In Kenya she announced the entry of twenty new UK businesses , a feat she termed as a clear demonstration of the confidence the British business community has in Kenya’s attractive investment environment. Last year Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta met the UK Prime Minister to discuss post brexit relations between the two countries as experts continue calling for hasty negotiations with one of Kenya's largest trading partner. This, as President Kenyatta this week joined his African peers at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation where the Chinese government announced a $60 billion kitty for Africa development.
Still on the import exporting trade front, Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited has awarded Japanese company Marubeni Corporation an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the construction of a 70 megawatts class geothermal power plant in the Olkaria area of Nakuru County. The company now joins international player including Africa Development Bank and Akira Geothermal Limited who are involved in the development of a source of energy that Kenya is betting on to bridge the national shortfall.
NIC Bank has partnered with MHH Japanese Cars, a subsidiary of MHH International, to extend loans to customers for Japanese sourced second-hand vehicles. The partnership will see the bank’s new and existing customers able to import quality vehicles directly from Japan and enjoy up to 80% financing. This follows another recent partnership between the bank and Simba Corporation Ltd targeting individuals, SMEs and large commercial businesses which will see the two partners jointly tour over 30 counties across the country to showcase the brands and introduce the new Fuso model, the FI.
United Arab Emirates investment banking firm Nimai was also this week involved in a placement of $10 million loan to Kenya’s Victoria Commercial Bank from US based lending institution World Business Capital Inc with a guarantee from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The firm is the bank’s financial advisor.
In real estate, Cytonn Real Estate, the development affiliate of Cytonn Investments,has released its Kenya Retail Sector Report - 2018. The report themed “Retail Sector Recovers in Key Urban Cities except Nairobi”, showed that Mombasa and Mt. Kenya are the best regions for retail real estate development because of high retail space demand. The company also releases other dedicated sectoral reports including on the banking sector.
One of Kenya’s largest grower and exporter of cut flowers, Oserian Development Company this week embarked on an elaborate expansion of its key facilities as it seeks to tap into its newly launched industrial park, an anchor project in its diversification strategy. It has already signed a number of tenants in the industrial park including French flower breeder George Delbard.
In matters technology, Safaricom has announced new security measures to address the issue of SIM swap fraud. To further complement voice biometrics, Safaricom will be exploring the use of finger and facial recognition. This, as the government steps up efforts to arrest sim fraud.
Google also released top trending searches for the month of 2018. Sports betting platforms dominated the list of search items by Kenyans once again showing how betting is becoming a national past time. This, as studies show that millenials continue to spend considerable amount of money on betting.