- The Central Bank of Uganda has suspended bonus and dividend payments as it seeks to reserve enough capital to support the economy. The bank has already indicated that the economy is likely to slow down to 2% from the earlier projected growth of 6%.
- The Central Bank of Uganda has injected about 780 BN UGX (200 MM USD) as it seeks to shield the shilling from depreciation. The shilling is experiencing a lot of volatility mainly because of speculation and panic buying resulting from the Covid-19 distress.
- Nigeria and 38 other countries are to benefit from the 250 MM USD fund announced by the Global Partnership for Education for developing countries. The fund will help developing countries to mitigate both the immediate and long-term disruptions to education being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced that its foreign exchange reserves decreased by 35.87 BN KES (337.5 MM USD) in the week to March 26 reaching 836.33 BN KES (7.96 BN USD) compared to 872.20 BN KES (8.29 BN USD) recorded in the week ending March 19, marking the lowest point.
- Kenya economy could shrink by 5% which will represent 1 TR KES (10 BN USD) loss of the country’s output if the coronavirus pandemic is not contained. The decrease in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be on the back of a disruption to supply chain for key inputs in machinery and chemicals, a hit on the tourism inflows and exports like flowers and reductions in household and business spending.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the disbursement of 80.1 MM RWD (109.4 MM USD) to be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to meet Rwanda urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
- Shortage of fruits and vegetables has hit the European market, compelling countries to reopen orders cancelled following the emergence of Covid-19. Local Kenyan exporters are now getting orders for vegetables and fruits such as avocado from countries like UK, France, Belgium and Germany according to Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC).
- The prices of construction materials have gone up by 5% to 10% as suppliers report shortage of supplies from China over the coronavirus embargo. The shortage has been blamed on Kenya's over-reliance on Chinese building and construction materials such as electrical equipment as well as steel.
- The prices of basic food items consumed in Kenya went up by the highest annual rate at 9% in March and packet maize flour witnessing a 32% increase which is the highest significant driver. Other important cost drivers were tomatoes, whose price increased 24.6% and onions which went up by 18.2%.
- The first ladies of Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Burundi, Central African Republic (C.A.R.), Chad, Zimbabwe, Zambia, The Gambia, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville have joined forces with the Merck Foundation to launch a media awards to raise awareness of coronavirus. The Stay at Home Media Recognition Awards for African Countries is aiming to raise awareness of how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during the coronavirus lockdowns imposed throughout the region.
- The United Kingdom has joined the United States in resisting a plan by the Nigerian government to give Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, about 110 MM USD (N41.8bn) out of the 155 MM USD stolen by Sani Abacha. The US, the UK and Nigeria are involved in a dispute over investment portfolios worth 155 MM USD traced to Abacha and held in trust for Bagudu and his family.
- Foreign investors withdrew 2 BN KES (105.39 MM USD) from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in February and March, leading to a sharp fall in the value of blue-chip stocks like Safaricom and Equity Bank Group. The foreigners, who make up about 70% of daily trading at the NSE, turned into net sellers in the two months as part of a global sell-off during investors dumped stocks and sought shelter in fixed income assets, including government bonds.
- The African Development Bank (AfDB)’s “Fight Covid-19” social bond, the largest social bond to date to be issued in the capital markets, listed on London Stock Exchange and is now available through its Sustainable Bond Market. The listing marks an important milestone as the bank launches its first bond on London Stock Exchange. Note: Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.
- Unilever East Africa has started local production of hand sanitisers through joint ventures to meet growing demand as part of its contribution to curb the spread of coronavirus. The multinational has increased its production to over 200,000 pieces a month from about 10,000 pieces, which were imported from South Africa and India.
- Safaricom and its South African parent company Vodacom have completed the buying of intellectual property rights to M-Pesa service from British firm Vodafone in a deal estimated at 42 BN KES (13.4 MM USD). The completion of the deal will give them full control of the M-Pesa brand, product development and support services.
- British oil explorer Tullow Oil has valued its assets in the Kenyan oil project at 3 BN KES (652.1 MM USD) ahead of plans to sell part of its stake. The valuation now reveals for the first time what an interested investor will have to table for a piece Blocks 10BB and 13T where Tullow has a 50% stake.
- Standard Investment Bank (SIB) forex and commodities trading platform made a return of 45% in Q1-2020 on the back of asset price volatility in the global market in the wake of coronavirus. Market volatility related to the coronavirus has provided a welcome boost to global trading businesses, providing opportunities to enter and exit assets within a short period while making capital gains.
- Co-operative Bank of Kenya has donated 100 MM KES (940,999 USD) to the private sector-led Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund that was set up recently to gather resources for fighting the spread and impact of the virus.
- Britam Holdings shareholders will receive 9 MM KES (5.9 MM USD) as dividends after the firm emerged from a loss to post all time high net profit. The board has recommended a dividend of 0.25 KES per share.
- The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a new Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) aimed at pushing forward gender equality and women’s empowerment across the continent.
- Absa bank has donated around 15 MM RWF (16,042 USD) to assist efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. There will be an additional 7 MM RWF (7,486 USD) worth of food redirected from the cancelled Absa Cape Epic event to vulnerable communities.