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Economy

Kenya mulls law compelling firms to disclose cash

Moses Ikiara
KenInvest Managing Director Moses Ikiara. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Companies in Kenya may in future be required to disclose the value of fresh ventures they undertake if a plan by the investment agency becomes a law.

The Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) is proposing changes to the law that will see all companies periodically report to the agency fresh capital they sink in their businesses in a bid to improve the accuracy of data investment flows.

The proposal is part of the ongoing review of existing laws on investments to harmonise them into one legislation.

“In many countries around the world, they have a law that compels all investors to share their data or register with investment promotion agency, the equivalent of KenInvest, so that you have one agency where you can capture all the data,” KenInvest Managing Director Moses Ikiara said.

“In Kenya, we have never been able to pass this law. It is one of the key things we are going to put across as we harmonise the legislation on investments.”

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Kenya relies on studies domestic and foreign institutions such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development conducted to get estimates on investment flows into the country to inform policy.

The process of harmonising various laws governing investments such as the Kenya Investment Promotion Act, Land Act, Mining Act, Immigration Act and Aviation Act is still at the review stage.

The KenInvest and Kenya Law Reform Commission are identifying sections of laws for reforms to support investments, Dr Ikiara said.

The KenInvest, he added, has reached an agreement with the Competition Authority of Kenya to share deals on mergers and acquisitions, as well as the Communications Authority of Kenya on telecoms.

“We will do that with all sectors so that they can be sharing data with us. Because they are regulatory agencies, every investor has to go through them,” said Dr Ikiara.

The proposed changes to the laws are geared at refreshing the incentive packages for investors in line with Kenya Investment Policy, unveiled on November 6.

The policy aims at growing the ratio of total investments, dominated by public funds, to 32 percent in the medium term from an estimated 24 percent currently by extending monetary and non-monetary incentives to high net-worth investors.

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