Weekly Pan African Monitor

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BRVM*

Economic News

  • IMF completes Ivory Coast review, will disburse around $137mn: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday it will disburse around $137 million dollars to Ivory Coast after completing the second review of the top cocoa grower’s programme with the institution. The IMF said GDP growth will remain above 7 percent through 2019. And while the budget deficit is expected to be contained at 4.5 percent of GDP this year, it will return to the West African CFA franc zone’s 3 percent norm in 2019.Reuters
  • Little rain for Ivory Coast cocoa belt as dry season starts: Ivory Coast cocoa regions received little or no rain last week as the dry season took hold, though downpours earlier this year have helped soil moisture levels. The dry season in the world’s top cocoa producer runs from mid-November to March, bringing with it the threat of the Harmattan winds that carry Saharan sands and can damage crops. Reuters

Corporate News

  • Ivory Coast in talks with Hershey over cocoa products factory: Ivory Coast is in talks with Hershey, one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world,
    over the construction of a factory for making and marketing semi-finished cocoa products, the government’s spokesman said last week. Reuters

Egypt

Economic News

  • Egypt central bank pays back $2bn to African Export-Import Bank –MENA: Egypt’s central bank paid back $2 billion to the African Export-Import Bank on Monday, part of a $3.2 billion loan the central bank had taken from the lender, state news agency MENA reported last week. The central bank plans to pay back the remaining $1.2 billion by the end of this month, MENA said. Reuters
  • Egypt says foreign reserves rise to $36.723bn at end-November: Egypt’s foreign reserves rose to $36.723 billion at the end of November from $36.703 billion at the end of October, the central bank said last week. Cairo’s foreign reserves have been climbing since the country secured a $12 billion, three-year International Monetary Fund loan programme last year in a bid to lure back foreign investors and revive its ailing economy. Reuters
  • World Bank approves $1.15bn development policy loan for Egypt: The World Bank Group said its executive board approved last week, a $1.15 billion development policy loan for Egypt to support the country’s economic reform programs. The loan is the last in a series of three annual loans totaling $3.15 billion issued from 2015 to 2017, the World Bank said in a statement. Reuters

Corporate News

  • Egypt Gas Signs EGP66.9mn Cooperation Protocol with NUCA Egypt: Egypt Gas Co. signs egp66.9 million cooperation protocol with New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) to provide the main land gas network in city and external installations in housing units. Reuters

Ghana

Economic News

  • Ghana Seeks More Direct Investment From UK: GHANA’S High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, has assured senior business executives of high return on their investment in the West African country. Speaking at an event in the event in London, he underscored the urgent need for more foreign direct investment as the country seeks to deepen its industrialization programme, create decent jobs and generate foreign exchange. allafrica

Corporate News

  • MTN Ghana to sign 510 mln cedi syndicated loan via Ecobank: MTN Ghana will sign a 510 million cedi ($112 million) syndicated loan facility arranged by Ecobank. The medium-term facility, which will be signed on Thursday, has been raised from nine banks and was oversubscribed by 590 million cedis. Reuters
  • Zenith Bank Opens New Head Office in Accra: Zenith Bank, one of Africa’s foremost banks, has opened a new head office in Accra, Ghana. Located at Ridge, Accra, the new Zenith Bank head office is expected to be used for the bank’s expansion of its businesses in Ghana. Commissioning the new office, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana commended the contributions of Zenith Bank to the deepening of financial intermediation and the development of Ghanaian financial services sector. allAfrica

Kenya

Economic News

  • Kenya private sector expands in Nov., may flag recovery–PMI: Private sector activity in Kenya rose in November from a record low hit in the previous month, pointing to a potential recovery as political risks ease, survey data showed last week. The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing and services rose to 42.8 last month, from 34.4 in October, but remained well below the 50 mark that separates an expansion from a contraction. Reuters
  • World Bank cuts Kenya’s 2017 economic growth estimate to 4.9%: The World Bank has cut its 2017 growth estimate for Kenya’s economy to 4.9 percent, which
    would be the slowest annual expansion in five years, due to drought, sluggish credit growth and a prolonged election season, it said last week. The lender
    had already cut its initial forecast by half a percentage point in April, to 5.5 percent, citing the severe drought in the first half and the drop in private sector
    growth. Reuters

Corporate News

  • No Corporate News

Mauritius

Economic News

  • Mauritius inflation inches up to 3.6% in November: Mauritius’ year-on-year inflation rate edged up to 3.6 percent in November from 3.5 percent in the
    previous month, the statistics office said last week. Reuters
  • Mauritius turns to Saudi fuel cargoes after court bans Indian supplies: The island-nation of Mauritius has started buying fuel from Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco after a court ordered a ban on Indian fuel supplies because of a dispute between the country and a shipping firm. Reuters

Corporate News

  • Mauritius Chemical And Fertilizer Declare Final Dividend: Mauritius Chemical and Fertilizer declared the final dividend of 0.80 rupees per share for the financial year ending 31 December 2017.The dividend will be paid in full on or about 16 January 2018. Reuters

Nigeria

Economic News

  • Swiss to return $32mn in stolen funds to Nigeria: Switzerland will return to Nigeria around $321 million in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha via a deal signed with the World Bank last week, the Swiss government said. Reuters
  • Moody’s says Nigeria’s credit profile constrained by vulnerability to shocks, weak institutions and elevated deficits: Moody’s says Nigeria’s credit profile constrained by vulnerability to shocks, weak institutions and elevated deficits, continuing recovery in oil production underpins Nigeria’s more robust medium-term prospects and only a durable increase in non-oil revenue will improve Nigeria’s resilience to oil price volatility. Reuters
  • Fitch cuts Nigeria’s 2017 GDP growth forecast to 1%: Fitch has cut its 2017 economic growth forecast for Nigeria to 1% from 1.5%, the ratings agency said last week. Nigeria returned to growth in the second quarter of 2017 after shrinking by 1.5% in 2016 but the recovery has been fragile because oil revenues
    remain depressed and hard currency is short. Reuters

Corporate news

  • Dangote Cement Signs Pact With Jumia Nigeria: In a new move designed to reduce price and ease logistics inherent in the purchase of its products, the
    management of Dangote Cement Plc has signed a pact with the foremost e-commerce platform, Jumia Nigeria, to offer for sale its cement to customers online. At the unveiling of the deal in Lagos, Dangote Cement’s Key Account Director, Chux Mogbolu, said Dangote Cement was happy to partner with the online shopping giant to make Dangote cement available with ease to customers. DailyTrust

South Africa

Economic News

  • South Africa’s Q3 GDP expands as agriculture soars: South Africa’s economy grew more than expected in the third quarter as the agricultural
    sector continued to recover from a severe drought while mining and manufacturing also improved, lifting hopes the country may avoid further credit downgrades. Reuters
  • South Africa’s business confidence rises in November: South Africa’s business confidence index edged higher in November, helped by expectations
    the government will implement policies to boost the economy, a survey showed last week. Reuters
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves rise to $42.7bn in November: South Africa’s net foreign reserves rose to $42.689 billion in November from $42.486
    billion in October, the Reserve Bank said last week. Gross reserves also increased, to $50.297 billion from $48.903 billion, the central bank data showed. The forward position, which represents the central bank’s unsettled or swap transactions, decreased to $1.732 billion from $2.99 billion. Reuters

Corporate news

  • Canada’s Fairfax drops plan to buy the stake in cement maker PPC: Canada’s Fairfax Africa Investments Proprietary Ltd will not proceed with a plan to buy 23 percent of cement producer PPC for 2 billion rands ($146.34 million), the South African company said last week. Reuters

Tunisia

Economic News

  • Tunisia has seen softening economic reforms to avoid unrest: Tunisia plans to launch long-awaited reforms to reduce its chronic budget deficit, but the
    measures could harm investment if the government imposes new taxes and resists cutting the bloated public sector in order to avoid social unrest. Reuters
  • Tunisian annual inflation rises to 6.3%, highest rate since July 2014: Tunisia’s annual inflation rate rose to 6.3% in November from 5.8% in October, the highest rate since July 2014, official data showed last week. The central bank raised its key interest rate from 4.75% to 5.00% in May, the second hike in a month, in a bid to ease inflationary pressures. Reuters
  • Tunisia willing to discuss EU concerns over tax privileges: Tunisia is ready to discuss with the European Union concerns over tax privileges, the government said last week after the country was put on an EU blacklist of tax havens. The decision caused shock in the North African country with analysts warning it will undermine badly needed investment and efforts to secure $3 billion in foreign loans to fund its budget next year. Reuters

Corporate News

  • No Corporate News

*Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières SA or BRVM is a regional stock exchange serving the following West African countries: Benin Burkina Faso Guinea Bissau Côte d’Ivoire Mali, Niger Senegal Togo.

United Capital Plc Research

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