July 16, 2021 - 5 minutes read

16th July 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

By Francis Monyango
KENYA

Treasury exceeds July bond uptake target by Sh20bn

The Treasury took up an extra Sh19.9 billion above the target of Sh60 billion in the first bond sale of the new fiscal year, taking advantage of high investor appetite for the offer that was sold amid ample liquidity in the market.

Bond results published by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) show that investors bid a total of Sh116.92 billion on the three tranche bonds, which consisted of two re-opened 15-year papers first sold in 2012 and 2018 and a 25-year paper.

The Treasury took up Sh79.9 billion, which represents 12.1 percent of the targeted net domestic borrowing of Sh658.5 billion for the fiscal year.

Source: Business Daily

CBK wants return of CRB listing for digital loans

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has asked Parliament to revise a proposed law to allow digital lenders to resume reporting customer loan defaults to credit reference bureaus (CRBs).

Digital lenders were ordered to stop filing reports with CRBs in April last year in what the regulator said was in response to widespread abuse of the credit profiling system.

The CBK Tuesday told the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance and National Planning that the digital lenders could return to working with CRBs since they will be regulated should MPs adopt the Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

“The Central Bank Amendment Bill 2021 should empower digital lenders to share credit information,” CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge told Parliament Finance Committee.

Source: Business Daily

Laid-off workers to get jobless pay for 6 months

Salaried employees who become jobless will get a fraction of their pay for six months from a State-backed fund aimed at cushioning workers laid off or are unable to work due to illness.

The Ministry of Labour says workers will be required to contribute to the yet to be formed Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Employees will contribute one percent of their pay that will be matched by employers towards the fund that aims at generating at least Sh45 billion annually on implementation.

While offering relief to sacked workers, it looks set to add to the cost of doing business in an economic setting where employers pay mandatory fees monthly to staff health and pension schemes.

The monthly stipend will be offered for six months in a period when the State hopes workers affected by job cuts would have tapped new work or entered business.

Source: Business Daily

Lenders snub SME loan seekers on Covid jitters

A quarter of small businesses seeking loans were turned away by lenders last year on the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic that sparked fear of defaults leading to risk averseness.

A Central Bank of Kenya study showed that banks turned away 28 per cent of small businesses while microfinance declined 96 percent of the loan applications made to them.

Banks have shunned the private sector, especially small businesses that have defaulted on loans or asked for restructuring their facilities on the impact of the pandemic.

Covid-19 disrupted businesses on State imposed lockdown measures, curfew and cessation of movement leading to losses, cash flow problems and even collapse of some enterprises.

Source: Business Daily

UGANDA

Uganda: IMF Eases Pressure On Uganda, Demurs On Fundamental Reforms

The International Monetary Fund has returned to the centre of the global Covid-19 rescue with a $650 billion rapid credit facility. Uganda has accessed $1 billion of these funds. In the case of Uganda, IMF has said some interesting things about Uganda’s fiscal situation.

First observation, Uganda’s rapid economic growth has halved in the last two years (2020-2021). Second, Uganda is running short of fiscal space. According to the IMF representative who sits in Bank of Uganda, Uganda Debt/GDP ratio is 43 per cent rather than the publicly broached 50 per cent debt/GDP ratio.

As a condition for accessing these funds, the IMF is requiring more social spending in the health, education and social sectors. It is little surprise that after implementing a monthly cash token for the very elderly, the Ministry in-charge of Social Affairs wants to increase the token from shs20,000 to shs50,000 and expand the safety net to a lower age. Covid emergency cash relief for 500,000 beneficiaries is also part of this social spending. The IMF also made a startling revelation stating that Uganda will not see middle income status at least for another 10 years [being the last in the former EAC] to achieve this status.

Source: AllAfrica

Uganda Moves to End Monopoly on Kenyan Route for Oil Imports

Uganda is exploring ways to cut its reliance on Kenya for fuel imports, routing shipments through neighboring Tanzania as an alternative source of supply.

The potential move to diversify its imports could jeopardize business for Kenya’s Mombasa port, since about three-quarters of the terminal’s transit cargo is sent to Uganda. Mombasa has already been fighting to stave off growing competition from the Tanzanian ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga.

Uganda Railways Corp. last week began a trial delivery of 500,000 liters of petroleum products across Lake Victoria, resuming shipments after a 16-year hiatus, acting Managing Director Stephen Wakasenza said by phone. The fuel initially landed in Dar es Salaam and was transported by train to Mwanza port, before being sent onward to Uganda over the giant fresh-water lake.

Source: Bloomberg

TANZANIA

CRDB scoops best lender award in 3 yrs row

CRDB Bank has been named as the best lender in the country by Global Finance journal for three years consecutively.

The lender is categorised as the leading innovative bank in the country banking sector which has over 40 banks, by the well-known international magazine.

Also, the US-based financial journal said CRDB is one of the 35 best banks in Africa. CRDB’s CEO, Abdulmajid Nsekela thanked the bank’s customers and stakeholders for being part of the successful implementation of the business transformation strategy which has largely helped to win the award.

“We are proud to receive this award for three consecutive years. I thank our customers, shareholders and business partners for continuing to trust us and make us better.

Source: Tanzania Standard Newspapers Ltd

World Bank’s IFC invests 2.8bn/- in bond for accessible, affordable housing in Tanzania

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s has subscribed to a corporate bond issued by the Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC) as a strategy to make longer-term, affordable mortgages and housing accessible in Tanzania.

The subscribed bond was listed Thursday on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

IFC’s press statement issued on Thursday said the TMRC bond will support access to mortgages, “helping Tanzanians more easily purchase homes in a country where access to longer-term financing has traditionally been constrained.”

The listing, according to the statement, follows approval granted by the Dar Es Salaam’s Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMS) and a successful offer that raised over TZS 8.9 billion ($3.8 million) against a target of 7bn/- ($3 million), representing an oversubscription of 27 percent.

Source: Tanzania Standard Newspapers Ltd

RWANDA

Covid-19: Kigali under total lockdown as Rwanda battles third wave

Rwanda has put its capital Kigali back under total lockdown for 10 days effective July 17 as the country battles a severe third wave that has seen fatalities increase over the last two weeks.

As of Wednesday, Rwanda had 14,553 active coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 17.5 percent, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. Some 607 have succumbed to the virus while 74 people are in critical condition.

A cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday announced the measures, banning non-essential movements in the capital and the districts of Gicumbi, Burera, Musanze, Kamonyi, Nyagatare, Rwamagana, Rubavu and Rutsiro.

The current surge in infections has mainly affected Kigali which represents over half of reported cases, according to Rwanda Biomedical Center’s statistics.

Source: The East African

Kagame rallies global support for WB fund on economic recovery

President Paul Kagame has made a case for the replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank fund to support emerging economies in their recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and transition to green, resilient, and inclusive development.

The World Bank launched an early twentieth replenishment process of the International Development Association (IDA20), with an aim to support countries in their recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and transition to green, resilient, and inclusive development.

The IDA20 replenishment will conclude in December 2021 with a policy and financial package to support 74 countries between July 2022 and June 2025.

Source: New Times

ETHIOPIA

Safaricom gets formal nod to start operations in Ethiopia

Safaricom-led consortium has received a telecommunication operator licence in Ethiopia after incorporating a local company, setting the stage for Kenya’s largest telco to start operations in the market of over 100 million people.

The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) said Thursday in a statement that the Global Partnership for Ethiopia has incorporated and registered its local company Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC.

The consortium received a designate licence in May after winning the bid and were given 45 days to register a local company before getting the 15-year renewable operator licence.

The move signals that the consortium will fly the same brand name as the telco’s Kenya operations.

Source: Business Daily

ECX Trades over 39 Billion Birr Worth Commodities in Fiscal Year

The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) announced that it has traded 39.6 billion Birr worth commodities in the just concluded Ethiopian fiscal year.

ECX Chief Executive Officer Wondimagegnehu Negera told journalist today that 614,586 metric tons of commodities, with coffee and sesame contributing 35.5 and 31 percent of the total volume, respectively, were traded.

Ethiopia has secured 3.6 billion USD from export this fiscal year, higher than the 3.029 billion USD in the preceding budget year, the CEO said, adding that out of this 902 million USD was obtained from coffee, which was exchanged through ECX, and over 600 million  USD from gold.

Source: ENA

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