Africa Brief: ‘Barcsa’ focus, Grinrod, Maputo, Angola stock exchange and more

‘Barcsa’ must not focus on Africa to the detriment of home markets

Barcsa-neologism for Barclays and ABSA

The vision of Absa as Barclays’ Africa division is being implemented full-speed ahead, even though regulatory gremlins are causing delays.

Too much focus on a regional vision can mean a lack of focus on home markets. Barcsa continues to lose retail market share in SA.

For the full story, read ‘Barcsa’ must not focus on Africa to the detriment of home markets, by Stuart Theobald, published by Business Day on 15/04/13

Grindrod, Maputo firm to invest $1.7bn

Coal / Grindrod and Mozambique’s Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) plan to invest $1.7bn over the next five years to upgrade ports in the country as demand grows, MPDC said on Friday. Capacity would be tripled at the Maputo and Matola ports to 50-million tons by 2020 from 15-million tons. Investment of $355m this year and next year had been approved to boost capacity at the Matola port terminal. The coal terminal will be handling 7.2-million tons by next year, from 6-million tons.

For the full story, read Grindrod, Maputo firm to invest $1.7bn, by Bloomberg, published by Business Day on 15/04/13

Oil-rich Angola to launch stock exchange in 2015

After a decade-long wait, the Angolan stock exchange is due for lift-off in 2015, with trading in government paper from the second half of this year and corporate paper from next year.

Analysts said the oil-rich country—which ended its bloody 27-year civil war in 2002 — could boast the third-biggest market in Africa in three to five years as a number of banks came to market and “the rest follow soon after”.

For the full story, read Oil-rich Angola to launch stock exchange in 2015, by Evan Pickworth, published by Business Day on 15/04/13

Mobile banking a godsend in Congo

For public servants working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the arrival of mobile banking has been just short of a miracle. Aside from getting paid on time, workers are now receiving what is actually owed to them, circumventing greedy superiors who used to dip into their pay envelopes to “tip” themselves. For the impoverished country, the introduction of the service is a minor revolution and comes about a year after Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo vowed to end the practice of state workers being paid in cash. With average annual revenue of $240 per person, most Congolese had never visited a bank, let alone had an account.

For the full story, read Mobile banking a godsend in Congo, by Pierre Briand, published by Business Day on 15/04/13

Swaziland mud house listed for R20 000

A mud and stick house has been listed by a Swaziland retailer with an asking price of R20 000. The single-room hovel does not have running water, electricity or a bathroom. The primitive structure appears to be listing to one side and its corrugated iron roof is rusty. Swaziland’s property market is in a tailspin.

For the full story, read Swaziland mud house listed for R20 000, by Sandile Lukhele, published by The Star, Business Report on 15/04/13

Nigeria: Oil revenue lifts state income

Nigeria received gross revenues of 595.7 billion naira (R33.7bn) in March, higher than the 571.7 billion naira received the previous month, due to the payment of oil and gas sale arrears, accountant-general Jonah Otunla said on Saturday He said 123.3 billion naira had been removed from the country’s oil savings, leaving a balance of $7bn (R62.6bn) in the excess crude account. Otunla said 731.1 billion naira would be distributed to Nigeria’s three tiers of government: federal, state and local.

For the full story, read Nigeria: Oil revenue lifts state income, by Reuters, published by The Star, Business Report on 15/04/13

David Okwara

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