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Tuesday, 21 Jul 2020

The FBI opens investigation into Twitter attack over national security concerns


Insights Africa

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Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • The World Bank approved 2 MM USD to support Uganda efforts to prevent, detect and respond to Covid-19 and strengthen national systems for public health emergency preparedness under a new operation, the Uganda Covid-19 Response and Emergency Preparedness Project. The project is financed by an IDA credit of 12.5 MM USD and a grant of 2.7 MM USD from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
  • Kenya financial sector is among the most secretive globally, according to a new report by Tax Justice Network. The sector has been ranked the second most rigid in Africa after Algeria and among the top 30 in the world in the latest Financial Secrecy Index of 2020.
  • Kenya borrowed at least 213 BN KES (2.14 BN USD) between April and May 2020, pushing up the country’s total public debt to 65 TR KES (61.76 BN USD). According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the country’s debt has grown by almost a trillion in the past year, from 5.7 TR KES (52.94 BN USD) in March 2019.
  • Rating agency Moody’s has predicted that Zambia debt will go beyond 110% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020. Moody’s also predicts that Zambia sovereign credit fundamentals will remain very weak in the future.
  • Zambia National Commercial Bank plans to launch microfinance services including loans and savings for poor households in Q4-2020. The services are part of Zanaco’s digital strategy and will rely on digital credit-scoring and collection systems. The loans will be mainly to households, for amounts as small as 50 USD or 100 USD.
  • Africa Investment Forum, a brainchild of the African Development Bank (AfDB), announced it would commit 79 BN USD to 15 private sector projects in Nigeria and some other countries on the continent towards actualizing its ambition of driving self-sufficiency and providing buffers against the weight of the Coronavirus pandemic on the African economy.
  • Rwanda Education Board (REB) has announced that it targets to reach 62% internet connectivity among secondary public schools this fiscal year, from the current 52%. According to REB, the target is in line with the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) that targets to reach universal internet connectivity in public schools by 2024.
  • Namibia registered a deficit on the current account during Q1-2020, mainly due to deterioration in the merchandise trade balance. The current account deficit reached 432 MM NAD (25.3 MM USD) in Q1-2020 compared to a surplus of 312 MM NAD (18.27 MM USD) in Q1-2019, according to the Bank of Namibia (BoN).
Political Events

Political Events

  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation into the unprecedented Twitter attack that resulted in numerous takeovers of high-profile accounts belonging to politicians, business leaders, and corporations. The FBI is concerned that the coordinated attack and the vulnerabilities exposed in Twitter’s systems may pose serious security risks, due to the widespread compromising of sensitive accounts, including those of President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. President Donald Trump’s account was not affected.
  • Zimbabwe authorities have warned that it will deal with participants in planned protests for July 31 against alleged public sector corruption amid deteriorating economy like “terrorists”, threatening them with jail. The government added that it will takes action towards rampant public sector corruption and initiate national dialogue to rescue Zimbabwe from crisis.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • Two more companies are in the process of joining the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) currently hosting nine companies, five of which are cross listed. The RSE shows that equity turnover on the Rwandan bourse for the first six months in 2020 decreased by 72% to 398,813 USD compared to 2.6 MM USD in the same period last year. The volume of shares traded decreased by 58.15% to 4.92 million shares compared to 11.76 million shares in the same period last year.
  • In Q1-2020, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGSE) lost about 2 BN USD market cap, a negative return of 20.65%. Several other markets across the globe also witnessed crashes during this period. However, during the lockdown in April 2020, Nigeria stock market surprisingly gained 2.3 BN USD, 8% higher than the performance of the previous month. In May, the market further improved by 9.76% but plunged by 3.2% in June.

                         Note:  Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.

Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Global credit ratings agency Moody’s affirmed African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) long-term credit rating at Baa1, with a stable The agency determines its rating for the bank based on three criteria: capital adequacy, liquidity, and funding and strength of member support.
  • Vodacom Business Africa has extended its footprint by providing connectivity to partners and clients in 12 new countries in the Middle East region. Through its strategic business partnerships, Vodacom Business Africa provides extensive network coverage globally, without compromising the high service delivery standards it has come to be known and trusted with.
  • World Bank Group member IFC has provided 50 MM USD loan to Access Bank to help the bank increase liquidity to SMEs in Nigeria challenged by Covid-19. The funds from the loan will allow Access Bank to provide trade financing and working capital to their business clients experiencing disrupted cash flows, supporting business activity, and preserving jobs.
  • Nigerian banks are restructuring 41% of loans in the country after the central bank placed a moratorium on interest charges and principal debt repayments to cushion the blow of lower oil prices and fallout from the coronavirus.
  • Tanzania CRDB Bank Plc is planning an ambitious program that could see it expand into seven countries in East and Central Africa. CRDB, which is listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange has lined up mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the first point of entry through Greenfield Investments in the next 12 months.
  • Dell Technologies has reiterated its commitment to providing its customers in Africa with advanced technologies that drive business continuity and growth. The tech firm highlighted its ground-breaking portfolio of enterprise and consumer solutions that accelerate the digital delivery of modern IT services that can differentiate a business, its products, and operations.
  • Emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen has announced the commencement of South Africa first ever Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) auction. Interested parties are invited to apply to bid for the allocation of LNG, which will be produced from the company’s Virginia Gas Project, located in the Free State, approximately 250 km southwest of Johannesburg.
  • Credit risk management firm TransUnion has named Emile Kinuma as its new Rwanda Chief Executive. Kinuma was until recently the Chief Executive of Mobicash, the popular mobile payment and Fintech Company.

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