Kenya

Kenya’s government agreed to loan its cash-strapped national carrier 5 billion shillings ($49.5 million) for working capital and to enable it carry out a scheduled engine overhaul for its E190 Embraer fleet, Bloomberg News reported. Kenya Airways Plc., which is 48.9% owned by the government, is in discussions with the state and other entities in the nation’s aviation industry that include a “possible restructuring of the operations and corporate structure of KQ,” the company said in an emailed statement. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, it said.

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Private equity firm Kuramo Capital risks losing a total of Sh699 million worth of loans it had advanced to TransCentury, the parent company of East African Cables, which is facing a liquidation suit, Business Daily reported. Kuramo provided the loans between 2017 and 2018 and they were mostly secured by 56.7 million shares of the cables manufacturer with a current market value of Sh124 million. The PE firm gave the loans in its capacity as the controlling shareholder of TransCentury where it holds a 25 percent equity.

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East African Cables is seeking to restructure nearly a fifth of its bank debt, including a 285 million shilling ($2.83 million) loan to a local lender that has sought to wind it up over the debt, it said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The court petition by SBM Bank to unwind the company was first reported by local media on Monday. East African Cables makes electric and telecoms cables sold across East and Central Africa. Last year, the company and its parent firm restructured 82% of their debts. “The company...

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Creditors of Kenya’s Nakumatt supermarket chain, once East Africa’s biggest retailer, voted on Tuesday to wind it up after it was unable to pay debts following a failed rescue attempt, Reuters reported. Nakumatt expanded from a mattress shop in a rural town to a network of more than 60 branches before a cash crunch forced it to shut more than a dozen outlets in 2017 when it was unable to pay suppliers, landlords and other creditors.

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Kenya plans to refinance or substitute commercial loans with cheaper options from friendly nations or development financiers, its acting finance minister said on Monday. The East African nation wants to avoid raising more debt from overseas capital markets, after a borrowing binge in recent years including Eurobond offerings, a package of Chinese loans and syndicated commercial loans, Reuters reported. The government was committed to bringing its debt, which has risen to above 62% of gross domestic product, to a more sustainable level, said minister Ukur Yatani.

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KCB Group Plc is pursuing defaulters as Kenya’s biggest lender combines recently purchased National Bank of Kenya Ltd. into its operations, Bloomberg News reported. “You’ll see more actions, more demand letters going after our customers” who aren’t repaying loans, KCB Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara said on the sidelines of a conference in Nairobi last week. “Next year is the real recovery period for the loans we have for NBK.” The acquisition of state-owned NBK, which has 49% of its loans classified as non-performing, will almost double KCB’s ratio of bad debts to 12%.

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Kenya’s loss-making Mumias Sugar Company has been placed under receivership to protect its assets and maintain its operations, local lender KCB Group said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. “The Bank has appointed Mr. PVR Rao (Tact Consultancy Services) as the sugar company’s receiver manager,” KCB said in a statement, giving no more details. Mumias, which used to be the East African nation’s leading producer at more than 250,000 tonnes a year, has been beset by poor management and mounting losses in recent years.

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Kenya Airways must avoid picking a board packed with politically-connected individuals after it is renationalized in order to ensure future success, its chairman said on Tuesday. The loss-making airline, which is 48.9% government-owned and 7.8% held by Air France-KLM, was privatized 23 years ago but sank into debt and losses in 2014, Reuters reported. Lawmakers voted to re-nationalize it in July. Chairman Michael Joseph said the requirement for professionals to be put in charge of the airline is being built into draft laws that will guide the renationalization.

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Kenya will take at least 21 months to take back full control of its national carrier Kenya Airways, buying out minority shareholders and converting shares held by banks into Treasury bonds, a lawmaker briefed on the transaction said. The loss-making airline, which is 48.9% government-owned and 7.8% held by Air France-KLM, was privatised 23 years ago but sank into debt and losses in 2014, Reuters reported. Lawmakers voted to re-nationalise it this week.

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Kenya’s parliament voted on Tuesday to nationalise the country’s main airline Kenya Airways to save it from mounting debts, Reuters reported. The loss-making airline, which is 48.9% government-owned and 7.8% held by Air France-KLM, has been struggling to return to profitability and growth. A failed expansion drive and a slump in air travel forced it to restructure $2 billion of debt in 2017. The airline later proposed taking over the running of Nairobi’s main airport to boost its revenue.

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