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Monday, 05 Aug 2019

Kenyan shilling strengthened after the CBK sold dollars to banks

Insights Africa

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Kenyan shilling strengthened after the CBK sold dollars to banks to stem persistent weakness in the local unit. It decreased more than 1% in seven straight trading sessions. This fall was due to political risk, a firmer dollar, concerns about export earnings and excess liquidity in the money markets.
  • For the first time Kenya has bought more than that was sold to African countries in H1-2019, marking the first time Nairobi has run a deficit reaching 156 MM KES (1.5 MM USD) since the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) started to publicly keep trade records in 1999.
  • Relatively low global oil prices and currency devaluation of countries that are major buyers of the Kenyan tea have taken a toll on the price of the beverage. Pakistan continues to be a major player in the global tea trade but the impact of currency devaluation in the country is felt in Kenya.
  • Uganda has now joined her counterparts, Kenya and Ethiopia in supplying flowers to the huge China market. The entry followed numerous trial shipments by Rosebud Ltd which is Kenya largest exporter of roses.
  • Rwanda and the World Bank have signed a 200 MM USD financing agreement to improve teacher competency and student retention and learning in basic education (pre-primary through secondary school) in Rwanda.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that Rwanda budget in 2019/2020 is willing to direct its economy towards self-reliance as it increased the contribution of domestic resources to 68.3% compared to 67% in 2018/2019 budget.
  • The Institute of International Finance (IIF) has projected that Zambia debt could increase to 90% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Zimbabwe mining sector continues to demonstrate its importance to the economy after generating 1.3 BN USD in H1-2019, to help the country make key foreign payments for fuel and other critical raw materials.
  • A recent study conducted by the IMF has shown that Zimbabwe has the second largest informal sector in the world. Noting that the country should channel more funds towards the formalization of the informal sector which is vital for the revival of the economy.
  • Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and Namibian Customs and Excise Department (NCED) signed an agreement on practical implementation of bilateral trade agreements in order to improve customs processes and further stimulate trade by reducing time goods spend on borders.
  • Namibia has inaugurated a new Chinese-built port terminal which doubles its container capacity and is also to give tourism a boost. The 40-hectare platform is aiming to become a strategic gateway to emerging markets of southern and west Africa.
Political Events

Political Events

  • Franco-Beninese diplomat Jules Armand Aniambossou replaced outgoing ambassador Stephanie Rivoual at the head of the French embassy in Uganda in May. His arrival has raised the interest of Ugandans and the hopes of stronger economic cooperation between the two allies.
  • Abu Dhabi low-tax area authority has signed an agreement with Kenya Capital Market Authority (CMA) on sustainable finance. This initiative is expected to play an important but niche role in driving the growth of Kenya capital markets.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • Foreign investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) made net sales for the second straight month, with the market paying the price as all indices closed July in the red. Market data compiled by Standard Investment Bank (SIB) shows the investors sold a net of 2.05 BN KES (19.39 MM USD) worth of stock last month, following on from the net sales of 903 MM KES (8.7 MM USD) in June.
  • The crucial market indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday returned back to negative territory after a day growth, dropping by 0.43%. The All-Share Index dipped 118 points or 0.43% to close at 27,630.46 against 27,748.46 achieved on Thursday.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) has posted a 12.2% drop in net profit in H1-2019. However, its net earned premiums jumped 16.6% reaching 7.42 BN KES (71.86 MM USD) in H1-2019.
  • Safaricom injected 601 BN KES (5.8 BN USD) into the Kenyan economy in 2018/2019, making the telecommunications giant one of the single-biggest contributors to the country's GDP.
  • US-based Alternet Systems (ALYI) plan to enter Kenya motorcycle business has received a boost after local partners approved the industrial design specifications for the Nairobi plant.
  • The dominance of M-Sacco, Kenya mobile banking app for savings and co-operative societies, will come under pressure after global tech payments platform Visa announced plans to launch a similar payments product.
  • Mastercard Africa outlines opportunities for engagement and partnerships in Rwanda. It has always been featured as partners for a number of banks to facilitate card-based payments on point of sale devices and cashless transfers among other roles.
  • The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved the membership of BeninDjibouti and Rwanda, bringing AIIB's total approved membership to 100 and increasing the volume of approved financing to 8.5 BN USD.
  • Nedbank Zimbabwe Ltd will provide trade financing facilities amounting to 140 MM USD to support the local economy and help ease an import financing problem in the economy.
  • Sanofi and Pfizer engage Biovac Institute with vaccines production in South Africa. Facility in Cape Town will start production of Sanofi's Hexaxim in 2020, and Pfizer's anti-pneumonia Prevnar 13 in 2021.


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