| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will let the market determine the naira’s rate in a new foreign-exchange window for portfolio investors as the nation struggles to revive its economy amid a dollar shortage. Naira forward contracts and banking stocks rose. Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate the naira weakening in the window, which started today, according to a person who attended meetings with the policy maker over the past two weeks. While that may cause the currency to depreciate to its black-market level, the central bank probably won’t devalue the interbank exchange rate, the person said, declining to be identified because
(Reuters (Eng) 04/25/17)
Zimbabwe's "bond note" surrogate currency will not solve its economic problems, the International Monetary Fund said, adding that only comprehensive reforms would address a fiscal crisis. The southern African nation last year introduced bond notes, which officially trade at par with the U.S. dollar and are backed by a $200 million bond from the African Export and Import Bank. The director of the IMF's Africa department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, told reporters in Washington on Sunday that limited foreign exchange inflows and a lack of monetary policy tools since Zimbabwe's adoption of the U.S. dollar in 2009 had worsened cash shortages. "We think that, going down this one (bond) note route, in and of itself, will not address the challenges that...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/25/17)
GE Power, a division of General Electric Co (GE.N), has signed a services deal with Algerian utility Sonelgaz SPE valued at more than $3 billion, the largest services agreement ever for GE Power and one that creates hundreds of jobs in Algeria, GE said on Monday. Under the 20-year contract with the subsidiary of Sonelgaz, GE will train more than 1,000 workers in Algeria and create about 300 jobs through its Algerian suppliers and its own operations there, Steve Bolze,...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Egypt plans to promote religious, medical and luxury trips, and develop new markets in India and Eastern Europe, as it pushes to revive its vital tourism industry to pre-2011 revolution levels within two years. In addition to more diverse tourism offerings, the home of the pyramids will ease travel for residents of the Gulf Arab nations through an e-visa program as part of a broader plan to boost visitors and encourage longer stays and more spending, Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Nigerian commander Remi Fadairo points to the roiling plume of black smoke blotting the morning horizon in the Niger Delta -— the unmistakable sign of an illicit oil refinery. "Let's see if we can go eat them for breakfast," he says with an ominous chuckle. The 44-year-old colonel, a man with broad shoulders wearing his fatigues tucked into gumboots, is standing in the middle of a destroyed illicit refinery in Kana Rugbana, an area in the swamplands some 20 nautical...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Looking out at his 50-hectare (124-acre) estate in a valley nestled below the Helderberg mountains, winemaker Ken Forrester beams with pride in his achievements over 20 years in the business. "We never had a bad year, it's been a consistent grow," said Forrester, who is based in Stellenbosch -- the wine region just north of Cape Town. But like many South African vineyard owners, he is nervous about what the future holds for the industry, facing price pressure and for...
(Bloomberg 04/22/17)
South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he had “constructive” talks with Moody’s Investors Service in an attempt to tackle the credit rating agency’s concerns about fiscal policy after a surprise cabinet reshuffle that saw the ouster of his predecessor. Moody’s placed South Africa on review for a downgrade after the firing of Pravin Gordhan last month raised questions about the country’s political stability and whether the government was committed to fiscal discipline. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd...
(Xinhuanet 04/20/17)
A total of 400 billion CFA Francs (653 million U.S. dollars) will be released to develop and rehabilitate 620 km of roads in nine cities in Benin, official source said Wednesday. The funding will go to main, secondary and tertiary roads in the cities of Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Abomey-Calavi, Seme-Podji, Parakou, Abomey, Bohicon, Natitingou and Lokossa, according to a release from the Ministry of Living Conditions and Sustainable Development. The decision was made after the government had conducted an eviction operation in January over occupied public lands across Benin, the release said. "Our cities loss their vitality," Josee Tonato, Benin's Minister
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
Kenya’s economy, East Africa’s largest, expanded at the fastest pace in five years in 2016, boosted by more construction and tourism. Gross domestic product increased 5.8 percent last year, the most since 2011, from a revised 5.7 percent in 2015, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Zachary Mwangi told reporters Wednesday in Nairobi, the capital. Expansion could have been more robust had it not been for a sluggish final quarter, when drought hurt farming output. Tourism grew 13.3 percent...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/20/17)
South Africa's credit rating could get downgraded deeper into junk status if political uncertainty triggered by the recent firing of the finance minister stalls reforms needed to grow the economy, an executive from S&P Global Ratings said on Wednesday. "There are risks that potential growth outcomes could be weakened, especially with uncertainty that's been brought along in a year where you may not get strong decisions for strong reform programs," said Gardner Rusike, the associate director and lead analyst for South Africa at S&P . Ratings agencies S&P and Fitch downgraded South African debt to sub-investment grade while Moody's placed its sovereign credit rating on review, citing President Jacob Zuma's decision
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast for Egypt, reflecting the economic toll from the government’s decision last year to float the pound and introduce a reform program. Egypt’s real gross domestic product will expand 3.5 percent this year, less than the IMF’s 4 percent projection in October, the lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook on Tuesday. Growth will rebound to 4.5 percent in 2018, the report said -- close to the government’s target in its...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
South Africa’s inflation rate fell to a six-month low in March after food-price increases slowed. Consumer inflation eased to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in February, Statistics South Africa said in a report released Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median estimate of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 6.3 percent. Prices climbed 0.6 percent in the month. The Monetary Policy Committee has kept the benchmark repurchase rate unchanged since last March after raising it by 200 basis points to 7 percent over two years to bring price growth back to within its target band of 3 percent to 6 percent.
(Voice of America 04/19/17)
Zimbabwe marked 37 years of independence Tuesday. However, the country's persistent economic problems cast a shadow over the celebration, despite President Robert Mugabe's promise of better times ahead. In a speech to the more than 50,000 people gathered at a stadium in the capital, the president was hopeful that Zimbabwe's moribund agriculture-based economy will pick up thanks to above-average rainfall in the 2016-'17 growing season. The U.N. says about four million people in Zimbabwe remain dependent on food aid after a drought during the previous two growing seasons. But Mugabe said Zimbabwe would have a "bumper harvest" this year. "Comrades and friends," he told the crowd, "as we today celebrate our hard-earned
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, plans to reach an aid deal for as much as $1.6 billion with the International Monetary Fund by the end of April, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said. Bond yields fell. “At the moment we know that we can get up to $1.6 billion -- if you ask me, I’d go for the maximum,” he said in an interview Monday in the capital, Lusaka. “Hopefully the program can be presented to the board sometime end of...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
Investment in Sudan amounted to 4.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, official SUNA news agency reported Tuesday. "Altogether 2,604 projects were approved during 2016 in sectors of agriculture, industry and service, with investment volume hitting 4.1 billion dollars," said the agency quoting a government report. The number of countries investing in Sudan jumped from 24 in 2015 to 27 in 2016, it added. The Arab investments took up 80 percent of the approved projects in Sudan, followed by 13 percent...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
A flood of new issuance is offsetting foreign-investor demand for Egyptian debt, keeping yields among the highest in emerging markets. Offshore investors boosted holdings of government Treasury bills to 79 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) as of April 4, compared with less than 1 billion pounds before a currency devaluation in November, according to Finance Ministry data. Government borrowing is already 11 percent higher than the target this year, and 18 percent over budget since the beginning of March, according to...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Kenya's business environment is set to change radically with the expected launch of the first phase of the Chinese-funded Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in June and the opening of the first berth at the second port of Lamu in 2018, a Kenyan investment official has said. Kenya Investment Authority (Ken-Invest) CEO Moses Ikiara said Kenya was gearing up for the arrival of mega-investors, including an auto company that hopes to set up an operating hub in Nairobi. "These are indeed...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Uganda’s central bank reduced its benchmark rate for a seventh consecutive time to support economic growth and encourage banks to lend more to the private sector. Policy makers at the Bank of Uganda cut the rate by 50 basis points to 11 percent, extending an easing cycle that began in April 2016. They have reduced the rate by a total of 550 basis points at the past six meetings. “Given that core inflation is forecast to remain around the medium-term...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Nigeria will revive oil production this summer as it completes maintenance and repairs, and expects fellow OPEC members to continue to cut their output in the second half of the year, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said. Africa’s second-biggest producer will finish repairs on the Forcados pipeline by June and complete maintenance at the Bonga oilfield the following month, Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The country’s output slumped to 1.27 million barrels a day last month, the lowest in...

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