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Business Daily : October 9th 2013
18 BUSINESS DAILY | Wednesday October 9, 2013 Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), the biggest bank in South Sudan, plans to grow by launching the first credit card service in the young African country and adding more branches, executives told Reuters. KCB has won a licence from VISA Inc to launch credit cards in South Sudan, a war-torn country where few people have a bank account, the execu- tives said. KCB was one of the first foreign banks to set up shop in Juba after the end of civil war between south and north Sudan in 2005, which led six years later to the secession of South Sudan. South Sudan has a large business poten- tial with a population of nearly 12 million but has struggled to build up state institutions and an efficient legal system. That has not deterred foreign banks from arriving. Apart from KCB, Qatar National Bank, Kenya’s Co-Operative Bank and a bank funded by Dubai Is- lamic Bank are also active in South Sudan. KCB now has a market share of 42 per cent serving 138,000 customers, Rebecca Likami, deputy managing di- rector of KCB in South Sudan, said in an interview. “We have started VISA,” Ms Likami said. “Some KCB outlets accept VISA. By the end of this year we should (have) VISA in all the hotels.” She added customers should be able to use VISA cards at automated teller machines (ATMs) from next year. The bank also plans to add more branches beyond the existing 20, said Harun Kibogong, KCB’s managing direc- tor, without being more specific. The bank has started offering mortgages as well, another novelty in one of the world’s least developed countries. “We have mortgages because there is a lot of construction taking place across the country. Hous- ing is lacking in Juba,” said Ms Likami. “We have developers financing, then we have the normal mortgage for people who want to buy the house,” she said. KCB was recently hit by a strike of some of its 380 staff over salaries but Ms Likami said that the issue was be- ing worked out. She also said the central bank had not yet resumed pumping dollars into commercial banks after the first oil revenues landed in its accounts in September with the restart of oil exports. “They are ...waiting. I am not sure what they are doing but I believe they will be soon releasing funds to the market,” she said. South Sudan depends on oil ex- ports, routed through Sudan, to fund its budget and get dollars to finance imports of food and consumer goods. A 16-month oil shutdown due to tensions with Sudan has posed huge liquidity problems for commercial banks. KCB South Sudan boosted profit after tax to 41.5 million South Suda- nese pounds (around $14 million) last year from 25.4 million South Sudanese pound the year before, according to its annual report. - REUTERS EXPANSION Bank eyes country’s business potential with wide branch network, technology REGIONAL NEWS KCB plans g≥owth in S.Sudan with VISA, mo≥e units KCB banking hall in Juba, South Sudan. The bank is eyeing a larger market share in Africa’s youngest country. FILE Some KCB outlets accept VISA. By the end of this yea≥ we should (have) VISA in all the hotels REBECCA LIKAMI, DEPUTY MD, KCB SOUTH SUDAN BY BD CORRESPONDENT IN KAMPALA The outbreak of the black coffee twig borer in parts of Uganda has impacted production, thus affecting farmers’ incomes and livelihoods. Experts say, given the importance of coffee in East Africa, about eight million households could be affected, with profound impact on incomes and livelihoods in the region. The pest, according to available data, has so far registered an inci- dence of about 8.6 per cent growth, affecting 40 per cent of the crop across the country. This has prompted Uganda to seek for assistance from the Interna- tional Coffee Organisation to fight the pest. “The pest has hit Uganda hardest since it was first recorded on the Afri- can continent in 1993, forcing a decla- ration of a phytosanitary emergency so as to mitigate necessary measures that could be used to combat the pest,” the resolution sent to the ICO reads in part. Currently, the pest has spread to other coffee growing countries, in- cluding Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. “We, (affected countries) hereby appeal to the ICO to mitigate meas- ures that could help in the control or elimination of the pest in the region,” reads the resolution in part. According to estimates, about 0.27 million bags of exportable cof- fee worth $42 million has been lost in the 2012/13 coffee year. Therefore, regional governments and private coffee farmers have called on international organistaions, to of- fer assistance to, among other things, offer technical knowledge, exchange of information, best practices and management of the pest. The Uganda Coffee Development Authority report for August said: “The pest continues to be a threat in the Ro- busta growing areas, escalated by the recent dry spell experienced in most parts of the coffee growing areas.” A farmer prunes coffee bushes that have been heavily infested by pest. Black coffee twig borer has hit Uganda hard since it was first record in Africa in 1993. FILE Coffee pest cuts Uganda fa≥me≥s’ ea≥nings Uganda is among the 10 destinations that are on course to turn into popular tourists’ desti- nations in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a World Bank report. The Tourism in Africa: Har- nessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Liveli- hoods report indicates that Uganda together with Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles are scaling up tourism. The report, classified under the emerging tourism destinations, prioritises countries that are performing well in terms of quality and competitiveness. Uganda among 10 emerging tourist destinations in Africa Mozambique government agency Ematum has set initial yield guidance of low- to mid-8 per cent on its upcoming issue of a seven- year US dollar-denominate bond, according to one of the lead managers. Ematum has mandated BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse to manage the sale. The bonds, which will be eligible for inclusion in the EMBI index, will have a seven-year tenor and a weighted average life of four-and-a-half years. Mozambique is rated B+ by both Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, but the bonds them- selves will be unrated. The Reg S only security is a repackaged unse- cured loan that carries an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee from the government. Mozambique sets initial yield guidance on seven-year bond KAMPALA BMW said on Monday the labour situation in South Africa remained “inherently unstable” and it had no plans to reverse a freeze on ex- pansion, even after car parts makers ended a four-week strike. Car makers told Reuters they were hoping to return to full production later this week, after parts manufacturers agreed to a three-year wage deal with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa on Sun- day. The deal gave a breathing space to an in- dustry that accounts for six per cent of GDP. But labour turmoil has left some firms consid- ering how much to invest in South Africa. BMW says SA labour still ‘unstable’ after strike ends CAPE TOWN Jubilee considers crop cover for farmers in bad weather DAR ES SALAAM BRIEFING LONDON Jubilee Insurance is ready to introduce crop insurance to cover farmers in times of erratic rainfall on the condition that the government plays its part by putting in place weather and rain monitoring facilities. Jubilee Insurance of Tanzania CEO George Alande, said they would introduce the cover once the facilities are available. “We are developing the product and it will start selling soon, but we urge the gov- ernment to support its meteorological agency with all the necessary facilities to make it work smoothly,” said Mr Alande. Speaking on Friday, he said low awareness was among the challenges insurance companies face in ex- panding services in Tanzania.
October 14th 2013