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CMA Regulatory Nightmare

Gosh, swamped at work…been to Kenya and back again since the last post and haven’t even had a chance to write about that. Was attending the opening of our office in Nairobi (of course the Nation got it wrong, it’s not 1 billion kshs investment funds, but the total commitment including the investment fund will amount to 1 billion kshs) and had meetings related to the set-up of the Fund we will be launching. Apart from the fact that law firms in Kenya seem to specialize in telling you what you can’t do, rather than what you can do in commercial transactions (frustrating just let me tell you!), the Capital Markets Authority is not an institution that takes itself seriously.

They have revised their licensing requirements, but the new rules have not been gazetted for over a year, which means you are in limbo as far as what regs you should follow…and no one can give you a straight answer. So people try and get “unofficial” OKs or just proceed under the new regs and hope they’ll be OK. Halafu we want to be considered a serious country? And don’t even get me started on how chicken and egg some of the rules are…to apply for a venture capital fund license, you have to be operating as a venture capital company for three years first…what? (N.B. registration as a venture capital fund is advantageous because you get a ten-year tax holiday).

I actually sympathize with Barclays, someone somewhere probably told them unofficially that they could go ahead.

If I was a commercial lawyer in Kenya I’d have a drinking problem or some other vice.

2 comments to CMA Regulatory Nightmare

  • Marilyn

    Hi sympathize with your struggle with CMA…I am also interested in starting a fund and would like to know if you have managed the hurdles and also to exchange some ideas. Please send me an e-mail off-line. Thanks!