Reading the tea leaves at Central Bank
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) FY 2009 (PDF) results are out and, compared to last year, it’s a different story.
Banking on other Income: CBK is another institution that has had other income yield great returns. While net interest income was down from 10.3 to 8.4 billion, and commission income on treasury bills and bonds was flat at 3 billion (investors opting for corporate bonds), CBK booked a forex gain of 13 billion ($173 mullion) up from 54 million on revaluation (a 25,000% gain) and 4.8 billion from the controversial $45 million sale of the Grand Regency Hotel. So profit for the year was 23 billion ($306 million), up from 9 billion in the year before, and CBK paid a dividend of 7.2 billion ($96 million) to the Government of Kenya (GoK) (up from 4 billion). And while CBK is exempt from income tax, KRA (the tax man) is not letting go of a Kshs. 22 million employee tax dispute with the CBK.
Make it Rain: Kenya has Kshs. 108 billion (~1.4 billion) worth of currency in circulation (up from 100 billion in ‘08). Currency costs (sourced from De La Rue) were 1.1 billion (~15 million) to produce new notes (up from 330 m).
Generous Creditor: CBK lends to employees at 3% (perks of banking) and charge the government 3% on their overdraft. In a July 07 agreement GoK agreed to pay CBK 1.11 billion p.a. over 32 years at 3% to settle a GoK overdraft dating back to 1997. The CBK act limits the GoK overdraft to 5% of gross recurrent revenue (so currently this should not exceed 17 billion)
UK assets: CBK has 194 billion in assets held with united kingdom banks, that’s even more than Kenya (66 billion), or the rest of Europe (31), and USA (20) while all their 312 billion liabilities are in Kenya. This was even after they increased euro and dollar assets, and reduced sterling pounds, compared to ’08.
Loans & Rates: CBK loans to commercial banks stood at 15 billion ($200 million), up from 8.5 billion. They lent money to commercial banks at 8% p.a and earned 6.64% on treasury bills/bonds.
No Gold Standard: CBK gold holdings are just 34 million (less than $500,000) up from 28m year before. In comparison, just this week, India pipped China in the gold race buying $6.7 billion worth of gold from the IMF in hard currency (but is still only 10th largest holder)