Kenya

Kenya is in talks with lenders to roll over a $760 mln syndicated loan this fiscal year and lengthen its maturity in order to make debt repayments more manageable, a senior Treasury official said on Tuesday. The loan, which was initially for two years, was arranged by TDB bank, said Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary at the ministry of finance, Reuters reported. The government aimed to increase the tenor of the loan to seven or 10 years, he said, adding that they had not yet struck an agreement with lenders whom he did not identify.

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Oman’s Raysut Cement said on Tuesday it plans to acquire Kenya’s ARM Cement, which went into administration in August, as part of its expansion plans. Raysut has expressed its interest to the administrators to acquire the company, it said in a statement. “The acquisition will complement Raysut’s revised strategy to manufacture clinker in proximity to the markets it supplies to in East Africa,” Raysut said in the statement, adding that the acquisition was estimated to be worth more than $100 million, Reuters reported.

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Creditors of Kenya’s ARM Cement, once the country’s second-largest cement maker but which has been in administration since August, approved on Tuesday the sale of a subsidiary or assets to reduce its debt of $190 million, Reuters reported. The creditors did not identify which subsidiary or assets would be sold, or the possible value of a sale, under Tuesday’s rescue plan, during which the company will remain operational. George Weru, one of the co-administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told Reuters they had 12 months to rescue the company.

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The administrator of Kenya’s debt-laden ARM Cement will ask its creditors for support to keep the company running by selling some of ARM’s assets to cut debt, as well as a plan to engage with financiers for working capital, Reuters reported. George Weru, a co-administrator for the cement firm, told Reuters the proposals will be put to the company’s creditors on Tuesday when they meet to chart the best way forward. The company was put into administration in August by some of its creditors and its shares suspended from the Nairobi bourse.

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The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) said on Monday it had suspended trading of Kenya’s ARM Cement three days after it was put under administration, Reuters reported. “The suspension in trading of the company’s shares takes effect from August 20, 2018,” NSE said in a statement. “This suspension shall remain in force for seven (7) working days.” The suspension is issued with the approval of the Capital Markets Authority, NSE said.
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Kenya’s ARM Cement has been put into administration, PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a statement on Saturday, days after ARM Cement’s chief executive officer said he was relinquishing his post but staying on its board, Reuters reported. PWC’s Muniu Thoiti and George Weru have been appointed as joint administrators. PWC’s statement, published in local newspapers, said the administration, under Kenya’s Insolvency Act, was effective on Aug. 17.
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ARM Cement Ltd. of Kenya has yet to reach an agreement with the International Finance Corp. about a capital injection in the struggling Kenyan company, Chief Executive Officer Pradeep Paunrana said. Business Daily, a Kenyan newspaper, reported Wednesday that the IFC had agreed to take over $120 million in loans in a bid to settle ARM’s more expensive debt, Bloomberg News reported.
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The proprietor of Jack and Jill supermarket in Nairobi Ahmed Noorani has been told to wait longer before taking any action against a businessman who owes him Sh167 million, The Standard reported. High Court judge Francis Tuiyot said Friday businessman Rajendra Sanghani's insolvency case must be determined before Noorani can take actions. Sanghani owes Noorani Sh167, 270,500 as the balance for a Sh477,100,000 unsecured loan advanced between August 1, 2012 and April 26, 2018. He filed for restructuring at the High Court and sought interim orders under Section 304 of the Insolvency Act.
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National Bank of Kenya Ltd., which has the biggest bad-loan book in the Kenyan banking industry, is considering closing some of its 85 branches to cut costs, Chief Executive Officer Wilfred Musau said, Bloomberg News reported. Lenders in East Africa’s biggest economy are being forced to lower expenses after a government-imposed cap on commercial lending rates impaired their ability to provide loans and as consumers embrace digital banking, including Safaricom Ltd.’s M-Pesa platform.
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Kenya Airways will be almost 90 per cent owned by the Kenyan government and a group of 11 local banks under a restructuring deal to be unveiled on Monday, after the terms of a debt for equity swap for the lossmaking airline were agreed, the Financial Times reported. The Kenyan government will own 48.9 per cent of Kenya Airways and the banks 38.1 per cent after the debt-for-equity swap, agreed in principle in June.
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