International money transfers on Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform grew 64 % to KES 13.1 billion in the year ended March after the telco acquired a license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to offer outward cash remittances. Safaricom launched M-Pesa services in Tanzania in February 2015, followed by Rwanda three months later after receiving a cash remittance operating license from the CBK in 2014.M-Pesa was previously limited to receiving cash inflows. The telco, which disclosed the performance in its latest annual report, also entered the Ugandan market last year. It is eyeing a larger piece of the international remittances market that has been dominated by banks and international money transfer firms, some of whom it has partnered with.
Market activity opened the week on a slightly lower note as shown by the market indicators. The benchmark NSE 20 Share index shed 3.84 points to close the day at 3445.60 points while the NASI added 0.54 points settle at 144.40. The NSE 25 Share index increased by 4.21 points to end the day at 3929.79 points. Market capitalization rose marginally to KES 2079.822 billion from KES 2071.974 previously, whereas equity turnover dropped by half to KES 0.26 billion from KES 0.52 billion before owing to a 36.95% decline in the volume of shares traded.
The Keny Shilling was steady on Monday as it traded at a mean of KES 101.46 slightly changed from last Friday’s average of KES 101.47 with its direction in the short-term expected to be determined by the level of dollar inflows from horticulture exports and non-governmental organizations.
The Sterling and the Euro gained marginally against the shilling. The local currency has been strengthening against the two major peers due to the Brexit vote as well as the Bank of England’s (BoE) recent decision to cut interest rates two weeks ago. They also raised the UK’s monetary policy program (QE) by 60 billion Sterling pounds, which on top of the rate cut has sapped all market confidence.