Friday 26 May 2017
(APA 05/23/17)
Morocco is increasingly asserting itself as a leading investor in Africa, with some $8 billion in investments announced in 2015-2016, the 16th edition of the 2017 African Economic Outlook Report indicates on Tuesday. This performance, notes the document, is a sign of the capacity gained by Moroccan firms in financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing. The majority of Moroccan investment in Africa covers Ethiopia, following the signing of an agreement in November 2016 between the Moroccan Office of Phosphates (OCP) and the Ethiopian government for more than $3 billion for the construction of a fertilizer plant. Cote d'Ivoire is the second largest beneficiary of Morocco's Foreign Direct
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group is suing a group of its insurers over $400 million worth of oil it claims it lost when Morocco's sole refinery went bankrupt two years ago, court documents show. Carlyle claims in a suit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that insurance underwriters led by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Underwriting (now known as MS Amlin) have reneged on their obligations when refusing to cover the losses, according to documents on the court's website. Insurers have said in response to the suit that the nature of Carlyle's dealings with Samir, the refinery's operator, mean that its losses are not covered by the type of insurance it had. They...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Panama authorities have detained a Moroccan phosphate shipment from the disputed territory of Western Sahara after the Polisario independence movement claimed the cargo had been transported illegally, Polisario and officials said on Thursday. The detention of the vessel carrying phosphate rock cargo from Morocco's OCP for Canada's Agrium is the second tanker stopped this month by a Polisario legal challenge, a new tactic the independence movement has been using in its conflict with Morocco. Western Sahara has been disputed since 1975, when Morocco claimed it as part of the kingdom and the Polisario fought a guerrilla war for the Sahrawi people's independence.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to...
(Xinhuanet 05/18/17)
Morocco has received a loan of 350 million U.S. dollars from the World Bank to support wide-ranging financial reforms, local media reported on Wednesday. The loan will support new sources of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while improving the regulatory oversight of the banking sector, the Moroccan news site said. The operation will also support capital market development by broadening the range of instruments and strengthening the protection of Moroccan investors, it noted, adding that the loan will also address the financial sustainability of the civil service pension fund
(Premium Times 05/18/17)
Nigeria, Morocco sign gas pipelinNigeria and Morocco on Monday strengthened their business relationship by signing two bilateral agreements in Rabat, Morocco. The first agreement was the Joint Initiative on the Morocco –Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline. Tagged “The Wonder of Africa” the pipeline project has historical significance because it is designed by Africans for Africans with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa; thus serving a basis for the creation of...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Xinhuanet 05/16/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to maintain its 3.47 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) for Morocco, local media reported on Monday. The IMF's executive board completed the first review under the PLL Arrangement and reaffirmed Morocco's continued qualification for the PLL, Morocco's leading financial daily l'Economiste said. In July 2016, IMF approved the two-year PLL arrangement for Morocco to withstand external risks and support the country's program to rebuild fiscal and external buffers and promote higher and more inclusive growth. l'Economiste praised Morocco's solid macroeconomic performance in recent years, saying improving the business
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco’s biggest lender, is planning to complete expansions in East and West Africa this year as it focuses on consolidating its new acquisitions to spur growth. The Casablanca-based bank aims to finalize a deal to buy Rwanda’s Cie Generale de Banque, known as Cogebanque, start commercial banking operations in Chad and apply for a banking license in Ghana in 2017, General Manager Ismail Douiri said in an interview in Cairo on Sunday. The lender has halted its plans...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/08/17)
Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank (ATW.CS) paid twice book value to acquire Barclays' Egyptian business and hopes the acquisition will enable it to increase its market share in Egypt to 5 percent within five years, the Moroccan bank's CEO said. The bank plans to rename the unit Attijari Bank Egypt and raise its profile in Egypt, CEO Mohamed El Kettani said. Britain's Barclays (BARC.L) reached a deal last year to sell its Egyptian banking unit to Attijariwafa Bank, one of Morocco's largest...
(Xinhuanet 05/05/17)
Morocco's government has approved 51 investments projects worth 6.7 billion U.S. dollars, the prime minister office said in a statement late on Thursday. The projects will create 6,477 direct jobs, the statement said following a meeting of the Inter-ministerial Investment Commission under the chairmanship of Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani. The breakdown of investments by sector shows a strong predominance of the energy sector with 4.3 billion dollars, representing nearly two thirds of the total investments submitted to the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
A Moroccan cargo vessel has been detained in South Africa following a complaint by Western Sahara that transportation of goods from its disputed territory is illegal, a lawyer said Thursday. The 34,000-tonne vessel laden with phosphate from Western Sahara and destined for New Zealand was blocked from sailing off on Monday following a court application seeking that the vessel return its cargo. "The application was made by the Polisario Front and the Saharawi Democratic Arab Republic asking for the return...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
Morocco's new government is banking on a growth rate of the gross domestic product of 4.5 percent in 2017, following a 1.8 percent in 2016, Minister of Finance and Economy Mohamed Boussaid said on Thursday. This evolution would be due to the amelioration of the agricultural value added by 11.9 percent and the non agricultural one by 3.5 percent in 2017, Boussaid said while presenting the draft budget bill before the parliament. The bill should have been approved by parliament...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Morocco's Islamist-led cabinet won a vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday after the country went more than six months without a government, causing delays to public spending and reforms. Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) addressed the lower chamber of parliament late Wednesday, after which the 395-seat chamber voted in favor of the new cabinet and government program. Othmani's government will hold its first meeting on Thursday to examine the 2017 budget, which should have been approved by parliament in 2016. The PJD won elections in October, but the formation of the government was delayed during wrangling with parties who critics
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet...

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