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Kenya Macro Economic Review

Jan 6, 2019

Economic Growth: The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, increased in 2018 having expanded by 5.7% in Q1’2018, 6.3% in Q2’2018 and 6.0% in Q3’2018 to record an average growth of 6.0% for the 3 quarters compared to an average growth of 4.7% over the same period in 2017. The improved growth has been against a backdrop of a stable macroeconomic environment, driven by: A recovery in agriculture, which saw the sector record an average growth of 5.3% for the first 3 quarters of 2018, due to improved weather conditions. In terms of sectoral contribution, agriculture remained the highest contributor averaging 22.4% over the same period, Improved business and consumer confidence, evidenced by the Stanbic Bank’s Monthly Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which averaged 54.3 in the 11-months to November 2018, a rise from 46.0, recorded in a similar period in...

Sub-Saharan Africa Region Review

Jan 6, 2019

According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth remained relatively strong in 2018 with preliminary data indicating that the region recorded a 2.7% GDP growth in 2018, a rise from 2.3% recorded in 2017. In East Africa, a rebound in growth was recorded in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, which grew by 7.7%, 6.8% and 6.0%, respectively, as at Q3’2018 driven by improved agricultural performance attributed to improved weather conditions. A slowdown was however recorded in Tanzania mainly underpinned by an unfavorable investment climate following President John Magufuli’s stringent policy changes. In Western Africa, several countries recorded growths of 6.0% and above which include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal. There was however subdued growth in other countries in the region such as Nigeria which recorded a growth of 1.5% in Q2’2018 compared to the economic growth rebound of 1.95% and 2.1% recorded in Q1’2018 and Q4’2017, r...

Global Markets Review

Jan 6, 2019

The year 2018 was characterized by a flat global growth as the growth in the US was weighed down by the negative effects of the trade conflicts between the US, China and Eurozone, as well as a weaker outlook for some key emerging markets such as China and Brazil, arising from country-specific factors such as (i) country-wide industrial action in Brazil, (ii) political uncertainty in Britain due to the Brexit vote, and (iii) country-wide protests in France, tighter financial conditions, and geopolitical tensions. According to IMF, global GDP growth in 2018 is expected to come in at 3.7%, similar to the growth registered in 2017, and higher than the 5-year average of 3.5%. The IMF downgraded their expectations for global growth this year from 3.9% in June 2018 to 3.7% in October 2018, citing that the trade tensions between the U.S. and trading partners have started to hit economic activity worldwide. In terms of trade, the World Trade Organization (WTO) downgrad...

The Insolvency Act - A Second Chance for Struggling but Viable Businesses

Dec 30, 2018

In this week’s focus note, we look at the Insolvency Act 2015, and how companies that are under financial distress are using the legislation to navigate through the restructuring process, and in the process protect the interests of creditors, and other stakeholders in the company such as shareholders. Since its enactment in September 2015, a number of companies have invoked the Insolvency Act 2015, including Nakumatt Holdings, as discussed in our focus note Restructuring an Insolvent Business, A Case Study of Nakumatt Holdings, and Athi River Mining Cement (ARM) Limited, and Deacons East Africa PLC A business becomes insolvent when its liabilities exceed its assets. However, in practice, insolvency comes about when a business cannot raise enough funds to meet its obligations as they fall due. Properl...

Kenya’s Attractiveness as an Investment Destination, & Cytonn Weekly #49/2018

Dec 23, 2018

Africa remains an attractive investment destination for investors seeking attractive, long-term returns for a number of reasons, including abundant natural resources, improving economic indicators, and a growing population leading to a rise in consumption. GDP growth in Africa is expected to average 3.1% in 2018, higher than the 2.4% growth expected in advanced economies, according to the IMF. With West Africa generally suffering from volatility in commodity prices, and Southern African Development Community (SADC) having low GDP growth (1.6% in 2017), East Africa, whose economy grew by 5.9% in 2017, has emerged as an important and vibrant investment region in Africa due to a relatively diversified economy that contributes to stable economic growth. In addition to its strategic location as a gateway to the East African Region, Kenya hosts the largest expatriate community in the continent, has the most diversified economy in East Africa, and leads in terms of technological innov...