Kenya Development Corporations Merged

July 2021 saw the announcement of the conclusion of merger plans for a Kenya Development Bank. In a gazette notice, the Government announced the creation of the Kenya Development Corporation in June 2021, which comprises the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), the Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) and IDB Capital (formerly known as the Industrial Development Bank).

Industrial & Commercial Development Corporation:

ICDC owns 89% of Development Bank of Kenya, 27% of East African Fisheries, 17% of Eveready Batteries, 18% of Funguo Investments, 20% of General Motors East Africa, 4% of IDB Capital, 46% of KWA Holdings (KWAL) 27% of Mountain Region Poultry, 28% of Sisibo Tea, 2% of Uchumi Supermarkets, 31% of Almasi Beverages, 20% of Aon Minet Insurance and 23% of Centum Investments. Through a defunct subsidiary also 5% of Panpaper Mills, and 100% of Kenatco Taxis and 100% of Kenatco Transport.

ICDC also owns Uchumi House and Finance House in Nairobi and plots in Mombasa, Eldama Ravine, Eldoret and Embu, with another next to Malindi airport.

Tourism Finance Corporation:

TFC has subsidiaries including the Bomas of Kenya, Kabarnet Hotel (98%), Sunset Hotel at Kisumu (95%). Also Kenya Safari Lodges (82%), Mt Elgon Lodge (73%), Buffalo Springs (41%), Golf Hotel at Kakamega (40%), Mountain Lodge at Nyeri (39%) as well as 9% of Mararal Lodge and 5% of the Ark. Also Kenya Hotel Properties i.e. Nairobi’s InterContinental Hotel (33%) and International Hotels Kenya i.e Nairobi’s Hilton Hotel (41%). It also owns 52% of African Tours & Hotels (in liquidation).

TFC, previously known as the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation, owns Utalii house, a building on Moi Avenue Nairobi and a plot on prime Nkrumah avenue in Mombasa

IDB Capital:

IDB owns 0.3% of Consolidated Bank, 0.9% of Nzoia Sugar and 0.3% of South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony) and a sliver of the Africa Export-Import Bank (AfrExIm)

Other:

All assets, securities and systems of the three institutions are now vested in the new corporation.

KBA documenting the History of Kenyan Banking

This month, the Kenya Banker’s Association (KBA), the umbrella and advocacy group for the banking industry is celebrating its 59th anniversary. One of its recent projects has been to document the history of banking in the country. This stretches back to 1896 when the National Bank of India, which later evolved into KCB, opened a branch at Mombasa.

The KBA’s Banking History website and documentary project has a timeline of different banking eras. Key moments over the last 125 years include the banking growth that followed the Uganda railway, developing local regulation after Kenya’s independence, the Africanisation and the indigenous banks push in the 1970s. Others are surviving bank collapses in the ’80s and ’90s, interest rate controls and recent banking responses to Covid-19.

Key throughout has been the embrace of technology from the late 1960s, on through computerization and on to the mobile phone era of the 2010s. Along with tracing banking trends like increasing financial inclusion and developing products for informal and small businesses, the KBA timeline also highlights how banks are anticipating, building skills and preparing for the next age of banking. This is expected to revolve around competition with global fintechs, digitization of all customer processes, and embracing financial sustainability principles.

EFG Hermes launches online trading in Kenya

Kenya’s leading stockbroker, EFG Hermes has launched One, a new online platform that enables retail investors to trade shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

EFG Hermes One, the equities trading platform will be available to clients of the stockbroker. The One app has been very successful in other markets, notably in Vietnam and the firm hopes to capitalize on the high mobile phone density in Kenya, reported at 108%. 

Speaking at the launch, the CEO of the NSE Geoffrey Odundo said that Kenya has an active retail investor base as seen with M-Akiba, a government bond issued and traded on mobile phones that drew 500,000 investors. He added that the new NSE platform has the ability for “day-trading” and “short-selling” and those would be products that appeal to retail investors.

Muathi Kilonzo, Head of Equities at EFG Hermes Kenya said that retail investors across the globe showed great activity in powering different equities and investments markets while the world was slowed by Covid-19.

Ali Khalpey, the CEO of Frontier Markets, said EFG Hermes started in Egypt 35 years ago and had grown to have 5,500  employees and offices in Egypt, Dubai, Nigeria, Kuwait, USA, Oman, UK, Kenya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan offering stockbroking, investment banking, asset management, securities brokerage, research, and private equity services.

In 2017, EFG Hermes launched a greenfield operation in Kenya that has grown to be the top stockbroker by value traded on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2021. Last year it was acclaimed as the top frontier research institution and the best broker in Kenya and Nigeria. It produces highly prized research reports on frontier markets with recent ones on Kenyan banks, the silicon savannah potential and digitizing COVID-19 stimulus initiatives.

Download the One app from the Apple app store and Google play store, register to be an EFG Hermes client, and get on board after a regulator-mandated, know-your-customer (KYC) process.

Safaricom launches M-Pesa super-App

Safaricom has formally re-launched the next phase of the M-Pesa app as a rich financial management tool that does not depend on a single network or data to operate.

The M-Pesa service, which now has 30 million users, has been redesigned to allow biometric (face/fingerprint) authorization of transactions as an option to entering a PIN. Users can also load up different transactions, amounts and recipients and approve them all as a single bulk payment. It also allows emojis and images of counter-parties and there is also a “request money” feature.

During Covid-19, Safaricom saw an initial dip in the numbers of business using M-pesa, formally and informally, but a new business app, coupled with online applications for the business till numbers, saw them double the number of business customers from the beginning of the pandemic. Some key new features are that users will be able to add “reasons/notes” to payments, generate visualizations of transactions with individuals and download statements, which are all important to cash flow and fund management.

The app can work in offline mode, does not use data, Also M-Pesa has taken the WeChat route with mini-apps as Safaricom seeks to establish a play store for Kenya. It has fourty mini-apps are in development and seven are now live. One is the Kenya Railways Madaraka Express train service between Nairobi and Mombasa, and booking a ticket on the app gives back 10% to the buyer’s wallet. New users also get 500 MB for each download from the Android or Apple stores.

In the future, there are plans to have the M-Pesa app be accessible for lifestyle and business purposes in any African country. Users will also be able to store their credit card details to fund their wallet, enabling remittance and payment transactions.

Political Party Finances in 2020

Last week, many of us have discovered that we have been apparently being registered as members of political parties without our knowledge. This comes courtesy of data uploaded to the national ecitizen registry by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP)

I have apparently of the Jubilee Party since 2017, the Party that produced the President and Deputy President and has a dysfunctional majority in Parliament. It has roped in ODM, the party that should be the minority, into a handshake agreement and this means there is no opposition party in Parliament.

The ORPP also administers the Political Parties Fund that draws funds from taxpayers, and for 2019/2020, it disbursed Kshs 872 million, with 564 million going to the Jubilee Party and 263 million to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

What is the state of the different party finances? What is the best party to take over?

Here’s a peek into their financing.

  • Jubilee Party. Income of KShs 862 million. Last year, the political parties registrar announced that Jubilee was eligible to receive Kshs 161 million from the political parties fund for the first quarter of2020/2021. The party has income of 103M from public contributions and staggering Kshs 758 million from other governments, gifts and in-kind services (up from 240M the year before). They spent a sizeable Kshs 87 million on rent, Kshs 166 million on staff and Kshs 271 million in general expenses – and now have an accumulated surplus of Kshs 257 million up from a deficit of Kshs 70 million the year before. (Read more)
  • Orange Democratic Movement (ODM): Income of Kshs 1.5 billion income* in 2020. The party claims they are owed Kshs 7.5 billion by the political parties fund and “booked Kshs 1.2 billion of transfer owed” as income from 2018. The registrar of parties says ODM is eligible to receive Kshs 75M from the Political Parties Fund for the first quarter of 2020/2021. ODM was seeking a presidential candidate earlier this year for 2022, who is a committed, passionate disciplined and dependable party member who can mount a successful campaign. The fee was Kshs 1 million and with a reduced amount of Shs 500,000 for women, youth or persons with disabilities.
  • FORD Kenya is Kshs income 9 million in 2020, with its MP’s contributing half of its income. It is a well-run party despite its leadership wrangles but has received no money from their parliamentary coalition partner (ODM), for three years now.
  • Kenya African National Union (KANU) income of Kshs 5 million in 2020. KANU which ruled Kenya from 1963 to 2002, owes Kshs 176 million to creditors and has an accumulated deficit of Kshs 173 million. No results since 2013, it used Co-op Bank of as do most parties since the bank, and Equity, have branches outside Parliament.
  • Wiper: Kshs 15M income in 2018 when it budgeted for, but did not get, 6 million from PPP funds. Edith Nyenze and Maluki Mwenda each paid 200,000 as nomination fees. Previously, Wiper got Kshs 130 million income in the 2017 election year with 46 million from members and 52 million from election fees.
  • Amani National Congress: Revenue of Kshs 12.5 million (2019) from members contributions and donations. Already seeking aspirants for MP, MCA, women representative, governor and senator seats for the next scheduled election of 2022.
  • Narc Kenya: Has income of Kshs 5M (2019) as both members and MP’s contribute to its activity and financing.
  • Maendeleo Chap Chap had Kshs 38 million income in 2017. Their founder gave Kshs 36M million, and they spent 15M on recruitment, 5M on member cards, 4M on rent for HQ, 2.7M on branding, and 3.2M on office operations & postage.

Other less active parties with financial numbers include:

  • Democratic Party: income of Kshs 3 million (2019)
  • Green Congress: income of Kshs 3M (2018)
  • PDP: Kshs 2M income (2018)
  • Safina: Kshs 1.6M income (2018)
  • PNU: Kshs 1M income (2018). The Party won the 2007 election for Mwai Kibaki and later earned Kshs 21 million in the 2017 election year.
  • The New Democrats: Kshs 1M (2018), the Mombasa party’s year of formation.
  • Social Democrats: Kshs 0.5M (2018)
  • KADU Asili: Kshs 6M income (2017).
  • Civic Renewal Party is a new party, has high rent (Kshs 4 million), but no officials.
  • National Vision Party: No income in 2018. Their office is at Vision Plaza, and they claim to have 479,000 members.
  • Other parties, with no numbers shared, are the Thirdway Alliance, Roots Party, Ukweli Party, New Democrats, Maziingira Party (previously the people patriotic party), Alliance Party of Kenya, Chama Mwangaza Daima, Independent Party (TIP – whose founder passed away a few weeks ago), Communist Party, Kenya Social Congress, Agano party, Conservative Party of Kenya, Grand National Union Party of Kenya, Muungano Party and Mwangaza Party.
  • Last year the ORPP registered 21 parties. also rejected 176 others, most of which were because their names “lacks outright meaning)”. ORPP also refused to register several party names that play around the names of “Hustler” and “Building Bridges”. The given reasons are that Hustler is founded on one social grouping while BBI is an ongoing public agenda matter.

EDIT: The Political Parties Fund has paid the Jubilee Party (JP) Kshs 353.8 million and the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) Kshs 165.2 million for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of the financial year 2020/2021.