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Kasarani church group to buy Sh2.8bn Uchumi land

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Jesus Winner Ministry
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto at a Church service at Jesus Winner Ministry, Roysambu. PHOTO | PSCU |NMG 

Five top officials of a church in Roysambu, Jesus Winners Ministry, are set to be the new owners of Uchumi’s multibillion-shilling Kasarani land.

The private limited company at the centre of the Sh2.8 billion transaction, Jewel Complex Limited, is majority owned by Edward Mwai Kiongo, also a leader at the church.

Jewel Complex Limited was registered on May 23 last year.

Shareholders of the firm include Edward Mwai Kiongo who holds 36.36 percent stake, Paul Gichohi Mutune with 9.09 per cent ownership while Agnes Wanjiku Kiongo, Raphael Mwiti Thiaru and James Kiongo Mwai all hold 18.18 per cent shares each.

Jesus Winners Ministry is a popular church among the political elite.

It hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for prayers during their last church service, two days before the August 8 election.

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The church also hosted President Kenyatta on June 30 2013, about two months after he assumed power.

Court filings show that the struggling retailer has entered into an agreement with Jewel Complex Limited to sell the land at Sh2.8 billion.

A Sh330 million deposit has already been paid on the underway transaction.

Details of the retail chain’s land deal are revealed in documents that UBA Bank, one of the creditors, has filed in court seeking a share of the sale proceeds to clear an outstanding loan.

“Kasarani Mall Limited has entered into an agreement for the sale and purchase of the said land reference number 25544, Nairobi dated September 17, 2018 for the sum of Sh2,800,000,000 with Jewel Complex Limited,” Maureen Gacheru, UBA Bank’s legal officer, says in court documents.

Kasarani Mall Limited is a subsidiary of Uchumi Supermarkets through which the retail chain owns the land.

Uchumi, which owes suppliers over Sh3.6 billion, has been banking on the sale of the land to turn around its fortunes but the money has been slow in coming because of challenging approval processes.

Even after the sale of the land, Uchumi will need to secure additional funding to help it out of its current financial distress.

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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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