Africa Brief: Egypt central bank, Zimbabwe capitalisation, Emirates Boeing 777, and more
Egypt: Bank calls off forex auction
Egypt’s central bank cancelled a foreign currency auction that was supposed to take place on 3 February 2013 and said it will announce details of upcoming auctions. This is believed to be a signal of a possible change to a system of currency sales brought in to stem a decline in foreign reserves.
For the full story, read Egypt: Bank calls off forex auction by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 04/02/2013.
Zimbabwe: Deposit insurer runs out of cash
Zimbabwe’s state run Deposit Protection Corporation needed R1.2 billion to meet its capitalisation requirements and pay depositors who lost money during the country’s recession. The corporation had paid funds to depositors that lost money in the collapse of financial institutions.
For the full story, read Zimbabwe: Deposit insurer runs out of cash by Bloomberg, published in The Star, Business Report on 04/02/2013.
Emirates adds Boeing 777 to its Harare route
Emirates have introduced a Boeing 777-300ER on its Dubai-Lusaka-Harare route. This new aircraft is expected to boost passenger capacity on the daily route by 50%.
Zimbabwe aviation authorities have confirmed that Egypt Air will make its return to the country on the first of June after a nine year absence. Tanzania’s Precision Air, Air Namibia and Mozambique’s LAM are the other regional airlines that have made a return to Zimbabwe.
For the full story, read Emirates adds Boeing 777 to its Harare route by Ray Ndlovu, published in Business Day on 05/02/2013.
Budget surplus to shrink in Botswana
Botswana’s budget surplus is expected to narrow next year as economic growth slows said Finance Minister Kenneth Matam-bo.
“It remains crucial to exercise restraint in government spending, focusing only on national priority areas and replenishing our reserves to levels that can sustain unforeseeable future shocks,” Mr Matambo said.
The government has curbed spending by cutting wages for state employees. It will also sell 49% of State-owned Botswana Telecommunications.
For the full story, read Budget surplus to shrink in Botswana by Andres R. Martinez, published in Business Day on 05/02/2013.
Under-pressure Rainbow diversifies into Zambia chicken producer
Rainbow chicken is to buy a 49% stake in Zam chick from Zambeef which is a Zambian agribusiness listed in Lusaka and on London’s AIM, for $14.25million. The transaction is subject to approval by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of Zambia, as well as the South African Reserve Bank. Rising commodity prices, inflation and surging chicken imports from Brazil have put pressure on local poultry companies to look at other markets for growth.
For the full story, read Under-pressure Rainbow diversifies into Zambia chicken producer by Zeenat Moorad, published in Business Day on 05/02/2013.
Up to 40 tons of gold ‘mined illegally in Africa yearly’
About 100 tons of gold, equivalent to half South Africa’s annual output, was mined throughout Africa each year by artisanal miners, of which between 20 and 40 tons was extracted through illegal means and possibly fuelled conflict on the continent, Rand Refinery CEO Howard Craig said yesterday.
There has been a panel discussion at the Indaba about the World Gold Council’s establishment of a conflict-free gold standard. The aim of the standard is to devise a common approach by producers to show that their gold had been extracted in a manner that did not cause, support or benefit unlawful armed conflict.
It further aims to ensure that gold does not contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. It emerged in the discussion that the established producers were grappling with what constituted illegal versus legal and legitimate activities by many small gold miners
For the full story, read Up to 40 tons of gold ‘mined illegally in Africa yearly’ by Paul Vecchiatto, published in Business Day on 05/02/2013.