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Speaker on the spot as he takes fuel VAT bill to Uhuru

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Economy

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Thursday handed over the Finance Bill, 2018, to President Uhuru Kenyatta after an uproar over delay.

The President is expected to sign or reject the Bill to settle the ongoing stalemate over the 16 per cent VAT on fuel.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena confirmed that the Bill had been received. Earlier, Minority Leader John Mbadi had described Mr Muturi’s action as “unfortunate and dishonest”. The Gwasi legislator said Thursday morning that inquiries at the Clerk’s office proved that the Bill had been concluded for forwarding to the President a week ago but was lying at Mr Muturi’s office.

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The revelation fanned fears that the government was using delay tactics regarding the controversial tax which has been a subject of public uproar. There are no time-lines in law for Parliament to forward the Bill to the President once passed by MPs.

The law only stipulates that the President’s assent to a Bill must be done within 14 days of receipt or return it to Parliament with a memorandum failing which it automatically becomes law.

“It is unfortunate that despite Parliament approving the Finance Bill, 2018, the same has not been forwarded to the President for assent,” Mr Mbadi had said at a Press conference in his office.

Mr Mbadi read mischief in the move.

“Kenyans are waiting for the President to sign the Bill which is still lying in Parliament.”



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Lami Technologies closes $1.8 million seed funding to accelerate growth of digital insurance in Africa

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NAIROBI, Kenya May 5 – Lami Technologies, a Kenyan insurance technology (insurtech) company that aims to democratize insurance products and services for low-income Kenyans, announced today it has raised $1.8 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Accion Venture Lab’s seed-stage investment initiative that provides capital and extensive support to innovative fintech startups that are improving the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved.

Founded by Jihan Abass in 2018, Lami is a digital insurance platform that enables partner businesses – including banks, tech companies, and other entities to easily and seamlessly offer digital insurance products to their users via its API. Lami can also be used by partner businesses to manage their own insurance needs.

Lami connects partner organizations, such as e-commerce platform Jumia, with underwriters and allows them to offer a superior customer journey. Through its API, users can get a quotation for motor, medical, or other tailored insurance products in seconds, then customize the benefits and adjust the premium to suit their needs, get their policy documents instantly, and claims are paid in record time.

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Lami’s services are enabled by its flexible insurance rating engine and direct integration with several parties and insurance companies. Lami co-designs innovative products with its underwriting partners to enable businesses to offer unique insurance products to their underlying customer base, with flexible options that meet their needs and cash flows, such as monthly medical policies for startup employees.

Jihan Abass, CEO, Lami, said: “This funding will allow us to invest in hiring more people, improving our technology, and growing our presence across Africa as we can continue to address the persistent insurance gap. At Lami, our vision is to help improve the financial resilience of millions by making insurance products more accessible and affordable for underserved populations. By enabling our business partners to offer customized insurance solutions, we are helping them provide more value to their customers, while enabling large volumes of users to access insurance, often for the first time.”

Africa’s insurance market currently stands at a 3 percent penetration rate, expect for South Africa, and is facing modernization and innovation challenges. Most insurance providers on the continent fail to offer flexible, affordable and tailored insurance coverage that can provide a safety net for the African consumer. Low insurance uptake is partly due to the traditional distribution and administration of policies, which mainly still relies on brick-and-mortar channels where policies are sold and processed.

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safaricom share price declines lowering NSE activity

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Safaricom Plc, the most capitalized at the Nairobi Securities Exchange(NSE), had its share price dip by 0.16%, bring down turnover at the bourse by 50% to KSh 249.4 Million.

Figures from the bourse indicate that Safaricom was the top mover at the bourse with a volume of 4.58 Million shares, followed by KCB( 838,100), Kenya Re(461,300), Centum (255,300) and NSE( 227,700).
Eveready E. A was the top gainer with a 9% gain to KSh 1.09, followed by Sasini, which was up 7.37% to KSh 18.95, Carbacid Plc which gained 5.50% to KSh 11.50, Home Afrika, which gained 5.26% to KSh 0.40 and Housing Finance which appreciated 4.72% to KSh 3.90.

The worst performing counters were led by Centum, followed by I&M, Longhorn, Safaricom and Absa Bank.

Eveready E. A Plc was the top price gainer at the lacklustre Nairobi Securities Exchange(NSE), its share price rising 9% and closing at KSh 1.09.

The listed firm began the year with a share price of KSh 1.20 but has since lost 9.17% off that price valuation, ranking it 50th on the NSE in terms of year-to-date performance.

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Turnover at the NSE dropped to KSh 249.4 Million with a total of 7,540,900 shares in 955 deals traded.

Eveready was followed by Sasini Plc (7.37%), Carbacid Plc(5.5%)and Home Afrika Plc(5.26%).

Compared with the Tuesday, May 4th 2021 trading day, today’s data shows a 47% decline in volume, a 50% decline in turnover, and a 3% decline in deals.

Centum Investment Plc was the worst performer, its share price falling 3.22% to KSh 15.05 per share. Others were I&M Holdings Plc which declined (0.7%), Longhorn Publishers Plc(0.66%) and Safaricom Plc (0.61%).

The benchmark NSE All-Share Index [NASI] declined 0.38 points to close at 169.69. The NSE 20 Share Index gained 16.68 points to close at 1862.07. The NSE 25 Share Index fell 0.23 points to close at 3685.10

The derivatives market had 32 single stock futures contracts valued at KSh 1.58 Million concluded, compared to the 70 SSF contracts valued at KSh 2.76 Million ended during the previous session.

The secondary bond market had bonds worth KSh 2.97 Billion transacted in 61 deals than the KSh 5.42 billion worth of bonds achieved in 137 deals in the preceding session.

ALSO READ: Safaricom’s Bid for Ethiopian Telecom license excites Investors

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Kenya’s Private Sector Activity Drops to Lowest Level in 11 Months

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Kenya’s private sector activity during the month of April dropped to its weakest level in 11 months mainly due to the movement restrictions and extended curfew hours introduced in five counties at the end of March.

The Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index, which measures the level of private sector activity, plunged to 41.5 from 50.6 in March 2021. The 41.5 reading, the lowest since May 2020, signified a sharp deterioration in the business environment.

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According to the Stanbic report, the government restrictions had a huge impact on the movement of goods and services as well as demand for products. In addition, companies suffered the high cost of operation due to the rise in the price of fuel and supply shortages

The level of output from Kenyan companies fell sharply in April. Additionally, business expressed pessimism about the future. “Outlook for future activity weakened to the lowest level seen since the survey began in 2014,” read the Stanbic Report.

In order to stay afloat, businesses cut employment numbers, reduced their input purchases and others offered discounts to buyers in an effort to improve sales.

Also read: Kenya Business Activity Slows Sharply in March

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