Category Archives: Kenya Re

KPMG on Kenya Taxes in 2021

KPMG East Africa has a summary of some tax proposals in the Finance Bill that will be used to plug the country’s ambitious Kshs 3.6 trillion 2021/22 budget.

Here are some excerpts

For investors

  • Depositories are to enhance the identity of investors i.e buyers and sellers of securities.
  • Creation of post-retirement medical funds in retirement benefits schemes.
  • Clarifies the definition of an infrastructure bond.
  • A capital markets tribunal shall deal with matters before it within 90 days.
  • Moving from 16% to exempt after July 1, 2021, are the transfer of assets into real estate investment trust (REIT’s) and asset-backed securities.


  • Opens up reinsurance to players other than Kenya Re to certify reinsurance contracts.
  • Opens the door to private electricity companies; no longer required to offer their supply to the national grid and they are eligible for investment deductions. Also, if government licenses them, they can compete with KPLC.


  • Tax cases will not stop where there is an ongoing criminal or civil case.
  • Abolishes the amnesty on rental income tax before 2013 (which had since expired).
  • Rewards for informing on tax dodgers; The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) can reward up to Kshs 500,000 (up from 100,000) for information and up to 5% or Kshs 5 million of taxes recovered.
  • Taxpayers are to keep records for 7 years and KRA can assess claims of up to 7 years from the date of a taxpayer’s last return.

Digital Taxes and market

  • PIN’s required for digital marketplace transactions.
  • Digital service tax is removed from residents (only applies to non-residents).
  • Non-resident businesses can maintain records in convertible currencies (not necessarily Kenya shillings).

Large investors

  • To stop base erosion and profit shifting, multinationals / ultimate parent companies are required to file a report on their activities (revenue, profit, taxes paid, employees, assets, cash) in Kenya within 12 months of their financial year-end.
  • Ends group VAT registration for groups of companies; each entity will report its own VAT on transactions.
  • To encourage large investments, there is an exemption for import declaration fee (IDF) and railway development levy (RDL) for investments over Kshs 5 billion or with the approval of the Treasury Cabinet Secretary.

Value Added Tax

  • Introduces VAT on bread.
  • Several items move from 16% to exempt, which means the Treasury CS can exempt them on request. These include infants foods, medical ventilators, lab reagents, gas masks, x-ray equipment, anti-malaria kits and doses, and artificial body parts.
  • Also moving from 16% to exempt, are vehicles for oil & mining companies, and equipment for solar & wind generation.


  • A 20% betting tax returns after being briefly for a year.
  • Bank loan fees no longer incur excise duty.
  • Remove a requirement for VAT regulations to be approved ahead by Parliament; instead they will be shared with legislators under the statutory instruments Act.
  • Withholding tax in oil and mining sectors will be 10%
  • Removes the 10 year limit on carrying tax losses
  • Excise tax goes up on motorcycles and is introduced on jewellery and nicotine substitutes.
  • Reintroduces excise duty on locally-manufactured sugar confectionery and white chocolate that was removed in 2019.

Genghis Stock Picks for 2019

Nairobi-based investment bank Genghis Capital launched their 2019 “investor playbook” with the theme of embracing value. 2018 was a challenging year for the Kenyan economy and capital markets and that is expected to continue in 2019, but this also presents opportunities for investors.

Kenya has a relatively small number of stocks (65) on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) – and Genghis chose nine stocks as their 2019 financial (banking & insurance) and non-financial picks for investors, in three categories:

  • Momentum stocks: Equity Bank, East African Breweries, KCB Group, Safaricom.
  • Income stocks: Stanbic, Barclays Kenya, Standard Chartered, KCB. 
  • Value stocks: Kenya Reinsurance, KCB, Bamburi Cement. 

They cited that Safaricom scored positively in every category while KCB and Equity banks had embraced digitization, high asset quality and low cost structures.

Other points from the playbook launch presentation:

  • They do not expect a repeal of interest rate caps this year, even though its impact has been negative on the economy.
  • Funds raised for infrastructure bonds are not all being used for that; some are going to retire other debts and they should be properly used
  • Public-private partnerships are not coming to fruition; paperwork for the Nairobi-Nakuru highway was submitted in April 2018 but there has been no decision.
  • To a question – “what is the regulator doing to increase the confidence of investors amid fraud incidents?” – the CMA can only do so much and the onus is still on the company directors. International markets have graver penalties than Kenya and perhaps it is time the Director of Public Prosecutions started looking at some cases here and following through on enforcement. 
  • While Kenya Re is a pick in the playbook, they generally don’t cover the insurance sector – it has challenges including fraud, price under-cutting, and low penetration levels (3%) and a lot has to happen to unlock value and growth in the insurance mass market. Kenya Re is there because it is under-valued (owing to lack of clear strategy and proper management) but would be desirable to other insurance investors if the government decided to sell its shareholding.
  • They expect one main listing and others on the smaller NSE boards this year. But while a number of planned privatizations have been mentioned  – Consolidated and Development banks, Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Ports they face numerous hurdles while others like sugar companies in Western Kenya have been on the pipeline since 2011. 

Kenya Insurance 2007 Rankings

Insurance Company of East Africa Assets 19,151 million [19.15 billion or ~ $309 million] (profit of 545 million) [$8.8 million]
Kenya Reinsurance 14,710 (965 million)
Jubilee Insurance 12,459
British American Insurance 10,252 (512)
Kenindia Assurance 9,886
UAP Insurance 7,245 (888)
Old Mutual Life Assurance 6,447
CFC life — (255 million profit)
Heritage AII 4,522 (364)
APA Insurance 4,491
Lion of Kenya Insurance 3,722 (179)
Phoenix (East Africa) Assurance 3,669 (103)
Blue Shield 3,109
Kenya Alliance 2,798
Madison Insurance 2,751
Cooperative Insurance 2,437 (140)
AIG Kenya Insurance 2,337 (217)
General Accident Insurance 2,192 (216)
Cannon Assurance 2,163 (60)
First Africa Assurance 1,781 (103)
Apollo Insurance 1,774
Geminia Insurance 1,223 (24)
Fidelity Shield 1,194 (98)
Trident Insurance 1,178 (54)
Real Insurance 1,107 (92)
Gateway Insurance 1,058
Tausi Assurance 949 (2)
Occidental Insurance 937 (63)
Mercantile Insurance 910 (34)
Standard Assurance 896 (6)
East Africa Re 872 (119)
Intra Africa Assurance 855
Corporate Insurance 809 (23)
Concord Insurance 757 (28)
Directline Assurance 730
Monarch Insurance 683 (9)
Amaco 674 (43)
Pioneer Assurance 508 (4)
Mayfair insurance 478 (-1)
Kenya Orient 443 (19)
Metropolitan Insurance 437
PACIS 220 (27)
Trinity Life Assurance 219

Kutwa Tuesday

West to East: Following Bank of Africa (2004) and Ecobank (taking over EABS), West African’ leading bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA) is making an entry to East Africa starting with Uganda and have also applied for a license to bank in Kenya.

Venture Capital Fund: From the East African Development Bank (EADB) is now operational, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa are eligible for funding.

Uchumi’s turnaround : Uchumi have finally published their financial results of the receivership period from 2006 to 2008. The turnaround has been remarkable and in the half-year ending December 2007, they surpassed full-year sales from 2006 (year of collapse). The current ratio is still poor (less than 1), but that’s about three times better than it was when the company sunk.

The company lost 751 million in June 06, which improved the first year of receivership to a loss of 257m in 07 – and are on track to make a profit in 2008 – while operating fewer stores. It’s probably too soon to be re-listed (there would only be sellers, no buyers) and a dividend would not be likely for 5 years as the company still has an accumulated loss (negative reserves) of about 1 billion shillings ($15 million)

peeves two things irritate me though at Uchumi (i) their cashiers never have any shilling coins and insist on giving out sweets in lieu of change (ii) Cashiers’ who take advantage of my not having a u-card to top up their accounts with points I pay for.

Insurer collapses: Invesco assurance finaly goes under. The company which insured many matatu’s is now under statutory management and can’t make any policy payments or sign up new business. And when the history of the company is written, one paragraph must address why almost every insurance company (including Invesco) decided to put up an expensive office building in the Upper Hill area of Nairobi, far away from their core clientele.

Kenya Re profits: How much did Kenya Re earn in 2007? An interesting discussion at stockskenya.

Diaspora dollars: How much do Kenya’s abroad remit to the country (through official channels)? CBK reports $54 million in January 2008 and the country is on track for an increase from the $573 million sent in 2007.

Dollar launderer: A Nation report cites US concern about money laundering in Kenya which has weak laws regarding the crime. The State Department report notes the difficulty as Kenya is a hub that mixes regional trade with exports to East & Central Africa, donor aid & NGO’s (managing over U.S. $1 billion annually), remittances from expatriate Kenyans estimated at $680-780 million annually, and Eastleigh Estate which handles unofficial remittances by the Somalia Diaspora. Also, though banks maintain records of transactions over U.S. $100,000 and international transfers over U.S. $50,000 (and report them to the CBK) they fear customer reactions to such release of information – and this was hammered home by a November 2007 court award that ordered Barclays Bank to pay a customer 400,000 shillings ($5,700) for providing customer details to the British High Commission.

New boards
– The Kenya college of communication and technology (KCCT) board now has Michael Joseph, Nick Nesbitt, Naushad Merali and Paul Kukubo to guide some relevance in communications training.
– The Resettlement fund (for election victims) has retired archbishop Ndingi, former minister Akaranga, and retired athlete Kipchoge Keino on board.

Taxes, IPO’s and Unit Trusts

Taxing corruption
So Parliamentdealt another blow to the war on corruption by denying the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission with the authority to investigate crimes that happened before it was formed (2003).

KACC as a body has aimed high (going after high profile figures – CEO’s, Ministers) but mostly caught small fry leaving many Kenyans dissatisfied and who now consider the Commission to be a waste of money

But there’s another public institution – the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) that has achieved milestones in the war of corruption that KACC can only dream of. They have gone after untouchables, and some lawyers and MP’s have had their accounts and salaries frozen and asset seized. Now if only they could publicize this.

RICO in Kenya?

Why not legislate a tax on corruption, so if you’re named, you could lose 90% of property, leaving the accused with 10%? This is humane, but is as good as taking back everything – and bypassing court processes. Hitting Pattni with a tax bill would end 10 years of court injunction and delays and realize some significant gains in cash recovered.

Kenye Re slipping away
My strategy to bypass the IPO of Kenya Re not working as well as I thought. I placed orders at 13 shillings, only for the share to zoom. It’s tempting to buy the shares at 17 or 18 and then the balance when they drop (if ever).

Unit Trust get more accessible
Market leader, Old Mutual, has lowered their minimum entry amount for unit trusts from Kshs.500,000 to Kshs. 200,000 (about $3,000). The offer runs till December 2007.