Business and Economy News & Updates Round-Up

  • The Capital Markets Authority is proposing to completely transform transactions in shares and bonds into electronic or e-mobile platforms where clients use phones for registration, trading and receiving cash. This is intended to cope with situations like the current Covid-19 pandemic where many people are confined at home and have difficulty carrying out stock market transactions without meeting brokers or investment advisers.
  • Wealthy Kenyans have increased orders for luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Range Rover by 73 percent in the three months to March, defying the general slowdown in economic activity in Quarter One. Data from the Kenya Motor Industry Association shows that dealers sold a total of 45 units of the high-end cars in the review period compared to 26 units a year earlier.
  • After the successful dissemination of cashless-in-public-transport-payment systems in Kigali city, the country is going to roll out the system countrywide, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority has said. Rwanda has since 2015 adopted a cashless transport payment system commonly known as ‘Tap&Go’ in the city of Kigali where a commuter uses a smartcard system to pay bus fares.
  • Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy said that Moroccan textile companies can export half of their masks produced if their inputs meet national demands. The minister elaborated that manufacturers in the sector are only allowed to export 50 percent of their locally produced masks if their production inputs are imported.
  • SAA’s business rescue practitioners have accused unions of trying to use the courts to slow down efforts to wind down the business, in the hopes that government will come up with a better outcome for the airline. The administrators said the Labour Court had no jurisdiction over the matter, the case was a repeat of one that already ruled against unions, and that the case as a whole was part of a socio-political agenda that the BRPs couldn’t be party to. Judgement in the case has been reserved.
  • Ethiopian Airlines Group is prepared to come to the rescue of stricken carriers around Africa, even as the continent’s biggest airline deals with its own mounting losses and grounded planes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Private Sector Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Access to Finance Rwanda in a new initiative aimed at supporting entrepreneurs in Rwanda to adjust to economic realities of COVID-19. The parties to the deal, as noted, seek to share their respective strengths, experiences, technologies, including technical assistance to facilitate Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has tipped the government to seek concessional donor support to close external financing gaps and ease possible economic and social impacts of Covid-19. This is contained in a statement issued by the Bretton Woods institution on Friday where the Fund announced approval of a USD 91 million loan to help fund a balance of payments deficit aggravated by the pandemic. The IMF has further urged local authorities to conduct proper audits of Covid-19 related spending.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic, first detected in Kenya 49 days ago, has already claimed 133,657 formal jobs and forced nearly half a million labourers on unpaid leave, according to a new report. Nearly all the sectors of the economy have been affected with transport, aviation, hospitality, manufacturing, trade, and agriculture standing out. The report prepared by the Labour ministry and tabled in Parliament on Tuesday indicates that all the 133,657 lost jobs so far are in the formal sector and the number excludes employees currently on unpaid leave and those on pay-cut.