Three companies were signed by Nairobi’s international financial centre on the day of its launch. The three include Prudential plc, ARC Ride Kenya and AirCarbon Exchange (ACX).
The Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC) is a special economic zone for financial firms.
Prudential, one of the world’s biggest insurers and asset managers, became the first firm to formally join the NIFC.
Singapore-based global carbon exchange ACX came along with Prudential. It seeks to set up a carbon exchange in Kenya.
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NIFC has also admitted ARC Ride Kenya. It is a new start-up that is going to establish an electric vehicle assembly plant in Nairobi. The plant will produce two and three-wheeled electric bikes and scooters.
Also, the Financial Centre is determined to bolster the manufacturing sector in the country. It has signed an MoU with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), to help increase financing and investment in the sector.
NIFC authority has hinted at being in discussion with other participants seeking to join it and will give official news soon.
“Last year Prudential Plc, one of the world’s biggest insurers and asset managers, made a commitment to relocating their Africa headquarters from London to Nairobi and join the Centre. Today we are proud to announce that Prudential becomes the first firm to formally join the Nairobi International Financial Centre,” Vincent Rague, Chairman NIFC Authority.
After many years of waiting, the hub will eye large foreign firms, boosting capital flows to Kenya and the region.
The authority has singled-out four sectors that it will prioritise for growth: financial technology, green finance, investment funds, and becoming a hub for regional multinationals.
The NIFC general regulations have been enacted, as the initial set of tax incentive proposals have been passed.
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Certification from the NIFC Authority must be applied by Firms considering conducting business through the NIFC.
A 15% corporate tax will benefit firms operating a carbon market exchange or emission trading system under the NIFC. The 15% advantage will happen for the first 10 years of operation.
Companies certified by the NIFC Authority and have invested a minimum of Sh5 billion will benefit from the certainty that, the Capital Gains Tax applicable at the time they make their investments will remain unchanged during the lifetime of the investments.