by Dario Galluccio
Africa: West Coast High Speed rail project consultants meet beneficiaries
Consultants working on the 1,178 kilometre West Coast High Speed rail for the West African sub region Sunday presented technical details of the project to representatives of the beneficiary countries in Accra. The work, which has received the sanction of ECOWAS, will start from Nigeria through Benin, Togo, Ghana and end in Cote d I’viore.
The consultants of the project, HammcoBTB Engineering International Incorporated of Canada, met with representatives from Ghana, Benin, Togo, Cote I’dviore and Nigeria to brief them on the extent of work. Ghana has already expressed interest, but it is left with the commitment from the governments of Benin, Cote d’Iviore and Nigeria for the commencement of work.
Kenya: Kenyan cities could benefit from Sh8.7 billion
Kenyan cities could benefit from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Sh8.7 billion investment to transform 100 cities worldwide to become sturdy. This follows plans by the Rockefeller Foundation to modernise 100 cities worldwide to be resilient over the next three years. The foundation will select 100 cities to become a part of the 100 Resilient Cities Networks and provide them with access to the technical expertise and resources needed to create and implement resilience strategies on a city-wide scale.
Cities will be judged on a range of criteria including how well they will address the specific needs of poor or vulnerable people inside their municipality.
Kenya: Government revokes 31 mining licenses
Mining licenses issued between January and May this year have been revoked. Mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala revoked at least 31 licenses. Moses Masibo who was in charge of license issuance has also been suspended and a task force formed to streamline the sector. Balala also announced that the mining bill 2013 is ready for cabinet discussion and that his ministry will ensure maximum benefits for Kenyans, government and mining companies.
South Africa: Nedbank posts solid interim results
South Africa’s fourth biggest bank, Nedbank, on Tuesday said it had posted a solid set of results in the six months to June this year, thanks to strong revenues derived from fees. But the lender’s share price remained unchanged on the JSE’s early trade as these results were said to be in line with expectation.
A subsidiary of Old Mutual, Africa’s biggest insurance company and an international wealth manager, Nedbank posted a 13 percent surge in interim profits.
Profits were made better by the company’s robust growth in revenues from fees, with headline earnings a share soaring to 831 cents during the period under review.
In the six months to June this year, Nedbank announced a half year dividend of 390 cents. This is 15 percent higher than the previous comparable period. Nedbank is also in a tactical joint venture with West Africa’s Ecobank, which has opened the JSE-listed lender to many Africa countries.
South Africa: Delta’s property portfolio will surge after acquisitions
Delta Property Fund is poised to inject a huge chunk of the R2 billion ($203 million) it plans to raise for acquisitions of buildings across South Africa. The firm, which leases office complexes to the South African administration, believes prospects are great in renting office space to government.
Bronwyn Corbett, the CFO of Delta, identified Telkom SA, electricity utility, Eskom, and ports-to-rail utility, Transnet, as state-owned companies that had all the likelihood to be its customers.
The firm is going to obtain money for these acquisitions through debt markets in the wake of good financing rates, Corbertt said.
Delta is set to escalate the worth of its real-estate collection to R7 billion ($710 million) in 2017. The portfolio will surge from R4.4 billion ($447 million) as demand for government offices increases.
The firm rents almost 75 percent of its office complexes to government ministries and state-owned firms with nine-year-long leases.
Zimbabwe: Stock market plunges on Mugabe win
The stock market of Zimbabwe plunged on Monday on the back of the announcement that President Robert Mugabe won last week’s elections with a landslide margin. Investors were sent packing on worries that the new government in Zimbabwe will reinstate the Zim dollar and deepen empowerment ambitions in the country.
During Monday’s early trade, the bourse’s major industrial indicator plunged 11.09 percent and the overall market cap of the bourse tanked to $5.34 billion from $5.97 billion.
Fin24 reports that many investors abandoned their “buy orders.”
Stocks that were heavily battered include Delta, which sagged 20 percent and mobile phone operator Econet which lost 14.71 percent. Sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett lost 4.76 percent while Edgars plummeted 28.57 percent. OK Zimbabwe sagged 13.33 percent.
South Africa: Nedbank allies with Bank of China for deals and trade
South Africa’s Nedbank Ltd said on Tuesday it had entered into an alliance with Bank of China to target trade and investment between Africa and the world’s second-largest economy.
“The alliance will provide Nedbank with access to new clients and new markets, and will facilitate both parties’ lending, trade finance and transactional banking businesses across Africa,” Nedbank CEO Mike Brown said in a statement.
West Africa: AGI faults West African governments over high cost of doing business
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has blamed the increasing cost of doing business in the subregion on the inability of member countries of the ECOWAS to fully implement the trade liberalisation scheme they ratified. Although the protocols have been ratified by all the 15-member countries of ECOWAS, trade barriers, in the form of levies, import duties and physical blockades, are still rampant in the subregion, something the AGI said was having a toll on businesses in the country and the subregion in general.
The ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) is a trade protocol that aims at opening the subregional market to businesses in the member countries through liberalised trade schemes. “Governments’ delay in the implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) protocols is creating a huge cost to doing business and weakens the prospects for regional integration,” AGI said.
Ghana: Subsidies on all petroleum products to be scraped by end of year
Consumers of Petroleum products should by the end of this year be prepared to pay the real price of petroleum prices on the world market. This is because government is working to completely remove subsidies on all petroleum products.
Government has already taken off subsidies on petrol, diesel and LPG, but is still subsidizing the other products, like Premix , Kerosene and marine gas oil. Edward Bawa who speaks for the Energy Ministry said the subsidy removal has been necessitated because the targeted poor was not benefiting even though it had a huge impact on government expenditure.
Ghana: Banks increase assets
Total assets of the banking industry as at the end of June 2013 increased to GH¢30.6 billion compared to GH¢24.6 billion in June 2012. This was driven mainly by advances which accounted for 44.7 percent of the total assets.
Dr. Kofi Wampah, Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), who made this known at the close of a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Accra, said the asset growth was mainly funded by deposits which recorded an annual growth of 13.3 percent to GH¢20.4 billion at the end of June 2013. He also said Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio in the banking industry decreased to 12.8 percent in June 2013 from 13.2 percent in June 2012, adding that the ratio, excluding the loss category, also declined to 4.7 percent from 5.9 percent in the same period.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wampah said Annual growth in private sector credit slowed to 33.5 percent in nominal terms at the end of June 2013 from 39.0 percent in June 2012. “Similarly, annual growth of real private sector credit was 20.1 percent in June 2013 down from 27.0 percent in June 2012,” he added.
Nigeria: Bourse records stellar performance
The Nigerian bourse continued its march towards new heights and outperformed other African markets by the end of July 2013.
Nigerian equities, among the best performing markets in 2012, have recorded a growth of about 35 percent by the end of July 2013. It managed to outperform other major African markets such as South Africa, Egypt, Zambia, Mauritius and Kenya. It trailed only Ghana, which achieved an impressive return of around 61 percent. During the same period, Mauritius, South Africa and Egypt posted returns of 7.9 percent, 5.2 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
In the first seven months of 2013, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) has increased from 23,488.79 to 38,424.34 points. Its market capitalization has also surged from N7.476 trillion ($46.8 billion) to 12.169 trillion ($76 billion). Compared to the same period last year, the Nigerian market rose by 63 percent.
Market analysts believe that the Nigerian market will be able to maintain its positive momentum and continue to attract investors in remaining part of the year. The market is expected to benefit from result announcements by major companies in the second quarter of this year. Even though bearish trend prevailed in June, the market still offers attractive returns in under-priced stocks.
- Old Mutual’s Nedbank Loaned Failed First Strut $24 Million – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Africa Focused News (theinvesmentman.wordpress.com)
- Experts discuss ECOWAS rail project (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Nigeria’s Oil Pirates: A Global Problem with Very Local Roots (theinvesmentman.wordpress.com)
- Falling Gold Price Worries Ghana’s Gold Industry (theinvesmentman.wordpress.com)
- Falling Gold Price Worries Ghana’s Gold Industry (reflexecogroupafrica.wordpress.com)
- Ecowas Energy Experts to Meet in Dakar on Electricity Regulatory Issues (appablog.wordpress.com)
- Nedbank – Power to the people (the world’s first Solar Powered Billboard) (marketingthatmatters.wordpress.com)
- African Bank Raising $405 Million to Boost Capital Position – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Expulsion of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Staff in Darfur (appablog.wordpress.com)