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Green bonds demand forecast to hit Sh91 billion in a decade

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From left: Strategic Business Advisors Africa
From left: Strategic Business Advisors Africa limited (SBA) Principal Consultant John Kashangaki, WWF Regional Sustainable Investment Manager Jackson Kiplagat and Kenya Bankers Association Director Research and Policy Jared Osoro during the launch of demand study on Green Finance by Green Bond Program in Nairobi on December 18, 2018. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Kenya has a demand for climate-friendly bonds amounting to Sh91 billion in the next five to 10 years, newly released research indicates.

The project with the biggest green-financing demand within that period is bus rapid transport (BRT) in Nairobi and Mombasa with the projection that it can raise up to Sh36 billion.

The plan, which is expected to reduce the need for private car owners to drive to the city and reduce traffic congestion, was supposed to have been in place by now in Nairobi but is currently in limbo as the buses are yet to be deployed.

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The research was carried out by Strategic Business Advisory (SBA) in partnership with the Kenya Bankers Association, among others.

The research presentation was done Tuesday at the Intercontinental Hotel by SBA principal consultant John Kashangaki. The study involved literature review and interviews with key informants in various sectors.

“The three critical sectors which the research selected as demanding green bond financing include agriculture, transport and manufacturing which have a combined GDP of almost 50 per cent. The pricing of the bonds needs to be competitive and simplified,” said Mr Kashangaki.

The other big project identified is the introduction of light rail around Nairobi and its metropolitan areas with green financing demand amounting to Sh144 billion.

In the short-term of the next one to two years, the total demand for the bonds stands at Sh8.7 billion with this being in such areas as livestock including insuring them, producing climate-smart animal feed and sustainable aquaculture.

During the launch of the research report, IDB Capital chief executive Karen Kandie said the organisation had the potential to issue a green bond, especially one aligned to the Big Four agenda as long as incentives such as tax exemptions were given.

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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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