Home > Insights > In Zambia, the Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe plans to swap its Chinese debt from dollars to yuan in a bid to ease pressure on foreign reserves.
Tuesday, 12 Mar 2019

In Zambia, the Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe plans to swap its Chinese debt from dollars to yuan in a bid to ease pressure on foreign reserves.

Insights Africa

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • In Zambia, the Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe plans to swap its Chinese debt from dollars to yuan in a bid to ease pressure on foreign reserves. Zambia total external debt in 2018 reached 9.7 BN USD, including 3.1 BN USD owed to China.
  • Kenya GDP will expand largely by 6.5% in 2019/2020 due to the mega Big Four government projects and a stable political environment. In 2019, it is expected to be a busy year for the oil and gas sub-sector despite projection to slow down from 3.7% to 3.5%.
  • Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) revealed that business confidence in the private sector dropped to a 15-month low reaching 51.2 in February 2019 compared to 53.2 in January 2019 on the back of falling sales amid softer customer demand.
  • As part of a 21.1 BN RWF (24 MM USD) facility acquired from World Bank for skills development in Rwanda at least 2 BN RWF (2.27 MM USD) will go into training about 9,000 youths in manufacturing factories, energy sector, transport and logistic to create jobs.
  • The government of Rwanda and The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) have signed a concessional loan agreement worth 20 MM USD (19 BN RWF) to finance rural electrification project in Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru Districts.
  • COWI, leading consulting group, has won the contract to assist the Ugandan Ministry of Works and Transport in the development of a new national transport master plan to promote better strategic transportation planning and provide recommendations on investment priorities and measures needed to support economic growth.
  • UGACOF, leading coffee and cocoa exporter in Uganda, has been named the exporter of the year in 2018 annual presidential exporters awards held in Kampala aiming at reorganizing companies and individuals who have excelled in exporting earning the country foreign revenue.
Political Events

Political Events

  • President Emmanuel Macron will make a two-day State visit to Kenya next week as two French firms are battling for a profitable 180 BN KES (1.8 BN USD) contract to upgrade the Nairobi-Nakuru highway against the increased competition from Chinese firms.
  • The internationally acclaimed Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) has invited the Zambian business community to its annual business summit to be held in October 2019.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • The price of Kenyan coffee continued to decline 14% last Tuesday as international price of the commodity remained depressed. A market report by the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) indicates that a 50-kilogram bag of coffee fetched 15,600 KES in the weekly trading, down from 18,700 KES the previous sale.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Actis, London-based private equity company, has partnered with Indian firm Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate to develop middle-income housing in Kenya worth 12 BN KES (120 MM USD).
  • Playfair Capital, the UK venture capital firm whose founding partner Federico Pirzio Biroli who is an early-stage investor in Kenya Mobius Motors, has raised 3.2 BN KES (32 MM USD) for investing in promising tech start-ups.
  • Standard Chartered Bank Kenya (StanChart) will shut down its Malindi branch at the end of April 2019, shifting towards digital banking as lenders transfer their services online amid falling customer traffic at branches.
  • Standard Investment Bank (SIB) stated that Kenya Power and lighting Company will have to rely more on cheaper power sources to defend its margins, adding that reduced electricity tariffs may put its revenues under pressure.
  • Top shareholders of Deacons East Africa want administrators to begin search for 450 MM KES (4.5 MM USD) in form of convertible loan to save the troubled fashion and clothing retailer.
  • The Lake Region Economic Bloc, a group of 14 counties in the west of Kenya, wants to buy the Consolidated Bank of Kenya for 2.79 BN KES (28 MM USD).


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