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Tuesday, 29 Oct 2019

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi positions in the World Ease of Doing Business 2020

Insights Africa

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • KenyaUgandaTanzania and Burundi positions in the World Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking improved on the backdrop of reforms making it easy for investors to start a business, get electricity connections, register property and deal with construction permits.
  • Kenya jumped to position 56 from 62 with Uganda rising to position 116 from 127, Tanzania now position 141 from 144 while Burundi jumped to position 166 from 168.
  • In South Africa-based Absa Group Research economic report, it is expected that Tanzania economic growth will be in excess of 6% by the end of 2019, with Kenya and Uganda growing between 3% and 6%.
  • The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) official foreign reserves declined by 7.78 BN KES (75 MM USD) last week to close at the lowest level since May even as the shilling held steady.
  • Kenya earnings from exports to Somalia have decreased reaching 8.31 BN KES (80.29 MM USD) in the first eight months of 2019 on the back of reduced production and diplomatic tensions arising from the unresolved maritime territorial dispute.
  • The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (Keproba) is considering more deals with Chinese online marketing firms and cutting budgets for trade expositions in the world's most populous country. Noting that a majority of Chinese buyers initiate and close deals online as opposed to retail chains.
  • Kenyan National Treasury data showed that 48 BN KES (463.27 MM USD) was channeled into capital projects in Q3-2019, a growth of 115.63% compared to 22.26 BN KES (241.84 MM USD) in Q3-2018, pointing to increased public investments in infrastructure projects.
  • Fitch Ratings stated that Zambia 2020 national budget has failed to address external financing risks for the country. Adding that it could increase risks to the sovereign's external debt sustainability unless new sources of grant funding or concessionary lending are found.
  • The Chinese embassy in Rwanda has organized the first Chinese job fair in Rwanda, aiming at providing employment opportunities to Rwandans that graduated from China. The companies ranged from mega-state enterprises like the China Road and Bridge Corporation; to private companies like Huawei Technologies.
Political Events

Political Events

  • Thousands of people are marching across Zimbabwe in government-organized protests against US and EU sanctions. The demonstrators say the sanctions have ruined the Zimbabwean economy. But the US and EU argue they have been imposed on individuals and companies and have no impact on the economy.
  • Businesses and individuals that have invested cash in Mauritius have won a major advantage after Kenya reached a deal with Mauritius to cancel the double tax deal. The expanded double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) now quashes the one that had been signed in April 2019 and comes with more favorable tax rates than what is applied under the domestic law of the two countries.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • New shares from the merged NIC Group and CBA Group started trading last week at the Nairobi bourse, valuing the Kenyatta family stake at 6.6 BN KES (63.8 MM USD). The combined business of the two banks, which is now known as NCBA, climbed three places to rank sixth among the 10 banks listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) with a market valuation of 50.3 BN KES (486.36 MM USD) after listing the additional shares.
  • Despite a near 5% loss on the Morgan Stanley Capital International Frontier Africa Index in Q3-2019, with Kenya (+15%) and Nigeria (-22%) at opposite ends, a separate measure of stock market progress in 20 countries averages above 50 for positive direction for the first time.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Top American investment bank Goldman Sachs is the latest to acquire a stake in Kenyan start-up Twiga Foods following a 2.44 BN KES (23.75 MM USD) deal that will help the firm spread across the country and Africa. The US bank will provide funding to the start-up together with three other Twiga Foods existing investors; International Finance Corporation (IFC), venture capital firm TLCom Capital, and French private equity fund Creadev.
  • Jubilee Holdings inked a partnership deal with Credit Bank that will see the firms create loan financing and insurance products that will be tailor-made for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will inject 2.5 BN KES (25 MM USD) into a new sea cable project that the Western Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), a company in which Telkom Kenya is a shareholder, is executing.
  • Kenya biggest telco, Safaricom, has been named the best employer in Kenya for the second year in a row. The telco was followed by beer manufacturer EABL, the United Nations, KCB and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in that order in a ranking by local online job-listing firm Brighter Monday.
  • Estonian-based taxi hailing firm Bolt has expanded to four additional towns as the company continues its growth outside Nairobi. Bolt, formerly Taxify, is now available in nine towns after it announced its entry into Naivasha, Nakuru, Kitale and Eldoret.
  • Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL) has confirmed that it will receive a new Dreamliner as part of its fleet improvement program. ATCL has also confirmed plans to add at least two more Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 planes to its growing fleet.
  • Reuters reports that Japanese renewable energy company Univergy Solar will invest more than 200 MM USD in two solar power projects in Zambia that will add 200 megawatts (MW) to the country's national grid next year.
  • Ethiopian Airlines has launched a passenger flight to Bengaluru, India on 27 October 2019. The capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, Bengaluru is dubbed 'Silicon Valley of India' and serves as the center of technology and innovation.


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