By The Independent Team
FITCH ratings have affirmed MTN Group Limited’s National Long-term ratings at AA, with Stable Outlook. The rating agency said the affirmation reflects strong subscriber growth in MTN’s markets that have relatively low mobile penetration. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch’s view that MTN’s business profile remains well positioned in the medium term to weather the industry’s challenges, including increasing competition in its core markets. MTN group’s financial profile benefits from strong operating cash flow generation, relatively low leverage and a healthy liquidity position.
The ratings also incorporate the relatively high country risk political and regulatory environment in the markets in which MTN operates. MTN`s group’s ability to repatriate cash flows to South Africa from certain jurisdictions remains a concern to Fitch.
Jubilee Insurance to offer political risk cover
Jubilee Insurance has announced that it will offer cover to its clients against damage caused by political violence, terrorism and sabotage. The insurance company has partnered with African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) in a KShs30 billion (Approx. 813 billion) deal to offer the cover that was first introduced in Kenya last year after the post election violence. Under the cover, Jubilee Insurance has expanded its product portfolio by retaining specialised risks, which it previously passed onto re-insurers outside the Kenyan market. The cover will be available to Jubilee’s customers across East Africa region, and will soon cover the entire Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region.
Kenya Airways incurs huge losses in strike
Kenya Airways staff last Friday paralysed air transport at the Jommo Kenyatta International Airport. Many KQ flights from the airport were cancelled. Only three flights out of 25 that were to leave for various destinations were airborne. Passengers were milling around the airport waiting to know the fate of their flights. The strike came as passenger numbers were beginning to pick up after the economic slowdown following the global financial meltdown.
The Kenya Aviation Allied Workers Union is comprised of flight engineers, cabin crew, cargo handlers and customer support staff. The protesting workers are demanding a salary increase of 130 % against the airline’s offer of between 11 and 13 %. The airline said yielding to the workers’ demands meant it would incur an additional wage bill of KShs 8.4 billion added to the current wage bill of KShs 5 billion, which would bankrupt the airline. The lowest paid staff at KQ earns KShs8,000 (Approx. Shs 216,800) inclusive of allowances while the highest paid of the unionised staff earns Shs 80,000 ( Approx. Shs 2,168,800). Last year, the airline succumbed to the effects of the global financial crisis and high fuel prices posting a record loss of KShs 5.6 billion.