Items filtered by date: Thursday, 06 September 2018
More Kenyans believe that China constitutes the biggest threat to the country’s economic and political development than the United States of America, a survey shows.
 
The survey by Ipsos Synovate released on Wednesday revealed that 26 per cent of Kenyans see the Asian country as a threat to the development of Kenya, more than double the perception towards the US which ranks at 12 per cent up.
 
GRAFT
 
According to the survey conducted between July 25 and August 2, the unfavourable perception of China comes in the shape of threats posed by its cheap goods, fear of fostering corruption and leading to job losses.
 
A total of 38 per cent of Kenyans think that the continued relationship between Kenya and China will lead to job losses. This is only 11 percent in the relationship between Kenya and USA.
 
Another 25 per cent think that China will flood the Kenyan market with cheap goods compared to 18 percent perception of the US.
 
Perception of Kenyans towards China has taken a nosedive since March this year dropping from 34 per cent at that time while US’s has been on the rise since then from 26 percent to the current 35 per cent.
 
The perception is, however, skewed politically with more National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters thinking that Kenya’s bilateral relationship with China is a bigger threat at 33 percent compared to 10 percent with USA.
 
For Jubilee supporters, only 23 per cent hold similar views on Kenya’s relationship with China but more on US compared to Nasa supporters at 16 percent.
 
On the flipside, approval for China comes because of its infrastructure projects in the country at 86 per cent compared to only 38 per cent for US. For US, its loan and grants to Kenya wins it an approval of 49 per cent compared to a paltry 11 per cent for China.
 
This is even as 35 per cent Kenyans say that USA is more important for Kenya to have relations with compared to only 25 per cent for China.
 
However, more Kenyans think that the country’s relationship with US will see the world superpower undermine the Kenyan culture, her elections and encourage terrorism at 14, 12 and 9 per cent respectively. This the Chinese are seen to have no effect on with 3, 0 and 2 per cent perception in that order.
 
More Nasa supporters at 49 per cent compared to Jubilee supporters’ 28 percent see bilateral relations with the US as critical.
 
However, more Jubilee supporters at 30 per cent to 19 per cent for their Nasa counterparts approve of relationship with China.
 
A total of 2, 016 Kenyans were interviewed in 46 counties using face to face interview at the household level with a margin of +/-2.16 per cent and a 95 per cent confidence level.
 
The survey also came before four important events in the country’s foreign relation development.
 
It was before Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma held talks with US counterparts in Washington DC on August 22 ahead President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit five days later.
 
Five days later President Kenyatta held talks with US President Donald Trump and also met US business leaders.
 
President Kenyatta then welcomes British Prime Minister Theresa May three days later in Kenya before flying to China the next day for a major African-Chinese summit on economic partnership.
Published in Business

The Nigerian government has slammed South African telecoms giant, MTN Group, with a $2 billion tax demand.

The new tax bill incurred by the telecom firm over the last decade comes amid controversies generated by the government’s directive to MTN to hand over $8.1 billion it accused the firm of illegally sending abroad with the collusion of four banks.

MTN said it had been in talks with Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, over concerns around tax compliance; but it was billed all the same.

The company in a statement said it was billed for importation of foreign equipment and payments to foreign suppliers, all spread across a period of about ten years.

“In this process, his (the Attorney-General’s) office made a high-level calculation that MTN Nigeria should have paid approximately $2.0 billion in taxes relating to the importation of foreign equipment and payments to foreign suppliers over the last 10 years,” MTN said.

The firm added, however, that its total payment of around $700 million over the 10-year period fully settled the amount owed under the taxes in question.

Reuters reports Tuesday that shares in the telecom firm dropped 5.6 per cent to 81.95 rand as at noon, bringing losses since last week to nearly 25 per cent. Last Thursday, the telecom firm was issued $8.1 billion demand over concerns around repatriation of funds.

The latest demands come two years after Africa’s biggest telecoms company agreed to pay more than $1 billion to end a dispute with Nigeria over unregistered SIM cards. 

MTN, in its reaction, described the latest demands by Nigerian authorities as “regrettable and disconcerting”.

The company said it will “continue to engage with the relevant authorities on all these matters, and we remain resolute that MTN Nigeria has not committed any offences and will vigorously defend its position.”

 

- Reuters

Published in Telecoms

Internet users in Nigeria increased marginally to 103.6 million in July, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.

The NCC disclosed this on Wednesday in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for July posted on its website.

According to the data, Airtel, MTN and Globacom gained more internet subscribers during the month under review while 9mobile was the biggest loser.

The data also showed that overall internet users increased to 103,671,778 in July from 102,805,122 in June, showing an increase of 866,656.

The breakdown also revealed that Globacom gained the most with 574,821 new internet users, increasing its subscription in July to 27,146,075, up from 26,571,254 in June.

It further showed that 9mobile lost 218,086 internet users in July, decreasing its subscription to 10,367,260, as against June when it recorded 10,585,346.

NCC indicated that MTN also gained 134,171 new users in the month under review, increasing its subscription to 39,071,670, in July as against 38,937,473 in June

It said that Airtel gained 375,754 new internet users in July, totalling 27,086,773 as against 26,711,049 in June.

 

Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA

Published in Telecoms
Thursday, 06 September 2018 04:30

Absa eyes expansion after Barclays ‘divorce’

Over 130,000 interviews in a brand name survey and a 12 billion rand (Sh90bn) ‘divorce’ settlement from the Barclays PLC, the Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (Absa) went live on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange last week with the lender promising to shake the banking landscape.
 
And immediately following the move the lender, with an eye on a pan-African look, said it will adopt a digital-first strategy in offering its products. It has set its sights on a 12 per cent market share of banking revenues in Africa promising a bruising battle for customers through acquisitions and strategic partnerships.
 
In an interview with Smart Company, Absa Group Limited Chief Executive Maria Ramos said the group will be banking on the newly launched WhatsApp banking platform to provide an easy way for customers to access services.
 
“We will create a superior consumer finance franchise, build a leading global payments hub and launch a winning transaction banking platform,” she said.
 
And to assure its Kenya customers Ms Ramos (right) said: “Yes, the new brand is not currently being rolled out in any country rather than South Africa. However, when it is rolled out in your country, it will not affect functionality and products or services. Existing Barclays platforms, products and services including cards will continue to work in each market as they did before.”
 
The group says it has until 2020 to finish the roll-out of the new look in countries which include Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, Nigeria and Zambia. Absa also has a presence in Seychelles and Mauritius .
 
“Following comprehensive research and wide consultations among our stakeholders from employees to customers and regulators...and considering costs, the way forward was clear; we will have one name across our operations. It will be a brand that unites and reflects our collective unity,” she said.
 
“Our new name and brand are an expression of our new purpose and strategic direction which commits us to growing in Africa. We are rallying around a shared sense of purpose and identity while celebrating diversity.”
 
Absa Group deputy chief executive Peter Matlare said their particular interest in Kenya is driven by the country’s giant strides in technology adoption and innovation adding that their decision to set up a hub in Nairobi was not arbitrary. He was, however, quick to add that whereas technology is essential, it does not replace the need for face-to-face interactions cautioning “ forcing people to go digital will see them go elsewhere.”
 
He said with the rebranding of its African operations, Absa hopes to change the landscape of banking on the continent.
 
Mr Matlare said the lender will opt for unique partnerships in each country noting that agriculture is one of their top sectors they target.
 
His parting shot for Kenya: “Get me those bright minds that can hack into any system and we will take them on board in developing winning products.”
 
Absa was created through the unification of United Allied and Volkskas Banks in 1991 with Barclays acquiring a 55.5 stake in 2005.
 
Source: Business Insider
Published in Bank & Finance

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