Trade and Financial Services Round-Up

  • 19 Jun 2023
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Jewel Tete


Kenyans abroad to buy bonds via mobile in a month

Kenya will roll out an electronic over–the–counter trading platform for government securities, enabling investors to start buying and selling Treasury bills and bonds online in the coming days, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said. Outgoing CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said the modernised Central Securities Depository (CSD) would be launched in “less than a month”, more than a year from the initial timeline of June 2022. Works on the electronic over–the–counter (OTC) secondary market platform for government securities, funded by the World Bank Group, started around September 2020 and was expected to go live a year ago.

(Business Daily)



Finance minister tables pro-growth budget

The government has hiked taxes on beers, cigarettes and gambling machines and increased road and fuel tolls to raise additional revenue and promote growth. Presenting government budget estimates for the 2023/24 financial year in the National Assembly on Thursday, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, said road and fuel tolls would be increased by 100/- per each litre of petrol and diesel and the funds obtained will be channelled for strategic projects. He said excise duty on beers and tobacco products would be increased by 20 per cent and duty rates for non-petroleum products would be increased by 10 per cent. The government also intends to introduce an excise duty rate of 30 per cent on cigarettes and other tobacco products including water tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vape products and shisha and increase the excise duty rate on imported energy drinks from 589.05 to 600/- per litre.

(Daily News)



Trade portal to bridge the information gap among exporters

Information gap in the market has been listed as one of the challenges frustrating Uganda exporters, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives. Addressing exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables in Kampala on Wednesday, Ms Mary Amumpaire, the ICT officer at the ministry, however, said a trade portal developed by the ministry can be used to relieve exporters’ frustration. “The trade information portal ensures access to information needed to streamline the export process and fill the information gap,” she said. 




Rwanda tops profit earnings for Kenyan banks

Rwanda contributed the highest volume of profit earnings for Kenyan bank subsidiaries in East Africa and beyond last year, a new report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said, Business Daily reports.

The CBK said the regional subsidiaries of Kenyan banks posted a combined pre-tax profit of Sh32.51 billion as of December 31, 2022, an increase of 88.65 per cent from Sh.17.23 billion reported on December 31, 2021.

“Rwanda contributed the highest earnings capacity recording Sh.10.16 billion in profits, translating to 31.26 per cent of the total profits. Subsidiaries operating in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Uganda contributed 30.10 per cent and 16.11 per cent of the total profits respectively while subsidiaries in South Sudan contributed 14.28 per cent of the total profits” the CBK said.

(The New Times)



International Financial Corporation Invests in Safaricom Ethiopia

The International Finance Cooperation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which are members of the World Bank Group, have announced an investment in Safaricom Ethiopia’s greenfield telecommunications network across Ethiopia. The investment includes an equity investment, a loan, and guarantees to support the ongoing construction and operation of the network.

IFC will make a USD 157.4 million equity investment in Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV (GPE) and a USD 100 million A-loan to its subsidiary, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Private Limited Company (Safaricom Ethiopia). MIGA will provide 10-year guarantees of USD 1 billion to cover the equity investments of Safaricom Ethiopia’s shareholders. The investment and guarantees will help Safaricom Ethiopia roll out and operate 4G and 5G mobile networks across the country, including in rural and urban areas. 




The Sudan war has caused an economic loss of $4 billion so far

The loss of properties, jobs, and income resources caused by the fierce fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 15, is already disastrous, economic analyst Hafiz Ismail says. The Central Bank of Sudan established an emergency room for the management of banking procedures during the war.

In an online seminar, organised by a number of Sudanese civil society actors, Ismail said he estimates the cost of the losses to be equivalent to $4 billion, “which will of course increase when the war continues”.

He said that “the war wiped out 80 per cent of the assets of the Omdurman Market and destroyed the entire industrial area in Khartoum North (Khartoum Bahri) which employed about 100,000 people”. A number of companies were also demolished.




Somalia to resume livestock export to Saudi Arabia

Somalia Prime Minister, Hamse Abdi Barre, has announced that Somalia will soon resume the export of livestock to Saudi Arabia.

This move is expected to significantly contribute to the economic development of the country by creating job opportunities and increasing trade and export revenue.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of this initiative and noted that the export of livestock to Saudi Arabia is a crucial aspect of Somalia’s economy. He stated that “The resumption of livestock exports to Saudi Arabia will not only boost our economy but also create numerous job opportunities for our people. It is essential that we utilize this opportunity to maximize the benefits and contribute to the overall welfare of our nation.”