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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya tax revenue rising upto U.S. $15.3 billion
dollars as domestic and customs taxes increase

by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s tax revenue jumped to 1.58 trillion Kenyan shillings (15.3 billion U.S. dollars) for the financial year of 2019, compared to 13.9 billion dollars in the previous period, the tax agency said on Wednesday.

James Githii Mburu, commissioner general of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), told journalists in Nairobi that the revenue growth was largely driven by increased taxes from domestic and customs sectors.

"For the first time in KRA history, domestic taxes collection exceeded 9.68 billion dollars, while customs revenue exceeded 4.84 billion dollars," Mburu said.

The tax agency attributed the growth of custom revenues to increased oil import volumes as well as the impact of tax policy.

Mburu said that the exchequer revenue for the 2018/19 financial year grew to 14.3 billion dollars against 12.98 billion dollars collected in the previous financial year.

He observed that corporation tax in the period under review recorded a slow growth due to a spike in investment tax deductions.

In order to boost revenues, KRA has prioritized partnerships nationally, regionally and globally in order to fight tax crimes.

Last year, KRA partnered with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. Department of the Treasury, Australian Taxation Office, Sweden Tax Agency and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, he added.

Mburu revealed that Kenya’s goal in revenue mobilization is to raise the revenue to gross domestic product ratio from 18.3 percent as recorded within the 2017/18 financial year to 19.2 percent by the 2020/21 financial year.
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UPDATE:

Central Bank of Kenya warns of unregulated online forex dealers

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s apex bank on Friday warned the public against engaging with unlicensed and unregulated online foreign exchange (forex) dealers and platforms.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in a statement that the platforms are downloadable on Google play and Apple app store, and are aggressively marketing themselves through social media and mass emails.

"The purpose of this notice is to warn members of the public against dealing with unlicensed and unregulated online forex dealers. They should only deal with genuine and licensed financial institutions and entities," CBK said.

According to the apex bank, the unregulated entities should be avoided because they lack adequate anti-money laundering and consumer protection safeguards.

Kenya has so far licensed two online forex firms to operate in the country. Online forex trading is based on the trading of one currency against another with a view to make profit.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenya approves issuance of first Green Bond

by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has approved the issuance of the country’s first green bond for student accommodation, the country’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) said on Thursday.

It is expected to be issued by Acorn Project Limited following the launch of the policy guidance note on green bonds in February.

CMA chief executive officer Paul Muthaura said the bond seeks to raise five billion shillings (48.45 million U.S. dollars) to finance sustainable and climate-resilient student accommodation and is structured as a restricted public offer.

"Being a restricted public offer, the issuer will raise the funds from only targeted sophisticated investors," Muthaura said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"The issuance is a critical step in advancing the development of an effective ecosystem to support the establishment of green capital markets in Kenya in line with the Marrakech Pledge 2016, now that the necessary legal instruments are in place to facilitate such issuances," Muthaura said.

The capital market regulator noted that it was one of the pioneer signatories to the 2016 Marrakech Pledge.

According to the issuer’s information memorandum, the fixed-rate bond is certified as a green bond by the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Muthaura added that the sophisticated investors participating in the green bond will benefit from a 50 percent guarantee on principle and interest payments from Guarantco, which is funded by the governments of United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands.

The CMA also plans to continue engaging with potential issuers in order to create a pipeline of green bond issuers to facilitate effective matching of demand and supply of green-centric capital and climate-resilient investing opportunities.
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Kenyan bank eyes representative office in China

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) group plans to apply to Chinese authorities to open a representative office by end of October, an official said on Thursday.

Lawrence Kimathi, chief finance officer KCB Group, told Xinhua in Nairobi that the office, which will be based in Beijing, will be one of the first by an east African bank in China.

"The representative office in China will have a trade focus and act as a liaison for entities trading between Kenya and China," Kimathi said.

The proposed Beijing office will not undertake any banking activities but will seek to provide a platform for Chinese investors who want to establish presence in Kenya, he said.

According to the KCB Group, in the first six months of this year, its after-tax profit rose 5 percent to reach 12.7 billion shillings (about 122 million U.S. dollars).

In addition to Kenya, the KCB Group now has presence in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Kimathi said the macroeconomic indicators in most of the seven countries are showing improvement.

"This has contributed to our international bank subsidiaries’ continued good performance, with all but one of the businesses delivering high double-digit earnings growth," he said.

"This growth has been driven by balance sheet momentum with loans and advances registering a 23 percent growth."

KCB Group chairman Andrew Kairu said the bank is seeking to expand into additional countries in east and central Africa.

"Previously our expansion outside of Kenya was through establishing new operations, but going forward, we will expand our regional presence through mergers and acquisitions of existing banks," Kairu said.
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SEE ALSO:

Kenya stock market benchmark index drops to new ten-year low

             

 

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