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Survey on assets of 900 resident firms to be out next month

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge. file photo | nmg
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge. file photo | nmg 

The estimate of foreign assets and liabilities owned by resident private firms initially expected to be out last February will be known next month, with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) blaming the delay on technicalities.

KNBS, Kenya investment Authority and Central Bank of Kenya jointly launched the joint survey on August 4, 2016 to map out foreign direct investments and foreign debt targeting 900 companies.

The Foreign Investment Survey 2016 was conducted in three months through October. Data from a “substantial number” of the targeted firms was collected, KNBS director-general Zachary Mwangi said, but some took long to respond to follow-up questions.

“The cause of the delay was more or less a technical issue. When sometimes you do a survey, there is an issue of follow-ups before the report is released,” Mr Mwangi said on phone. “It (delay) was nothing unusual, but we are going to release the document next month.”

Its findings will help update the country’s official FDI data since FIS 2015 that put the flows at Sh454.5 billion in 2013, up from Sh376.5 billion in 2012.

Updated quality data, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge had said at the time of the launch, was crucial in formulating policies to cushion against “vulnerabilities” of foreign capital flows.

Kenya largely relies on Geneva-based Mukhisa Kituyi-led United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) and Financial Times-owned fDi Intelligence for updated data.

The two have usually given varying figures. In 2015, for example, fDi Intelligence put cross-border investment flows into Kenya at a record $2.55 billion (Sh229.32 billion) from 71 firms since it started the surveys in 2003, while Unctad quoted $620 million (Sh64.05 billion).

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