#Africa #Markets | 21 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks off 4-mth lows, but Huawei row weighs
  • Asian shares hobbled by US-China tech battle
  • Spreadbetters expect firmer open for European stocks
  • Fed’s Powell dismisses concerns about rising debt levels
  • Chip-related shares under pressure

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises on US-Iran tensions, but trade war concerns weigh
  • Trump threatens Iran with “great force”
  • OPEC expected to continue supply cuts into H2 2019
  • Brent up 0.4 pct at $72.24 per barrel (0534GMT)
  • WTI up 0.4 pct at $63.36 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold eases as dollar steals safe-haven thunder
  • Spot gold down 0.1 pct at $1,276.02 per ounce (0106GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1 pct at $1,276.10 per ounce

Grains

  • Corn hits near 1-yr high on slow US planting pace
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 1.2 pct at $4.83-3/4 per bushel (0057GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 1.2 pct at $3.93-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.8 pct at $8.38 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $11.23 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Malawi elections; #MalawiDecides2019
  • Ghana CEO summit in Accra; day 2
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • South Africa PIC inquiry continues
  • UK-West Africa Agritech summit in Nigeria
  • Nigeria’s Buhari expected back to Abuja from Saudi Arabia

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Malawians vote in tough election for President Mutharika
  • Talks on Sudan’s political transition fail to produce deal for second day
  • Ex-Credit Suisse banker pleads guilty to US charge over Mozambique loan
  • Athletics – South Africa’s Semenya to contest 3,000-metres at Prefontaine Classic
  • Libyan gunmen halt water pipeline to besieged Tripoli
  • Soccer-Ghana striker Gyan calls time on international career
  • Egypt’s prosecutor orders release of seven opposition figures – source
  • Zimbabwe scraps official parity for fuel imports
  • Congo Republic senate approves restructuring of China debt
  • Kenya suspends gambling ad ban after musician complains
  • Egypt women use ancient Indonesian martial arts to fight abuse
  • Lawyers for South Africa’s Zuma tell court he is being treated unfairly
  • Zambia seeks ‘divorce’ from Vedanta over alleged mining breaches
  • Africa Oil – Flurry of tenders as Nigerian programmes emerge
  • Schoolgirls used as human shields in Congo due to ‘magical powers’ – charities
  • Kenya banks to test mobile lending app to ease SME squeeze
  • Somalia passes petroleum law, paving way for exploration
  • Algeria’s army chief says elections are best way out of crisis
  • Coca-Cola ends plan to refranchise Africa bottling unit, keeps majority stake
  • South Africa’s Amplats fires over 600 underground workers at its Mototolo mine
  • Zambia’s Lungu seeks new investor in Vedanta-controlled copper mine
  • Ethiopia starts rationing electricity for homes and industries
  • Uganda shilling unchanged on lacklustre importer appetite
  • South Africa’s Aspen sells Australian prescription portfolio to Mylan
  • Tanzania’s fines Acacia Mining $2.4 mln over alleged pollution
  • Nigeria’s economic growth slows in Q1 as oil sector shrinks
  • Kenya shilling holds firm against the greenback
  • Nigeria’s economy grew 2.01% in Q1 2019 – stats office
  • South Africa’s Barloworld H1 earnings jump 14%
  • Sudan military and opposition resume talks after street violence

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Africa #Markets | 20 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Australian, Indian elections boost Asian shares, trade fears ease
  • MSCI Asia ex-Japan +0.5%; China blue-chips drag
  • Elections lift shares in Australia, India
  • Oil up more than 1.3 pct after Saudi minister comments

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises after OPEC+ says to keep output cuts, Iran tension rises
  • Brent hits highest since late April
  • US oil touches nearly 3-wk high
  • Brent up 1.3 pct at $73.11 a barrel (0604GMT)
  • WTI up 1.1 pct at $63.47 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold steadies as trade tensions, Iran worries in focus
  • Spot gold up 0.1 pct at $1,278.06 per ounce (0137GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2 pct at $1,278 an ounce

Grains

  • Corn jumps more than 1 pct as rains threatens more delays
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 1.4 pct at $4.71-1/2 per bushel (0119GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 1.3 pct at $3.88-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.9 pct at $8.29-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down about 0.1 pct at $11.07 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Nigeria central bank MPC meeting starts; decision tomorrow [fcst. 13.5%, prev. 13.5%]
  • 4th Ghana CEO summit in Accra; 20-21 May
  • Nigeria GDP Q1-2019 [act. 2.0% yy, fcst. 2.3%, prev. 2.4%]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes
  • South Africa PIC inquiry resumes

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Kenya shilling holds firm against the greenback
  • Nigeria’s economy grew 2.01% in Q1 2019 – stats office
  • South Africa’s Barloworld H1 earnings jump 14%
  • South Africa’s rand firmer as risk selloff pauses
  • Sudan military and opposition resume talks after street violence
  • Explosion targets tourist bus near near Egypt musuem
  • Saudi Arabia deposits $250 mln into Sudan’s central bank
  • Zimbabwe central bank says it secures $500 mln to ease dollar shortages
  • Sudan commander says democratic elections are his goal
  • Schwarzenegger struck by flying kick at South Africa sports event
  • Malawi’s president makes final plea for re-election in tight race
  • Forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed govt receive military hardware
  • Libya’s NOC chief says instability could lead to 95% oil production loss
  • Ethiopia starts rationing electricity for homes and industries
  • At disaster forum, storm-hit Mozambique says will seek help to build back better
  • South Africa’s Sibanye wins final regulatory go-ahead for Lonmin deal
  • Zambia’s president insists on tax changes opposed by mining firms
  • South Africa power utility Eskom raises $361 mln through loan drawdowns
  • Africa Oil – European demand seen higher on crude shortages, high gasoline cracks
  • Egypt’s Sisi pardons 560 prisoners
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa appoints head of anti-corruption unit
  • IMF: Mozambique debt talks with VTB almost finalised, cyclone hits growth
  • Algeria election may be postponed, protests continue
  • IMF staff agrees to disburse final $2 bln tranche of Egypt loan
  • Acacia Mining says Tanzania mine to be issued environmental protection order
  • Uganda shilling inches up as tax payments help
  • South Africa’s Sibanye wins final go-ahead for Lonmin deal
  • Total CEO says planned buy of Anadarko’s Africa assets ‘perfectly fitting’

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Africa #Markets | 17 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares shudder as Beijing talks tough
  • Shanghai shares skid as Trump targets Huawei
  • Asia index ex-Japan hits 15-wk trough
  • Yen edges higher as mood turns risk averse
  • Bitcoin suddenly tumbles, then pares losses

Oil Markets

  • Oil steady as Middle East tensions mount, set for weekly gains
  • Brent down 1 cent at $72.61 a barrel (0658GMT)
  • WTI up 8 cents at $63.95 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices wobble as risk sentiment improves
  • Spot gold may fall towards $1,264 – analyst
  • Silver hits 5-mth low
  • Palladium down 19 pct since scaling record peak in March
  • Spot gold mostly unchanged at $1,286.27 per ounce (0732GMT)
  • US gold futures steady at $1,286.90 an ounce

Grains

  • Corn jumps to 3-mth high, set for biggest weekly gain in nearly 4 years
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.6 pct at $4.69-3/4 per bushel (0050GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.7 pct at $3.81-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.2 pct at $8.41-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up 0.1 pct at $10.92 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Nigeria supreme court to rule on sacked chief justice Onnoghen case
  • Microsoft Africa Development Centre launch in Lagos, Nigeria
  • World Telecommunications and Information Society Day #WTISD19

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa’s Sibanye wins final go-ahead for Lonmin deal
  • South Africa’s rand weakens as dollar boosted by solid data
  • Why Zimbabwe faces worst power cuts in 3 years
  • Lawyer requests Morocco state compensation for families of murdered Scandinavian
  • Total CEO says planned buy of Anadarko’s Africa assets ‘perfectly fitting’
  • Small plane crashes in Dubai killing 3 Britons, one South African – statement
  • South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater plans to resume dividend payments in 2020
  • Nigerian Stock Exchange aims to complete public listing this year – CEO
  • Chinese firms seek Turkey partners in Africa – Turkish contractors’ chief
  • Emerging market foreign direct investment tumbles – IIF
  • Facebook says removes 265 “fake accounts” linked to Israel
  • France’s Macron to meet Libya’s eastern commander Haftar next week – presidency
  • Standing tall: first black African woman scales Everest
  • Africa Oil – Angolan crude exports to edge up in July, diffs to stay high
  • Sudan opposition decries army’s suspension of talks, sees growing anger
  • Malawi president faces tough election against deputy, former pastor
  • De Beers, Namibia invest in new diamond mining ship
  • Uganda opposition figure says state is financially strangling him
  • Kenya to finalise IMF deal within 2 months, rate cap “no issue” – finmin
  • MTN Nigeria debuts in Lagos in $6.5 bln listing
  • ‘Safe haven’ for fleeing families hit by attacks in Burkina Faso
  • Zambian kwacha seen on the ropes, Kenyan shilling to firm; in week ahead
  • Nigeria central bank head Emefiele to serve 2nd 5-yr term
  • South Africa’s Tongaat Hulett, lenders to consider standstill agreement
  • Motor racing – F1 in talks with Marrakesh and Kyalami for African race
  • Egypt forces kill 47 militants, lose 5 of their own men – military
  • Kenya easily raises $2.1 bln eurobond, debt concerns linger
  • Burundi moves to seize assets of opponents in exile
  • MTN Group sees local ownership of MTN Nigeria at 35% post-IPO – investors
  • Kenya’s KCB Group sees acquisition of NBK sealed by October
  • Gold miner Metallon demands $132 mln from Zimbabwe central bank – documents
  • Investec battles Brexit, weak South African economy
  • South Africa’s Dis-Chem annual profit misses estimates
  • South Africa’s Investec reports 3.6 pct rise in full-year earnings

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel | Ghana: Assessing the banking industry cleanup exercise (1)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

In early January, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) announced there are now twenty-three banks – from thirty previously – licensed to operate as universal banks in Ghana. This followed their successful recapitalisation to at least 400 million cedis on or before 31 December 2018. The central bank gave the ‘minimum capital directive’ more than a year earlier. Out of the twenty-three, sixteen met the minimum capital requirement on their own. Three were mergers: First National Bank and GHL Bank, Energy Bank and First Atlantic Bank, and Sahel-Sahara Bank and Omni Bank.

Five indigenous banks, which could not secure the minimum capital before the deadline but deemed solvent and well-governed, were rescued by private pension funds through the “Ghana Amalgamated Trust Limited (GAT)”, a 2 billion cedis special purpose vehicle they formed for the purpose. They are state-owned Agricultural Development Bank and National Investment Bank, Omni/Sahel Bank, Universal Merchant Bank, and Prudential Bank.

Bank of Baroda, an Indian bank, chose to exit the Ghanaian market all together for strategic reasons. Assuringly, its operations have been taken over by Stanbic Bank. GN Bank, one of the erstwhile universal banks which could not meet the minimum capital requirement by the deadline, successfully applied for a savings and loans company licence. It has until June to complete the transition.

Some confidence restored
Seven banks, which were considered insolvent, had their licenses revoked, however. Unibank, The Royal Bank, Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, and Construction Bank lost theirs over the previous one and a half years. Premium Bank and Heritage Bank are the two which were shut down in the new year. Like the earlier five, some of their assets and liabilities have also been transferred to Consolidated Bank Ghana, the ‘bad bank’ the authorities set up for the purpose.

The infractions by the closed banks were virtually the same. There were perenially illiquid and insolvent. Huge loans were granted to related parties and investments were fictitiously booked. And in the case of the defunct Heritage Bank, the sources of its capital were considered to be suspicious by the central bank and its majority shareholder adjudged not to have met the “fit and proper person” test.

In the most recent comprehensive update on the banking sector published by the central bank in November 2018, the main financial soundness indicators “recorded broad improvement…” relative to the year before. As at October 2018, there were thirty banks with total assets of 106 billion cedis. Thirteen of these were indigenous banks and seventeen were foreign-owned. Deposits were put at about 67 billion cedis, a quarter of which were in foreign currency. Shareholders’ funds were put at about 14 billion cedis.

By and large, the central bank has done a decent job of bringing some sanity to the erstwhile beleaguered banking industry. But are these steps enough? What about the reported poor governance systems at many banks? Not a tad few point to mismanagement and corruption for the genesis of the crisis. Have these been addressed? Would the central bank officials found culpable be dealt with to the full extent of the law?

What about the top politicians found to be responsible for embezzlement, insider deals, and stagnant loans at these banks? Would they be dealt with? And what informed the rescue of the five indigenous banks and not others?

More importantly, has confidence now been restored to the banking system? Probably. There certainly are now no panic withdrawals. And all those who go to their banks are able to do their transactions with little or no hassle.

An edited version was published in the first quarter 2019 issue of African Banker magazine

#Africa #Markets | 16 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares slip as US sanctions on Huawei threaten fresh tensions with China
  • Asia stocks slip after US unveils sanctions on Huawei
  • Australian jobs data spurs rate cut expectations
  • Soft US, China economic data underscore slowdown
  • US bond yields dip, 2-yr yields hits 15-mth low

Oil Markets

  • Oil edges up for 3rd session on Mideast tensions
  • Market shrugs off gain in US crude oil inventory
  • Uncertainty over OPEC supply helping to cap price gains
  • Brent up 0.6 pct at $72.18 a barrel (0612GMT)
  • WTI up 0.6 pct at $62.40 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold holds steady as rising equities counter safe-haven demand
  • Spot gold steady at $1,295.84 per ounce (0103GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.1 pct at $1,296.90 an ounce

Grains

  • Corn jumps 1.5 pct as rains threaten to further slow planting
  • Most active CBOT corn futures up 1.6 pct at $3.75-1/2 a bushel (0044GMT)
  • Most active wheat futures up 0 .7 pct at $4.52-1/2 a bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 1.6 pct at $8.15 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF executive committee meets
  • 2019 Transform Africa summit in Kigali rounds up; day 3
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • MTN to list on Nigerian Stock Exchange
  • South Africa’s EFF post-election press conference

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa’s rand slips as trade tensions weigh on risk demand
  • South Africa’s Investec reports 3.6 pct rise in annual earnings
  • Low prices, promotions lift South Africa’s Dis-Chem annual profit
  • Sudan opposition regrets military council’s suspension of talks
  • Kenya raises $2.1 bln with dual-tranche eurobond
  • Sudan forces clear protesters with gunfire; talks suspended for 72 hours
  • From camel to cup: Camel milk froths hopes in drought-hit Kenya
  • Libya general Haftar did not consult with UAE before his move on Tripoli – minister
  • Zimbabwe to rebase economy after adopting new currency – finmin
  • Mozambique needs $3.2 bln for post-cyclone reconstruction – local media
  • UN calls on Tunisia to immediately release detained official
  • Clashing tribes and shrinking grassland as Kenya airport sparks
  • At least 17 Niger soldiers killed in ambush – govt spokesman
  • Sudan forces fire into air, seeking to clear protesters from central Khartoum – Reuters
  • Egypt’s Sisi opens huge suspension bridge over the Nile
  • Africa Oil – Bonny Light force majeure lifted, Angolan programme awaited
  • South Africa’s Long4Life beats sales estimates, shares jump
  • Uganda agrees to pay oil firms more to use planned pipeline
  • Zimbabwe platinum mines to ride out power cuts, gold output less secure
  • Tunisia’s economic growth slows to 1.1 pct in first quarter
  • South Africa retail sales up 0.2 pct y/y in March
  • Uganda shilling holds steady against the dollar
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa says to speed up economic reforms, fix Eskom
  • Tharisa seeks to tap Zimbabwe’s battery minerals potential
  • Egypt unemployment rate drops to 8.1 pct in Q1 2019 – statistics agency
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa says committed to speedy economic reforms
  • Nigeria consumer inflation edges up to 11.37 pct in April – stats office
  • MTN Nigeria eyes debt and equity sale after stock market listing
  • South Africa’s Spar in final stages of talks to buy controlling stake in Polish retail chain
  • Fights to end polio, contain ebola made tougher by rising violence, research finds
  • Egypt’s EGAS offers 13 LNG cargoes for June-July – sources

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Africa #Markets | 15 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia stocks bounce from 3-1/2-mth lows as trade fears soften
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.5%, Nikkei sheds 0.1%
  • Stocks up as US President Trump softens trade rhetoric
  • China industrial output, retail sales fall short of forecasts
  • Oil surge stalls on bigger-than-expected US inventory build

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices ease on surprise rise in US stockpiles, but Middle East tensions support
  • Brent down 0.5 pct at $70.90 a barrel (0100GMT)
  • WTI down 0.6 pct at $61.39 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold steadies off 1-mth peak on Sino-US trade talk hopes
  • Spot gold steady at $1,297.45 per ounce (0136GMT)
  • US gold futures steady at $1,298 an ounce

Grains

  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.2 pct at $4.49-1/4 per bushel (0115GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.3 pct at $3.69-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.1 pct at $8.30-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.5 pct at $10.96 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Nigeria inflation data for Apr-19 [fcst. 11.1% yy, prev. 11.3%]
  • South Africa retail sales data for Mar-19 [fcst. 1.2% yy, prev. 1.1%]
  • Nigeria presidential election tribunal pre-trial hearing of main opposition PDP petition
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes
  • South Africa PIC inquiry continues

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South African rand steady amid US-China trade talk hopes
  • Souht Africa’s Long4Life reports annual profit, suspends dividend
  • MTN Nigeria arranging naira funding as it prepares for listing
  • South Africa’s Spar in final stages of talks to buy controlling stake in Polish retail chain
  • MTN Nigeria plans to sell shares via public offering in future
  • Fights to end polio, contain ebola made tougher by rising violence, research finds
  • Egypt’s EGAS offers 13 LNG cargoes for June-July – sources
  • Sudan military council, opposition inch closer to final deal
  • Sudan committee to investigate targeting of protesters – military council
  • Sudan transition to last 3 years – military coucil
  • Force majeure lifted on exports of Nigeria’s Bonny Light oil
  • Violence overshadows Sudan’s transition push
  • Barrick Gold prepping sale of Zambian copper mine in H2 – sources
  • Libya aid agencies seek UN resolution to protect people caught up in fighting
  • Macron wants to meet Libya’s Haftar to push ceasefire – French foreign minister
  • Africa Oil – Trade slow as new programmes awaited, backwardation weighs
  • South Africa’s Nasper sells Brazilian online comparison site Buscape
  • Exxon’s Mozambique LNG project plan gets approval
  • MTN targets Thursday for long-planned Nigeria listing
  • First aid in years lifts hope for cut-off towns in CAR
  • Gabon finds 200 missing containers of rare hardwood – prosecutor
  • Uganda shilling weakens as offshore investors buy dollars
  • Microsoft to spend $100 mln on Kenya, Nigeria tech development hub
  • Libya aid agencies seek UN resolution to protect people caught up in fighting
  • Somalia’s economy on right path, but still vulnerable – IMF
  • Liberians grapple with potential loss of US legal status
  • South African unemployment rises, in challenge for Ramaphosa
  • South Africa’s unemployment rate rises to 27.6% in Q1
  • Egypt teaches students about love and marriage in attempt to curb divorce
  • Uganda shakes up electricity access amid global infrastructure reset
  • South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore sees higher H1 headline profit
  • Somalia’s economy could strengthen to 3% in 2019 – IMF

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters