Wednesday 26 July 2017
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Nigeria’s central bank left its main lending rate unchanged for a sixth consecutive meeting as it seeks to hold on to gains it’s made in inflation and exchange-rate stability. The Monetary Policy Committee held the key policy rate at 14 percent, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters on Tuesday in the capital, Abuja. That was in line with the forecast of all but two of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey. While inflation in Africa’s most-populous nation slowed to 16.1 percent in June, it remained well outside the government’s 6 percent to 9 percent target range. That, and the need for a stable exchange rate, limited room for loosening policy even as...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Tullow Oil Plc plans to drill more wells off Ghana once a ruling on a border dispute is out of the way. Ghana and Ivory Coast disagree over their maritime boundary, frustrating projects to pump oil and gas offshore. In September, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, or Itlos, will rule on the matter, likely clearing the way for an expansion of Tullow’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme project, the company said. “We were aware of the dispute before we initiated the overall TEN project,” Paul McDade, chief executive officer of the London-based producer, said Wednesday. “Ourselves and our partners and the Ghana government took some legal advice from various experts globally around the likely outcome,” he said. “We don’t expect...
(Bloomberg 07/26/17)
Ghana’s industry body for cocoa purchasers said its members are struggling to pay farmers for their crops because the regulator isn’t reimbursing buyers for the delivery of beans. Purchasers are buying beans on credit from farmers in some instances, while others have stopped taking delivery from growers, which is causing stocks to accumulate on farms, Ayisi Botwe, executive secretary of the Licenced Cocoa Buyers Association, said by phone on Tuesday. The body’s members usually account for about 95 percent of...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
Tanzania sent Acacia Mining Plc a tax bill equal to almost two centuries worth of the gold producer’s revenue. The government issued the company, which mines all of its gold in the African country, with a $40 billion tax bill and another $150 billion in interest and penalties, Acacia said in a statement Monday. The charge covers alleged under-declared export revenues from the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines over periods between 2000 and 2017. Acacia reiterated that it has fully declared...
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
A record number of Ghanaians are saving money using mobile phones as lenders push products to lure deposits using technology that is cheaper than building branches. Deposits with mobile-money providers jumped 25 percent to 1.57 billion cedis ($360 million) this year through April, the Accra-based central bank said in a response to questions this month. That compares with 19.6 million cedis in 2012, when the Bank of Ghana began compiling the data. Lenders including Fidelity Bank Ltd. and AFB Ghana Plc this year began offering savings products to mobile-phone users, while Ecobank Ghana Ltd. in 2016 allowed customers to buy government
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is "coming under control" in Swaziland, the country with the world's highest prevalence of the virus. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults. PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan
(Bloomberg 07/25/17)
A weak naira and stubborn inflation may prevent Nigeria’s central bank from following South Africa and Ghana in cutting interest rates. Only two of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted the Monetary Policy Committee will reduce borrowing costs on Tuesday. The rest said the key rate will stay at a record high of 14 percent, where it’s been for a year. Governor Godwin Emefiele, who is scheduled to announce the MPC’s decision at about 2.30 p.m. in the capital,...
(Voice of America 07/22/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lashed out Friday against factions in his party angling to take over from him, saying they have no backing. The 93-year-old spoke at a rally in Lupane, about 600 kilometers southwest of Harare - as part of his effort to recruit young people to support him in next year's elections. It was the first time Mugabe spoke in public since returning from Singapore, where he went earlier this month to seek medical treatment for the third...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
Ghana’s central bank may cut its key interest rate for a third straight meeting with inflation at its slowest in four years and a strengthening currency. Consumer-price growth has tumbled 7.1 percentage points since reaching an all-time high of 19.2 percent in March last year. While the cedi weakened to a record low against the dollar on March 2, it has strengthened 8.2 percent since then. The median of seven economists’ estimates is for a 100 basis-point cut in the...
(Bloomberg 07/21/17)
South Africa’s first interest rate cut in five years, and a surprise one at that, probably won’t be enough to break the rand’s resilience. The currency fell as much as 1.2 percent after the South African Reserve Bank reduced its key rate on Thursday to 6.75 percent from 7 percent to boost an economy in recession, defying predictions of 20 out of 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey. But it soon recovered some of its losses to trade 0.9 percent...
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
A provincial structure of South Africa’s ruling party is instituting disciplinary measures against a member who has called for President Jacob Zuma to step down and has been receiving death threats from the African National Congress’s Youth League. The public pronouncements by Makhosi Khoza, who is a member of parliament, “represented the worse form of arrogance,” the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal province, where she is from, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “Her public stunt and participation in platforms intended to replace the societal leadership role of the ANC constitutes a blatant betrayal of the core values of the ANC.”
(Bloomberg 07/20/17)
The Agbada 2 flow station should have been buzzing with activity, pumping crude to one of Nigeria’s largest export terminals. Instead it was idle in the muggy, mid-morning heat as Wilcox Emmanuel, the facility’s manager, shrugged in resignation about the thieves who’d shut him down. As much as 30 percent of the oil sent by pipelines through the swampy Niger River delta is stolen, consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. estimates. That’s depriving the country of income amid a crippling recession and...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Zimbabwe’s capital city plans to raise a $100 million bond this year to finance the building of new homes and end a decades-long housing shortage, its mayor said. The capital, Harare, has “outgrown itself and the population has grown beyond the city’s initial designs,” mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said Tuesday in an interview. An original plan to obtain $150 million through the central government became “entangled in politics,” he said, without elaborating. “Now we’re looking at raising $100 million through a...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Questions about the integrity of Kenya’s electoral authority along with perceptions of impunity are among factors that have raised the risk of violence erupting after elections in the country next month, the Washington-based Africa Center said. The vote will be one of the most competitive in the country’s history, with unrest already having been reported during political-party primaries in April, the U.S. Department of Defense agency said in a report on its website. “Combined, these factors heighten the risk that...
(Voice of America 07/18/17)
Somalia has internet service again, after a 23-day outage that cost the country's fledgling economy tens of millions of dollars. Abdi Anshur, Somalia's minister for posts and telecommunications, told reporters in Mogadishu Monday that the internet link which went down on June 24 has been fixed. “Following efforts by Somali government and the company that provided the service, we have succeeded to restore the connection,” said the minister. The connection was cut when a ship severed an undersea fiber optic cable connecting Somalia to global data networks.
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
Kenya vowed tough security measures after suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants stepped up attacks around the East African nation’s coast and northeast. President Uhuru Kenyatta said security forces had intensified their hunt for al-Shabaab militants in Lamu’s Boni forest, according to an emailed statement from his office. “Fire must be met with fire,” Kenyatta said. “We shall bury them.” The militants have increased raids in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties during the past weeks. In the latest incident, the Ministry of Public Works Principal Secretary Maryam El Maawy was wounded in a July 13 attack. “We have to deal with these terror-mongers,” Kenyatta said.
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
PBC Ltd., the biggest buyer of cocoa beans from farmers in Ghana, is seeking to cut borrowing costs by arranging its first government loan guarantee in seven years. PBC is asking for a guarantee of as much as 400 million cedis ($91 million) from the government, acting Chief Executive Officer Nana Agyenim Boateng said in an interview. It’s also hired Accra-based Fidelity Bank Ltd. and the local unit of Standard Chartered Plc to market a 400 million-cedi one-year bond, mainly...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The last time Rwanda held presidential elections, opposition leader Frank Habineza’s deputy was killed and he fled into European exile. Seven years on, he sees his candidacy in next month’s vote as a cautious step toward greater political freedoms in the tiny East African country. The Aug. 4 election will be the first time Habineza, who leads the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and says he still faces intimidation, has been allowed on the ballot papers. That, according to the...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
The Nigerian armed forces dismissed speculation that there’s a plot to topple the country’s elected government and reaffirmed its subordination to the civilian authorities. The military has no intention of “truncating democracy” and “will continue to carry out its constitutional roles as directed by the Commander-in-Chief,” according to a statement published Friday on the Defence Headquarters website. A report by an online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, of a plot by some military officers “should be disregarded as unfounded and absolute disinformation,”...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
Ghana’s cocoa regulator is warning farmers that the smuggling of beans from neighboring Ivory Coast may jeopardize efforts to keep producer payments unchanged despite a slump in prices. The regulator in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, expects that as much as 70,000 metric tons of the country’s crop will be smuggled across its borders by the time the season ends in September, a person familiar with the matter said July 5. Ivory Coast cut farmers’ pay by 36 percent...

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