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Trouble at Safaricom as the Board of Directors Want Bob Collymore Out

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There seems to be a problem at Safaricom. East and Central Africa’s biggest telco is facing senior management problems as the Board of Directors of Safaricom feel that the shareholders are not getting a good return on their investment. Citing various touchy issues, the board members sitting were rumored to have demanded that Bob Collymore resign as the CEO of the listed company.

Bob Collymore is one very flexible and hands-on manager if you ask me. He is a keen listener and a team player unlike Michael Joseph who was more of a dictator and a political spin-master. But maybe the old men and women sitting in the board of the firm have not understood the management style of Bob Collymore. They are reported to have raised issue with very petty matters like Bob Collymore’s love life during their sitting.

Who does not have problems in family? I can confess that I have problems in my family and I can point to you 3 Safaricom board members who will never maintain or successfully manage their own family. But does that affect the delivery of Bob professionally? NO!! I guess he knows how to handle both without any interfering with the other.

So Bob Collymore is going through issues with his wife and that is a MAJOR issue at the Safaricom board.

Secondly, Safaricom board has been complaining for some time that Bob Collymore is intellectually shallow than his peers (read: friends) in the industry. I don’t know what they mean by this but most of the great managers and pioneers in innovation have not so much “intellectual superiority.” The board came to this conclusion having analysed Bob’s friends like Aly Khan Satchu and Jeff Koinange who does not have any deep grasp of the industry.

They view Jeff Koinange and Aly Khan Satchu as a shallow, unschooled and childish bunch that they see no value Bob get from hanging out with them. Jeff and Aly are some close friends of Bob Collymore but none of them is thought to have seen the inside of a university class.

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Aly Khan is believed by the industry and the wide corporate bigwigs to rely mostly on connections to make shallow analysis of the Kenyan financial market while Jeff Koinange is regarded as an equal to village propagandist who cannot really influence In fact the board members believe that Bob cannot effectively interact with the likes of Martin Oduor Otieno, Adan Mohammed or even  not so intellectually endowed managers like Peter Nduati of Resolution Health.

Some major shareholders at Safaricom have also claimed that Bob Collymore is more in cheap gossip pages and least on business pages where he should be.

Lastly, the Safaricom board believe that Bob Collymore is not delivering value to the shareholder while as a consumer I believe that Safaricom is not delivering on my end. On the exit of Michael Joseph, Safaricom shareholders hoped that the company’s stock would rise above Ksh 30. It has not happened and look like it will never happen. The share price is still below the Ksh 30 IPO price.

However, pundits believe that Bob Collymore might be a victim of corrupt forces at Safaricom. Bob is credited with trying to fight the strong forces of Mobitelea and other corporate frauds at Safaricom but the same forces represented by managers, shareholders and board members might be fighting back.

It will be very interesting to see how long Bob Collymore will last at Safaricom but industry analysts doubt if he will manage to weather the storm. Already his own staff members are not happy as late as this week when one of the senior managers reported to work from leave and found that her duties have been assigned to another colleague. She has now been given some options to chose all of which are junior to her last assignment. She might be headed out in protest.

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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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