Browsing: Central Bank of Kenya

CBK Raises Base Lending Rate To 8.25 Pc, Cites Elevated Inflation

The Kenyan economy’s leading indices of economic activity show ongoing solid growth in the second quarter of 2022, according to CBK, with strong activity in storage and transport, retail and wholesale trade, construction, information and communication, and lodging and food services.

“Despite decreased agricultural performance and sluggish global growth, the economy is anticipated to remain resilient throughout the balance of 2022,” CBK added.

Goods exports have been strong, increasing by 11.0 per cent in the year to August 2022 compared to the same time in 2021.

According to Njoroge, it may be harder to borrow even as inflation increases due to advanced economies’ practices, such as rate hikes, which have shut us out of the financial system.

He mentioned that he had a discussion with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to urge the US Fed to give the impact of its policies on developing nations more consideration.

In order to ensure that emerging economies are not left on their own, he stated, “we need support from mature economies.”

Njoroge pointed out that despite this, emerging markets like Kenya have exhibited exceptional resilience in the face of global shocks, continuing to thrive.

The first National Payments Strategy implemented in 2004 through to 2008, was aimed at addressing challenges across risks due to the absence of a real-time settlement system, limited trust in payment instruments such as high-value cheques and an under-developed policy, legal and regulatory framework.

The NPS is motivated by a desire to meet the diverse needs of the Kenyan people and its economy and support our nation’s ambition for a digital, inclusive and 24/7 economy. The Strategy will also be the basis for consolidating and extending Kenya’s global leadership in digital payments and innovation. Finally, the Strategy will provide the overarching policy framework that will guide the work to strengthen the NPS legal and regulatory framework.

The Central Bank of Kenya added that all countries in the region needed to participate in flattening the multi-layered correspondent banking structure and shortening the payment chains for a digital currency to work.

The development of CBDCs has been on the rise. According to a 2021 survey of central banks by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), 86 per cent of central banks are in the process of researching the potential for CBDCs, 60 per cent are experimenting on them, and 14 per cent were deploying pilot projects.

The CBK has maintained the cryptocurrency ban and has not issued a digital currency due to concerns about the risks of a CBDC.

This comes after the National Treasury exempted the digital lender from a law limiting individual shareholding in microfinance to 25 per cent.

In a gazette notice signed by the Cabinet Secretary National Treasury, Ukur Yatani, the San-Francisco based fintech has been exempted from Section 19 of the Microfinance Act (for 4 years through 2025).

Currently, individuals or single entities are barred from holding more than a 25 per cent stake in a microfinance institution.

The CBK has also issued circulars to local commercial banks warning them against dealing with cryptocurrencies transactions or face penalties for non-compliance.

The last circular was issued in 2018 and has remained in action up until now.

While delivering the monetary policy announcement where the monetary policy committee retained the base lending rate at seven per cent for the 12th time, Dr Patrick said that their position had not changed on any of the crypto products in the market.

The National Treasury is projecting real GDP growth of 6.0 per cent and 5.8 per cent for 2021 and 2022 respectively and has used the same as the basis for its revenue projections. But this adds to the overall optimism being projected.

In September 2021, the Central Bank of Kenya Governor projected a 6.1 per cent growth rate for 2021 and 5.6 per cent in 2022.

The International Monetary Fund’s most recent forecast puts 2022 growth expectations at 6.0 per cent. The World Bank, on the other hand, projects growth to print at 4.5 per cent and 4.7 per cent in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

We really believe this optimism being projected around is largely irrational and the story of Kenya’s economic growth still remains a puzzle to us. 

Microfinance institutions are trying to cope with the changing times as the market is moving to fast delivering digital systems of money transfer.

Chinese investors in lending apps

A couple of lending apps in Kenya cannot be mentioned without referring to Yahui Zhou, the chief executive of Kunlun Tech. Company Limited.

Zhou is famous for two things; his gaming company and his very expensive divorce settlement; he gave his ex-wife shares of Kunlun Tech worth US$1.1 billion.