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Kenyan central bank suspends blacklist over small company loans

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NAIROBI, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Kenya’s central bank said on Monday it had suspended for one year a move to blacklist borrowers with non-performing loans of less than 5 million shillings ($44,800) at the start October in an effort to help small and medium-sized businesses.

The suspension is one of a series of measures that President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Oct. 20 to boost the economy as it recovers from the effects of COVID-19.

“The suspension is therefore targeted to rope in the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and for a specified duration that will provide space to turn around their businesses,” the bank said in a statement.

The bank said the measure would stay in place until Sept. 30, 2022.

In July, it said loans restructured by small and medium-sized businesses jumped tenfold in 2020 to 234.7 billion shillings, up from 20.6 billion shillings in 2019, largely due to the impact of COVID-19.

$1 = 111.5000 Kenyan shillings Reporting by George Obulutsa Editing by Mark Potter

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