About 31 million Safaricom #ticker:SCOM customers are now able to make reverse calls in a move allowing subscribers to foot bills for calls made by loved ones.
The service enables a caller to transfer the cost of a call to the receiver by adding ‘#’ before the number they are dialling.
For instance, to transfer the cost of the call to 0722000000, a customer is required to dial #0722000000.
“This innovation is in line with this commitment and has been tailored to mirror the relationships between our customers with a goal of empowering them to always remain connected with their loved ones,” Safaricom’s chief customer officer Sylvia Mulinge said in a statement yesterday.
Ms Mulinge said that the reverse call feature works in such a way that a customer receiving a reverse call request will see the caller’s details appear on the screen as normal, but once they pick the call, they will receive a voice prompt asking them to key in “1” to accept the reverse call.
The telco already has a Please Call Me feature that allows subscribers to request someone to call them and, therefore, pay for the communication.
The reverse call, she said, will be charged at the normal rates. It is only available for Safaricom-Safaricom calls.
Safaricom reported a 14.7 percent increase in net profit to Sh63.4 billion for the year ended March 2019.
Capital Markets industry plans to manage COVID 19 pandemic.
The capital markets industry stakeholders have unveiled a raft of measures designed to ensure business continuity and manage effects of COVID 19 pandemic.
Top on the list is to ensure trading and settlement systems continue functioning to support transactions.
The CMA Acting Chief Executive, Mr Wyckliffe Shamiah, said the Authority is allowing the progression of some of the activities usually sanctioned during Annual General Meetings (AGMs) for listed companies.
Given the need to postpone AGMs, to help eligible shareholders access dividends during these difficult circumstances, the respective Boards of issuers of securities have been allowed to proceed to declare and pay the dividends to their shareholders. This will be subject to the companies’ dividend policies, procuring all other relevant internal approvals, and making available the audited financial statements to CMA, Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the public in the prescribed channels as explained in an earlier guidance
Mr Wyckliffe Shamiah, CMA Acting Chief Executive
The Boards of listed companies have also been allowed to progress the appointment and remuneration of auditors.
Board decisions on these matters will need to be tabled at the AGMs, once convened, for ratification.
To ensure normal operations continue at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the NSE Chief Executive, Mr. Geoffrey Odundo, said the business continuity plan of the Exchange has been operationalized to support online and mobile trading.
Additionally, market players have successfully been working remotely with trading systems accessed via Virtual Private Networks.
The Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) Chief Executive, Mr. Nkoregamba Mwebesa, adds that through its Business Continuity Plan, CDSC has ensured settlement continues through secure remote links with all settlement participants.
Mr. Mwebesa added that CDSC is still offering all other depository services to Central Depository Agents and other stakeholders. These measures are aimed at ensuring that investors have remote access to the market through various channels, with the ability to easily buy or sell their securities with minimal physical movement and contact in line with the Ministry of Health Directives.
The Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Banks (KASIB) Chief Executive, Mr. Willie Njoroge, welcomes the support from the Authority, which has authorized and shall continue to guide, monitor and regulate the use of Automated customer onboarding processes to reduce the need for physical verification of documents and in-person visits while facilitating easy access to the market by investors.
The Fund Managers Association (FMA) Chairman, Mr. Jonathan Stichbury, says the association through its member firms will continue to operate and actively invest in the Kenyan capital markets on behalf of their institutional and retail clients – and to support the proper functioning of the capital markets.
Illicit fuel trade catches on, leaks billions in tax revenue : The Standard
Cases of unscrupulous petroleum dealers diverting fuel products on transit to neighbouring countries are on the rise.
This is denying the government billions of shillings in taxes.
Regular reports on illegal practices by players in the petroleum industry and the penalties meted by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) show a shift over time, with what is commonly referred to as “dumping” becoming a major headache for authorities.
Previously, adulteration of super petrol and diesel using kerosene was the biggest concern, according to recent reports by the regulator.
But a raft of measures by EPRA since 2018, including the hiking of taxes levied on kerosene and pushing its price to be at par with that of diesel, appears to have eliminated the problem. The focus has now shifted to fuel dumping.
For instance, in its report for the quarter to March 31, this year, EPRA reported a number of cases of fuel dumping and none for adulteration.
Over a similar quarter in 2018, just before it went on an all-out war with players that used kerosene to shore up volumes of petrol and diesel, the regulator had reported all manner of offences relating to adulteration.
According to the Petroleum Institute of East Africa, adulteration of petrol and diesel with kerosene loses the country an estimated Sh34 billion in tax revenues annually.
Fuel dumping is equally costly in that when products meant for export end up in local petrol stations, the players do not pay taxes in Kenya, as they are supposed to pay the same in their home countries.
SEE ALSO: Beware of fraudsters, warns EPRA
The government currently takes 43 per cent of the money that consumers pay for fuel, which translates to about Sh47.17 per litre of petrol, Sh37.23 for diesel and Sh36.49 per litre of kerosene.
Most of the fuel for export is destined for the landlocked DR Congo, Uganda and Rwanda markets.The regulator noted that the cases of fuel dumping were not widespread, but were still an issue of concern.
EPRA Director General Pavel Oimeke said the regulator had over the last two years closed down about 30 petrol stations and revoked several licences as part of the measures to fight fuel dumping.
“It is not widespread, but there are snippets of dumping in the market still occurring. We undertake monitoring with our contracted service providers as well as EPRA staff. With combined with product marking, we are sure that if a product is diverted into the local market, we are going to find them at the stations,” he said.
“We have closed about 30 stations, which were found with export products.”
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Ban on flights extended as State confirms 16 new cases : The Standard
The government has extended the ban on international flights by 30 days as it confirmed 16 new cases of coronavirus.
The total tally of persons who have tested positive for the disease now stands at 142.
There have been four deaths while four patients have recovered.
Suspension on prison visits has also been extended by 30 days starting today.
The extension of ban on international flights follows the expiry of an earlier one of 14 days, which ended yesterday.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the decision was reached after a meeting with the National Emergency Response Committee on Kenya’s situation to which he is a member.
The suspensions, as has been the case, exempts charter flights from countries wishing to evacuate their citizens.
“We do not want flights just landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Whoever is coming should give us a 72-hour notice at the very least,” said Macharia.
The requirement for notice before planes are allowed in Kenya was not there initially.
The suspension also exempts cargo flights, which Macharia said can land provided they have no passengers on board.
The provision on cargo flights, he said, was key due to shortage and need for medical supplies.
“We are keen to import and supply medical equipment. In fact, we are already planning for a Kenya Airways flight to China on Wednesday to collect some key medical equipment,” the CS said.
Macharia, who spoke during the daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, lamented that some of the directives issued to operators in the transport sector were being ignored.
This is primarily by matatus, which were instructed to carry less than their vehicles’ passenger capacity to ensure one metre social distance.
Matatus are under instructions to ensure high standards of hygiene by providing hand sanitisers or handwashing points.
“From tomorrow (April 6, 2020), any matatu not observing the directives will have their Sacco licenses suspended and the operators charged in a court of law as per the Public Health Act,” said Macharia.
Motorbikes or boda boda operators must also carry one passenger at a time and wear face masks at all times failure to which they too will be charged in court and their bikes impounded.
The measures came after prediction that cases in Kenya may hit 1,000 this week, 5,000 mid this month and 10,000 by April 30.
Globally, the number of infections stand at 1.2 million across 183 countries with 65,884 deaths.
Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said so far, 3,836 samples have been tested.
Between Saturday and Sunday, 530 samples were tested of which 16 turned positive; among them 15 Kenyans and a Nigerian.
Nairobi registered the most cases, at 12, followed by Mombasa with three and one in Kilifi. The counties have been singled out by the Ministry of Health as high-risk.
Of the 16, nine are from a batch of 2,050 people who were put under mandatory quarantine by the government. This was upon their arrival from overseas before the suspension of international flights on March 25.
“This is a testimony that mandatory quarantine is aimed at protecting the country,” said Dr Mwangangi.
The rest are from contact tracing of persons who had at one point come into contact with earlier cases.
Some 11 of the 16 had travel history while five are local transmissions.
The mandatory quarantine requirement, extended by another 14 days, has already been opposed by some of the those being held.
However, Mwangangi said mandatory quarantine was necessary. “These are painful decisions that we have to take,” she said.
Ministry of Health’s Acting Director General Patrick Amoth said the ministry will not go back on its word to enforce the mandatory quarantine.
“Up to 55 per cent of the cases that have turned positive are from those held in mandatory quarantine. We will not waiver on the extension just to please some people while others are following the set directives,” said Dr Amoth.
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