Kenya slips in World Bank ‘Doing Business’ ranking

Overview of Kenya economy
Kenya slipped to position 129 from 121 last year. PHOTO/FILE
Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa. Photo/File[/caption]Kenya has dropped eight places in the World Bank’s Doing Business report (2014) as foreign investments in the country dipped following a sell-off by foreign investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Kenya slipped to position 129 from 121 last year after the country overlooked some crucial business reform programmes that would have given it a better ranking.

These reforms include putting in a place an essential regulatory system designed to increase private sector participation in economic development.

The system, said the report, should facilitate interactions in the marketplace while protecting public interests without hindering the growth of the private sector.

The World Bank’s Doing Business report (2014), which sampled 189 countries, saw Singapore emerge as the best country to do business, with Chad emerging as the worst.

Rwanda emerged as the best country to do business within the East African Community (EAC), followed by Kenya, Uganda and Burundi in second, third and fourth positions respectively. Tanzania emerged as the region’s worst performer.

In December last year, Kenya suffered the longest sell-off on record as foreigners dumped shares at the NSE on speculation the US Federal Reserve (FED) would cut monetary stimulus that drove demand for emerging-market assets.

Ever since, capital flows to emerging economies continue to diminish in tandem with the FED $10 billion monthly cutback that is expected to raise interest rates in the US.

In January, IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned Kenya to brace for economic shocks, highlighting the country’s vulnerability to world economic forces – especially a slowdown in emerging markets.