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Tuesday, 25 Aug 2020

Kenya: August inflation likely to increase to 5.1%


Insights Africa

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Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • For the first time in more than three years, the Nigerian economy shrank in Q2-2020 as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased by 10%. The National Bureau of Statistics reported that the decline was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In Kenya, the cost of living is projected to marginally increase in August despite favorable food prices which have relieved households during the Covid-19 pandemic. Inflation rate for August is projected to increase marginally to between 8% and 5.1% compared to 4.36% in July when it fell to the lowest since November last year. Noting that the measure of the cost of living was recorded at 4.59% in June.
  • The Central Bank of Uganda reported that although the country's economy contracted in Q2-2020, there are indications that the economy is picking up as the country eases the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. The bank also announced that the lending Central Bank Rate (CBR) for August 2020 contracted by 2% in Q2-2020 as a result of a combination of COVID-19 containment measures and floods.
  • About 72% of businesses in Zambia are not able to raise funds for expansion due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia critically needs working capital because three-quarters of them were unable to raise capital.
  • Zimbabwe apex bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), has extended by a year the deadline for local financial institutions to meet the new minimum capital requirements. The regulator had taken into consideration the impact Covid-19 has had on the financial services sector.
  • In Zimbabwe, the farmers have sold a cumulative 171 million kg of tobacco worth 425 MM USD, which is 21% lower compared to 216 million kg crop traded worth 423 MM USD in August 2019.
  • The Nigerian Ministry of Power is accepting bids to build seven off-grid PV projects, along with other installations that will improve access to energy. The Ministry has launched a tender for the construction of several off-grid solar systems and other electrical infrastructure projects to improve access to energy in underserved areas.
  • Namibia has approved an additional 342,000 NAD (19,700 USD) as part of the grant to bail out the country's arts sector, which has been grounded by a state of emergency imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country first approved 5 MM NAD (335,786 USD) grant to bail out the country's arts sector.
  • The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has indicated that unemployment in the country has increased by double within a period of three months between February and May 2020. The unemployment rate registered 1% in February before the first Covid-19 case was registered in Rwanda and by May, it had skyrocketed to 22.1%. The increase of unemployment rate registered in May 2020 is attributed to the effect of Covid-19 on labour market.
  • Rwanda is a trading country, so trade was heavily affected except for a few essential products like food and beverages which were seeing some business, as well as medical products. The Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented health, economic, and financial stability challenges. The financial industry in Rwanda has been at the forefront of driving a role in the economic recovery through slashing interest rates and easing loan repayment conditions.
Political Events

Political Events

  • The EU aims to agree a new EU-Africa strategy at an EU-African Union summit in October 2020. The two blocs are currently discussing partnerships in ten policy areas, including the green transition, digital transformation and sustainable growth. The EU has lost ground in Africa to China in recent years but wants to cement itself as the continent’s largest investor and intensify political co-operation with the new strategy.
  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been urged by a South Sudanese activist to intervene in South Sudan to help in the restoration of peace and stability. Mary Nyibol Maker urged Kenyan president to help convince South Sudan’s political leaders to bring complete peace in the world’s newest country.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • Equity Group Holdings, Kenya’s leading banking group in terms of stock market valuation has set aside 8 BN KES (73.7 MM USD) to address the credit risks in H1-2020. This is almost 8 times the amount in H1-2019. Outstanding doubtful loans jumped by 56% to 45.6 BN KES (422.1 MM USD), while net interest income increased by 17%, and loans and advances to customers increased by only 22%.
  • Despite the size of the Nigerian economy, the Nigerian Stock Exchange is not in the bracket of the top four stock exchanges in Africa. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest, with a total market capitalization of 33 BN USD is 29 times bigger than the Nigeria Stock Exchange. With a market capitalization of 34.5 BN USD the Nigerian Stock Exchange is a distant 5th position, trailing the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Namibian Stock Exchange, the Casablanca Stock Exchange, and the Egyptian Stock Exchange in that order.

                         Note:  Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.

Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Savannah Energy Plc, the British independent energy company focused on activities in Nigeria and Niger, has recorded full year 2019 revenues of 8 MM USD comprising 16.9 MM USD of gas sales and 0.9 MM USD of liquids sales. Production from the company’s Nigerian Assets for 2019 increased 32% to 17.2 Kboepd from 13.0 Kboepd in 2018.
  • Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc has concluded plans to raise 27 BN NGN (70 MM USD) in a share offer by next November 2020. The money raised will be used to finance its switch to mining, as crude oil exploration and production operations due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • With a loan of 7 MM USD, Proparco is supporting Kenya Nut Company, a family business that has diversified and has been active for more than 40 years in the nut sector, macadamia and cashew, in Kenya. The company sources its supplies from more than 30,000 small nut producers. The boom in nut production is generating convincing results for the Kenyan agricultural sector.
  • The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced a total crude oil and gas export receipt of 42 MM USD in June 2020 compared to 133.16 MM USD in May 2020, signaling a marked improvement in revenue earnings apparently following the ease of the COVID-19 pandemic global lockdown and the subsequent increased demand and firmer prices for the black gold in the international market.
  • Nigerian Breweries Plc is the pioneer brewing company in Nigeria. However, the brewery company giants seem to have witnessed better realities compared to its competitors. In H1-2020, Nigerian Breweries Plc experienced 11% decrease in revenue registering 151 BN NGN (35 MM USD) compared to 170 BN NGN (440.59 MM USD) in 2019 but were still able to close their book with a profit.
  • Nigeria leading integrated Food and Agro-allied giant, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, has concluded plans to issue a bond within the next 2 months as part of 70 BN NGN (184 MM USD) program to refinance existing debt. The move was aimed at taking advantage of low money market rates, adding that Flour Mills had taken proactive measures to conserve cash in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • MTN Group Limited has appointed Ralph Mupita as Chief Executive Officer, to pilot the company’s operations in Africa. This is in line with the company’s policy of appointing internal candidates. Mupita will take over from Rob Shuter on September 1, 2020.
  • The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), the World Bank, and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) have announced a strategic fund-raising and collaboration to raise capital for Ignite Power. Ignite Power is a Rwandan renewable energy firm with investment in solar energy. The firm also has presence in other African countries.
  • Republic Bank Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Republic Financial Holdings Limited has advocated for issuance of a Green Bond in Ghana to raise long term financing for Green Building construction by developers and Green Mortgage financing.

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