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Global chain Hyatt Hotels plans Kenya entry in 2020

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Park Hyatt Hotel
The Park Hyatt Hotel in Zanzibar. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

US-based global hospitality chain Hyatt Hotels Corporation has entered into a management agreement with Kenyan real estate and construction company Kanha Ltd for introduction of the first Hyatt-branded hotels in Nairobi.

Hyatt, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Wednesday said under the agreement it will be entering Kenya with dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Hotels as it seeks to expand its brand footprint in Africa.

The hotels will be located in Westlands, Nairobi and are expected to open in 2020.

“It’s no secret that we have been looking for the right development opportunities for Hyatt in Kenya for some time. Nairobi is the hub of East Africa and this landmark opportunity is only the beginning of Hyatt’s growth in this area,” said Tejas Shah, Hyatt regional vice president for development in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Hyatt, which made Nairobi its sub-Saharan Africa hub in 2013, currently runs five hotels in Africa – Hyatt Regency Casablanca (Morocco), Hyatt Place Taghazout Bay (Morocco), Hyatt Regency Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt), Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Park Hyatt Zanzibar.

Kanha chairman Kanji Patel said the firm’s diverse experience in real estate and construction is poised to deliver on the need for select service and extended stay hotels in the new business district of Nairobi where travellers seek a bridge between a hotel and a home.

With 173 guestrooms, Hyatt Place will bring the brand’s intuitive design, casual atmosphere and practical amenities such as free Wi-Fi and 24-hour food offerings to guests looking for a relaxing and uncomplicated place.

The Hyatt House will offer 60 apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens.

Together the two hotels will offer an array of shared services and amenities, including more than 7,700 square metres of meeting space, a restaurant and bar and a swimming pool.

Headquartered in Chicago, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has a portfolio of 14 premier brands, and as of June 30, the firm’s portfolio included more than 750 properties in over 55 countries across six continents.

East Africa is part of Hyatt’s focus in the region due to it’s infrastructure development, growing middle-class and stability.

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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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