18th June 2021 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

KENYA

CMA cautions investors against investing in unregulated products offered or promoted by unlicensed firms or unapproved entities

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has cautioned investors against investing through unlicensed and unapproved entities. Following numerous enquiries regarding the licensing status of the Cytonn Investment Group, Mr. Shamiah said, “the Authority confirms that Cytonn Investments is not a licensed and approved entity.” He further stated that, “investors who are affected by investing in unregulated products should report to the Capital Markets Fraud Investigation Unit (CMFIU), which is the Police Unit attached to the Capital Markets Authority. CMFIU is currently investigating the issue of criminal violations for investors in the Cytonn High Yield Solutions (CHYS). He reiterated that the Authority on 20 April 2020 communicated this same information to the public’’.

CMA has licensed Cytonn Asset Management Limited, which is licensed as a Fund Manager managing the following regulated funds: Cytonn Money Market Fund; Cytonn Balanced Fund; Cytonn Equity Fund; Cytonn Africa Financial Services Fund; Cytonn Money Market Fund (USD); and Cytonn High Yield Fund. So far CMA has not received any complaints on these regulated products.

Investors are advised to confirm the names of the licensed and approved entities offering services in the capital markets industry from the CMA website www.cma.or.ke. Members of the public who have been affected or have come to be aware of such illegal entities are advised to report to the Authority or to the Capital Markets Fraud Investigation Unit.

Source: Capital Markets Authority

Kenya’s Eurobond Issue Oversubscribed: International Investors Express Confidence In Economic Recovery Efforts 

The National Treasury has successfully raised USD 1 billion through issuance of a 12-year Eurobond in the international financial markets, following a successful 3-day virtual Eurobond Roadshow. This is the first new Eurobond issue by the Republic in two years. The bond was over-subscribed with over USD5.4 billion offered by investors to the new issue.

Making the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury & Planning, Hon. (Amb.) Ukur Yatani, noted that the oversubscription was a sign of strong global investor confidence in Kenya’s economy and medium-term economic prospects. In particular, measures being taken to mitigate the effects of the pandemic to the economy were well received by investors:

“The overwhelming response from global investors, reflects the market’s continued confidence in Kenya’s Economic Recovery Programme supported by the IMF and is in line with our Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy approved by Parliament. We want to thank investors for their strong participation in the bond issuance”, he noted.

Source: National Treasury

UGANDA

NITAUganda and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Memorandum of Understanding

NITAUganda and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions have today entered into Memorandum of Understanding to promote awareness on cyber laws and best practice in cybercrime investigations and prosecution.

Source: NITA-Uganda

Gold export earnings recover from March decline

Gold export receipts recovered from a decline it suffered at the end of the 2021 first quarter.

Data from Bank of Uganda indicates that during April, gold earnings stood at $175.61m (Shs623b) up from $155.9m (Shs552b) the commodity earned in March.

This, Bank of Uganda noted, was a recovery of 11 per cent in terms of value with total export volumes standing at 3,187 kilogrammes up from 2,857 kilogrammes in March, which represented a recovery of 10.3 per cent.  

United Arab Emirates remains Uganda’s biggest gold market, taking up $177.01m worth of gold exports out of the total $179.64m, which was exported during the period.

Source: The Monitor

Covid has pushed more Ugandans into agriculture, says World Bank

Job losses and closure of small businesses due to Covid-19 related challenges has forced a number of Ugandans into agriculture, according to World Bank Country Manager Mr Tony Thompson.  

However, he noted, this has created a lot of pressure on natural resources as people scramble for available land to manage and survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking during the virtual release of the World Bank 17th Uganda Economic Update, Mr Thompson said: “Following job losses and closure of small businesses, many people [have] returned to agriculture and other natural resources dependent activities to manage and survive the crisis.

This has further strained natural resources, which were already under pressure from rapid population growth, urbanisation, refugee influx and the country’s drive for industrialisation.”

The World Bank noted that forests have been the worst hit with an average depletion of 2.6 per cent per annum.

Source: The Monitor

Total awards $1.9b oil project deal to British, Chinese firms

French company Total has awarded the $1.9 billion deal for the construction of its Lake Albert oil production Tilenga project in Uganda to a consortium led by British and Chinese firms, the company announced on Monday.

Total, the lead investor in Uganda’s oil projects, said it signed contracts for the main surface facilities Engineering, Procurement, Supply, Construction and Commissioning (EPSCC) contracts as well as five drilling packages for the Tilenga project located in Nwoya and Buliisa Districts.

The companies that won the lucrative deal include CB&I UK Limited, a McDermott subsidiary company, and Chinese firm Sinopec International Petroleum Corporation the EPSCC of the central processing facility, flowlines and other associated surface facilities.

Source: The East Africa

EAC Secretariat private sector desk now revamped

There is light at the end of the tunnel for businesses across the East African region, as the East African Community (EAC) decides to revamp the EAC Private Sector Desk.

The action means that businesses across the EAC region will benefit from prompt resolution of persistent trade barriers and disputes as the desk will serve as an interface between the private sector and the EAC Secretariat.

The news was broken at a CEO Roundtable, with the leadership of the Secretariat vowing to promptly address issues disrupting intra-EAC trade to increase trade and investment.

There have been huge challenges in ways of doing business in the region, leaving it with a trade volume of only 15 percent.

Source: The East African

TANZANIA

Tanzania exports to Uganda surges by 25 per cent

Uganda’s imports from Tanzania almost doubled in April, signaling an increased reliance on East Africa’s second largest economy.

According to the Bank of Uganda monthly performance report, Uganda, during April , imported goods worth $125m (Shs443b), representing an increase of 25 per cent.

This was up from $92.9m worth of goods imported in March, which according to the United Nations (Comtrade) database on international trade, contributed to a cumulative import bill of $743.68m (Shs2.6 trillion) from Tanzania during 2020.

Tanzania remains one of Uganda’s strategic trade partners. However, the two countries have had trade challenges in the last two years, with Tanzania blocking some of Uganda’s exports including sugar.

Source: Daily Monitor

EAC’s $90m budget set for tabling during first physical session

The East African Community (EAC) budget for the 2021/22 financial year will be read in the regional Legislative Assembly here on Tuesday next week.

The budget speech will be delivered by the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Adan Mohammed, who is Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for EAC Affairs

The EAC organs and institutions are expected to spend $90 million during the coming financial year which begins on July 1.

After tabling the estimates, the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) is expected to debate and vote on the proposals.

The three-week sitting of the Assembly will be the first time that Eala is holding a physical session after holding virtual meetings since last year.

The virtual sittings, due to Covid-19 outbreak, was not the only drawback. Approval of the budget for 2020/2021 was delayed until January this year.

Source: The Citizen

CRDB eyes more insurance clients with new promotion

The CRDB Bank Plc yesterday came up with a new drive aimed at raising the uptake of insurance services in the country.

Dubbed ‘Furahia Maisha, Bima Unachokithamini’ – roughly Swahili for ‘Enjoy Life; Insure What You Value’ – the promotion seeks to take insurance education across the country, so as to net new clients for its bancassurance services.

“The goal is to bolster insurance awareness and mobilise more people to use insurance services. As a bank, we believe in working with the government towards serving the people, particularly pushing insurance penetration by at least 50 percent as set out through the 10-year Finance Sector Development Plan covering 2020/2021 to 2029/2030,” said CRDB Bank’s managing director Abdulmajid Nsekela.

Source:The Citizen

ETHIOPIA

Kenya, Ethiopia one-stop border post begins operations

The Moyale Border One Stop Border Post (OSBP), has commenced operations bringing together government border regulatory officials from Kenya and Ethiopia.

This means that the border regulatory officials clearing traffic, cargo and persons from both Ethiopia and Kenya will now physically relocate and sit side by side on either side of the border, where they will undertake exit and entry formalities in a joint and/or sequenced manner. The officials conducted site visits and inspection of border facilities as part of the OSBP operations commencement process.

The move follows the official launch of Moyale OSBP in December 2020, by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. This move is a step closer to achieving the goal of exponentially boosting trade between the two neighbouring nations, as well as promoting regional and economic integration between the East African and Horn of Africa regions. Moyale is the only gazetted border crossing point between Ethiopia and Kenya.

Source: Africa Business Communities