Africa, African Development Bank, Ghana, Gold, Infrastructure, Invesments, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uncategorized

Africa Focused News

by Dario Galluccio

Ghana: Eurobond to fund 157 road projects

A part of the $1 billion raised from the international capital market in New York on Thursday will fund one hundred and fifty seven road projects; additionally, the government will use part of the money to build infrastructure in all the new 46 districts.

To be precise a Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Felix Ofosu Kwakye, said $284 million from the money would be used to fund road projects and other projects captured in the 2013 budget. He mentioned the Apam-Akam road in the Central Region, the Fian-Wahabu road in the Upper West Region, the Goaso-Kukuom road and the Berekum town roads in the Brong Ahafo Region as some of the projects that would be funded from the money. The deputy minister said general infrastructure, including clinics, schools and offices, would be executed in all the new 46 districts.

Nigeria: Nestlé Nigeria declares $82m H1 pretax profit

Nestlé Nigeria, a unit of Nestlé SA food and beverage company, says its first half pre-tax profit for this year rose by 14.75 percent to N13.2 billion ($82.5 million) compared with N11.5 billion ($71.4 million) during the same period last year.

The company made this known at a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday and also disclosed that its revenue surged to N62.4 billion ($387.5 million) from N56.6 billion ($351.4 million) last year.

South Africa: June credit growth slows for second month

South African credit growth slowed for a second month in a row. . Growth in borrowing by households and companies fell from 9.1 percent in the previous month to 8.9 percent in June.

The Reserve Bank has kept the benchmark repurchase rate at 5 percent for a year as a decline in the rand and rising fuel prices spur inflation, limiting the room to cut interest rates to stimulate the economy. Consumer spending in the first quarter grew at the slowest pace since the 2009 recession.

Growth in credit extension is likely to remain relatively subdued during the second half of the year, as consumer and business confidence is still fragile, the job market remains weak and high existing personal debt and tight lending standards will make consumers cautious of applying for more credit,” Nedbank Group Ltd. (NED) said in an e-mailed note after the data were released.

Ghana: Japanese investors explore opportunities in Ghana

Dr Omani Boamah, Minister of Communication, received a 20- member Japanese delegation, so he has pledged Government’s commitment to deepen relations with Japan. The minister said the two countries have enjoyed fruitful working relations in the past and expressed the hope that this would continue as Japan has expressed its resolve to support Ghana’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

The delegation is in the country to explore investment opportunities in the areas of ICT, Energy, Transport and other sectors of the economy.

Mr Takeshi Hata, NEC Corporation Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa and a member of the delegation, expressed the desire to provide ICT expertise to the GMSD. He lauded Ghana for its strides especially in the areas of good governance and economic stability. The delegation is in Ghana following the investment opportunities President John Dramai Mahama presented at the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

Tanzania: Bank M assets expand, hit half trillion

Bank M Tanzania, the fastest growing bank in the market, has marked its sixth anniversary with a big bang as its total assets hit the half a trillion mark.

The bank, which opened its doors on July 27, 2007, celebrated its sixth anniversary on Saturday, with 532bn/- assets. “We are marking six years of growth, growth in all aspects”, the bank’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jacqueline Woiso.

She said during the past six years, the bank has grown in terms of not only balance sheet but also profitability, citing this year’s impressive performance. The bank has in seven months of operations posted a profit of 9.13bn/-, indicating that the 2013 will be a highly profitable year for the bank.

The bank, priding itself as among the fastest growing financial institutions in the domestic market, has grown geometrically from the balance sheet of mere 31.19bn/- at the end of 2007, to 67.59bn/- in 2008 and 106.51bn/- in 2009. The bank assets swelled to 193bn/-, 310bn/- and 421bn/- in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

India, Nigeria: To enhance economic partnership

Utility service provider, Umeme, is targeting the capital markets to raise over $170 million (about Shs438 billion) to finance its investments.

The energy utility firm last week said it needs to make significant investments worth $440 million (about Shs1.1 trillion) in the next five years, part of which will be raised during the this season.

Kenya: New infrastructure to ease city traffic

The government says it has finalized plans to upgrade the city’s infrastructure to ease traffic congestion and improve the living conditions of the residents. Addressing at St James ACK Buruburu, Deputy President William Ruto said key stakeholders in the Nairobi County met last week to map out ways of implementing the ambitious project that will see at least 100,000 new and modern housing units constructed for the low income earners.

We want to transform the city within the next three years and we have already identified development partners with whom we intend to roll out the project in Ziwani, Mbotela, Bahati ,Maringo and other estates in Nairobi’s Eastland’s suburb,” he said.

He revealed that the government had developed a road map to ease traffic congestion in major city routes to reduce the time workers lost while commuting to their duty stations.

The Deputy President added that the government had introduced a Railway Development Levy to revive and improve the rail network in the capital.

Ghana: Stanbic Bank supports cashless economy drive

Stanbic Bank Ghana has expressed its determination to support the national drive towards a cashless economy. Consequently, the bank is taking advantage of the platforms offered by BoG and the Ghana Interbank Payment Platform Service (GHIPPS) to drive the effort.

Ghana: Minimum capital of RCBs to go up

The minimum capital of Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) is to go up from GH¢150,000 to GH¢300,000, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) has hinted. According to Mr Franklin Belnye, Head of Banking Supervision Department of BOG, ‘Notification to that effect will soon be issued with a time frame for compliance’.

Mr Belnye explained that the revision had become necessary because ‘capital is the lifeblood of any viable banking institution and the more the better.

In 2008 the minimum capital of the RCBs went up from GH¢50,000 to GH¢150,000 ‘with a flexible time frame for compliance,’ as a condition for paying dividends and opening new branches.

Ghana: Benefits from Cuba relations

Mr Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs over the weekend said government benefits from her bilateral relations with the Cuban government especially in the area of health and education. Mr Quartey said thousands of African students have received medical and educational support in Cuba and had returned to the continent to help their communities.

South Africa: Minister urges gold facilitation

Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant, told the unions and the Chamber of Mines on Friday to put the interests of the economy and the country first, following the deadlock in the gold sector’s centralised wage negotiations process. The National Union of Mineworkers, Uasa and Solidarity have declared a dispute with the chamber after talks stalled. Oliphant called on all parties to engage in the next step – facilitation by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration – with the intention to ensure the dispute was resolved as soon as possible. She said: “If there is a deadlock, give the facilitation a chance.”

South Africa: H&M signs lease for store

South African weekly Sunday Times said in an article re-run on daily Business Day’s website that the Swedish retailer has signed a lease for a store in a mall that is due to open in 2015 in Johannesburg.

An H&M spokeswoman, which has yet to open a store in Africa, said South Africa is one of many markets it finds interesting but declined to comment further. The company opened its first store in the southern hemisphere in Chile earlier this year.

Sunday Times, which is part of the same media group as Business Daily, did not disclose its sources. H&M was also searching for suitable store locations in Cape Town, it reported.

H&M’s biggest rival, Zara owner Inditex (ITX.MC), opened its first Zara store in Africa, in South Africa, in 2011.

Nigeria: Budget passage saved the economy

Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN) has said that the passage of the 2013 budget amendment bill by the national assembly saved the polity from overheating and forestalls a crippling financial operation in the country.

The minister maintained however that the passage of the appropriation bill goes to show that members of national assembly have not been at war with the executive arm.<

With the passage of the budget amendment which restored the over N78 billion earlier slashed from 2013 budget, the polity has been saved one of the issues that had tended to overheat the polity and cripple the financial operations of the federal government,” said the minister.

Fitch has rated Ghana’s newly issued $750 million Eurobond B+. The rating is in line with Ghana’s ‘B+’ Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating, on which the Outlook is Negative, Fitch said in an email July 26, 2013.

Fitch on February 15, 2013 revised Ghana’s Outlook to Negative, affirming it ‘B+’. It was to reflect the country’s worsening trend in public finances. During 2012 Ghana’s fiscal deficit widened to 12.1% of GDP in the run up to the December election, the ratings agency said.

Ratings agency, Moody’s also rated the ten-year bond ‘B 1’.

This second sovereign Eurobond was issued last week with a coupon of 7.875%.

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