kenyan banks (and financial sector) not as big as i thought

Bankelele has a ranking of the biggest banks in Kenya (2009 rankings). Barclays, KCB and Standard Chartered are the top dogs. Equity is the biggest upstart (the top three banks were around in 1968).

Banki Kuu (Central Bank of Kenya)

Certainly, more innovation and public regulation (by which I mean property rights protection and incentives for growth of contract intensive money) needs to be instituted in order to promote growth and diversification of financial services.

The prevailing interest spread in Kenya is ridiculous; the Central Bank rate is 6% while the commercial banks lending rate is 13.85%. (Njuguna Ndung’u, the governor of Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) should do something about this). The mortgage market needs a shot in the arm (the demand is high but financing is maddeningly expensive). And the country could do with a more robust household credit system. Even the middle class does not earn enough to buy all they need in cash. Borrowing against future prosperity (under a regulated system, of course) is not such a bad idea. More substantively, it is an implicit investment in the future.

laurent Gbagbo might have lost to Ouattara

There are no prizes for guessing why the government of Ivory Coast is delaying the release of provisional results from Sunday’s presidential runoff. It is almost certain that the challenger, Alassane Ouattara, won against Laurent Gbagbo, who has been dictator president since 2000. Mr. Gbagbo, seeming desperate, has already indicated that he will challenge results from three regions in the north.

I will post the provisional results as soon as I get an inkling of what they look like.

Map of Cote d'Ivoire

The Ivorian civil war (2002-2004) split the country in two, with the rebels (New Forces) controlling the north. Mr. Ouattara is from the north while Mr. Gbagbo is from the south.

The BBC reports that the main election observer missions in the country had no problems with how the election was conducted in the north.

The information vacuum has fueled security uncertainty and speculation. The Daily Nation reports:

“People are going a bit crazy. There are hundreds of rumours of violence so the atmosphere is rather tense,” said Marcel Camara, 37, hunkered down with his aunt and two cousins at their home in the Abobo district of Abidjan, where a curfew has been in force since Saturday.