Business Brief’s: May 15

S& L will provide housing finance for government civil servants: A rate of 5% over 18 years is unprecedented – but 600 million shillings means it will benefit as most 120 mid-tier admins going by the current housing prices.

Blue-chip black eyes: It must be bad for employees of blue-chip banks and companies in Nairobi like Barclays, Citi, AIG – to have to face the press and their peers while their parent companies are admitting bad sub-prime decisions, write-offs, layoffs and record losses.

Stockbroker charged: A rogue stockbroker finally arrested but given the inability to prosecute white-collar crimes here, and the legal delays that lawyers are able to get their wealthy clients, it may not bring much comfort to his former clients.

Cement shortage in Tanzania, is the 2010 World Cup to blame?

EA Aviation

(i) New A320 aircraft for Air Tanzania
(ii) Air Uganda now flies to Jo-Burg – so do any Ugandans still have to get up at 4 a.m. to route through KQ Nairobi?
(iii) What’s a KQ 737 doing in Amsterdam?
all photos from

Also, the site get a lot of hits from people looking for jobs with Emirates thanks to a few posts over the years about the airline hiring cabin crew in Nairobi. But it’s tough to get a job with Emirates, though they get 90 new flight attendants each week and former US pilots joining, they only hire about 5% of applicants.

Pan African media race
Nation Media Group whose vision is to be the ‘media of Africa for Africans’ have launched a digital platform to satisfy subscribers (esp. in Diaspora) who want video and text online. They will combine their radio, print and video broadcasts while also welcoming citizen journalism ‘where viewers send in pictures and give an understanding of events in their neighborhoods’ – according to their annual report, this will add to their revenues.

Businessman Chris Kirubi also has ambitious plans to expand his media network, and after bringing CNBC Africa to Nairobi this year, may next try to create a Capital platform like the Nation’s.

Economic signs
You know the economy is bad when;
– Your favorite bartender steals shamelessly from you and you celebrate his firing
– Previously ‘safe’ parking spots become vandalism spots
– Anyone traveling up-country is targeted with requests to buy cheap vegetables – but there are none available
– It takes a long time to fill a matatu in rush hour as many people are opting to walk

Economic Ying Yang;
soft drinks EABL have a run away hit with their Alvaro (pear and pineapple juice), but KETEPA should probably have educated Kenyans on what ‘iced tea’ is before launching their new safari
Money transferImperial Bank signed up with Moneygram, while Family bank and Housing Finance have just signed to become agents Safaricom’ M-Pesa.
Petrol prices finally hit 100 shillings ($1.62) a litre of K-Street, but at least you can still buy the same for 92/= in Ngara

Barclays scholarships for mathematicians
Yale Leadership Training Program seeks leaders of tomorrow
Investment challenge for undergraduate university students to simulate NSE investments and win prizes and internships.

9 thoughts on “Business Brief’s: May 15

  1. Wanjiku Unlimited

    Lol This new KETEPA iced tea. Last month I attended a sports event for the tea industry in Mombasa and word was that among other drinks there was also Chai ya bure. I looked at the people running around playing soccer and other fun games and others downing beers and I thought who is going to go take tea? On a Saturday afternoon in Mombasa? Kumbe it was iced tea and not steaming mugs as the perception among most people was.

    The thing is, as you say people need some education on the whole iced tea concept. I tasted all the flavours that day. Unfortunately I cant quite recall them right now. I think the apple flavour was nice. Another flavour had too much sugar and yet another tasted like some cough syrup.KETEPA was marketing the new teas and what better way to market than to sponsor an East Africa Tea Trade Association sports function.

  2. Maishinski

    Chai ya barafu? Kitu gani hii?!

    In other news… NSE Chairman comes out with gunz blazing.

    Now that he’s quitting, Jimnah Mbaru can finally speak his mind – and he’s not pulling any punches!

    HOWEVER… who’s foolong who? JM should have taken some action when he was calling the shots at NSE. Am sure these bright ideas did not just come up yesterday!

    Or is the realization of how badly Nyagah stock brokers (et al) have totally screwed up his legacy in the minds of investors finally sinking in?

    Now JM sounds just like a politician – abusinng our intelligence by feeding us with wishful rhetoric instead of tangible results!

    Kudos to him for speaking up at least once though! Maybe the NSE cartel frustrated him – considering that it comprises of the very rogue/criminal brokers that need to be tamed… and they DO need to be tamed ASAP!!!

    CMA, CBK, Finance Ministry – stop sleeping on the job and draft some investment legistlation pronto!

    Link to JB statement on BD (in case you missed it):

  3. ka-investor

    iced tea arouses a lot of curiosity…especially in the rural areas where they will easily mistake it for ‘chai baridi’. Lol!

    BTW: DJ. CK was really eying Kenya Times last year, but Moi stuck to the loss making media house like glue. I wonder what plans he has with it…coz it’s dead like a dodo.

  4. Mitzy

    Was that 737 sited in Amsterdam brand new? Maybe a delivery from Boeing?

    KQ has been nominated for 2008 Best Airline Based in Africa alongside Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, South African Airways, Virgin Nigeria. It would be interested to find out the average # of cabin crew Emirates poaches from KQ annually.

    As for safari ice tea, what is the price per bottle? Yeah, people need to know that its black tea, without milk + has flavoring. Justification for paying for strungi baridi! I’m not seeing it catching on amongst locals beyond cities such as Nairobi.

    As for the cement issue, in Uganda, they are still building the 5star Hilton hotel, meant to be a 23flr building. Apparently there was no equipment anywhere in Uganda that could handle a 23-floor building so they had to import stuff such as a concrete mixer that can deliver concrete up to 320metres above ground.

  5. Java Muse

    I cannot remember where I read this but KLM are conducting routine maintenance on their fleet and hence Kenya Airways are flying the Nairobi – Amsterdam route until June 30

  6. bankelele

    Wanjiku: there you go, I have never understood iced tea, or coffee. choclate milk is as hybrid as i can go. But, I’ll try the Ketepa for taste when I get a chance

    Maishinski: Not just Nyaga but FT has mars Mbaru’s term which would be wonderful from Kengen to Safaricom – and bringing 1/2 dozen new companies to the bourse

    Ka-investor: unless its for exports, i don’t see it selling like Alvaro in bars
    Kenya Times seems to have a lot of suitors,

    Mitzy: I can’t recall any 737 deliveries this year (if photog the date is correct)
    – More power to KQ if theyc an get some awards and good press going with their 2008 financial results
    – CHOGM stories never seem to end, but I wonder, would Kenya have fared any better?

    Java Muse: Going by the photog date, thsi precedes the announcement. But maybe, in the post-election low passenger volume period, perhaps KQ figured to send a full 737 instead of an ’empty’ 777

  7. adam cartwright

    first, the iced tea goes for 60 shillings for the 500 ml and probably cheaper for the smaller one. it is true one indeed, i think the lemon, tastes much like a lot of cough syrup, i test drove the flavours too and liked it. it is currently made and imported from malysia while the the ketepa factory in industrial area is still being refitted. most people dont understand the concept, they thinkit is turungi in a loud green bottle. i think it is over priced though. turungi at 60 bob. in the middle of a supposedly flagging economy?

    second. equity has tried to pump in cash at housing finance but cant legally… so they will now buy the rights of the market at market price over a coming duration to lock in a stake… they might actually secure an exception from the minister now because the same clique will control up to 98% of the company.

  8. Kelly

    I think Ketepa did it all wrong. Iced tea is like a class drink here in Kenya. Methinks if they had taken the marketing approach and packaging that EABL has done with Alvaro, they’d catch more pple who are willing to ‘spend’ 60 bob on strungi.

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