Over the last 20 years, I have been privileged and lucky to play golf and visit many golf courses across the world, from Pebble Beach in California to South Africa’s Pezula, Knysna and Fancourt Links, George.
I have played the Baobab Course in Vipingo and DLF in India and I can authoritatively make two bold statements.
The first is that the golf course at the Karen Country Club is in the best condition it has been in the last 20 years. And if that statement is even remotely true, then we can conclude that the course is in the best condition it has been in for 80 years! The second is that this course would rank at the very top of the best golf courses across Africa and across the world!
This week and through this weekend, the Karen Country Club hosts the KCB Karen Masters, a Sunshine Tour event – and the 156 players battling for a share of the Sh15 million prize money will be doing so on a playing surface immaculately presented for championship golf. According to the Karen Country Club Chairman, Louis Otieno, the conditions presented today are the result of an aggressive mid to long term green-keeping plan.
“In 2013 and 2014 we reviewed the golf course and hired a golf designer to renew our greens and from 2015 to 2016 we completely rebuilt our greens,” he said.
“Since that time we have continued to invest in our team who attend regular green keeping workshops around the world, we have continued to invest in machinery and we continue to receive agronomy consultation from both the European Tour and Sunshine Tour agronomists.”
Earlier in the year, the Karen Country Club hosted the Magical Kenya Open, which was played as part of the European Tour for the first time.
“During the Kenya Open in mid-March, the golf course was in excellent shape despite the lack of rains. The course may not have looked as colourful and lush as it does this week, but it was nevertheless in top shape and we received positive feedback from the European Tour players and officials,” Otieno added.
“As a club we are proud of the playing surface and facilities we have presented primarily for our members but also for our esteemed guests, the visiting and local professionals.”
The 2019 KCB Karen Masters teed off yesterday with a field of 152 golf professionals, mainly from the Sunshine Tour and four top Kenyan amateurs. Tickets for the tournament are available on www.ke.kcbgroup.com and on TicketSasa at only Sh500 per day.
The ticket includes entry to the main village which promises to entertain with seven different food vendors and local and international artistes lined up to perform.
Tonight, Kenya’s Nyashinski will be on stage whilst South Africa’s DJ Heavy K will be on stage tomorrow. Musicians Naiboi and Nadia Mukami will perform on Sunday evening. Public parking is available from the WaterFront Mall
See you at the KCB Karen Masters.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
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.
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.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
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.
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.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
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.
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.