Global economies are built by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).  They provide the entrepreneurial vibrancy and vitality which drives economic activity across different industries.

The SMEs are the undisputed foundation of economic diversification and expansion, contributing immensely towards a positive socio-economic impact within the country.  Their importance in Kenya is reflected in the Economic Survey 2014 which showed that 80 per cent of the 800,000 jobs created were in the informal sector that is dominated by SMEs.

The Kenya shilling lost ground against the dollar on Friday last week, hurt by loosening liquidity in the money markets.
At 11.00 a.m. commercial banks quoted the shilling at 102.25/102.35 to the dollar, slightly weaker on Thursday’s close of 102.15/25.
One Nairobi-based trader said the shilling slipped due to loosening liquidity following heavily subscribed government debt auctions where most of the bids were rejected.

Treasury, October 27, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
The African Economic Outlook report by the African Development Bank released early this year indicated East Africa will record the fastest growth on the continent in 2015 and 2016.
The positive growth trajectory predicted over the medium term is an indicator that the East African Community has a good chance of reaching a developmental tipping point and making it the most attractive investment destination on the African continent.

DSC 0718Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich delivers keynote address today Wednesday, November 18, 2015 when he officially opening a three-day public hearings of 2016/17-2018/19 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Budget – Public Sector Hearings at the Kenya Institute Curriculum Development, Nairobi.  The main objective of the forum is to receive feedback from the public and stakeholders stakeholders to validate the sector budget proposals for the next MTEF period.

Kenya’s shilling held steady against the US dollar with traders expecting the currency to trade in a tight range throughout the week.
At 9.45 a.m. yesterday, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 101.95/102/05.
“Nothing has happened on Tuesday morning. I don’t see anything on the horizon today that will make us change direction,” said one trader at a Nairobi – based commercial bank.

Treasury, October 27, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Kenya is seeking a review on the use of $688.3 million (Sh 70.22 billion) standby loan from the International Monetary Fund, citing persistent domestic and external shocks in the economy.
The country however, said its performance under the structural economic programme has been in line with targets and all quantitative performance criteria and indicative targets through end-March 2015 had been met.

Average interest rates on the benchmark 91-day Treasury Bills have fallen to single-digits for the first time since early July, helped by increased inflows from foreign investors chasing high returns.

At the weekly auction on Thursday last week, yield on the three-month by the government to borrow cash to fund the budget fell to 9.65 per cent – a 4.11 per cent drop from previous week’s 13.76 per cent.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) sought to inject Kshs.16 billion into the markets through a reverse repurchasing programme.
The bank’s offer yesterday to inject liquidity into the market goes contrary into its recent tightening stance.
Traders have said the CBK may be seeking to help smaller lenders, who have found it difficult to borrow from larger counter parts after seizure of a second-tier bank last month.

Treasury, October 27, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Uchumi Chief Executive officer says he will put the retail chain back on its feet in a year and the strategic plan includes use of technology to entice young shoppers.
Dr Julius Kipng’etich said the once household name retailer will then re-enter the markets it has pulled out from.
“In a minimum of one year, Kenya will have recovered to be the springboard to the rest of Africa. In five years, Uchumi will be Africa’s Walmart,” he said.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said it was offering Kshs.8 billion into money markets using reverse repurchase agreements.

Traders on Friday last week have said the repo offerings help ensure smaller banks have access to shilling liquidity, which the CBK has said tends to be skewed towards larger lenders in the Kenya market.

Treasury, November 2, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Imperial Bank could be re-opened next month but only after the owners meet a raft of conditions set by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), including fresh capital injection after new revelations of massive plunder by top managers.

Treasury, October 26, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Diaspora remittance to developing countries, are projected to rise to $435 billion in 2015, a two per cent increase from previous year, the World Bank has said.
The bank however said the growth rate remittances would fall from 3.3 per cent in 2014 to two per cent in 2015.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich has accused some counties of not fully utilizing funds allocated to them.
At the same time, Mr. Rotich has defended the decision to delay the disbursement of funds to counties with low absorption of funds.

Treasury, November 2, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Seven out of 10 people in Kenya are now living within a three-kilometre radius of at least one financial service provider compared with six out of 10 people two years ago, a new survey shows.

Treasury, October 26, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Narok, Machakos, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kericho and Nakuru are amongst some of the small number of counties which have reported significant amounts of locally generated revenue. One of the main reasons for this is that a number of counties do not enjoy the kind of economic activity that is easy to profitably tax. Another reason is that counties have not yet won the trust and respect of their people – in some cases because they have not even tried.

Tightening credit conditions are driving international banks out of trade financing slowdown of world economies, which has constricted global trade by four per cent.

Reminiscent of the 1990s when various banks closed shop in a period now known as the lost decade of Africa, the financial sector is optimistic that this time the continent is ready to cover itself, given growth in the financial sector.

Treasury, October 29, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
The Economic Report on Africa 2015 takes cognisance of the fact that Africa has the potential to experience growth greater than the East Asian countries through industrialization.
The recent launch of Kenya’s 10-year Industrial Transformation Programme informs the stance by the Government in pulling out all stops towards industrialising the country.

Treasury, October 26, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said it was offering Sh10 billion in reverse repos because liquidity was “skewed.”
The CBK also offered reverse repos on Wednesday last week, the first since August last year, contrary to the bank’s recent monetary tightening stance. Traders said the Central Bank may be seeking to help smaller lenders, who have found it difficult to borrow from larger counterparts after the seizure of Imperial Bank – a second – tier lender – last week.

The Government will not reverse the directive to use online procurement although some counties oppose it for fear of being held accountable through its transparency.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich who appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance admitted, however, that the system faces problems.

Treasury, October 29, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
The shilling seems to be healing curve against the US dollar after it hit the roof in mid September when it exchanged at 106.2. On Monday commercial banks quoted it at 102.1 to the dollar.
Market watchers say it is just a matter of time before the shilling goes back to its level in January 2016 when it exchanged at 90.7 to the dollar. The move follows the rising interest rate on Treasury Bills.
Meanwhile, the shilling was steady yesterday and traders said it was expected to keep a firm bias, helped by foreign investor flows into government securities.