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Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019

Nairobi is one of the nine innovation hubs to watch globally in 2020

Insights Africa

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Nairobi is one of the nine innovation hubs to watch globally in 2020 after climbing the world financial technology start-up ecosystem ranking by 42 Nairobi is placed at 63 in the overall top 100 ranking in the Findexable Global Fintech Rankings 2020. Nairobi is second in Africa after Johannesburg which topped the continental league table.
  • In Kenya, unclaimed money has risen 07% after companies and public entities surrendered another 2 BN KES (19.8 MM USD) bringing the total amount to 15 BN KES (491.1 MM USD).
  • The shilling has strengthened to an eight-month high against the dollar, boosted by remittances from Kenyans abroad amid lower dollar demand by importers ahead of the festive period.
  • Nairobi-based African Trade Insurance (ATI) is set to post a 3 BN KES (30 MM USD) net profit by the end of 2019, based on estimates from management accounts. This will represent a 150% increase compared to net earnings of 1.2 BN KES (11.9 MM USD) recorded a year earlier.
  • Fitch Credit Rating Agency has affirmed Zambia credit rating at CCC, which reflects the government’s high external financing requirements, combined with a fall in official foreign exchange reserves; high and rising government debt in the context of an ambitious capital expenditure program; and constrained access to domestic and external financing.
  • Zambia has legalized the production and export of cannabis for economic and medicinal purposes, becoming the latest country to shift its position on the drug to give its finances a boost.
  • In Tanzania, over 990,000 households have been electrified countrywide in the last four years with the government targeting to cover all villages come June 2021.
  • Zimbabwe will next year spend 16 BN ZWD (133 MM USD) on subsidies for the staple maize meal as it seeks to keep prices of the most consumed food affordable amid food shortages and spiraling inflation.
Political Events

Political Events

  • The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan welcomes a contribution of 500,000 USD from the Republic of Korea as overall humanitarian needs are deepening in the country with 7.5 million people needing various kinds of support in 2020.
  • The Embassy of Rwanda in Zimbabwe was given a special award at the inaugural Public Relations and Communication Excellence Awards held in Harare. The embassy has been involved in several community and national initiatives.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • CIC Insurance Group has issued a profit warning, preparing investors for a more than 25% decline in earnings in the year ending this month due to increased claims. This means that the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed insurer will post a net profit of below 469 MM KES (4.66 MM USD), compared with the earnings of 625.3 MM KES (6.2 MM USD) booked in the previous financial year.
  • Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has completed the acquisition of Eland Oil and Gas in a scheme that cemented the entire transfer of entire shares of Scotland's incorporated oil and gas firm.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Spanish delivery firm Glovo has raised an additional 7 BN KES (166 MM USD) as it seeks to scale up its business in Africa, Europe and Latin America. The new funding from Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala and institutional investors Drake Enterprises, Idinvest and Lakestar has pushed its valuation to 100 BN KES (994 MM USD). The new capital raise follows the 17 BN KES (169 MM USD) funding it received in May.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested an additional 4 BN KES (133.2 MM USD) in Kenyan companies in the year ended June, cementing its role as one of the biggest investors in the local market.
  • Global web operator Opera has partnered with Mdundo, an African music sharing platform, in an agreement that will see the latter’s users gain access and listen to and download music listed on the platform for free.
  • Stanbic Bank Kenya has lost 4 BN KES (13.9 MM USD) after the Geothermal drilling deal between a Chinese firm and the State- owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC) collapsed.
  • Barclays Bank of Kenya has hired an additional 463 staff on permanent contracts as it rebrands to Absa, the name of its South Africa-based parent company.
  • Estonian-based ride-hailing app Bolt has introduced two new ride categories in Nairobi targeting passengers seeking budget travels and those who want spacious taxis. The new categories, Lite and Plus, add to the existing taxi services that include the base option and XL, which accommodates up to seven passengers.
  • The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a 55 MM USD facility to strengthen implementation of reforms to enhance Tanzania economic competitiveness and private sector participation in the country’s growth.
  • In South Africa, AYO Technology Solutions Limited (AYO) announced its preliminary financial results for the year ended 31 August 2019. AYO delivered a strong financial performance, posting significant increases in revenue and profit before tax, among other positives.


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