KBA CEO CHAT - Trade

CEO | Abdalla Abdulkhalik, Gulf African Bank, CEO
MONTH | February 2015
maurice ndege
what measures can be put in place to help SMEs access credit formaly?
Mugisha Franck
Good morning
Mugisha Franck
When can you apply for a home loan?
Chat Admin
Goodmorning everyone, welcome to this morning's "My Chat with a bank CEO" session
Chat Admin
Our topic this morning is Trade and our host is Mr. Abdalla Abdul Khalik, Gulf African Bank CEO
Chat Admin
As we get ready to start the session, please take some time to update your profile and add a picture of yourself
nuru mugambi
good morning all...I'm looking forward to the Chat today
Chat Admin
Good morning Nuru, welcome to the chat
maurice ndege
Trade is an intresting topic lets make money and our lives better
nuru mugambi
I agree Maurice...it's a broad area that covers basic biashara up to multinational trade...
maurice ndege
I that access to formal and affordale credit will creat conducive environment for trade especially on the sme sector
Chat Admin
Thanks for your comments Maurice and Nuru. For all who are logged in, please feel free to post your questions and comments before we start so we can begin promptly at 10am.
Chat Admin
The topic for today's chat session is Trade
Wanja Ngure
if yu are new in international trade , yu have done your survey yu have the product and the customer but you don't have enough money to buy the product
maurice ndege
In trade MONEY is a major player and access to it is like killing an elephant with a needle
Chat Admin
Good morning Wanja, Simon, Japheth, Isa, Robert, David and Maurice. Welcome to this morning's chat.
Wanja Ngure
how can the banks help this young enterpreneu
KENNETH NJERU
Good morning all. Glad to see yo again
maurice ndege
Wanja we have over 40 banks in kenya yet accessing credit is aheadache to enterprenures imagine having left college with a noble trade idea ant
maurice ndege
and the banks asks for a title deed or logbook to give you a loan its difficult
Chat Admin
Good morning Kenneth, Charlene, Joan and John. Welcome to this morning's chat session
KENNETH NJERU
morning
Chat Admin
Allow me to welcome Mr. Abdalla Abdulkhalik to the chat session
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Good morning everyone.
KENNETH NJERU
Good morning
Mbatia James
I salute you all
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Welcome to the Chat. Our topic for discussion today will be on Trade. In which I hope to share some insights with you and hopefully get insights from you as well on the topic.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
So lets get started...I see some questions have already come through
Simon Lee
For a new/startup business a bank loan is not always the best option as you need to prove your business plan before you can truly understand the amount you require to make a positive difference. However there are 3 key issues that I have experienced: 1) That of risk appetite for banks when it comes to other forms of financial assistance such as overdrafts. 2)The level of understanding of non-traditional industries to bank managers at branch level is lacking and therefore presenting a business plan that they understand, can buy into and defend at bank level is not there. 3) At branch level there is often a lack of complete knowledge of products and services the banks offer that could provide financial relief/assistance to the company. This includes access to forums such as this Chat session, workshops and industry sector associations and the like.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Allow me to start by defining trade from my perspective.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Trade generally includes any activity carried on for production of income from selling goods or performing a service. It is a commercial transaction involving the sale and purchase of goods, services or even information. This should give a perspective of what trade is...and to differentiate between trade and credit
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Welcome Wanja...thank you for your question about accessing credit facilities to purchase a product when you have identified your market.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I would say the best approach would be to approach your bank with your idea and projected cash flows to discuss financing options. The bank would analyse your proposal and see if it is a viable business proposition and based on that you can access credit.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Usually, many banks would shy away from offering credit facilities to what we call "green field business" which means the applicant has not done that business in the past or has no experience in the business...it would be therefore important that you partner with someone or a company that has done similar business before for the comfort of the bank to ensure that there is enough experience in it.
Chat Admin
Maurice Ndege's question is ..."I that access to formal and affordale credit will creat conducive environment for trade especially on the sme sectorI that access to formal and affordale credit will creat conducive environment for trade especially on the sme sector"
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I have seen questions around SME businesses...
ABDALLAH ABDALLAH
How does GAB carry out Trade financing? Does it have a predetermined profit rate that it charges or it works with the performance of the business of the client? i.e. risk/return sharing.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
...SMEs form an important part of any economy. From the very jua kali businesses to the high end SMEs. Of late there has been a lot of focus on SME business in Kenya. Some of which is also supported by other organisations such as the World Bank and other NGOs.
JOHN NJOKI
How has KBRR helped in bringing down the cost of credit in Kenya? The cost of credit is still high and this is discouraging many would be traders.
Wanja Ngure
Thanks Abdalla the challenge is tht the banks will forevrask for s bank statement and as a young enterpreneur chances are. slim tht yu will have an impressive statement and hence this act as. asetback because yu are not even given a chance to present your business proposal and its projections. Advice
KENNETH NJERU
Sir about wanjas question I would like to know why the process is that rigorous yet as a new Enterprise I have no idea of the market dynamics
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
To access credit on SME you need to have a business idea, premises you will operate from, and projected cash flows for the business. This will allow your bank to make proper assessment of your business and extend credit to you.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
As much as possible SMEs should try to formalise their business by attempting to keep formal records (accounts) which helps a great deal in enabling banks to assess their credit worthiness.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Morning Maurice Ndege...
maurice ndege
Morning Sir.....
George Olaka
Banks are in the process of making money and hence have no time for start up with no business records, is time that we set up special departments in our banks to offer venture capital? I hope you are aware of what seasoned bankers like Tony Elumelu from Nigeria is doing through his foundations
Matheri John
Morning Sir
Joan Wairimu
Good morning sir.... lets talk county policy and investment opportunities towards diversifying trade...there has been hue and cry about numerous conflicting tax regimes from the county governments that make it more costly to trade....what would be the most practical way to address this?
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Maurice, I would say that in general banks are in the business of lending...so when a client approaches us for lending purposes they are actually the ones supporting our business. Banks need to take proper due diligence in assessing the viability of the business proposed by entrepreneurs. Remember Kenya also has one of the largest non performing loans portfolios in the region, largely because banks are willing to take a bigger risk and therefore lend to businesses due to the competition pressure in the market.
maurice ndege
i also tend to feel that banks must do away with handling Kenyans as soo risky when it comes to lending,they should review their lending criterias and adopt credit rating especially on the SME sector
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Good morning Abdallah, trade finance business, particularly letters of credit, are naturally sharia compliant because it is a trade transaction. The fees and commission charged is market driven and standard.
George Olaka
We also have to appreciate that the Kenyan borrowing culture also need to change to one that will take all reasonable effort to repay back loans. This will enable the banks to lend more and be less demanding. Let us look at countries like Bangladesh where repayment rates are in the 90% region
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
John Njoki karibu...thank you for joining us....
Matheri John
I have just gone through some idea people have put on chart like wanja i have tried several time to get a loan but in vain yet i have established my market in the products that i want to bring please advice
Japheth Muoki
Good Morning, am following the conversation
Charles Mabeya
Is the banking industry comfortable with the fact that Kenya has the largest non performing loan portfolio,though a relative measure,is this causing a strr
Lewis Ndichu
Good Morning, am on board too.
Charles Mabeya
causig
JOHN NJOKI
Thank you Sir.
Charles Mabeya
cor
Mbatia James
I think the best way to finance your project (start up) you should start by approaching the people who know you favorably and a few friends and family members convince them about your project. Then after you get some seed funds work hard to earn a credit reputation so that you can approach the banks.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
...before the introduction of the Kenya Banks Reference Rate or KBRR, the market was using base lending rates which was determined by the individual banks and therefore no particular formula to arrive to that rate. KBRR is now determined by the Central Bank which is independent and therefore not influenced by the lending bank. This has brought in transparency in how lending rates are derived.
Charles Mabeya
or Kenyan banks capitalization is more stable
maurice ndege
Matheri John we need to have a talk the solutions are available
Mugisha Franck
Good morning Sir. Talking about start ups, most of the time the only thing they have is an idea. The idea might be good and make a country grow economical, however most our entrepreneurs get demotivated due to lack of fund. Is there anything that could be done to encourage our younger entrepreneurs? If for example the person who created Mpesa was to visit a bank for financing and the bank to turn down his idea; it would be a great loss to the country itself.
Jonathan Gitiya
Morning everyone,
Matheri John
Maurice Ndege please let me know the solution because i have tried but i have never gone through let me know please
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Wanja and Kenneth, I agree it can be a challenge for young or new entrepreneurs to access financing from banks.
Matheri John
or may be am banking with the wrong bank
George Olaka
Admin, is it possible to make the chat window bigger, it is quite a problem following conversations especially where users post in quick succession
Charles Mabeya
What are the othe
Lewis Ndichu
My question is, we have been h3aring that central bank is regulating interests on which banks should charge, in order to help SMES, I have a real estate agency even with good savings and banking I am affraid of borrowing a loan to transform my start up, is the negotiations of interest charges on goin in order to help start ups?
Charles Mabeya
what are the other financing alternatives if accessing finance is not an easy task for an entrepreneur
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
....I would say in the beginning you need to partner with someone who has sufficient experience in the business you are in to give comfort to the financier who is not just banks but also equity funds, private investors, etc. Remember that banks use deposits from other customers and also capital from shareholders to lend, therefore they have a duty to ensure that those resources are prudently managed.
Jonathan Gitiya
if I may contribute regarding the issue of funding start ups, i believe financial institutions should find a way to QUANTIFY risk, that way you can measure the amount of Risk you are getting in to which is relevant to the risk strategy of the financial institution, without this we shall lock out a great deal of potentially lucrative projects that do not have the advantage of a history of operations inthe market
maurice ndege
Matheri DM me your contacts @mmndege we can have a talk
George Olaka
Charles, Kenya will need to actively look at PE and venture capitalists
Muema Wambua
How can banks exploit available trade and investment opportunities that have been occassioned by devolution?
Matheri John
i do agree with Mr. Abdalla it is a big challenge to up coming entrepreneurs to access financing from banks
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
George Olaka I agree with what you are saying...we definitely need to build that culture.
Matheri John
Mr Maurice let me know how we can get intouch
George Olaka
Devolution is still quite chaotic for any meaningful investments to take place. Most counties still lack the basics to support most businesses. County governments need to concentrate on putting in place structures that will invite worthwhile investors.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Charles Mabeya, thanks for your question, I think the recovery process is more of the issue.
JOHN NJOKI
Thank you Sir for the response. Most banks are still far much above the KBRR without disclosing the extra cost. I think banks should disclose the hidden costs to enable one make a decision rather than bring it up after one has taken the loan.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Thank you Mbatia James for sharing
Charles Mabeya
Thanks George,how can the central govt help in bridging the gap if counties do not have the capacity,or is this a long-term structural reform that counties need to pursue
Matheri John
i also agree with John Njoki we need to be told about the extra cost because most banks do tell the truth
George Olaka
Helli Charles, one of the options is for The Central bank to setup intervention funds or something of the sort to bridge the gap. if properly managed, the funds should go a long way in supporting start-ups and informal sectors with no access to formal bank products.
maurice ndege
Guys we really need to be sensitized on measures that the CBK is puting across to bring down cost of credit eg KBRR,
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Lewis Ndichu, thank you, interest rates are determined by many factors. One of which is the risk that the lender is taking on the customer. For startups, as you can imagine, that risk is much higher and therefore you would expect the rate of interest to commiserate with the risk. In other countries, Governments have subsidised such loans so that they are more accessible to new entrepreneurs. In Kenya we have similar arrangements such as the Uwezo Fund which is accessible to groups...this also brings the point we raised earlier that entrepreneurs need to form groups or partner with people who have experience in the field so as to increase your chances of success.
Lewis Ndichu
Just an opinion, the biggest issue here is borrowing I think government shoukd work in hand with banks in order to regulate and redo the regulations. The worst of all things doin business in kenya is taxes, government regulations to which as a start up we cannot afford, so we end up using our loans to pay them. In US a start up pays for licence when the start up is stable, all what they do is following on small businesses. Since I started my company the most money havent been on production but on paying government.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I see the discussion about Counties and investment opportunities.
Anthony Kariuki
goverment needs to formulate policy of tax holidays for start business especially businesses by the youth who don't have so much capital
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
In my view one of the major problems we have in counties, other than Nairobi, is unemployment. I think counties need to invest in capacity building for their people such as setting up technical training schools for people to learn specialised skills which enable them to become self dependent.
Mbatia James
The biggest problem with our system of education we are learn to be individualistic, groups affairs like uwezo fund require team work which our youth are very poor at.
Emma Wacira
there is alot of opportunities in the Counties, but the younger enterpenuers do not know how to tap into it
KENNETH NJERU
Mr Abdulkhalik what is the role of financial institutions in promoting local trade? Putting in mind the challenges faced Just as one of the participants puts it, do you think it is the counties will accept local investors?
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Once you have the basic skills it will take care of so many issues and vices that happen around us because of unemployment. And also provide a base to build the economy at the local level.
KENNETH NJERU
sorry If the counties not it...
George Olaka
On taxation, in as much as I agree that the government should do something, my opinion is that any business worth it salt and is socially responsible needs to pay taxes, it is a discipline in itself. Tax holidays are fine, but do start-up have the ethics to keep proper records to show that at some point they have become liable to taxation?
Lewis Ndichu
Noted Sir, about interests. But its very difficult to access those funds in most counties we have tried it, I did infact moving to another county were I thought its accessible, my idea is regulations of interests in away we can borrow and pay without much hustle. Go to rwanda today doin business is much easier than in kenya why? Because they know that SMES are biggest employers and this solves the problem of unemployment.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Muema...good question...banks have an opportunity in the devolved government system which has created opportunities at the county level that previously didn't exist because of a centralised system. Banks are seeking to support the thriving of businesses at that level through their branch network expansion and in the process help those investments thrive.
maurice ndege
Sir kindly help us understand the benefit CREDIT RATING can bring in to the borrowers in regards to KBRR
DAVID MURIITHI
financial institutions especifically the commercial banks have been actively involve in trade financing. in your view what are the prospects of trade financing;- are the opportunities in trade fionacning at the disposal of commercial banks fully exploited?
George Olaka
Maurice, it is simple, good credit rating leads to lower interest payments. Added to the KBRR are things like a borrowers credit rating. For example (hypothetical) a AAA rated business could even borrow below the KBRR.
Joan Wairimu
Discussion taken over by issues around interest rates much...clearly we need more chats on interest rates Dear ADMIN...
Charles Mabeya
Absolutely Abdalla,skilled workforce at the county level can go a long-way in boosting the case for start up funding,in addition to Anthony's view above,govt funds can also take a long-term view on funds advanced,private equity style, and exit when the startups have stabilized and making profits.
Anthony Kariuki
@george olaka yes i agree with you that every business should pay tax bt most starts up fail because of the high tax rate in the country. this ussually leads to them trying to evade tax by not keeping reliable records for audit purposes
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Lewis, there is no doubt that SME is a very large component of any economy. A country like China has a SME contribution to the GDP of more than 60 percent. This also brings to the point where we need to first define, who is SME? Just here in Kenya we have different definitions of SME but the most standard one is a company that has annual turnover of less than Ksh 100 million or borrows less than 1 million USD at any given time.
Simon Maina
Do the high interest rate spreads have something to do with high operating costs as well, which could be solved by technological innovations? Because in some intances, you reconsider borrowing when you think that the business is not going to generate revenue that is above the high interest rates.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Regarding comparing Kenya with Rwanda in terms of ease of access to credit for SMEs, I would say the process of setting up a business in Rwanda may be faster than here in Kenya, but that does not necessarily translate into ease of access to credit/funding. Here in Kenya we have our minimum acceptable requirements for lending to SMEs, a sector which is very difficult to assess due to lack of proper accounting information. Nevertheless, despite the fact that there are these challenges, in this region, Kenya still leads in terms of the total value of credit that is directed to SMEs.
Lewis Ndichu
Abdalla Sir. We cannot class SMES on such high category here in Kenya, I think an SMES in kenya is start up that is abke to hire/employ about 5 to 10 and a working capital of 250K and keeping a profit of 3/4 of stake. So to me SMES have classes, and that class am taking of consist of many ventures and those are the businesses the government and finacial institutions should be looking up to for growth. I have been Rwanda what am saying about the country am very sure of, plus instead of funds like those of uwezo rwanda government is more consurned of a proming young entrepreneur.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Simon, when you talk about spreads, yes, it definitely has to do with the high cost of operations in Kenya. There is an assumption that the cost of funds for banks is only the rate of deposit that is paid, for example 3 per cent, however, cost of operations including security, insurance, infrastructure (electricity, operational systems,) are all included in the calculated in the cost of funds. Added to that is the cost of risk and inflation. All these plus the deposit rate then give you the market interest rate.
Anthony Kariuki
yes the ease of access to credit is there bt i think financial institution should try to lower the cost of credit, which is quite expensive compared to the other developed economies of which most smes are in direct competition with.
Simon Maina
Are there incentives for Banks in place for investments in technology or other cost cutting measures? Like in most Asian countries where they get to expense investments and get subsidies
KENNETH NJERU
Incit]
maurice ndege
Simon and a good way to know your risk is through credit rating a product being offered by one of the credit reference bureaus in kenya
KENNETH NJERU
Insightful Thanks
Emma Wacira
Also setting up a business has been very much simplified nowadays, especially through the "Huduma " outlets. But many factors count before one can access credit from the financial instituions. Many also give up because they envision such a burden in the compliance requirements and costs. most give up very early.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I see Simon Lee's point raised earlier about whether or not banks have the capacity to finance non traditional SMEs or assess certain business proposals...I would say that banks identify sectors that they have an expertise in, for example, agribusiness, aviation, tourism, manufacturing, etc., so depending on where the bank feels they have sufficient expertise to assess credit risk in that sector, then it becomes easier to make a decision.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Simon Maina you a raise a pertinent issue, through advocacy and lobbying as an industry we do try to seek such incentives from Government.
Lewis Ndichu
As we end todays chat, my advise to Banks and other financial institutions the only one who will make the biggest impact interms of services and sales is the institution which will drive its money and services to start ups and offer good interest while creating a good realtions with its customers.
Anthony Kariuki
what about the venture capital companies arround, do they help in provision of capital to propective start up in need of finance?
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Lewis, thank you for your point, the classification of SME is -- small and medium sized business -- the classification you cite, i.e. working capital of 250K is actually a micro business...within Kenya there are institutions such as micro finance banks which are adequately positioned to support and finance the micro business segment.
Emma Wacira
Yes the Venture capital companies do assist in capital injection and expertise. just ensure the contract protects the inetersts of all parties especially you who has sought thems
Matheri John
I do agree with Lewis statement otherwise i do not see any reasons banks go round advertising about giving loans and if you go it does not help you
JOHN NJOKI
The banks should also come up with education programs to enlighten the SMEs owners. The success of SMEs is not only a benefit to the country but also to the commercial banks themselves in terms of interest income.
Muema Wambua
What role can financial institutions play in advancing technical capacity for trade negotiations for internal trade?
Lewis Ndichu
Antony Kariuki, its like looking for an angle investors who turns your dream to reality then kicking you out. You know Shark Tanks. @emma
maurice ndege
John i agree with your point educate SMEs and banks will be the beneficiaries
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Thank you Lewis, I concur with your observations, but as I said earlier the area of entrepreneurs/start ups has to be driven by the support of governments, NGOs, development finance, etc. The going concern businesses, i.e. micro enterprises, SMEs, are already taken care of and already doing a vibrant business in the economy.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
John Njoki yes, capacity building is key and many banks offer this to their customers.
Charles Mabeya
The clear point coming out of today's chat is that for any SME to access funding,it needs to demonstrate scale and expertise in its industry which is not a common thing for start-ups especially scale.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
David Muriithi, trade finance products are being used quite widely. In fact banks prefer to use such products because they are less risky and contribute a lot to the non funded income of banks.
Muema Wambua
Again, what mechanisms are financial insitutions putting in place to counter the threats exposed by trade-based illegal transfer of capital that compound the problem of capital flight from the country/region?
Emma Wacira
Customers should be looking for these banks that that offer business support, advise on payment plans , as opposed to just financial redemption... customers sometimes feel that the bank is just waiting to to snap on your first default instead of options and advise on what could be wrong with your business style
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Charles Mabeya...I fully agree with your summary...As SMEs demonstrate scale and expertise, this is an opportunity for banks to leverage.
DAVID MURIITHI
therofore sir, given the prefence for trade financing by banks, do you see this as having impacted negatively on banks; lending to SMES by crowding out SMES from borrower's pool?
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
To Muema's question about capital flight...
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
...capital flight is not illegal. Usually this would be from foreign investors who invested in Kenya for a particular period of time and at some point they decided to exit the market. It happens regularly in any capital market. We do have measures to counter illicit trade through anti money laundering policy which is regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Joan thank you for joining us and for your point about county tax policies...
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
...my understanding on taxation is that it is centrally controlled. I am not sure if county governments can impose new taxes on their own. However, they do have a discretion to raise revenue through levies (parking fees, business license, etc) which in my view they need to exerciser cautiously -- otherwise they will make their county noncompetitive.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Ladies and Gentlemen, we unfortunately have run out of time. But allow me to share some final thoughts.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Trade is a very important element of our economy.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I think we need to encourage and support businesses so that they can contribute to this line of income to the general economy. Today, our trade balance is quite negative, meaning that we as a country import a lot more goods and services than we export to other countries. This creates imbalance or trade deficits which will need be addressed. Therefore, it takes both the market as well as government through its role as the enabler of a conducive business environment to ensure that measures and policies are put in place to address the imbalance.
Lewis Ndichu
Its was a nice segment, Trade and finance we have learned a lot. Thanx to Abdalla Abdulkalik
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I would like to thank you very much for your contributions today. I hope I have addressed most of your questions and concerns on the topic of trade adequately.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
I have enjoyed the session. I hope you did too.
Simon Maina
This was a very informative session. Thank you
maurice ndege
Thanks alot sir it was a nice session
Simon Lee
Many thanks. An excellent chat as always.
Chat Admin
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to thank Mr. Abdalla Abdulkhalik for making time to be with us this morning and for sharing his insights. We'd also like to thank you all for your participation. Your comments and questions have made this session interactive and enlightening.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik
Thank you all. Good day and good weekend.
Nelly Konya
It was an informative session.
JOHN NJOKI
Thank for your time and knowledge Mr Abdalla.
Joan Wairimu
Thank you Sir...
KENNETH NJERU
Thank you once again.
nuru mugambi
awesome chat...thank you all
Muema Wambua
Thank you.
Chat Admin
Remember you can find chat transcripts and podcasts of previous chats on chat.kba.co.ke
Charles Mabeya
Thank you
Chat Admin
The next chat session will be held on Wednesday next week (25th February, 2015).The topic will be Real Estate and Construction. We look forward to you meeting you here again. Many thanks and have a good day.