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Kenyans Had a Rough Time in 2018 Due to High Cost of Living and Unemployment; Hopeful of 2019

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Kenyans had a rough time in 2018, with high cost of living and unemployment running roughshod on them.

In the Kenyans’ perceptions towards 2018 and their aspirations for 2019 #YearEndPoll survey by TIFA Research, 56 per cent of citizen living in the country admit it was a bad year. The cost of living was out of reach for many (56 per cent) while 14 per cent faced challenges in finding a job.

Other challenges faced include lack of access to credit (6 per cent), poverty (5 per cent), political tension (5 per cent), poor healthcare (3 per cent), lecturer’s strike (2 per cent) and doctor’s strike (2 per cent).

Surprisingly, only one per cent of Kenyans were bothered by corruption, underlying the emotional fatigue plaguing the masses due to the unending and dizzying heights of the vice in the country.

Nevertheless, 36 per cent said that 2018 was better than 2017, mainly due to improved political climate in Kenya. The 2017 election enabled 75 per cent of Kenyans to vote the year worse than in 2016, compared to 48 per cent who said that 2018 was worse than 2017.

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Overall, economic conditions (56 per cent), unemployment (48 per cent) and the cost of living (67 per cent) worsened in 2018 compared to last year. On the other hand, political climate (51 per cent), education (45 per cent), public health (45 per cent) and security (50 per cent) was better than 2017.

“Economic conditions, employment prospects and the cost of living worsened in 2018. At least half of Kenyans felt that the political climate and security situation improved in 2018,” said the survey.

Also, Kenyans failed to achieve their 2018 goals. Only 28 per cent set up a business as they had hoped for, and only 11 per cent managed to get a job.

Three per cent surveyed last year said they wanted to buy a plot of land in 2018, but only a percentage achieved the dream. 10 per cent wished to build a house, only 3 per cent managed to actualise their desires.

Still, Kenyans are a hopeful lot. “In 2019, four out of ten Kenyans (44%) intend to set up a business. This is followed by getting a new job (32%) and achieving work life balance (24%),” says TIFA Research.

Others want to get married (10 per cent), hope to buy a car (10 per cent), pursue higher education (9 per cent), build a house (7 per cent), expand business (4 per cent) and buy a plot of land (4 per cent).

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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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