Trade and Financial Services Round-Up.

  • 5 Apr 2024
  • 2 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Brian Otieno


Sh75bn tax bill stalls M-Pesa split from Safaricom

Safaricom is facing a Sh75 billion tax liability in the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) push for the separation of M-Pesa from the telecoms business, forcing the telco to delay the move that is supposed to allow for increased scrutiny of the multi-billion shilling mobile money deals.

Discussions about the split have taken years, with Safaricom pushing for an international reorganisation so as to avoid paying taxes on the transaction. However, the CBK is keen on a total separation to give it oversight over M-Pesa, which in the year ended March 2023 transacted Sh35.86 trillion.

(Source: Business Daily)


Tanzania’s central bank moves to mop up excess liquidity

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has raised its rate to 6.0 percent as it seeks to mop up excess liquidity and control inflation in the economy. The new Central Bank Rate (CBR) set by BoT’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has been revised from the previous 5.5 percent.

The decision is based on the macroeconomic forecast made in March 2024, which requires an increase in the scope of monetary policy actions to contain the lingering inflationary pressures arising from global economic developments.

(Source: The Citizen)


Govt proposes 0.5% tax on agent banking transactions 

The Ugandan government has proposed a 0.5 percent levy on all withdrawals conducted through agent banking. In details contained in the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2024, the government is proposing that effective July 2024, if the Bill is passed, all withdrawals of cash provided through a payment system or agent banking but not withdrawal services provided by a financial institution or a microfinance deposit-taking institution will be subjected to 0.5 percent excise duty.

(Source: Monitor)


RURA announces hike in fuel prices

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) on Thursday, April 4, announced new fuel pump prices, for the next two months starting April 5.

The maximum retail price for gasoline is Rwf1,764 per litre, while the maximum retail price for diesel is Rwf1,684 per litre.

The new prices represent a hike from Rwf1,637 for gasoline and Rwf1,632 for diesel in the past two months.

(Source: The New Times)


Ethiopian Securities Exchange garners over 1.5bn Birr, exceeding capital-raising target

The Ethiopian Securities Exchange (ESX) announced that it has raised 1.51 billion Birr capital, exceeding “expectations in terms of capital and confidence shown by investors in the long-term prospects of both the exchange and Ethiopia’s capital markets.”

ESX Chief Executive Officer Tilahun Esmael said this morning that the capital raised exceeded the target by 240 percent.  According to him, the oversubscribed offering garnered participation from 48 investors across various sectors, both domestic and foreign.

Initiated in November 2023, the Ethiopian Securities Exchange undertook extensive capital-raising exercises meticulously orchestrated through road-shows in Addis Ababa, Nairobi, and London, it was learned.

(Source: ENA)