| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(Agence Ecofin 03/28/17)
The Trade and Development Bank (TDB), formerly known as Preferential Trade Area Bank or PTA, is set to establish in Mauritius an office. This was revealed by Mauritius’ Prime Minister, Praving Jugnauth, in a statement released on March 21 after a meeting with TDB’s managing director, Admassu Yilma Tadesse, in Port Louis. “The opening of the Trade and Development Bank office is proof that our nation can become a credible financial hub,” said Jugnauth. “TDB’s governors’ board has approved the operation which will reinforce the position of Mauritius as a financial hub on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa,” said Tadesse. Based in Bujumbura (Burundi), PTA Bank was recently renamed Trade and
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Ivory Coast’s government said it is seeking more assistance from the International Monetary Fund to support the nation’s 2017 budget after cocoa prices slumped, hurting the finances of the world’s biggest grower. “With cocoa prices falling, we have some new budget constraints,” government spokesman Bruno Kone said by phone from the commercial capital, Abidjan, on Sunday. Ivory Coast will issue the request as representatives of the IMF visits the West African nation until the first week of April for a review of the country’s three-year extended credit facility agreement of about $660 million. Cocoa futures in London have slumped by about a third since reaching a six-year high in July. Earlier this year, the government tried to defuse military and...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Ghana’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi recovered from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than three years. The Bank of Ghana reduced the rate to 23.5 percent from 25.5 percent, Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. That’s the biggest single cut in borrowing costs since February 2010. Four of the seven economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum International Ltd. plans to bet half a billion dollars that Africa’s newest nation can end a three-year civil war and create the conditions to revive its oil industry. Oranto, a closely held company part-owned by the Eze family that also has assets in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, plans to invest $500 million to develop the oil block awarded by South Sudan earlier this month. “We have faith that the differences in South Sudan will be brought to...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/28/17)
When President Robert Mugabe scrapped the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, most of his people thought this meant the end of runaway money-printing and hyperinflation that had rendered the currency worthless. They may have been wrong. Adoption of the U.S. dollar and South African rand eight years ago brought financial discipline and currency stability to the country; today the old 100,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwe dollar note holds nothing but curiosity value. Yet behind the scenes the authorities are once again busy creating their...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/28/17)
Charles Lekabi lived comfortably as a driver for an oil company in Gabon's industrial town of Port Gentil until he was laid off three years ago. "Today, I struggle to pay my rent," said Lekabi, who worked for French oil company Total for seven years before he was let go for economic reasons. "Since I was laid off, I bought a car to do taxi rides. Atleast with this car I can continue to feed my family." A steep drop...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
Kenya on Monday launched a gold-backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), a first of its kind in East Africa. Principal Secretary in the National Treasury Kamau Thugge told journalists that the NewGold ETF will be traded at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). "The Kenya shilling ETF will be traded in the same manner as a normal equity security and will be subject to similar tax treatment," Thugge said. The securities instrument will enable investors to invest in an instrument that tracks...
(Financial Times 03/27/17)
The rand dropped sharply on Monday morning after South African President Jacob Zuma recalled his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, from investor trips to London and New York at the last minute, amid speculation that he is about to reshuffle his cabinet including the Treasury post. In a statement, the president’s office said that he had instructed Mr Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, “to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
Sudan is seeking investment opportunities in mining sector in a bid to revive the economy which lost two thirds of its oil revenues following separation of South Sudan in 2011. The Sudan International Mining Business Forum and Exhibition kicked off sessions on Monday in Khartoum with the participation of 29 foreign companies from all over the world and 36 local ones. "The forum tends to inform with and promote for Sudan's mineral potentialities in addition to utilization of modern technologies...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/25/17)
Nigeria's state oil company said on Friday it was set to recover $184 million in crude oil swap under-deliveries recorded against three oil companies during the now defunct crude for product swap system. Last year the OPEC producer replaced crude oil swap deals with a system under which it will directly sell crude oil to refiners and purchase refined oil products from them. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is in the process of reconciling transactions made as part of the defunct system, Group Managing Director Maikanti Baru told journalists in the capital Abuja. He said the companies involved were AITEO
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
Ghana’s central bank may have space to cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi started to recover from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than four years. Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku has enough room to cut the West African nation’s main rate by as much as 100 basis points, according to Courage Kingsley Martey, an Accra-based economist at Databank Group. Two of the four economists in a...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
In Cote d’Ivoire, each day, about 17 billion CFA francs pass through Mobile Money. This was revealed by René Tano, executive of BICICI, subsidiary of BNP Paribas, during the 5th edition of the currency and e-payment forum taking place in Casablanca, Morocco. Citing the regulatory organ of telecommunications in Cote d’Ivoire (ARTCI), Tano said the sum mentioned takes into account all transactions (transfers, deposits, bills payment) of Orange, MTN and Moov which are the three telecom companies operating in the...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
Evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh prayed for five years that he would discover the diamond he needed to pull his family out of poverty in eastern Sierra Leone. The 39-year-old pastor obtained his first mining licence in 2012 when the paltry income he received from the Deeper Life Church in Kono, the country's key mining district, was stretched too thin for his growing family. Momoh went on to build a small business of 18 employees, digging and sifting through gravel with...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
Namibian research firm IJG Securities said Friday that they expect further contractions in the construction sector in 2017 and beyond. The research firm said in a report that 2017 was off to a slow start with only 231 building plans having been approved in the first two months while 48 were completed, the lowest numbers in the last seven years. "As a leading indicator for economic activity in the country this implies that the whole economy could remain under pressure...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Kenya, a pioneer in mobile money, on Thursday began selling the first ever government bonds via mobile phone, allowing anyone from teachers to shop owners to invest and fund infrastructure projects. The bond is named M-Akiba, which means "mobile savings" in Swahili, and was launched with a value of 150 million shillings (1.3 million euros, $1.4 million) ahead of the main launch of a five billion shilling bond in June. "Police officers, primary school teachers or those working in kiosks...
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
Uganda has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude reserves on its Albertine rift basin along the border with the DRC. Uganda says it has asked China for a $500 million loan to help build almost 600 km of roads in the country’s oil-rich west, amid criticism over heavy borrowing that has ballooned the country’s debt. Uganda has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude reserves on its Albertine rift basin along the border with the Democratic Republic...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator is facing losses of more than 200 billion CFA francs ($327 million) after local exporters defaulted on their contracts because they wrongly speculated that prices would rise, according to a person familiar with the matter. Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao, the industry regulator in the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is seeking compensation from exporters who couldn’t fulfill their commercial agreements, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies and cooperatives...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Algeria’s state-run energy producer plans to boost crude oil output by 14 percent in the four years to 2019 and invest billions of dollars in exploration projects. Sonatrach Group expects to invest $9 billion from 2017 to 2021 in its search for new deposits of oil and natural gas, said Farid Djettou, head of the company’s associations division, which is responsible for foreign contracts. Sonatrach will drill an average of 100 wells annually over the same five years and plans...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
The International Monetary Fund hopes an audit into Mozambique's debt burden will be concluded in the next couple of weeks and that the government will publish the results, the head of the IMF's Africa department said on Wednesday. The fund is also looking to base any policies or programs designed for the Central African economic bloc (CEMAC) around maintaining the currency peg the six nations hold against the euro, Abebe Selassie told Reuters in an interview. Debt-ridden Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, is struggling to repay loans of more than $2 billion that were not approved by parliament.

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