Local hotel chain PrideInn hotels have reopened its newly acquired PrideInn Azure in Westlands in a full return in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
PrideInn Azure, preferred by business class and events’ organisers for meetings, conferences and accommodation, resumed operations on Monday.
Their in-house Flavours restaurant, famous for Kenyan and international flavours was opened to outside guests one week ago.
The Sh1.2 billion facility hotel which was acquired by PrideInn Group on a management contract in February 2020 temporarily suspended its operations in March following the confirmation of the first Covid-19 case in the country which saw most businesses, hotels included suspending operations to curb the spread of the disease.
“We resumed operations as we recognised that demand, especially of accommodation and meetings, is once again rising after the two months lockdown. We are receiving bookings from local business people and especially those coming from towns outside Nairobi such as Mombasa and Kisumu and need a place to spend,” said Hasnain Noorani the Group Managing Director.
Mr Noorani said the hospitality chain, is hoping to operate all its eight hotels on full capacity immediately international flights resume next month and Kenyans resume business and travels.
Lockdown period saw the hotel renovate its new rooms to have a new look and also expanded its bar and restaurant to accommodate more people.
“We are delighted to be able to open in the current situation and have affordable exciting offers for our local customers and ensure that they are comfortable and safe as they enjoy our services. We have as well expanded our Flavors restaurant space to accommodate more guests especially families and friends looking to hang out,” he added
PrideInn Azure has also converted some rooms into office spaces to offer a relaxed working environment for those seeking some time away from home which has become the norm following authorities’ directives in order to reduce the Covid-19 effects.
“We have come up with special offers for day use of our rooms since most Kenyans are looking for spaces to work from. Working from home can be monotonous so we are giving rooms at discounted rates for use as a day office,” Hasnain added.
Some of the safety protocols the hotel has employed include, frequently cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting all surfaces after every guest use, linen-less tables in the restaurants, social distancing and spaced seating in meeting rooms and restaurant as per state’s specified directives.
They also sanitise tableware and glassware after every guest use, contactless payment options as well as mandatory temperature checks for everyone on the premises.
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.