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CBK deal offers reprieve for cash strapped banks : The Standard

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CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge says reduction in the discount window from 14.25 per cent to 13.25 per cent is the lowest in nine years. [David Gichuru]

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has moved to avail more cash to Kenyans distressed by the Coronavirus pandemic after it lowered discount window rate by one percentage points.

Cash strapped lenders can now borrow from CBK to meet temporary liquidity shortages after the apex bank on Monday reduced the rate to 13.25 per cent from 14.25 per cent – the lowest in nine years.
This comes days after CBK slashed its benchmark lending rate and Cash Reserve Ratio also by 100 basis points.
CBK’s discount window has oscillated at 15 per cent since July 2018 before it was cut to 14.25 per cent in September last year.

SEE ALSO :Why Central Bank is right on value of the shilling, not IMF

This was the prevailing rate until CBK slashed it five days ago to deal with the economic effects of the global pandemic.
The adjustment on the discount window was made on the same day CBK’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) slashed its benchmark lending rate, the Central Bank Rate (CBR) and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), as the financial regulator went all out to pump more cash into an economy that has been ravaged by the coronavirus.
MPC cut both of these tools by a percentage point, as the lender of last resort signaled to commercial banks to lend to consumers at a lower rate.

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CRR is the fraction of cash deposits that banks are required to maintain with CBK daily.
Dr Njoroge said the sharp reduction in CRR would release Sh35.2 billion in additional liquidity, which would be made available directly to banks.

SEE ALSO :Will SMEs now swim in cheaper credit after rate cap repeal?

However, CBK insisted that only banks that show willingness to lend to customers will access the pool.
“CBK will avail this liquidity to banks based on their demonstrated requirement to directly support borrowers that are distressed as a result of Covid-19,” read part of the statement from the regulator.
The cash will support borrowers distressed as a result of Covid-19. About 31 Kenyans have so far been confirmed to have been infected with the disease brought on by the novel coronavirus
Dr Njoroge projected that the virus would devastate the economy this year, slowing it down from growth of 6.2 per cent to 3.4 per cent.
The pandemic, which analysts have said will plunge the global economy into a recession, will also have a huge impact on Kenya’s economy this year.

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SEE ALSO :Imperial Bank depositor wins case to table bank deposit slips for Sh1b

“As a result of the pandemic, economic growth is expected to decline significantly in 2020 from a baseline estimate of 6.2 per cent to possibly 3.4 per cent, arising from reduced demand by Kenya’s main trading partners, disruption of supply chains and domestic production,” said Njoroge in a statement.
Some of the sectors that have been hit hard include tourism, aviation and export markets, which rely heavily on the European market.
The reduced inflow of foreign exchange reserves has seen the shilling touched a low of 106.5 against the dollar.
“The foreign exchange market has recently experienced some volatility largely due to uncertainties concerning the impact of Covid-19 and a significant strengthening of the dollar in the global markets,” said Njoroge on Friday.
He estimated the deficit at the end of the year to be between four and 4.6 per cent of gross domestic product.

SEE ALSO :Treasury should live within its means


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State to allow importation of four million bags of maize : The Standard

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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The government will allow importation of four million bags of maize to cushion the country against food shortage as it battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya disclosed that a Gazette Notice will be issued soon to allow importation.
Of the four million bags, said Mr Munya, two million will be white maize and the rest the yellow variety. While white maize is meant for human consumption, yellow is for processing animal feeds.
“We will ensure that the yellow maize is restricted to animal feeds processors,” said the CS.

SEE ALSO :Uhuru has 950 days to turn around the economy

Munya said the white maize will be subjected to 14 per cent duty while yellow maize will attract 10 per cent.
“This is to ensure that the maize being imported is not cheaper than what is available locally. All these are measures to ensure availability of food and animal feeds as the country faces this disease,” he said.
The last time a similar window of importation was issued was in July 2019 where traders were allowed to bring in 12 million bags to cushion Kenyans from high prices of maize flour.

STEALING FROM THE SICK: Why hospitals are healthy wards for criminals – The Nairobian  

Speaking at Kilimo House, Munya said the government has put all the necessary mechanism in place to ensure food security during this period.
He said there is no shortage of food, but noted it is too early to determine the impact the disease will have on the sector.

SEE ALSO :Invest more in irrigation schemes, this is crucial

“Food supply is sufficient at the moment and I urge Kenyans to desist from panic buying which will warrant unnecessary shortages,” he said.
The CS urged farmers to continue with their activities, especially this planting season.
He said the government has negotiated for affordable fertiliser, now going for Sh2,300 from Sh3,800 for a 50kg bag from DAP. Coffee farmers can also buy theirs for Sh2,000 from over Sh3,000.
“Farmers should take advantage of the current rains and plant. We are alive to the fact that the country needs to be food secure even during this pandemic. We should also be aware that the agriculture sector will play a big role to steer this economy past this pandemic,” said Munya.
Operate at night

SEE ALSO :Traditional crops puff hopes for climate resilience

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Munya said even with the curfew, agro-processors should not shy away from going about their business as they are one of the exempted essential service providers.
He said soon there will be guidelines on how agro-processors will conduct their business during this curfew period.
“I had a discussion with the Ministry of Interior and we agreed that food transporters will be allowed to operate even at night. Police and county administration should provide them safe passage, and of course they have to follow the structures of checks as laid out by the Ministry of Health,” said the CS.
Munya said licensed agro-processors should work during this period with minimal interruptions even as it has been reported that police have been harassing some transporters.  
[email protected]  

SEE ALSO :How we can achieve Big Four agenda on food security


Are you suspecting that you have coronavirus? Before you rush to the hospital, do this quick easy self-assessment test. #StayHome #WashYourHands HERE.

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Huawei Full Year Revenue Jumps 19% to $123 Billion

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Huawei Technologies said on Tuesday that its revenue for 2019 amounted to 858.8 billion yuan ($123 billion), marking a 19.1% rise from the previous year but missing the company’s target.

Rotating Chairman Eric Xu noted that the revenue was in-line with original expectations but that came $12 billion short of the $135 billion target the company wanted to set in April 2019. Xu stressed that Huawei failed to reach that target due to the fact it was blacklisted by the United States in May.

The Chinese tech giant’s net profit for the twelve-month period climbed 5.6% year on year to 62.7 billion yuan. Despite the increase, profit growth was slower than in 2018 when it stood at 25%.

As part of a long-term, ongoing investment in technological innovation and research, Huawei invested 15.3% of its 2019 revenue back into R&D. Its total R&D spend over the past decade now exceeds 600 billion yuan.

“2019 was an extraordinary year for Huawei,” said Eric Xu. “Despite enormous outside pressure, our team forged ahead with a singular focus on creating value for our customers. We worked hard to earn their respect and trust, as well as that of our partners around the globe. The business remains solid.”

In 2019, Huawei’s carrier business led the commercial rollout of 5G networks. To further commercial adoption and promote new innovation in 5G applications, the company established 5G joint innovation centres together with carriers worldwide. Huawei’s RuralStar base station solutions can effectively address coverage problems in remote areas. These solutions are being used in over 50 countries and regions, bringing mobile Internet to more than 40 million people living in remote areas. In 2019, sales revenue from Huawei’s carrier business grew 3.8% year-on-year.

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Huawei’s enterprise business continues to support the digital transformation of customers across industries as the company helps lay the foundations for the digital world. Globally, more than 700 cities and 228 Fortune Global 500 companies have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner. In 2019, Huawei announced its computing strategy with the aim of cultivating fertile soil for the intelligent world to flourish. As part of this strategy, the company launched the world’s fastest AI processor, the Ascend 910, and the AI training cluster Atlas 900. In 2019, sales revenue from Huawei’s enterprise business reached CNY89.7 billion, up 8.6% year-on-year.

Huawei’s consumer business continues to see robust growth, with a total of 240 million smartphones shipped throughout the year. The company reports further progress in developing the Seamless AI Life ecosystem across all scenarios and devices, including personal computers, tablets, wearables, and smart screens. In 2019, sales revenue from Huawei’s consumer business reached CNY467.3 billion, up 34% year-on-year.

“The external environment will only get more complicated going forward,” Xu cautioned. “We need to keep enhancing the competitiveness of our products and services, promoting open innovation, and creating greater value for our customers and society at large. This is the only way we can seize the historic opportunities presented by the digital and intelligent transformation of industries, and maintain robust growth in the long run.”

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Do you have a tribe? : The Standard

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It was one of those times, when I had plenty of time and so little to do. Much like the quarantine times we are in.

So I decided to sit through the new Kevin Hart’s Netflix show ‘Don’t F***k It Up’. Now, I am not much a fan of Kevin Hart the person, but I do love his brand of stand-up comedy.
I was particularly interested in the episode where he addresses cheating on his then pregnant second wife; the gorgeous model Enico. Never mind that he lost his first marriage after continually cheating on his wife, but I digress.
I started watching the episode with some skepticism and judgement towards the man but by the time I was done, I had to admit that there is a reason why Kevin is the man he is.  

SEE ALSO :Will MPs be stopped from moonlighting?

He is a little man in stature, but a giant in everything else, especially now that he has conquered movie production in Tinsel town, a place where men like him (read black) don’t often ace it. He has an inimitable work ethic and more importantly he has found his tribe.
There are always four men with him; his best friends. He will not go on any live show or TV interview without them. Many may think they are groupies or just in it for his fame, but no, they are truly his tribe.
They were all friends before he hit pay dirt. And today, they play various roles around him. And when news of his cheating on his pregnant wife hit the grape vine, they formed a shield around him as he sorted out his mess.


Bishop who fought for Kenyans  

And when he got into the tragic road accident a few months ago, a death bed knocking experience, his affairs run like he wasn’t out of commission.
Do you have a tribe? I believe this is the year you find yours. 

SEE ALSO :Best cameras under Sh50,000

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No, I don’t mean people who speak your native language. I mean ‘your people’; the people who will stand by you no matter what you do.
That doesn’t mean they won’t call you out on bad habits, no…But they will hold your hand through your struggles. You will never walk alone.  
You don’t need that many people in your tribe; just people who truly see you for who you are and love you nonetheless. But you also have to be this kind of friend to them too.  


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