Saturday 19 August 2017
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended value-added tax on imports by mining companies after briefly reinstating the duty, the country’s main business chamber said. Customs authorities had resumed collecting VAT on imports including machinery soon after a July 2016 decree halting remittances expired last month, Federation des Entreprises du Congo Managing Director Kimona Bononge said in a letter to Finance Minister Henri Yav Mulang. The minister has subsequently “resolved the problem,” Bononge said by phone from Kinshasa, the capital. “The finance minister has given an instruction to the DGDA to not collect VAT on imports by mining companies,” Bononge said by phone
(Bloomberg 08/17/17)
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $20 billion to $50 billion in the U.S. and Europe by 2025, in industries including renewable energy and petrochemicals. The 60-year-old Nigerian cement tycoon aims to move into these territories for the first time in 2020 after completing almost $5 billion of agricultural projects and an $11 billion oil refinery in his home country, he said in an interview with Bloomberg Markets Magazine this month. “Beginning in 2020, 60 percent of our future investments will be outside Africa, so we can have a balance,” said Dangote, worth $11.6 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Dangote Group’s major investment will be in the U.S. and Europe, he said. “I think renewables is the...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Namibia’s central bank reduced its key rate for the first time since 2012 as consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in almost two years last month and the economy contracts. The Monetary Policy Committee reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent, Bank of Namibia Deputy Governor Ebson Uanguta told reporters Wednesday in capital, Windhoek. Inflation in the southwest African nation, the world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds, was 5.4 percent in July, the weakest since January last year after food-price growth eased as the country recovers from a regional drought.
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
South Africa’s credit rating may be cut to junk if its policies become “even less predictable” or shift in a way that could undermine the economy, Moody’s Investors Service said. Policy uncertainty and political turmoil have increased in the last two months as the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman instructed lawmakers to change the central bank’s mandate, the mines minister published new regulations that the industry says undermine investment and President Jacob Zuma’s defeat of a no-confidence motion in parliament weakened the rand. South Africa entered a recession in the first quarter.
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso admitted Monday that his oil-rich country was facing a serious economic crisis, though he said it was not an "irreparable disaster". He notably called on former rebel chief Frederic Bitsamou, leader of the so-called Ninja rebel group and accused of violence against communities in the south of the country, to turn himself in to the authorities. The public debt of Congo, a small central African country of 4.5 million people, represents 117 percent of its...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Egypt’s tourism receipts almost tripled and worker remittances rose in the last three months of its fiscal year, marking another step in the country’s economic recovery from a crippling dollar shortage. Tourism revenue rose to $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter that ended June 30, from $510 million in the same period a year ago, according to initial central bank data that it shared with Bloomberg. Full-year receipts rose 16 percent to $4.4 billion. Remittances grew 9 percent to $4.8...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Production at Libya's Sharara oilfield dropped to between 130,000 and 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), from about 280,000 bpd, because of recent security breaches, an engineer who works at the field said on Tuesday. Field employees had difficulty accessing some of the field's facilities after cars and mobile phones were stolen, said the engineer, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. It was not clear if production at Sharara had...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Nigeria has started a $41 billion railway expansion to reduce dependence on oil and diversify its struggling economy by improving transport links to allow the movement of goods around the country and to ports. “The plan we have now will go to every nook and corner,” Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, 52, said in an interview in the capital, Abuja. Africa’s biggest oil producer is going through its worst economic slump in 25 years following a plunge in the price and...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
Libya’s biggest oil field has reduced crude production by more than 30 percent in recent days and the Zueitina export terminal ceased loadings over the weekend, throwing the OPEC country’s output back on a downward spiral. Output at the Sharara field was down to 200,000 barrels a day on Sunday, compared with 300,000 barrels a day about a week ago, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Workers were...
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Namibia's President Hage Geingob has said Moody's should not have based its latest rating on the forthcoming ruling Swapo Party elective congress and the national elections scheduled for 2019. Geingob said this when he addressed a closed door Swapo central committee meeting Saturday in Windhoek. Swapo will hold its elective congress in December and already some members are jostling for positions. Moody's downgraded Namibia's credit rating from Baa3- to Ba1 but maintained the negative outlook on Friday. The rating agency...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Kenya's opposition called on people to stay away from work on Monday in protest at last week's declared election result, but response to the call was limited with many businesses re-opening after being closed during the tense election period. Many shops opened up again in the capital, Nairobi, and in the western town of Kisumu for the first time in days, and cars and buses were moving around on streets that had been deserted even before the result was announced...
(Financial Times 08/12/17)
Businesses hold off investment as bitter divisions rack ANC. Kutlo Marumo, the man who makes President Jacob Zuma’s trademark leather jackets, emblazoned with the black, green and gold insignia of the African National Congress, should be doing a roaring trade. South Africa’s ruling party is gearing up for a five-yearly conference where thousands of delegates will elect a new leadership and the jackets are a favourite of ANC members. But even Mr Marumo is feeling the pinch as a string...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
South Africa could escape a further slide to junk status on Friday in the same way the nation’s leader, Jacob Zuma, defeated a parliamentary rebellion and clung onto power -- comfortably but not without some sweating. Moody’s Investors Service is scheduled to release a ratings review two months after it cut the local- and foreign-currency assessments to one level above junk, citing risks to growth and fiscal strength due to the political outlook. That was after it put South Africa...
(Bloomberg 08/10/17)
Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate for a third time this year as inflation remained below the government’s target. The Bank of Zambia lowered the rate to 11 percent from 12.5 percent, Governor Denny Kalyalya told reporters Thursday in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the lowest level since February 2014. The southern African nation’s consumer inflation rate is near the lowest since 2013, with this year’s record harvest of corn, which is used to make a local porridge, leading...
(Bloomberg 08/09/17)
Egypt tightened access to a costly rations program on which the majority of the population relies, the latest in a series of painful and politically-sensitive measures seeking to repair public finances and restore investor confidence. The decree unveiled Tuesday restricts access to new ration cards to people earning 1,500 pounds ($84.50) a month or less for applicants in the public or private sector, the Supply Ministry said in a statement. Lower caps apply to other segments of the population, including...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama met over the weekend for the first time since 2015, raising hopes of an end to violence following a disputed election three years ago. Fighters from the ruling Frelimo and Dhlakama's Renamo parties have clashed sporadically since Renamo challenged the results of the 2014 vote, though the fighting takes place mostly in the remote interior, making it difficult to gauge its scale and casualties. Nyusi and Dhlakama met at the Gorongosa mountain district, where Dhlakama has been in hiding with hundreds of fighters since 2015.
(Bloomberg 08/08/17)
In five decades of importing steel wires, Zahar Benmoussa’s company never worried about currency risks -- until Morocco announced plans to float the dirham. “For the first time in our history, we started to hedge” in the currency market, said Benmoussa, managing director at Casablanca-based Grillages Marocains. Across Morocco, fears of a weaker dirham triggered a rush for dollars and euros, causing a $3 billion drop in its reserves in just three months this year. Then in June, the government...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Production from Libya's largest oil field was returning to normal after being briefly disrupted by armed protesters who broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday. A pipeline supplying jet fuel and gasoline from Zawiya to Tripoli that the protesters had also closed has reopened, the NOC added. Libya's Sharara field has been producing about 270,000 barrels a day (bpd), accounting for about a quarter of the country's output...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Nigeria has been told by a court it can permanently seize a $37.5 million apartment block owned by a former oil minister who is wanted for money laundering. The property belongs to former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was in office between 2011 and 2015. It had previously been seized temporarily. Alison-Madueke's whereabouts are unclear, but she was last known to be in Britain. In April, she was charged in absentia with money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes...
(AFP (eng) 08/06/17)
Months have passed since the Niger Delta Avengers have launched an attack on Nigeria's oil pipelines, yet leaders in the region are warning trouble is brewing in the southern swamplands. A charm offensive led by Nigeria's acting president Yemi Osinbajo has kept the uprising at bay, with renewed amnesty payments buying calm in the creeks, helping boost production to around 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from a low of 1.4 million bpd in August last year. But now those...

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