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Duty free firm loses bid to stop JKIA eviction

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JKIA duty free
A duty free shop at the International departures area of Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Maya Duty Free, a company operating from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s (JKIA), has lost its legal fight to stop eviction from the premier facility.

Justice Eric Mwita on Tuesday dismissed a suit filed by the firm challenging the decision to kick it out of JKIA’s Terminal 4, noting that Maya failed to prove its constitutional rights were being infringed when it was issued with an eviction order.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in February 2017 gave Maya Duty Free 14 days to vacate JKIA and hand it (premises) over to Switzerland’s Dufry International, which had been selected after tendering.

“I am not persuaded that this petition was well intended in view of the fact that there are other legal process challenging the same tender and the petitioner opted to come to this court over the same issue,” ruled justice Mwita.

Maya Duty Free sued KAA last year terming the decision illegal after it was ordered to surrender the space to Dufry International.

The judge while directing it to bear legal costs incurred by KAA and Dufry ruled that Maya is a tenant and cannot raise a constitutional issue on the termination of the lease.

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On Thursday, the firm renewed its fight for control of the space, rushing back to the High Court with a fresh application seeking to stop eviction pending hearing of the appeal against Justice Mwita’s decision.

The company in its fresh application noted that it is still in occupation of the premises and risks being hounded out and its goods getting damaged leading to huge loss.

Maya managing director Kuldip Madan Sapra said that failure to give conservatory orders pending appeal will render its appeal nugatory.

The firm had accused the KAA of deliberately evicting it from the location to grant Dufry a monopoly over concessions at Unit Four in violation of Kenya’s competition laws.

It argued that the decision was contrary to the terms of a contract that the KAA entered into with Dufry in January 2015.

Dufry already operates another duty-free shop at Terminal 4.

The KAA’s contract with Dufry gives the Swiss firm the right to operate a duty-free shop, a restaurant, a communication and phone centre and a foreign exchange service until 2024.

on a maximum of 730 square metres.

Ownership of duty-free shops at JKIA has been at the centre of vicious battles between local and international firms since Kenyan businessman Kamlesh Pattni agreed to surrender his rights over the space at the busy Nairobi airport.

Dufry was in 2015 awarded a tender to operate a concession store at the airport following a protracted legal battle with Suzan General — another firm linked to Mr Pattni.

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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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