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Chandarias lose Sh20bn compensation – Business Daily

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Chandarias lose Sh20bn compensation

Dhiren Chandaria. PHOTO | FILE | NMG
Dhiren Chandaria. PHOTO | FILE | NMG  

Taxpayers have been spared the burden of paying the owners of Orbit Chemicals Sh20 billion as compensation for alleged failure by the State to evict squatters from its 95.2-acre land in Embakasi, Nairobi.

Court of Appeal judges Erastus Githinji, Fatuma Sichale and Sankale Ole Kantai held that the caveat placed on the land did to not stop the owners from using the property, and that it was not the responsibility of the State to evict squatters from private land.

The company, which is owned by Dhiren Chandaria, Ashok Chandaria and Sachen Chandaria — relatives of industrialist Manu Chandaria — won the compensation after the High Court found that Land ministry officials had colluded to illegally take possession of the parcel and subdivide it.

Orbit was awarded Sh6 billion but the amount had ballooned to Sh19.9 billion in 2017 owing to interest that continues to accumulate on it until it is settled.

The State appealed the High Court judgment on grounds that the officials who originated the compensation deal were not authorised to take such action.

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The appellate judges reckon that the firm’s “loss of use” was not based on failure to transfer or charge the title.

Nothing, they observed, prevented Orbit Chemicals from using the land, adding that, in the event that the firm suffered losses on account of invasion by squatters, such a loss would not be attributed to the government, but to the invaders.

“We say this because the placement of a caveat may hinder transactions touching on title but not the operations on the ground,” ruled the judges.

Orbit purchased the prime land from National Bank of Kenya in 1987, but discovered that the then Registrar of Titles, Jemimah Munjuga, had placed a caveat on it on behalf of the government.

Orbit got the green light from the commissioner of lands in January 2000 lifting the caveat.

The land had been occupied by squatters and Orbit demanded compensation for economic loss during the 13 years the property was under caveat.

State Counsel Waigi Kamau successfully argued that Mr Tuamwari, who computed and negotiated the award, lacked the authority to do so.

“Under Section 8(1) of Government Contracts Act, no contract entered for or on behalf of the government shall bind it unless such contract is signed or countersigned by the Permanent Secretary, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Treasury or a person or persons specially or generally authorised by either of them in writing,” Mr Kamau said.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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