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Kenya Retains Interest Rates At 10% To Boost Economy

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Kenya Retains Interest Rates At 10% To Boost Economy

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced that it is retaining its Central Bank Rate (CBR) at 10 percent.

This decision was reached after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held on Monday, November 28, 2016, to review the outcome of its previous policy decisions and the recent economic developments.

Business Post gathered that the MPC meeting took place against the backdrop of increased uncertainties in the domestic and global economies.

It explained that it retained the rates due to the prevailing domestic and global economic uncertainties and the need for more conclusive information on these developments.

According to Chairman of the MPC, Dr Patrick Njoroge, it was noted that the country’s month-on-month overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose to 6.5 percent in October 2016 from 6.3 percent in September.

This, it was learnt, was caused largely due to changes in the prices of food items such as tomatoes and sugar.

However, the overall inflation remained within the government target range.

Also, the month-on-month non-food-non-fuel (NFNF) increased to 5.4 percent in October from 5.1 percent in September, reflecting increases in the prices of items in the clothing and footwear CPI category and the impact of the excise tax introduced in December 2015.

The 3 month annualized NFNF inflation rose slightly in October, an indication of mild demand pressures in the economy.

The MPC further observed that the foreign exchange market has been relatively stable despite the volatility in the global financial market following the US elections and the seasonal increase in demand for foreign exchange by corporate to finance dividend payments.

It said the foreign exchange market continues to be supported by the narrowing of the current account deficit mainly due to lower imported petroleum prices, lower imports of machinery and equipment, and resilient diaspora remittances. Tourism earnings and export receipts from tea and horticulture have stabilized.

The MPC said the CBK’s foreign exchange reserves which currently stand at $7,305 million (4.8 months of import cover) together with the Precautionary Arrangements with the international Monetary Fund (equivalent to $1.5 billion) have continued to provide adequate buffers against short-term shocks.

But the CBK said it was working closely with the National Treasury to ensure coordination of monetary and fiscal policies. Execution of the government’s domestic borrowing plan for FY2016/17 continues to support stability in the market.

It was disclosed that banking system liquidity and its distribution have stabilized. The average commercial banks’ liquidity ratio increased to 43.6 percent in October from 41.9 percent in August 2016 and the average capital adequacy ratio stood at 19.1 percent in October.

The CBK continues to closely monitor credit and liquidity risks in the sector. Continued interest of foreign banks to enter the local market indicates confidence in the banking sector.

Following the introduction of interest rate caps on back lending and deposits, the Committee noted that the available data were inadequate to facilitate a conclusive analysis of their impact on monetary policy and the overall economy. The CBK will continue to closely monitor developments in this respect.

The MPC also observed that private sector credit growth had stabilized at 4.6 percent in October. The slower growth witnessed over the last several months was found to be largely an outcome of structural factors in the banking sector rather than monetary policy.

However, there is no evidence that this is having a negative impact on economic growth.

The performance of the economy in the second quarter of 2016 was strong, growing by 6.2 percent compared to 5.9 percent in a similar period of 2015.

The MPC Market Perception Survey conducted in November 2016 showed mixed expectations. While the non-bank private sector remains optimistic for higher growth in 2016, banks were cautious as they continue to monitor the potential impact of the capping of interest rates.

Also, global growth prospects remain fragile on account of uncertainties in part due to the impact of Brexit and political developments in the U.S. Uncertainty relating to the tightening of US monetary policy and its implications for global capital flows remain a concern.

The Committee concluded that inflationary pressures were mild and inflation will remain within the Government target range in the short term.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Market Gains 0.12% on Interests in Guinness, FBNH, Cadbury Nigeria

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guinness nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

Interests in the shares of Guinness Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, FBN Holdings and others lifted the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.12 per cent on Friday.

From analysis of the trading data, the consumer goods, banking and energy sectors saw significant bargain hunting activities during the session, leaving their respective index closing higher by 0.57 per cent, 0.41 per cent, and 0.03 per cent.

However, the insurance counter witnessed a pocket of profit-taking as its index went down by 0.09 per cent, while the industrial goods sector closed the way it opened for the session.

When the bourse finish for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 59.33 points to settle at 49,024.16 points compared with the previous day’s 48,964.83 points as the market capitalisation finished N32 billion higher to N26.452 trillion from N26.420 trillion.

The market breadth was positive yesterday, with 17 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a strong investor sentiment.

RT Briscoe appreciated by 9.68 per cent to trade at 34 Kobo, May and Baker rose by 9.63 per cent to N4.10, Guinness Nigeria improved by 9.29 per cent to N82.90, Jaiz Bank climbed higher by 8.43 per cent to 90 Kobo, and UPDC expanded by 8.42 per cent to N1.03.

At the other side of the table, Ikeja Hotel was on top after its value crashed by 9.68 per cent to N1.12, Sovereign Trust Insurance fell by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, NAHCO dropped 3.51 per cent to sell for N5.50, UPDC REIT went down by 3.13 per cent to N3.10, and Neimeth depreciated by 2.10 per cent to N1.40.

Business Post reports that the level of activity improved on the last trading session of the week as the trading volume, value and number of deals increased by 61.58 per cent, 65.96 per cent and 3.67 per cent, respectively.

This was because investors transacted 356.7 million shares worth N3.7 billion in 3,219 deals as against the 220.8 million shares worth N2.3 billion transacted on Thursday in 3,105 deals.

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Economy

Nigeria at 62: Buhari Says Borrowing Necessary for Growth

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Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Adedapo Adesanya

In what would be his last Independence Day address, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, defended his government’s borrowing policy, describing it as a necessary step to provide the infrastructure that would expand opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Buhari stated in the address to the country on October 1, 2022, that, “The federal government is already expanding port operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.”

The President also noted that no village in the country was left behind in the regime’s Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, etc.

“I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

“All the programmes mentioned above along with various interventions by the National Social Investment Programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succour to the affected Nigerians,” Mr Buhari said.

He also promised Nigerians that he would ensure free and fair elections come 2023 and called for more youth and women participation in the electoral cycle.

He said, “Having witnessed at close quarters the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee the election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states, notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and a few federal constituencies, have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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Economy

CSCS, NASD Lifts Unlisted Stock Market by 0.61%

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Unlisted Stock Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The final trading session on the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange in September 2022 ended on a positive note on Friday, with the bourse closing 0.61 per cent lower.

Business Post reports that the bullish performance was buoyed by the rise in the share prices of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc and NASD Plc.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock market increased by N5.83 billion to close at N968.60 billion versus Thursday’s N962.77 billion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) expanded by 4.44 basis points to end the day at 735.79 points as against the 731.35 points it recorded in the previous session.

Yesterday, CSCS Plc improved by N1.07 to sell at N14.17 per share compared to the N13.10 per share of the preceding session, while NASD Plc gained N1 to close at N13.00 per unit in contrast to the preceding day’s N14.00 per unit.

But the bullish trend did not extend to the activity chart as the volume of securities traded by investors decreased by 55.1 per cent to 105,440 units from the 725,984 units transacted a day earlier.

In the same pattern, the value of transactions went down by 96.1 per cent to N1.6 million from N41.5 million, while the number of deals increased by 50 per cent to six deals from the four deals recorded on Thursday.

At the end of the session, AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion as Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

CSCS Plc was also the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units worth N1.7 billion.

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