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Daily Nation : February 1st 2014
SATURDAY NATION February 1, 2014 37 BUSINESS SPECIALISATION | It is yet not clear which vehicle brands the company would be importing Dubai-based auto dealer eyes local second-hand car market Al-Futtaim says it wants to capture the rising demand for the vehicles once it succeeds in taking over CMC Holdings BY JOHN NJIRU @njiru_john email@example.com A l-Futtaim, the Dubai-based giant seeking to acquire CMC Holdings by next month, has hinted it will join the second-hand car business. According to its top brass, the auto dealer will also introduce its global flagship brands if it succeeds in the takeover bid. “A lot of people are importing second-hand cars in Kenya and they are asking: Are they certified? Are they warranted? Are they genuine? We want to come in and capture all that,” said Al-Futtaim automobile president Len Hunt. Mr Hunt was speaking yesterday in Nairobi while unveiling the firm’s long-term strategy in Kenya. The company’s plan may cause jitters in the local second-hand car market which is dominated by small ventures and individuals. Last year, a total of 222,178 cars were registered, most of them second-hand. Mid-last year, through its Tsusho Capital financial arm, Toyota started selling used cars. It is not clear which car brands Al-Futtaim will start importing but it has been in business deals with Honda and Toyota in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Agreed to sell The family-owned conglomerate, which has a presence in over 20 countries, is hoping to convince A lot of people are importing the secondhand cars in Kenya and they are asking: Are they certified? Are they warranted?... We want to come in and capture all that.” Al-Futtaim’s Len Hunt majority of CMC’s shareholders to accept the Sh13 per share offering before February 14. “The next two weeks will be criti- cal for us but we are encouraged by events of the past few days. Many shareholders have come forward and agreed to sell their shares,” said group director corporate development Marwan Shehadeh. CMC was suspended from the Nai- robi bourse in 2011 after a series of boardroom wrangles when its shares were at Sh13.50. UK INVESTMENT IN DEVELOPING NATIONS TO DOUBLE: MINISTER Britain to focus on job creation in a financing plan that would see Kenya and Tanzania benefit. Page 39 BRIEFLY BANKING Barclays opens 24-hour branch in Mombasa Barclays Bank has opened its first 24-hour outlet at the Port of Mombasa to tap into enhanced business deals at the harbour occasioned by improving efficiency. The bank now targets a growing business community within Mombasa city especially those who use the port as the gateway to the East African Community. “The newly launched branch embraces technology which will not only enable our customers conveniently access our services but will also play a big role in encouraging the 24-hour economy culture that has been cited as an economy growth enabler as per Kenya’s vision 2030 plans,” Barclays Bank of Kenya managing director Jeremy Awori said in a statement. The branch will offer savings account, loans, cash deposits or withdrawals, account balance inquires, funds drive among other services on a 24-hour basis. TELECOMS PHOEBE OKALL |NATION Al-Futtaim Group automobile president Len Hunt (right) and investment and acquisitions general manager Yasser Alvi at a news conference at the Stanley Hotel yesterday. Al-Futtaim has valued CMC at Sh7.5 billion ($86.67 million) and will continue running its business under the same name. The remaining brands in CMC’s showrooms are TAKEOVER Firm offers Sh13 per share to shareholders Dubai-based family owned conglomerate has presence in over 20 countries across the world. At the moment it is trying to convince a majority of CMC Holdings shareholders to accept the Sh13 per share offering before February 14. Al-Futtaim has valued CMC at Sh7.5 billion ($86.67 million) and will continue running its business under the same name. Suzuki, Maruti, Nissan Diesel, Iveco, Eicher, Ford and Volkswagen. It lost its flagship JLR franchise, composed of Land Rover Defender, Jaguar and Range Rover brands. Bharti Airtel embarks on restructuring Bharti Airtel, the company that owns Airtel Kenya, has embarked on a restructuring process as it seeks a turnaround of its Africa business. The company, with operations in 17 African countries, yesterday said the re-alignment will involve creation of new country-clusters, replacing the current arrangement where all Africa operations are centrally managed. “This new structure will enable us to leverage the power of country portfolio management,” Airtel Africa chief executive Christian de Faria said. All changes are effective April 1, 2014. Other than Nigeria and DRC, Mr Faria said, the remaining 15 country operations of Airtel Africa will be divided into two clusters in what is expected to enhance faster decision making and increase speed to market. “Each of the two new clusters will be headed by an executive operations director, reporting to the CEO,” the statement read. Cost of sending letters to go up as Posta imposes 16pc tax on service BY NATION REPORTER The cost of sending letters and small par- cels will increase as Posta belatedly moves to implement a 16 per cent tax on postal services in the country. “The Postal Corporation of Kenya hereby notifies all our esteemed customers and the general public that with effect from Monday 3, February 2014, all postal services will attract a Value Added Tax (VAT) charges,” read its statement in part. Last year, the government reviewed the VAT regime in the country as part of a larger initiative by the taxman to increase efficiency and seal revenue leakages. The amendments saw the government scrap exemptions and zero rating on hundreds of goods and services. Previously, postal services such as the sup- ply of postage stamps and rental of post boxes were exempt from VAT. At the moment, PCK charges an annual fee of Sh2,000 and Sh6,000 for rental of individual and corporate post boxes respectively. The cost of these services is now set to go up as PCK begins collecting taxes. Although other firms offering vatable goods and services begun implementing the levy last year, Posta delayed the move as it sought exemptions from the government. It is now unclear whether the corporation will bear the cost of VAT it ought to have collected since September 2013. “All along we have been consulting but we don’t have concrete answers yet so we have decided to comply with the law….if the government demands that we pay on behalf of the public, we have no option but to pay,” said PCK manager for corporate communications and public affairs, Mr Gichuki Njeru. Statistics from the Communications Com- mission of Kenya (CCK) indicate that the number of letters posted locally fell 5.2 per cent to 16.9 million in the year to September 2013. The sector has been suffering with the ad- vancement of technology and as Kenyans opt to send messages via other platforms such as SMS and WhatsApp.
January 31st 2014
February 2nd 2014