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Sonko targets Sh2bn with new law raising advertising rates

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has signed into by law a bill that will review outdoor advertising and signage rates in the county in plans to raise Sh2 billion revenue annually.

The governor assented to the Nairobi City County Outdoor Advertising and Signage Control and Regulation Bill 2018 Sonko, on Wednesday.

The new law provides a framework to regulate the advertising industry by seeking to tighten the noose on outdoor advertisers in the county through the introduction of stricter enforcement on defaulting by advertisers. The regulations also seek to increase rates paid for displaying advertisement and curb the destruction of the environment by the marketers.

In June, former acting Finance executive Charles Kerich earmarked billboards and advertising as one of the revenue streams whose fees would be reviewed — to enhance compliance, expand the bracket of payers and tighten management controls for more efficient collection and accountability.

“In order to improve our capacity for internal revenue mobilisation and improve the city’s competitiveness as a destination for investment, I will be proposing a review of fees payable for outdoor advertising and signage’s to match existing market realities,” he said in City Hall’s Budget Statement.

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According to Outdoor Advertisers Association, Sh160,000 is the minimum monthly charge for 10 by 12-metre billboards in Nairobi and other major towns.

The City Hall law also seeks to control the spacing between billboards to reduce the cluttering of streets with publicity materials, cut the number signposts placed along roads, including billboards and lit box advertisements placed on street light poles.

Growing consumerism in Nairobi has seen the mushrooming of outdoor advertisements, especially along major highways such as Thika Road, Mombasa Road, Ngong Road, Lang’ata Road and Waiyaki Way but this has not translated into higher revenue for the county.

Outdoor advertising is the fifth largest source of internal revenue for City Hall, accounting for more than Sh700 million annually. However, the revenue has been dwindling.

Advertising raked in Sh720.02 million in the 2016/17 financial year but dropped to Sh698.05 million this financial year.

Former Land executive Peter Wachira, now Agriculture executive, said earlier more than 200,000 signage and 1,000 large format advertisements, net a paltry Sh700 million annually against a potential of more than Sh2 billion.

He said City Hall loses more than Sh1.3 billion from the outdoor advertisers who evade paying licence fees and use dubious means while declaring the number of billboards for approval.

He said the City Hall loses Sh1 billion annually from 200,000 owners of small signage in shops and stalls in Nairobi.

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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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