In its latest global Market Outlook Report for 2024, Standard Chartered advises investors to anticipate more stability in lending rates amidst expected fluctuations in forex and the tax environment. The report, titled “Sailing with the Wind,” underscores the need for investors to balance the evolving macroeconomic scenario to retain investments and seek long-term returns. 

Kenya’s Central Bank took significant steps last year to push lending rates to a 10-year high of 12.5%, aiming to stabilize the shilling and curb inflation. In response, local banks adjusted their rates, posing challenges for borrowers amid the high cost of living. Recent data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reveals a shift in inflation to 6.9% in January, driven by price increases in transportation, housing, utilities, and food. 

Paul Njoki, Head of Wealth Management, East Africa at Standard Chartered, emphasizes the importance of taking prudent steps to safeguard investments amidst the evolving economic landscape. With the US and other major economies projected to experience slower growth and sliding inflation in 2024, investors must navigate potential risks while seeking opportunities for growth. 

The report anticipates a positive start to 2024 for equity and bond markets, buoyed by hopes of a soft landing and central bank policies supporting growth. However, investors are advised to remain vigilant as macroeconomic conditions may shift, necessitating adjustments to investment strategies. 

Against this backdrop, Standard Chartered highlights the expectation of stability in lending rates, providing a degree of predictability for investors. However, fluctuations in forex and the tax environment are likely to shape the operating environment, requiring investors to remain agile and adaptable to mitigate risks. 

In conclusion, Standard Chartered’s 2024 Market Outlook underscores the importance of strategic decision-making in navigating the dynamic economic landscape. By staying informed, proactive, and adaptable, investors can position themselves to weather potential challenges and capitalize on opportunities for long-term financial success. 

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