Africa Beat for the week ended 29 September 2017

By Alexander Forbes Investments on Oct 03, 2017 in Africa Beat

The table below is a reflection of the performance of various African countries’ indices and some benchmark indices in US$ and local currency terms to 30 September 2017.

Economic Update

Ghana – Surprise hold at MPC meeting

  • On 25 September 2017 the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana kept the monetary policy rate unchanged at 21%
  • The MPC highlighted that economic activity continued to pick up at a relatively moderate pace
  • However, the MPC sighted that the monetary environment is still faced with several risks

Nigeria – MPC tones down dovish comments

  • The MPC of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) kept the monetary policy rate at 14%
  • The MPC also kept the cash reserve requirement ratio at 22.5% and the liquidity ratio at 30%
  • The MPC highlighted that key macroeconomic variables point towards a relatively positive outlook, driven by factors such as accelerated implementation of the economic recovery and growth plan, rising fiscal revenues as a result of more favourable oil prices and general improvements in the non-oil sector
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Botswana – Economic growth slightly higher in Q2 2017

  • According to Botswana’s Central Statistics Office, economic growth increased slightly during the second quarter of 2017, after a weak performance during the first quarter
  • Real GDP grew by 1.0% y-o-y in the second quarter of 2017, compared to 0.8% y-o-y growth during the first quarter
  • The main drivers of growth was the services sector and the agricultural sector which grew by 3.2% y-o-y and 1.2%  y-o-y respectively

Ghana – 2017/18 cocoa season to open on 13 October

  • Ghana’s industry regulator Cocobod plans to open the 2017/18 cocoa season on 13 October 2017
  • This came after receiving part of a loan it signed this month to cover its purchasing needs
  • Cocobod who is the world’s second-largest cocoa producer does not plan to lower the producer price at which it buys beans from farmers, despite calls from the top grower Ivory Coast
  • Ghana has maintained its price at US$1,914 per tonne since a year ago, creating a price gap of more than US$700 per tonne that exporters said has fuelled a wave of cross-border smuggling
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Morocco – Central bank keeps policy rate unchanged

  • On 24 September 2017, Morocco’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.25%
  • Inflation is expected to remain low and stable over the medium term
  • Consumer inflation has slowed from 2% y-o-y at the start of 2017 to 0.2% y-o-y in August 2017
  • This was largely due to falling food prices following a near-tripling in domestic cereal production
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General News

Tunisia – 140 migrants rescued off the coast

  •  The Tunisian navy rescued 98 Tunisians fleeing to Europe when the boat they were in started to sink off Kerkenah on the southeast coast
  • The army said it had arrested 43 illegal migrants rescued from four boats off Zarzis, also on the southeast coast
  • Tunisia has been praised for its democratic progress after a 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali but successive governments have failed to create jobs for young people, some of whom head illegally to Europe to seek work

Domestic Unrest

Uganda – Constitutional amendment causes chaos

  • Uganda’s Parliament had two chaotic days last week as opposition law makers did all they could to stop a motion to present a bill before the house to amend the presidential age limit clause in the constitution
  • The age limit clause precludes President Yoweri Museveni from running in the 2021 election as he would be older than 75
  • Despite the scuffles, chair throwing, anthem singing, suspension of members, and gun scares, the motion was passed
  • National Resistance Movement member of parliament (MP) Raphael Magyezi, now has around a month to submit the amendment bill to Parliament for its first reading

Cameroon – Anglophone region on lockdown for three days

  • On 29 September 2017, Cameroon authorities  banned all gatherings of more than four people
  • They ordered bus stations, eateries and shops to shut and forbade movement between divisions of its English-speaking region for three days to prevent planned protests
  • Anglophone Cameroonians plan to demonstrate the day of their independence from Britain, over what they say is ill-treatment and neglect by the predominantly Francophone government of President Paul Biya
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Sources: NKC, Reuters

Alexander Forbes Investments

Alexander Forbes Investments

Alexander Forbes Investments was established in 1997. We are a forward-thinking and trusted global investment provider, with roots in Africa. In pursuit of certainty we set out to understand our retail and institutional clients’ circumstances and risk tolerance to set clear goals. Our adaptive investment approach, called Living*Investing allows us to maximise opportunity and minimise risk at every stage of the investment cycle.

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