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Equity grows loan book by 30% to support customers and keep the economy lights on

While releasing the results for Q3 2020, Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO said, “We grew our loan book by 30% year on year in order to support our customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversification in the COVID-19 environment. Most of the new opportunities we funded were in manufacturing of PPE’s, logistics, online businesses, agro- processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains.”

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Equity Group has reported a 30% growth in its loan book from Kshs 348.9 billion in September 2019 to Kshs 453.9 billion as at 30th September 2020.

While releasing the results for Q3 2020, Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO said, “We grew our loan book by 30% year on year in order to support our customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversification in the COVID-19 environment. Most of the new opportunities we funded were in manufacturing of PPE’s, logistics, online businesses, agro- processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains.”

Execution of Equity Group’s twin strategy of being defensive and offensive has proven to be effective despite the challenging environment.

Customer deposits registered a 45% growth from Kshs478 billion to Kshs 691 billion driven by 51% growth in Uganda, 21% growth in Kenya and an additional Kshs130 billion from the acquisition of BCDC in DRC.

Loans to customers grew by 30% driven by 37% growth in Uganda, 19% growth by Equity Bank Congo, 15% growth in Rwanda, 15% growth in Kenya and an additional Kshs 48.5 billion from the acquisition of BCDC in DRC.

The growth in capital weighted loan book and capital geared customer deposits was on the back of a 27% growth in shareholders’ funds following withdrawal of Equity Group Holdings’ 2019 dividend payout.

The balance sheet of the Group grew by 38% from Kshs 677.1 billion to reach Kshs 934 billion.

Regional expansion and business diversification efforts have reduced dependence on Kenya for Group performance making the Group truly a regional financial services provider.

Regional subsidiaries now contribute 40% of customer deposits, 39% of Group total assets, 33% of the loan book, 30% of the Group’s revenue and 25% of the Group’s profit before tax.

On the defensive strategy the Group increased its capital base by 27% to Kshs 137.6 billion from Kshs 108.7 billion to fortify the balance sheet.

The Group’s liquidity position strengthened to 55.7% driven by a 61% growth in cash and cash equivalents and a 34% growth in Government securities.

Maintaining its conservative and prudent approach and in recognition of the challenging operating environment, the Group increased its loan book provision eleven-fold from Kshs1.3 billion to Kshs14.3 billion compared to the same period last year, registering a cost of risk of 4.8% up from 0.8% the corresponding period last year.

To further consolidate liquidity, the Group increased its long-term funding by 7% to Kshs 70.7 billion from Kshs 66.3 billion as shareholders funding grew by 27%.

In its defensive strategy, Equity has worked to support the larger society, communities and customers to weather and mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19, Equity Group boosted government efforts of containing the pandemic by:

(1)   Waiving fees on mobile banking transactions to discourage the use of cash while incentivizing the use of digital channels;

(2)   Utilizing the expertise of Equity Afia medical team to screen body temperature of customers and staff accessing physical premises including bank branches while supporting COVID-19 health education;

(3)   Leading nationwide initiatives to safeguard frontline health workers through the provision of PPEs and mental wellness and psychosocial support training by the Equity Group Foundation at a cost of Kshs1.3 billion.

(4)   Providing loan repayment accommodation and rescheduling for up to 45% of the customers whose cashflows were deemed likely to be negatively impacted by government set COVID-19 containment measures.

(5)   Supporting staff to cope with the challenges associated with COVID-19 while maintaining a conducive working environment to comply with health protocols and offering choice of working from home were possible.

 

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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