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Sukuk potential high in Kenya, says agency

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By GEOFFREY IRUNGU
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Kenya is among the 18 African countries that have the largest potential for growth of Islamic banking and debt securities or sukuk, rating agency Moody’s has said.

The US agency forecast at least Sh100 billion ($1 billion) of sukuk issuance in Africa over the next 18 months.

Moody’s estimates that the share of Islamic banking assets — as a percentage of total African banking assets — will rise to over 10 per cent over the next five years, from its current level of below five per cent.

“Moody’s has identified 18 African countries that have the greatest growth potential for sukuk issuance, as well as Islamic banking. These include Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Sudan and Kenya,” it said in a statement.

Vice president and senior credit officer Akin Majekodunmi said Islamic nations in Asia and the Gulf region had large pools of capital, which they can deploy to the African continent through debt securities.

“The desire within Africa for stronger investment links with the fast-growing economies in the Gulf and Asia that have large Muslim populations with large pools of capital will help drive the issuance of sukuk on the continent,” said Mr Majekodunmi.

A major driver of the expected growth of the Islamic finance products is the greater need for money across the continent.

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“Islamic finance is set to grow steadily across Africa as financing needs increase and global investors become more comfortable with the legal structures of Islamic debt securities,” the agency said in the statement.

For the growth to take place, Moody’s say, the current population of Muslims in Africa will form a major foundation, even as the products also get utilised by non-Muslims.

“Africa’s large Muslim population, which is predominantly unbanked, will also provide a solid foundation for the growth of Islamic banking assets,” said Moody’s.

Moody’s said that since the start of 2014 there had been $2.3 billion of African sukuk, or Islamic bond issuance, providing new funding sources for both sovereigns and financial institutions.

However, African sukuk makes up just 0.5 per cent of global sukuk issuance.

The rating agency said that as African sovereigns seek to diversify their funding base, the amount of sukuk they issue will likely increase with Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Sudan having already expressed interest in issuing sukuk this year or next.



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Suluhu: Closer ties for Kenya and Tanzania

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?President Samia Suluhu’s address to Parliament was a masterclass in charm, punctuated by periodic applause and stomping of feet by Kenyan lawmakers.

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Covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations soar among youth in Americas – KBC

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Hospitalizations and deaths of younger people are surging as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across Latin America and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.

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“Adults of all ages – including young people – are becoming seriously ill. Many of them are dying,” Etienne said at her daily press briefing as quoted in a PAHO release.

In Brazil, mortality rates doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s, and tripled for those in their 50s, between December 2020 and March 2021, she said.

“For much of the pandemic, our hospitals were filled with elderly COVID patients, many of whom had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to severe disease,” Etienne said. “But look around intensive care units across our region today. You’ll see they’re filled not only with elderly patients, but also with younger people.”

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Etienne urged hospitals in the region to increase the size of intensive care units (ICU) in anticipation that the trend will continue, while warning that expansion of ICUs cannot continue indefinitely.

As a result, she urged nations to double down on prevention measures such as lockdowns and facemasks.

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Uhuru wa biashara, Suluhu ya vikwazo: How Kenya-Tanzania trade will be streamlined

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President Uhuru Kenyatta with his Tanzania counterpart Samia Suluhu, who is on a two-day state visit in Kenya.[PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta says ministers from both Kenya and Tanzania should resolve all non-tariff barriers and other restrictions affecting the two countries within four months.
Uhuru, on Wednesday said going forward, there will be no business visa or work permits for Tanzanian wishing to do business in the country.
“You are free to come and trade here in Kenya, there will be no business visas or work permits as long as you abide by the laws of the land,” he said.
Uhuru was speaking during the Kenya-Tanzania Investment Forum at Serena hotel. The forum was in line with President Samia Suluhu’s two-day state visit.
Kenya has about 513 companies doing business in Tanzania compared to Tanzania’s 30 in Nairobi.
Uhuru said in the next two weeks, concerned ministers from both sides should clear all the traffic jams at the Taveta and Namanga border points.
Uhuru said they should pay a special focus to the issuance of Covid-19 certificates to ease the movement of  transit cargo.
“I direct that all the maize lying at the border be cleared in two weeks. We cannot subject businesses to more suffering,” Uhuru said.

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Uhuru urged the ministers to move swiftly and ensure the ease of doing business at the border pointswas decisively tackled.
“It is not about wearing suits and meeting over tea.Get to the ground and understand what is affecting those traders. Don’t just sit in those offices. If you need to consult, do it and get the work done,” he said.
Uhuru’s sentiments came shortly after the Kenya Business Community nsaid it was ready to trade with the Tanzanian business community.
Led by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCC), the community proposed the formulation of a Joint Business Council that will support the two countries.
KNCC President Fred Ngatia said the council would play a key role in addressing issues that bedevil  Nairobi-Dar trade,
The community said there should be policy forums and investment-focused events that will target small-scale enterprises.
“We are going to focus more on economic projects by identifying favourable financing institutions that will help us settle some of the commercial disputes affecting our community,” Ngatia said.
He said this will be made possible through the Public-Private Partnerships offered by the government.
As a result, KNCC in partnership with the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce will host a trade and investment exhibition in Dar es Salaam this August aiming to help SMEs unlock their potential.
So far Trade and Agriculture ministers from the two sides have had a breakfast meeting and agreed to initiate bilateral discussion before the end of the month.
Trade CS Betty Maina said the discussions aim to iron out all issues that have been hampering trade between the two countries.
This includes issues surrounding maize import.
President Samia Suluhu said her government was ready to serve as a bridge to pave way for businesses between the two countries to thrive.
“It is not about competing and complicating things, but about developing business relationships to allow both parties to explore opportunities,” she said.
Suluhu said while Tanzania is rich with natural resources and tourist attractions, Kenya is thriving in the ICT world and thus the need for exchange of skills on research and development.
“Muna bahati sana maanake upande mmoja mnao Uhuru wa kufanya biashara na upande mwingine Suluhu la kuondoa vikwazo,” Suluhu said.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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