Economy News This Week – Africa

  • A record number of profit warnings by commercial banks has left their shareholders at risk of missing dividends worth over KES 33 billion (approx. USD 300 million) after the lenders were forced to cut or suspend the payments to conserve cash in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The Safaricom shares touched a new all-time of KES 35.10 (approx. USD 0.32), pushing the combined wealth of investors at the Nairobi bourse to levels last seen 11 months ago and brightening prospects of recovery from COVID-19-induced price plunges.
  • Kenya stands a better chance of getting a financing deal with the IMF following this month’s reversal of corona tax subsidies that have signaled that the National Treasury is committed to improving its fiscal position, global ratings agency Moody’s has said.
  • The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange turnover increased nearly 13-fold in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to the previous quarter after the historic prearranged transaction on the NMB Bank counter at the end of last year.
  • The Financial Group Hermes Holding announced the successful completion of the issuance of the first tranche of EGP 700 million (approx. USD 44.7 million) from issuing securitized bonds with a total value of EGP 6.5 billion (approx. USD 414 million) for the benefit of Amer Group, Porto Group, and Qastali.
  • Online shopping firms are lobbying for revision on the digital service tax, saying it will throttle the nascent e-commerce industry.
  • Manufacturing production in South Africa is expected to stay in contractionary territory in the short to medium term as demand remains depressed due to the extension of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.