28th April 2022 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

April 28, 2022 - 5 minutes read
KENYA

Safaricom gets Sh46bn loan for Addis licence 

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya was one of the major banks that lent Safaricom a total of $400 million (Sh46.3 billion) last year, helping the telecom operator pay for its Ethiopian licence.

“The $400 million facilities comprised a short-term stand-by letter of credit and a 12-month term loan which allowed the consortium to submit and fund the winning bid for the first full-service mobile telecommunications licence for a private sector operator in Ethiopia.”

StanChart did not disclose the other banks with which it worked to fund Safaricom. The other lenders could include its London-based parent company Standard Chartered Plc and local big banks.

The telco had earlier separately disclosed the short-term loans without identifying the banks, adding that it was negotiating to convert them into long-term borrowings to free its cash flow.

(Source: Business Daily)

Businesses face losses over five-day weekend 

Investors and businesses are staring at billions of shillings in losses following the unprecedented five-day-long holiday that starts from Friday to Tuesday.

The losses will be the product of business closures in top investments like the banks, schools, courts, government offices and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) as well as the currency market.

The economy generates on average Sh25.3 billion daily and the five-day official shutdown looks set to deny workers and investors billions of shillings in earnings.

The five-day weekend comes after the government declared Tuesday a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Fitr in addition to Monday’s Labour Day rest.

The government had also declared Friday a national holiday following the death of President Mwai Kibaki.

Analysts said the holiday in the middle of a working week comes with huge costs to the economy that is yet to fully recover from the effects of Covid-19, which triggered layoffs, pay cuts and business closures.

(Source: Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Tanzania has the only dollar billionaire in East Africa 

Tanzania is home to East Africa’s only dollar billionaire, this is according to the latest report by research firm New World Wealth and Henley & Partners which helps high-net-worth individuals to acquire residence or citizenship through investment.

The report however did not name the billionaire in question as more individuals moved into the dollar millionaire ranks.

The Africa Wealth Report 2022 indicates that Tanzania has 2400 individuals with a net worth of over $1 million (Sh2.3 billion).

More than half of the dollar-millionaires (1,300) reside in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam as the city was ranked 12th richest, with total private citizens wealth of $24 billion (Sh55 trillion).

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Unharmonised taxes blamed for unfair trade practices in EA 

East African Business Council has raised concerns that variations in tax policies are distorting prices and frustrating intra-EAC trade and investment.

At the height of the recent fuel shortage at the pumps in Kenya, government officials pointed an accusing finger at oil marketers, saying they were diverting supplies to the more lucrative Ugandan market.

The officials said suppliers were trucking fuel to neighbouring countries where taxes were lower and prices were not regulated.

Private sector players are now alarmed, saying this accusation points to how differences in local taxation policies could cause scarcity of commodities in future.

Harmonisation of domestic taxes is provided for in all stages of the EAC integration. However, partner states have achieved little in this regard.

The EAC Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation agreed upon in 2010 has only been ratified by Uganda and Rwanda.

(Source: The East African)

RWANDA

RDB called on the private sector to work together to make the CHOGM meeting a success 

Various governmental, non-governmental and non-governmental organisations met in a meeting to learn about the preparations for the Rwanda Summit to bring together the Heads of State and Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States, CHOGM and the prospects for this meeting will be in June this year.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Vincent Biruta.

RDB Niyonkuru Zephanie, Deputy Director of the National Development Agency, said that this was an opportunity for Rwanda to host the summit, adding that “our mission is to set a vision for Rwanda to lead a sustainable business for many people. We will use this site to show Commonwealth countries and the world the achievements of Rwanda over the past 28 years.”

PSF Executive Director Stephen Ruzibiza said the private sector has been sensitized to prepare for the meeting and is ready to take advantage of the opportunities provided by CHOGM.

(Source: RBA)

ETHIOPIA

Ethio Telecom Launches Loyalty Programme and Online Sales Platform 

Ethiopia’s Ethio Telecom has announced a loyalty programme it dubbed “Ashamtele”. Ashamtele is said to enable Ethio Telecom’s customers to be rewarded for using its services.

Customers will be incentivized based on the points they collect while using diverse telecom services like voice, data/internet and SMS, Ethio Telecom announced.

The incentive also makes customers eligible to collect points as they recharge airtime and make payments for goods and services via telebirr, points they can redeem to buy smartphones, tablets, top-up airtime and settle their monthly telecom bills.

In a related note, Ethio Telecom has also launched “telegebeya”, an online sales channel which is a new and an alternative sales platform that enables customers to purchase Ethio Telecom products easily from their whereabouts by using telebirr as a payment modality, the service provider declared. The newly launched online platform will be an option for customers to purchase Ethio Telecom products in addition to the company’s existing 615 point of sales and 116 franchise shops.

(Source: 2Merkato.com)

ERITREA

Workshop to boost contribution of partners in redressing environment 

The Forestry and Wildlife Authority organised a one day workshop on April 26 in Asmara with a view to clarify objectives and boost contribution of partners and stakeholders in redressing the environment.

Speaking at the event in which Ministers, Army Commanders, regional Governors, heads of government institutions and national associations as well as religious leaders took part, Col. Kinfe Habtom, General Manager of the Authority, said that so far commendable efforts have been exerted in many areas of the country in planting tree seedlings and water and soil conservation activities with a view to redress and stabilise the environment.

Indicating that global climate change and damage of natural environment are among the main global calamities, Mr. Tesfay Gbreselasie, Minister of Land, Water and Environment, called for strong effort on the part of all stakeholders to conserve the existing forests and bring the environment to its normality.

(Source: Ministry of Information Eritrea)

SUDAN

TIME Hotels plan six new properties in Middle East 

TIME Hotels, a UAE-based hospitality leader, will showcase a total of six properties including developments in Fujairah, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and three in Egypt at the upcoming Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

With this, TIME plans to increase its portfolio by 40% to 21 properties throughout the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan.

Rounding out the new openings is TIME’s first foray into the Sudanese market with the TIME Ahlan Hotel Apartments in Khartoum. The 57-key property will be home to a coffee shop, meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace, a swimming pool, a gym, and a juice bar.

(Source: Trade Arabia)

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