- Kenya’s super rich whose cash under management are above 100 MM KES (986,582 USD), consider land and property as their main investment vehicles over other asset classes, according to a survey prepared by Standard Chartered Bank. Noting that they prefer establishing or funding their own business instead of investing in other people’s businesses.
- The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) reported that Kenya trade deficit in the first nine months of 2019 reached nearly 22 BN KES (41.6 MM USD). The country ordered goods worth 168.74 BN KES (1.64 BN USD) from African countries against export earning of 164.52 BN KES (1.62 BN USD) in the nine-month period.
- Uganda plans to borrow 9 TR UGX (1.89 BN USD) from external lenders in 2020/2021 to partly finance its budget. Noting that the funds will be in “form of concessional and non-concessional” credit.
- In Tanzania, inter-network mobile money transaction charges remain relatively high, and the process of sending and receiving money across platforms is quite uninteresting.
- The reduction in interest rates is impacting Rwanda banking sector, with some players registering growth in their loan books, as the growing appetite for credit shows an optimistic picture for 2020.
- In November 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised Rwanda growth forecast in 2019 reaching 5%, up from 7.8%. Rwandan President Paul Kagame has long stated that his goal is to make Rwanda an African Singapore.
- In Rwanda, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has been directed to focus on productivity, job creation and innovation, as efforts to achieve economic growth as stated by the 2020 national Budget.
- Ethiopia has set the minimum spend by solo foreign investors in local businesses and infrastructure projects at 200,000 USD. The government plans to sell a minority stake in phone monopoly Ethiopia Telecommunications Corp. in 2020, alongside two new licenses to create competition. Six sugar plants are also due to be sold by the end of March.
- United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) welcomes the framework agreement signed between the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Darfur armed movements (Darfur Track) during the peace talks in Juba, South Sudan, on 28 December 2019.
- Tanzania embassy in China has expressed its determination to attract more investors, tourists, scholarships and explore additional markets for local products in the south eastern Asian country which is the world's second-largest economy.
- Derivatives traders are now able to buy and sell Barclays Bank Futures on the Nairobi Derivatives Market (NEXT). Investors will put in a minimum of 1,800 KES (17.7 USD) as the initial margin in exchange for one Barclays bank Futures Contract. NSE added Barclays Futures into the derivatives market after it reviewed the composition of the NSE 25 Share Index.
- Only nine publicly traded companies will report a decrease in earnings of more than 25% in 2019 which is an improvement compared to 14 companies in 2018. The nine firms trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the Over the Counter (OTC) market include BOC Kenya, Kenya Airways, Standard Group, CIC Insurance Group, Williamson Tea Kenya and Eaagads.
- French multinational Rubis Energie has completed the purchase of oil marketer Gulf Energy in a deal that now makes it the largest petroleum dealer in Kenya. The deal has been completed in one of the shortest times, with Rubis taking six weeks to wrap up the transaction which it first announced on November 4.
- Airtel Kenya subscribers speak nearly three times more on their mobile phones than Safaricom users on the back of the telecom operator’s cheaper call tariffs. This is attributed to the fact that operators are offering their subscribers lower calling rates or free calls within the network.
- KCB Group has appointed former senior executive at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Anne Eriksson, as a non-executive director of its board effective December 18, 2019. Ms. Eriksson recently retired from PwC after 40 years where she was the regional senior partner and CEO for Eastern Africa and senior country partner Kenya.
- Zimbabwe and China Lesso Group signed an agricultural cooperation agreement under which 12,800 hectares will be put under irrigation for the production of over 60,000 tons of maize each season.
- The Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) has approved the proposed acquisition of a 99% stake in Selby Enterprises, a Zimbabwean horticultural product supplied by Mbizi, a subsidiary of Mauritian investment management firm, SSCG Africa Holdings.
- Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing are partnering to deliver much-needed aid supplies to organizations across Ethiopia. The airline took delivery of a new 787 Dreamliner from North Charleston, South Carolina in December and loaded the jet with books, school supplies, clothing and medical supplies for the flight home to Addis Ababa.
- The Namibian government has signed a land lease agreement that will enable the construction of a 44 MW wind farm in the country’s southern Karas Region. The agreement was signed by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and independent power producer (IPP) Diaz Wind Power, which is a unit of United Africa Group (UAG).