Business

Motorists to start paying for road use as Kenya invites bids

Nairobi, Kenya: Users of Thika Road and other major highways, including the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, will soon be required to pay toll fees. The money will be used to maintain roads. The levy follows the move to invite a consultant to advice on the modalities of operationalising tolling stations on key highways. National Treasury, in a statement, said it is looking for a transaction advisor to guide the State on the various processes. The consultant will advise and invite firms to bid for tolling tenders on major highways, including the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway and Thika Superhighway. Road concessions The transaction advisor is expected to oversee the feasibility studies. He will also make the competitive search for companies that will be awarded the concessions to put up and manage toll stations under a Public Private Partnership model. Thika Road will be the first highway to have a toll station. The tolling firm is expected to be selected to put up and operate one toll station on the superhighway by mid next year. Treasury said there is a possibility of extending this to cover Thika-Marua-Nyeri road. Another key road that will be tolled will be the Mombasa-Nairobi-Nakuru transport corridor that will have five toll stations. The over 500km stretch between Mombasa and Nakuru is seen as an essential transport corridor that links Mombasa port to Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and other countries in the larger eastern and central Africa. The firm that will operate toll stations on the road – which has been segmented into Mombasa-Nairobi and Nairobi-Nakuru – will be unveiled Mid-2016. The Mombasa-Nairobi Highway will have two toll stations, at Mariakani and at the Machakos turn off. The Nairobi-Nakuru highway will have three toll stations at Rironi (Limuru), Naivasha and Lanet. In a Request for Expression of Interest on Friday, Treasury said it needed the services of a lead and financial advisor that will oversee the process.

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Capital Increase on Track as Citadel Capital Completes Investment Purchases of USD 0.53 bn

Resultant liabilities to be capitalized in second phase of ongoing capital increase, to achieve 100% subscription, expected to be completed in March 2014 Citadel Capital Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange) disclosed today that it has now completed its planned purchases of additional stakes in its platform companies totaling USD 0.53 billion as part of its ongoing transformation into an investment company that will hold majority stakes in its subsidiaries in five core industries: energy, transportation, agrifoods, mining and cement. The asset purchases disclosed today cover the platform companies and subsidiaries outlined in Citadel Capital’s Form 16 submission on use of proceeds from the capital increase, as approved by the EFSA. At a meeting held on 13 February 2014, Citadel Capital’s Board of Directors accepted a report by its independent auditor (KPMG) certifying the USD 0.53 billion in liabilities to co-investors and shareholders arising from these securities purchases. These liabilities will be capitalized during the second subscription round for the capital increase, thereby resulting in full subscription to the share issuance. In December 2013, Citadel Capital invited shareholders to subscribe to a USD 523,160,720.0 capital increase at par (USD 0.72 per share). The capital increase would see Citadel Capital’s total issued capital rise to USD 1,149,211,809.9  from USD 626,051,089.9  through the issuance of 728,375,000 new shares. This invitation was approved by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) on 1 December 2013 and made public on 4 December 2013. The closing date for the first round of subscriptions took place on 13 February 2014, and the second round is expected to be completed in March 2014.

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Manufacturers commend UPDF presence in S. Sudan

The Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) has commended the UPDF for their efforts in trying to stabilise South Sudan, saying it will protect their business interests and consumers. Traders have counted losses in billions of shillings as merchandise movement ground to a halt due to insecurity in South Sudan. Amos Nzeyi, the UMA chairman, advised traders to take advantage of the war and plant food crops that will be sold to South Sudan once the war ends. There is, however, no timeline on when the war will end. South Sudan is one of Uganda’s biggest markets for both agriculture and manufactured commodities. But this has come under serious threat because of the crisis, with analysts saying the UPDF presence has somewhat stabilised what would have been a “completely hopeless situation.” State minister for investment Gabriel Ajedra recently said Uganda has lost close to sh2b since war broke out in South Sudan between the government and rebels loyal to former vice-president, Dr. Riek Machar. Ugandan manufacturers are also appealing to the Buganda Kingdom to give them more land to accommodate the increasing number of manufacturers to respond to the growth in the industrial sector that stands at 25%. “The industry is growing faster than anticipated, we are seeing demand for commodities around the region and our members are already exporting in these countries, so we have to manufacture more and yet the space is not enough,” said Nzeyi. The Katikiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga, said land housing Kigo Prisons could be appropriate for industrial development, adding that the same piece of land has generated interest from many people, including real estate developers.

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Uganda: West Nile residents complain of prolonged power shortage

The West Nile is facing power shortages following the breakdown of the second turbine at Nyagiki power station in November 2013. Arua, zombo and Nebbi districts are now receiving 1.75Meggawatts (MW) of power from only one turbine, yet the peak load is 2MW, creating the need for loadshading in the region. However, Suresh Ballal, the general manager of WENRECO, the power distribution company in the region, said power interruptions are due to a breakdown of transformers and weak power lines that formerly belonged to the Uganda Electricity Board. Repair works for the units that have broken down is taking abnormally long and the consumers are getting increasingly frustrated. Power extensions to the districts of Maracha, koboko, and Yumbe were commissioned in December last year by President Yoweri Museveni. Arua resident district commissioner Ibrahim Abiriga said NRM could lose votes in the area in 2016 because residents are unhappy with the unreliable power supply. Residents get power for only four hours per day, which disrupts their businesses. They also complain that faults take long to be repaired and that they are not informed about operational changes such as the introduction of the prepaid system, which seems to be more expensive than the old postpaid system. By Bosco King, The New Vision

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Tanzania Women Bank chief backs empowerment

Women in Tanzania have been urged to attend in big number the commemoration of this year’s World’s Women Day on March 15, in Dar es Salaam and discuss better ways of empowering women. Tanzania Women Bank (TWB) Chief Executive Officer Margareth Chacha (right), stresses a point to journalists (not in picture) in Dar es Salaam over the weekend on the forthcoming International Women Day on March 15. Left is the Manager for Mwanamakuka Awards who is also the Chairperson of Unit of Women Friends, Ms Maryam Shamo A member of Mwanamakuka Award initiative who also doubles as the Executive Director of Tanzania Women’s Bank (TWB), Ms Margareth Chacha, told a news conference in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that the event would be special and crucial to women. “We will meet and chart a best way to continue empowering Tanzanian women economically,” she said. She said her bank sponsored women through Mwanamakuka Awards with a sole intention to elevate women and attain sustainable development. She explained that her bank want to see more women engaging in entrepreneurship activities and that it plans to extend its sponsorship to the Award. Ms Chacha noted that of the eight per cent of Tanzanians who access banking services, women account for only two per cent and that time was now ripe to add the number of women in the formal financial services in the country. “There are historical reasons behind that but things are improving,” she said. She emphasised the importance of women to create groups and facilitate the process of acquiring loans from her bank and ultimately improve their businesses. On her part, the Manager for Mwanamakuka Awards who is also a Chairperson of Unit of Women Friends, Ms Maryam Shamo, explained that during the event there would be exhibitions and various sports. “We will award this year’s victors and also present gifts to 2012 and 2013 overall winners,” she noted. Many prominent business women and politicians are expected at the event. Source Tanzania Daily News

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NMB bags 132.5bn/- profit

The National Microfinance Bank (NMB), has posted a staggering net profit of almost 132.5bn/- for its operations last year, mainly pushed up by net interest income. The pro-poor bank, which has the widest network coverage of branches and ATMs, posted a net profit of 36.5bn/- at the quarter ended December 2013, doubling from 17.2bn/- of the corresponding period a year before. The profit was mainly attributed to net interest income that generated 328.09bn/- last year against 278.6bn/- in 2012. The revenue from loans proceeds was driven up by expansion of the loan portfolio, which grew to 1.63tr/- from 1.50tr/- of the previous year while customer deposits rose to 2.55tri/- from 2.58tri/- of the previous quarter. While prudent lending seems to have helped the bank to maintain lower non-performing assets (loans), below the industry rate, at 2.06 per cent, although is slightly up from 1.93 per cent of the previous quarter. The NPLs were down by almost 5bn/- to 25.8bn/-. The bank assets grew by 4.17 per cent to 3.29tr/- while customer deposits reached 2.55tr/- at the end of last year. In 2005, the bank was privatised and partly divested its shareholding 49 per cent to a consortium led by the Coˆperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen- Boerenleenbank BA (‘Rabobank Group’). In 2008, the government offloaded its 30 per cent shares to the general public in an initial public offer (IPO) and NMB staff. In the meantime, CRDB bank net income increased to 20.37bn/- in the quarter ended December last year compared to 20.11bn/- of the corresponding period 2012. Similarly the profit for the year jumped to 84.2bn/- from 77.8bn/- registered at the end of 2012. The outstanding performance of the profit is attributed to the increase in net interest income to 234.6bn/- in the period under review from 206.15bn/- of the corresponding quarter in 2012. The loans, advances and overdrafts jumped up to 1.98tri/- in the quarter in question compared to 1.90 recorded in the previous period. Similarly, customer deposits increased to 2.99tri/- compared to 2.85tri/-. Source Tanzania Daily News

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EPZA woos investors to venture into Lake Zone

Investors from within and outside the country have been urged to take advantage of the thriving Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the Lake Zone regions. The call was made by the Director General of Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), Dr Adelhelm Meru, when presenting a paper on Investment Opportunities in EPZs and SEZs at the just ended Lake Zone Investment Forum. A total of 3,500 hectares ors have been earmarked in Usagara and Nyangamango areas in Misungwi District, Mwanza Region for EPZ and SEZ with plans to develop it as a modern industrial cum commercial township. A total of 1,000 hectares have been earmarked in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region. 1,360 hectares have been earmarked in Bunda, Mara Region. The area will be developed as a modern industrial cum commercial township. “EPZA in collaboration with regional authorities continue to secure EPZ/SEZ sites in Kagera, Simiyu and Geita,” he noted. Talking on the benefits of SEZ/EPZS investments in the Lake Zone, Dr Meru mentioned promotion of value addition, promotion on new technologies, promotion of cross border trade (exports), employment creation, revenue collection at district and municipal levels and income generation at household level among others. He said that SEZ and EPZ were very effective in Asia, Far East and Middle East and that countries like China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Phillipines, have developed export-led economies through EPZ and SEZ concepts. Giving other countries experience especially China he said the Asian country has in the past 30 years, achieved phenomenal economic growth and an unprecedented development ‘miracle’ in human history. Quoting the World Bank, Dr Meru said that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been growing at an average annual rate of more than nine per cent and in 2010, it has surpassed that of Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy. “Although policy makers, business people and scholars all over the world continue to debate these topics, one thing is clear: the numerous special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial clusters that emerged after the country’s reforms are without doubt two important engines of China’s remarkable development,” he noted. He said that his authority has earmarked EPZ/SEZ sites in 19 regions with 500 – 9,000 hectares each in Tanzania and that investors were invited to develop basic Infrastructure in the zones. He mentioned EPZ/SEZ Investment Opportunities in Lake Zone as agro processing cotton, sunflower, coffee, processing of meat and diary products, leather processing, mineral processing, fish processing, honey processing, light assembling, ICT and trading. EPZA continues to gain ground in Tanzania. Statistics shows that the authority had a target to get USD 300 million investment capital in 2013, but surpassed the target and brought into the country a capital totalling USD 498 million up to December last year. According to available information the authority had planned to create 5,200 new jobs last year and end up doubling the target by creating 10,200 jobs through new investments that took place in the authority’s areas. EPZA had earlier targeted to export products worth USD 100 million last year but surpassed target as well and exported products worth USD 105 million. Source Tanzania Daily News

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