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Uber Faces Tax Crisis London

News Team

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Recent report by the Uber Technologies In-cooperation in London has brought to light an interesting report as the United Kingdom seeks to give the Uber company a new classification as a transport provider, putting the company at a risk of incurring new tax charges that could weigh heavily on the business, this according to UK recent days accounts filings.

The new tax charges possibility comes as a great discomfort for the company and causes it further headache as it is coupling up with the regulatory problems which the ride-hailing company is facing in London, one of its largest markets.

Uber says that the tax charges are to be 20% on the gross booking fees or rather, the amount passengers are expected to pay or on the service fees normally accorded to drivers, typically about 20-30% of the entire fare. This situation will leave Uber no choice but to increase its passenger fee charges which will leave it vulnerable to the competition who have over the years been complaining about Ubers’ non-payment of VAT.

Uber said that it risked a back tax claim which could run to hundreds of millions of pounds as the charges could apply in both a retroactively and prospectively way. The company is defending itself vigorously by explaining its beliefs on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Currently, the structure of Uber is in such a way that for tax purposes, it exports digital services driver based in the United Kingdom from a Dutch subsidiary, Uber BV.  In future, Uber could be exposed to VAT because HMRC could deem its operation in UK to be a transport provider.

Uber failed to secure a 5 year term operating license by only being able to receive a 2 month London operating license in a battle with the regulator which has a history with the company of having stripped off its right to take rides.

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Banks

Co-Op Bank Profit Grows to Ksh 10.9B in Nine Months

Georgina Korir

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Cooperative Bank Group has reported a Ksh.10.9 billion profit for the third quarter in 2019 representing a 5.8 percent jump in earnings by the lender to the close of September.

The lender which is the third largest by assets in the region, said the growth was driven by its “soaring eagle” transformative agenda that has retooled and equipped the business with added competitive advantage.

The increased issuance of digital loans which serve to raise income derived from fees and commissions have played a major role in the growth in earnings by the bank. Digital loan issuance on MCo-op Cash is rising ahead of the bank’s traditional loan book to Ksh.27.6 billion as the lender’s non-funded income has surged forward by 33 percent to Ksh.14.1 billion

The group’s total operating income grew by 9% from KSh 32.3 billion to KSh 35.2 billion while its total assets grew 9% to KSh 440.8 billion compared to Ksh 404.2 billion in the same period last year.

Nevertheless, Co-op retained its likeness for the Treasury, a departure from observed exits by peers, to increase its investments in the portfolio by a further 13 percent to Ksh.94.6 billion from Ksh.83.2 billion last year.

In spite of the prolific growth of both net loans and advances to customers and deposits, Co-op’s net interest earnings slightly tumbled. While the lender has grown its neighborhood-based banking agents to 16,000, 90 percent of the bank’s customer transactions already sit outside branches.

As gross non-performing loans (NPLs) rose to Ksh.30 billion from Ksh.29 billion, the lender’s operating expenses picked up by a notable 11 percent on the back of higher loan loss provisions

The bank expects to keep by the diversification tune to strengthen its dominance on its core market segment encompassing retail banking and the cooperative movement.

Co-op Group Managing Director Gideon Muriuki reported that “the group continues to leverage on the benefits of the transformation agenda which has re-tooled and equipped the business with added competitive edge as reflected in the sustained growth in market share across all market segments.”

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Companies

Mumias Sugar Company Sacks All Employees Following the Receivership by KCB

Georgina Korir

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Just a month after the Mumias sugar company was placed under receivership by the Kenya Commercial Bank; all the employees working at the company have been sacked.

The company was placed under receivership by KCB owing to the numerous debts which the it owed the bank dating back to 1972. The company had borrowed Ksh10 million as loan from KCB and it took more between 1972 and 2014 which amounted to more than Ksh3 billion all together.

“Consequent to the company being placed in receivership, all employees’ contracts stand terminated from the date of receivership i.e. 20th September, 2019.” This, the company said in a letter dated November 5, 2019. The Mumias Sugar Company however said that all affected employees would be lawfully compensated.

“Any payment to the affected employees shall be dealt with in accordance with the provision of the law,” the letter read in part. New staff will be hired so as to keep the company operational and most of the priority will be given to the now former employees who have just been fired.

“Accordingly, the Receiver shall engage the services of any employee on a temporary basis on mutually agreeable terms until the time when the operations resume. Priority will however be given to the past employees while recruiting the staff on temporary basis until the time when the company’s operations are revived,” ended the letter.

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Apps

Optiven Group Launches Kenya’s Inaugural Real Estate App at an Event in Nairobi

Inversk Review

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Kenya’s leading land developer, Optiven group, on Friday morning launched the inaugural Real Estate mobile app in Kenya. The event which was held at the Hotel Fairmont The Norfolk in Nairobi’s CBD gathered hundreds of land owners and real estate enthusiasts including Optiven group clients. The launch was led by the company’s Chief, Mr. George Wachiuri.

The app, which has already been availed at play store will allow prospective land owners to access all their investments solutions from the company at the comfort of their hands.

User with android phones can download the app available on play store through this link while their IOS counterparts and those using personal computers can visit plots.optiven.co.ke.

The mobile app will allow one to view properties on offer (satellite photos, maps, topography and even track the development your projects in real-time from any part of the world), make project selection and proceed to check out.  No brokers, no paperwork, no hassle.

As a multiple award-winning property development pacesetter in East Africa, Optiven Group has over 20 years’ experience in the real estate market.

Alongside its head office in the capital, the company also has offices in South Africa as well as satellite branches in the US and Europe.

The company offers flexible payments for everyone. Where clients are allowed to pay property in installments in up to 24 months through cash, bank financing, Wave, MPESA, PoaPay.

Now through the mobile app, Optiven is allowing everyone to partner with them (as an affiliate) and earn a commission between $200 – $500. Registration of affiliate partners is done through this link.

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