Market News

Britain’s Prudential picks Nairobi for its Africa headquarters

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Nairobi City skyline. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • British underwriter Prudential Plc will set up its Africa headquarters in Nairobi after signalling its intention to join the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC) as one of its anchor clients.
  • NIFC acting chief executive Oscar Njuguna told that the Business Daily that Prudential wants to grow its regional business aggressively, having established operations in eight African jurisdictions.

British underwriter Prudential Plc will set up its Africa headquarters in Nairobi after signalling its intention to join the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC) as one of its anchor clients.

NIFC acting chief executive Oscar Njuguna told that the Business Daily that Prudential wants to grow its regional business aggressively, having established operations in eight African jurisdictions.

Prudential Tuesday in London submitted a letter of intent to join the NIFC, becoming the first firm to show concrete interest in joining the nascent financial centre which has only recently been fully operationalised.

“They (Prudential) are in the process of setting up their African headquarters in Nairobi…and the NIFC offering is attractive to them as they do cross-border activities, given that they will benefit from some of the incentives we are offering, such as fast-tracking work permits for key executives,” said Mr Njuguna.

The NIFC also inked a memorandum of understanding with the TheCityUK, an industry-led body representing UK-based financial and related professional services.

This partnership is expected to provide access to the members of the lobby to gauge their appetite to invest in Kenya and the region through the NIFC.

“Through collaboration with partners like TheCityUK, the NIFC will attract increased investment and financing into the country, which will not only contribute to the wider efforts to drive economic growth following the pandemic, but it will also support the achievement of our wider economic goals under Kenya’s Vision 2030 roadmap,” said Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.

The lobby also includes the London Stock exchange, which has previously also agreed to an MoU with the Kenya government for cross-listing of energy firms in London and Nairobi.

Kenya is hoping to attract firms to operate within the financial centre by offering a raft of incentives which include tax rebates, faster processing of regulatory applications and faster processing of work permits for international staff. It is then expected that these businesses will bring capital flows into Kenya, create high-quality jobs for locals and provide skills transfers in the long term.