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Hotel signs pact ahead of 2022 opening

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Hotel chains in Kenya are increasingly facing
Hotel chains in Kenya are increasingly facing pressure from ultra-affluent clients who demand special service. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

UAE-based Rotana has signed a management agreement with Mullion Contractors Limited to manage a new five-star hotel and serviced apartments in Nairobi.

Set to open in 2022, the new property will be situated in Nairobi’s commercial district of Upper Hill.

With 200 hotel rooms and 100 serviced apartments, the upcoming facilities will be operated under the Rotana Hotels & Resorts and Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana brands.

“Setting foot in Kenyan market with a five-star hotel and hotel apartments is closely aligned with our vision of strengthening Rotana’s presence in Africa and bolstering our global portfolio further,” said Nasser Al-Nowais, chairman of Rotana, in a statement.

“We will continue to seek new opportunities to offer Rotana’s branded accommodation on the continent that is increasingly becoming popular among tourists and corporate travellers from around the world.”

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The new luxury facilities will bring Rotana’s total inventory in Africa to 2,028.

With an eye to capitalising on the potential of the continent’s burgeoning market for the hospitality sector, Rotana has planned new hotels in Angola, Mauritania, Nigeria and Tanzania, which are scheduled to open by 2022.

“With its promising economic growth projections of around 6 per cent, Kenya remains one of Africa’s most buoyant markets and thus offers bright prospects for the hospitality sector,” said Selim El Zyr, vice-chairman, Rotana. “We are optimistic that this strategic step will fuel our ambitious expansion drive in the African continent.”

The facilities come against the backdrop of a string of heavy investments by leading luxury hotels in Kenya last year. The list includes Accor Hotels, Hilton, Carlson Rezidor, and Acacia Premier.

Nineteen hotels are expected to come to Kenya shortly, with a total of 3,453 new rooms in the pipeline, according to a report by Lagos-based consultancy W-Hospitality Group.

Hotel chains in Kenya are increasingly facing pressure from ultra-affluent clients who demand special service.

Kenya and South Africa have been tipped as the next continental hotspots in luxury hotel investment.

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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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