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Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) plans to inject half a billion new notes and coins into circulation by H1-2020


Insights Africa

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Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) plans to inject half a billion new notes and coins into circulation by H1-2020, according to Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube. To date, the RBZ has approximately injected 130 MM USD into the economy since November 2019 when disbursement of new notes and coins started.
  • The World Bank has forecasted that Zimbabwe economy will grow by 7% in 2020, a growth that is almost similar with Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s 2020 National Budget projection of 3%.
  • The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has made a 5 BN KES (49.2 MM USD) capital injection into National Bank of Kenya (NBK), representing the largest recapitalization in Kenya banking history.
  • Kenya growth is projected to accelerate slightly in 2020, according to World Bank Group’s economists, partly supported by increased credit flow to businesses amid more favorable weather.
  • New jobs added by Kenyan companies dropped to a seven-month low in December 2019 despite employers in the top agriculture and manufacturing sectors recording improved sales during the month.
  • The Kenyan government is raising revenues through sale of citizenship, passports, permanent residency and special visa programs. Noting that Kenya domestic and foreign debt is around 50 TR KES (50 BN USD).
  • Boda bodas and tuk tuk imports in the first nine months of 2019 increased by 26% compared to the same period in 2018, challenging the tough economic conditions that affected the purchasing power of Kenyans. The total units increased to 181,565 units compared to 143,966 in first nine months of 2018, underlining their continued rise in demand.
  • In Uganda, the price of residential properties in Greater Kampala Metropolitan area increased by at least 2% in the year ended December 2019, according to a survey by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos).
  • The World Bank Group forecasts that the Sub-Saharan Africa economy will grow by 9% in 2020, recovering from 2.4% growth recorded in 2019.
Political Events

Political Events

  • The Irish government has committed 112 MM KES (1.1 MM USD) towards farmer education in the Kenyan dairy sector to raise productivity and help improve the country’s food security.
  • Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan began US-sponsored negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in November 2019 and were expected to conclude them by January 15, but an agreement appears to be still far.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) benchmark index went up by 74% in the last ten years becoming the best performing stock exchange market in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) during that period.
  • Nigeria’s stock exchange has begun the year as the world’s best performer, powered by local investors switching into equities after the Central Bank shut them out of a short-term debt market. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index is up more than 9% last week, putting it the top among more than 90 markets tracked by Bloomberg.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • The board of NCBA Group will meet before March 2020 to decide the new dividends policy to pay shareholders, including the Kenyatta and Philip Ndegwa families who command the highest stakes. NCBA is the product of the merger between the listed NIC Group and CBA Group. The two lenders had different dividend policies.
  • Local bus assembly and body fabricators are set for a major boost after Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga reversed a decision to import Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles from South Africa.
  • South African firm Inqo Investments has bought a stake in Kentegra Biotechnology Holdings, one of the most growing companies in Kenya for an undisclosed amount.
  • Banks and Safaricom will make up almost the entire market capitalization and earnings at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) over the next two years, as other sectors of Kenya equity market fail to keep up with their growth.
  • The Center for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) is greatly concerned with the poor management of the decision to relaunch Zambia Airways. The limited consultation, poor planning, lack of transparency, inclusiveness, and limited engagement with the public parallels the decision to introduce a sales tax.
  • Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya has cut the interest charge on old loans and overdrafts by 5 percentage points and committed to leaving new loans at a maximum of 13%.
  • Kenya largest publisher, Oxford University Press East Africa, has been awarded a 273 MM KES (2.6 MM USD) tender for the supply of learning materials for the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) to public schools.

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