As December nears and the realities of festive season spending knocks, President William Ruto is promising cheaper fuel as the government seeks ways to stabilise the prices amid the controversy of the government-to-government fuel importation deal.
The Interior ministry is inviting Kenyans for public participation on the hiked fees for government services and beware, avoiding mandatory SHIF membership come 2024 will legally lead to being denied these same services both at the county and national government level.
Meanwhile, Equity and Co-op banks announced growth in net profits for the nine months leading up to September 2024.
Welcome to today’s Money Brief of the top money news that may affect your pocket.
Once the Social Health Insurance Act 2023 comes into force, non-members of the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), including adult Kenyans and foreign residents, will be barred from accessing government services.
The SHIF Act's Section 26(5) mandates SHIF registration, empowering national and county governments to withhold services from those without membership, as part of financing universal health coverage (UHC).
“A person who is registrable as a member under this Act shall produce proof of compliance with the provisions of this Act on registration and contribution as a precondition of dealing with or accessing public services from the national and county governments," the law states in part.
This initiative aims to boost compliance and revenue by targeting the over 17 million Kenyan adults not enrolled in the soon-to-be-replaced National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). More in detail via the Daily Nation.
An analysis of the Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review released last week by the National Treasury for the quarter ending September 30, 2023 shows that President William Ruto’s administration appears to have cut subsidy spending to zero.
This, as the Business Daily reports, is in adherence to loan conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the government to end support plans emphasising fiscal space creation.
The withdrawal, especially in fuel subsidies, has led to historic high fuel prices, contributing to a slight increase in fuel inflation to 2.2% in September 2023. Below are the changes in brief:
These changes in subsidy policies have widespread implications for inflation, consumer costs, and economic efficiency, impacting various sectors.
The Interior Ministry has invited Kenyans for public participation on the proposed changes on fees charged under immigration and citizen services that are set to take effect from January 1, 2024.
Kenyans can submit written proposals to Nyayo House, Ground floor in Nairobi or at the respective offices of Regional Commissioners, County Commissioners, or Deputy County Commissioners.
You can also email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before December 8, 2023, at 5 pm.
This follows the government's withdrawal of a Gazette Notice on increased fees for services such as passports and IDs after public uproar. A new gazette notice was published in its place with minimal changes.
Notable adjustments include a reduction in the first-time National ID application fee to Ksh300 from Ksh1,000 and a decrease in the lost ID replacement fee to Ksh1,000 from the initial Ksh2,000.
Kenyans can expect a 30% reduction in call rates within the country starting March 2024, as the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) slashes mobile termination rates from 0.59 to 0.41 per minute.
The new rates, applicable for two years, aim to ease the financial burden on consumers amidst rising living costs. While SMS rates remain unchanged, this move is seen as a potential boon for operators like Telkom Kenya and Airtel, stimulating price competition.
According to the CA, the decision, which it says is influenced by economic factors and the desire to balance investment promotion with consumer protection, is anticipated to benefit both users and operators.
President William Ruto is promising Kenyans that fuel prices will be lower in the coming month of December.
Speaking in Kirinyaga County on Saturday, November 18, the head of state said his administration was exploring measures to stabilise fuel prices that have been the cause of public disquiet.
“You have seen that this month the prices have started to decrease. Next month, they will go down even further,” said Ruto who also defended the controversial G-to-G fuel deal.
Today, a litre of Super petrol in Nairobi is retailing at Ksh217.36 (unchanged from October) while Diesel is going for Ksh205.47 and Ksh204.46 for a litre of Kerosene. This was a Ksh2 reduction for diesel and kerosene from the October-November pricing cycle.
The Co-operative Bank of Kenya reports a 7.5% profit growth to Ksh18.4 billion in the nine months to September 2023, driven by increased interest income from loans.
The bank's loan book expanded by Ksh42.9 billion to Ksh378 billion, and investments in government debt securities rose by Ksh2.7 billion to Ksh185.1 billion.
Co-op Bank's deposit base increased to ksh432.8 billion, with interest paid to depositors rising to Ksh16.5 billion. The bank also benefited from lower operating costs, with total expenses shrinking to Ksh29 billion. Subsidiaries, including Kingdom Bank, contributed positively to overall results.
Equity Bank Group has reported a 5% growth in net earnings to Ksh36.2 billion for the nine months to September 2023, driven by stable performances in subsidiaries outside Kenya.
However, Equity Bank Kenya experienced a 20% decline in profit after tax to Ksh19.3 billion, marking the first profit drop in seven years. The decrease was attributed to high non-performing loans, reflecting economic challenges in Kenya.
Equity Bank Kenya's Profit After Tax (PAT) then shared a 50:50 split with other subsidiaries, while the Profit Before Tax (PBT) level showed a 46:54 split.
Equity BCDC (DRC subsidiary) achieved 142% net profit growth, and the Tanzania subsidiary saw a 136% increase in net earnings.