- Moody´s Investors Service predicts a lower price assumption for Brent oil price, the main international crude benchmark for 2020 and 2021 presenting a longer relief for net importers of fuel like Kenya. The firm predicts that Brent, which is what Kenya uses in determining the landed cost of fuel, will have its prices averaging 35 USD (3,500 KES) per barrel in 2020 and 45 USD (4,500 KES) in 2021.
- Kenya seven largest banks in April restructured loans worth 176 BN KES (1.65 BN USD) or 2% of the industry’s total gross loan book of 2.8 TR KES (26.36 BN USD), underlining the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus that has hurt borrowers’ ability to repay.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved 4 BN KES (739 MM USD) in emergency financing to help Kenya respond to the sudden economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved 23 BN USD of emergency funding for Kenya and Uganda, saying the coronavirus pandemic is likely to exact a severe toll on the two East African economies.
- Lack of jobs and general youth unemployment in Uganda is reported to be the highest in Africa. Independent observers estimate youth unemployment at 62%, although the African Development Bank predicts that it could be as high as 83%.
- Six in ten banking executives in Africa and Middle East think cash will dip below 5% of retail transactions in the next five years, compared to 48% Africa and Middle East retail banks believe delaying digitalization poses genuine threats to their business models. Changing customer demands are cited as the highest-impact trend in the near term (35% by 2020).
- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda stated that fixing the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could cost the Government over 800 BN RWF (853.3 MM USD) over two fiscal years. The spending would propel economic growth rate to an average of 8% by 2022.
- Algeria has started producing rapid test kits for the novel coronavirus in partnership with Canadian and Jordanian firms, with a detection time of 15 minutes and a production capacity of 200,000 units per week The North African country has allocated 100 MM USD to import medical equipment and pharmaceutical products to counter the virus.
- The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will maintain tight restriction on broad money supply growth, to avoid fueling already high inflation and exchange rate volatility, after loosening screws on key interest rate benchmarks.
- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the final penalty of 300,000 USD, belonging to a Chinese national, Li Yan Pin, to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Chinese was taxed for money laundering.
- The President of Senegal, Macky Sall announced the re-opening of mosques and churches and the easing of other restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus, even as the largest one-day jump in cases was recorded on Monday.
- Air Namibia has been granted a license enabling the airliner to fly anywhere in the world. The new Air Service License (ASL) was issued by the Transport Commission of Namibia last week. Under the old license, Air Namibia was allowed to operate in Africa and Europe only.
- Investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) have gained 5 BN KES (2.49 BN USD) in March 2020, cutting the coronavirus-driven losses amid an economic shock that towers over the financial crisis a decade ago. The value of all the stocks on the Nairobi bourse stood at 2.265 TR KES (21.32 BN USD) last Wednesday remaining below the 2.6 TR KES (24.48 BN USD) peak of January 10.
- The Nigerian stock market recorded a monthly performance not seen since August 2017 (best monthly performance in three years). NGSE All Share Index for April gained 08 % to close at 23,021.01 points, from an opening level of 21,300.47 points in the beginning of April. Stock market capitalization for the period was up at 11.997 TR NGN (30.8 BN USD) on April 30, 2020, from an opening value of 11.101 TR NGN (28.49 BN USD) on April 1, 2020.
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.
- Uber drivers are facing a drastic fall in earnings after the taxi-hailing firm stopped collecting 3% of fares as commission and returned the 25% fee, citing reduced business in the wake of coronavirus.
- South Africa’s Standard Bank Group has borrowed 3 BN KES (28.24 MM USD) to Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim to expand its supermarkets business in Kenya through the Carrefour
- Marketing services firm Scangroup could receive an additional 480 MM KES (4.5 MM USD) from the disposal of its 60% stake in its subsidiary Kantar Africa. The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm expects minimum proceeds of 2 BN KES (489.6 MM USD) in the deal, with the potential extra payouts taking the total consideration to 5.7 BN KES (536.7 MM USD).
- The African Development Bank (AfDB) has blacklisted a Chinese contractor that has undertaken several multibillions- shilling projects in Kenya over fraud. The AfDB, a power transmission and distribution equipment firm, misrepresented its experience to meet qualification requirements for several AfDB-funded projects.
- Distributed Power Africa (DPA) has moved into Zambia to roll out hybrid solar solutions for Commercial and Industrial businesses, on a lease financing basis. In the last year, DPA has accelerated the deployment of Green energy into Sub-Sahara Africa, with notable solar projects in South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
- The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) will receive 5 BN KES (14.12 MM USD) from the Treasury in the next three years as one of the strategic State-owned entities. The AFC is expected to further its programs, including credit extension and technical assistance to clients covering agriculture, rural development and food security.
- In Namibia, the First National Bank has confirmed relief measures for SMEs with an annual turnover of less than 10 MM NAD (529,380 USD) and with initial lending facilities of less than 5 MM NAD (264,690 USD). In order to qualify, customers must have a good track record of honoring their payments prior to 1 March 2020.
- Bezant Resources PLC has acquired 30% interest in the Kalengwa exploration project in Zambia for 750,000 USD as part of a joint venture. Shares in Bezant closed 10% higher in London at 0.072 pence.