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CBK boss Njoroge to focus on giving loans to small businesses in second term

Patrick Njoroge has been reappointed as Central Bank governor for another four years serving until 2023.

The CBK governor, whose tenure was to end on June 19 this year, had succeeded Prof Njuguna Ndun’gu in 2015.

Analyst cite Njoroge’s performance in steady currency, supporting small businesses with loans and market-led bank consolidation is said to contribute to his reappointment.

“Increasing loans to small businesses will be one of Njoroge’s key assignments in his second term,” said Habil Olaka, chief executive officer of the Kenya Bankers Association, a lobby of lenders.

Last month, the regulator said banks will start offering loans to small businesses for as little as nine per cent interest.

This after the High Court in March annulled a law that limits what lenders can charge for credit at no more than 4 percentage points above the prevailing benchmark rate.

 Njoroge opposed the cap, saying it complicated monetary policy formulation.

In 2018, CBK governor Patrick Njoroge scooped the Central Banker of the year Africa 2018 by the prestigious The Banker magazine, a publication of the Financial Times group.

In its citation of the award to Dr Njoroge, the banker wrote “Since being appointed as central bank governor in July 2015, he has acted swiftly to clean up the country’s banking sector, improve supervision and guidance measures, and spearhead efforts to position Kenya as a hub for green finance. Monetary policy has remained stable and effective since late 2016 and inflation has generally remained within or close to the banks’ target range.”

Njoroge is a US-educated economist and worked as an adviser at the International Monetary Fund before becoming governor in 2015.

His new term in office comes as the country prepares to usher in new notes which was launched during the 56th Madaraka celebration in Narok stadium.

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