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The East African : Jan 26th 2015
56 JANUARY 24-30,2015 BUSINESS, MARKETS AND FINANCIAL ANALYSIS THE MARKET WHISPERER EQUITY MARKETS (WEEKLY CHANGE IN BENCHMARK INDEX) NSE 20 Share Index Kenya 5217.88 0.27% (CUMULATIVE MOVEMENT) DSE All Share Index Tanzania 2708.38 2.55% USE All Share Index Uganda 1989.55 -0.11% RSE All Share Index Rwanda 137.47 0.92% JSE All Share Index South Africa 49907.15 3.30% NGSE All Share Index 29786.25 Nigeria 2.03% reau Ltd has opened talks with strategic investors in the hope of injecting an addition $5 million of fresh capital into the business as the credit rating agency seeks to expand its operations into East African markets. The firm, which started C≥edit ≥efe≥ence bu≥eau eyes EA ma≥kets K enyan-owned Metropol Credit Reference Bu- operations in Kenya in the year 2011, is currently carrying out feasibility studies on the Ugandan, Tanzanian and Rwandan markets with plans to set up subsidiaries before the end of this year. Chief executive Sam Omukoko told The East African that the firm is in talks with both local and international investors who have shown willingness to invest in the firm. “We are looking for stra- tegic investors to provide the necessary financial support for our expansion but we are interested in equity, not debt,” he said. “Metropol is driving credit and investments and we want to do it both in the region and around the con- Customers at a bank in Nairobi. EAC policy makers are pondering ways of jumpstarting regional cross-border credit information sharing. Picture: File tinent.” Metropol has developed in-house capabilities in credit reporting and the company continues to undertake credit ratings and credit reporting of companies for all sectors of the economy in addition to provision of business information reports. The firm offers these services to lenders, bankers and credit providers as well as specialised services to borrowers. These services include debt management, training, outsourcing, credit audits, feasibility studies, review and preparation of project and funding proposals. “By next year we will start looking at these countries. The strongest foothold we want should be in Comesa.” Sam Omukoko, Metropol CEO According to Mr Omu- koko, Metropol will also evaluate investment opportunities in other countries including South Sudan, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Nigeria and South Africa, which have the potential to offer plenty of business opportunities in risk management and investment advisory services. EAC policy makers are pondering ways of jumpstarting regional cross-border credit information sharing, which has been on the agenda of the Regional Conference on Credit Information Sharing for more than three years. The implementation of this initiative has however been held back by differing principles governing the operation of CRBs in the member states. In Kenya, credit reference bureaus were introduced following concerted efforts by the Central Bank and commercial banks in the year 2009 after the Banking (Credit Reference Bureau) Regulations, 2008 became operational on February 2, 2009. Politics and secu≥ity top conce≥ns fo≥ Af≥ican CEOs POLITICAL OUTLOOK and security top the 2015 concerns for African CEOs, with a few keen on partnerships. Social instability tops the list of concerns for 98 per cent, implying fears of possible political instability and crime. Less than a half of the CEOs in Africa are looking to diversify out of their sectors over the next three years through joint ventures, strategic alliances and informal partnerships. Other top concerns are government response to fiscal deficit and debt burden at 94 per cent. Huge debts for African nations lead to weakening of local currencies against international currencies posing a risk to business revenues. Lack of key skills is at 90 per cent as is poaching of top management among firms continues. A total of 78 per cent of the CEOs would like African governments to prioritise infrastructure. Poor transport systems, communications and energy systems are holding back businesses in the region as the cost of doing business remains high. Africa’s share of global manufac- turing is drastically disproportionate to its population. While 15 per cent of the world’s population lives in Africa, only about one per cent of global manufacturing takes place there, according to UN reports. Access to a skilled workforce is al- so highly valued by 71 per cent, with the majority of the CEOs indicating they are already contributing to a skilled and adaptable workforce. Lack of skilled manpower is a hindrance as companies diversify and expand beyond national operations to enhance local and global competitiveness. Other government priorities for CEOs include development of an internationally competitive tax system, with 51 per cent of CEOs advocating for it while 37 per cent would like to have access to affordable capital. Central Bank Rates across the region remain high. Digital technology remains a con- cern for 58 per cent of CEOs globally but African CEOs seem to worry more about mobile technologies. A full 86 per cent of African CEOS view mobile technologies as most important to their company. Published at Nation Centre, Kimathi Street, and Printed at Mombasa Road, Nairobi by Nation Media Group, Box 49010, GPO Nairobi, 00100. Registered at the GPO as a newspaper. Nairobi Office, Tel: 3288000, 211448, 337710, Fax 214531, 213936. Dar es Salaam Office. Tel: 2119657/8. Kampala Office, Tel: 232771, 232772. Fax 232781 Download free QR Readers from the web and scan this QR (Quick Response) code with your smart phone for pictures, videos and more stories Ugandan school gets $4m IFC loan fo≥ expansion UGANDA’S MERRYLAND High Schools has secured a $4.1 million loan from the International Finance Corporation to expand the schools infrastructure and student enrolment. IFC manager for manufactur- ing and services in sub-Saharan Africa Aida Kimemia said the loan will be used to expand academic and boarding facilities at the school’s Katabi Campus in Entebbe. Merryland will be able to enrol an additional 2,500 students once construction of the facilities, slated to last two years, is complete. IFC did not disclose the re- payment period and the interest rates. Started in 2001, Merryland High Schools has a student population of 2,983 at Kigungu Campus and 580 at Katabi Campus, Entebbe; with 40 per cent of the students coming from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jan 19th 2015
Feb 2nd 2015