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February 2017

28 February 2017

Road linking Ethiopia and South Sudan to be constructed

By Antony Kiganda | Construction Review Online

Two major roads linking Ethiopia and South Sudan are set to be constructed following the signing of an agreement by the two countries.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir last week signed several bilateral agreements that include the immediate commencement of construction of two major road links.

They agreed that the construction will commence with immediate effect, to start the construction of the Gamebella – Pagak – Palouge and Dima – Raad – Boma – Bor roads.

“When they get the peace back and the economy gets stronger, they will pay us back,” said Mr Hailemariam, indicating that Ethiopia would finance the construction of the roads within South Sudan.

They said once the project is over the two countries’ trade agreement will be on the rise and that will see the locals improve their lives.

The south Sudan counterpart added that they will ensure that they get more funds so that the project can be easily completed within the time frame that they will agree on.

“We are neignbours and we must ensure that the two countries promote each other through working closely towards achieving the goals that we have set” he added
On the trade protocols he said that the construction of both roads on the Ethiopian side was complete.

The two leaders signed a total of eight memorandums of understanding, covering energy, preferential trade, border trade protocol, health, communications, information and media.

Mr Hailemariam noted that the agreement on energy and electricity was meant to connect South Sudan to the national grid in Ethiopia, to enable the former buy electric power from the latter.

They said that they will ensure that they partner so that they can improve all the sectors that they believe each of the country has strength on.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/road-linking-ethiopia-and-south-sudan-to-b...

28 February 2017

Merger talks between Airtel and Tigo completed (Ghana)

By Njirani Muchra | Business & Financial Times, Ghana

The thebftonline.com has gathered that, the much-anticipated merger between Airtel Ghana (Airtel) and Millicom International Cellular (Tigo) has been completed.

The merger processes which began last year, got finalized early this year [2017], as the formal announcement on the completion of the process is expected to made soon.

What is not clear is what the shareholding structure of the new company will be with the merger.

Bharti Airtel has been in talks with rival Millicom International Cellular for a possible merger in Ghana for some time now.

The merger some industry watchers say has come about, due to Airtel’s inability to make profit since entering the continent in 2010, even after engaging in brutal tariff war, to improve operations in Ghana and Africa at large.

With this merger between Airtel and Tigo, the combined entity replaces Vodafone to become the second largest telecom operator in Ghana, in an intensely competitive market led by the South Africa-based operator MTN.

When it comes to who will be made the CEO of the new company, it is unclear who will be at the helm of affairs. We all await which of the two companies’ CEO will be appointed to lead following the merger. Currently Lucy Quist is the CEO of Airtel Ghana while Roshi Motman runs Tigo as the CEO.

Figures from the National Communications Authority (NCA) the regulator for the telecom industry shows that, as at the end of 2016, the total number of mobile voice subscriptions increased from 35,008,387 as at the end of the previous year to 38,305,078 as at the end of December 2016 representing a 9.42% increase over the previous month of November 2016. The total penetration rate for the month under review was 136.34%.

Industry Performance

Tigo as at December 2016 mobile voice subscriptions decreased from 5,365,318 as at the end of November 2016 to 5,339,052 at the end of December 2016. This indicates a percentage decrease of 0.49%. Their market share for the month under review was 13.94%.

At the end of December 2016, Airtel’s voice subscriptions decreased from 4,649,934 as at the end of the previous month to 4,591,051. This represents a percentage decrease of 1.27%. Their total market share for the month under review was 11.99%.

Glo recorded a decrease in their mobile voice subscriptions as figures decreased from 750,751 as at the end of November 2016 to 695,306 at the end of December 2016. This represents a percentage decrease of 7.39%. Their total market share for the month under review was 1.82%.

Expresso’s mobile voice subscriptions decreased from 95,548 as at the end of November 2016 to 93,599 as at the end of December 2016. This represents a percentage decrease of 2.04%. Their total market share for the month under review was 0.24%.

Meanwhile MTN continues to lead in voice subscriptions for the period recording 19,296,157 which represents a percentage increase of 2.82% from November 2016’s figure of 18,766,106. MTN’s market share for the month under review was 50.37%.

They are followed by Vodafone. It recorded a decrease in their mobile voice subscription of 8,289,157 as at the end of December 2016. This represents a percentage decrease of 0.18% from November 2016’s figure of 8,304,783. Vodafone’s market share for December 2016 was 21.64%.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/merger-talks-between-airtel-and-tigo-compl...


February 2017

27 February 2017

Heavyweights weigh down Zimbabwe Stock Exchange main index

By Staff Writer | The Source Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange this week slipped 1,56 percent to 134,83 points while the mining index gained 0,26 percent to close at 60,89 points on the back of the losses recorded by Delta and Econet.

Delta and Econet lost 0,9 percent and 17,65 percent to close at 81,25 cents and 14 cents respectively. Old Mutual, Innscor and Seedco lost 1,43 percent, 2,1 percent and 3,2 percent in that order.

Simbisa and National Tyre Service lost 1,52 percent and 12,2 percent respectively, while Mashonaland Holdings and Cafca retreated by 0,5 percent and 0,3 percent.

Barclays lost 4,34 percent while Meikles retreated 15 percent.

Leading the gainers pack were Colcom and PPC which picked up 1,39 percent and 0,85 percent to close at 36,5 cents and 59 cents respectively.

BAT and National Foods added 0,33 percent and 0,1 percent to trade at 1,505 cents and 351,25 cents in that order.
Riozim drove the mining index gaining 0,62 percent to close 32,7 cents. The rest of the counter -Bindura, Hwange and Falgold were unchanged at 4 cents, 3 cents and 1 cent in that order.

Market capitalisation declined by 1,51 percent to $3,76 billion, while market turnover decreased by 3,67 percent to $2,34 million with average daily trades of $467,652 in the week under review.

Foreigners remained net sellers, disposing of shares worth $1,46 million against purchases of $259, 258.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/heavyweights-weigh-down-zimbabwe-stock-exc...


February 2017

24 February 2017


22 FEBRUARY 2017


'The Budget speech to Parliament today by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was generally a realistic, balanced and predictable analysis of the socio-economic challenges in general, and the fiscal difficulties in particular, faced by SA. Apart from promoting inclusive growth, the 2017/18 Budget has also had to seek to close the fiscal 'gap' of about R28 billion still remaining in SA's public finances. This has been done mainly through the widely anticipated increases in taxation at selected levels, embodying a tough message about the SA economy.

The basic test of the Budget decisions will be their net impact on business and consumer confidence. The overall emphasis in the Budget speech on improving SA's growth prospects must be endorsed, as must the Minister of Finance's insistence on enlarging the role of public-private sector collaboration in further unlocking SA's growth potential. Yet even if the optimistic growth forecasts in the Budget are accepted, it remains clear that current weak growth strains everything else, including 'radical economic transformation'.

The Finance Minister rightly insists that it is imperative that SA breaks out of its 'low growth trap'. The Budget nonetheless appears to have been more successful in balancing the State's books than in immediately boosting inclusive economic growth, as many of the drivers of economic growth lie outside the control of the National Treasury (NT). Translating fiscal resources into tangible outcomes still also requires urgent and efficient implementation by the public sector as a whole, as well as ensuring that State funds are effectively spent. What SA therefore needs to avoid is drifting into a negative 'tax-and-spend' cycle, which will ultimately weaken economic performance. The imbalance here is that about two-thirds of the current 'fiscal consolidation' appears to be coming from tax measures, whereas approximately only one-third stems from spending ceilings and other fiscal disciplines. The danger exists that aggressive taxation may then eventually defeat its own ends by diminishing the future income to be taxed, unless renewed growth boosts tax revenues. SA probably needs at least about a 2-3% growth rate to limit the future tax burden.

The decisive message nonetheless to be taken from the 2017/18 Budget is that, despite recent political pressures, SA's fiscal policy remains highly predictable and in safe and responsible hands. The NT continues to display a strong commitment to financial probity in SA's public finances. These reassurances remain essential to the maintenance of confidence in good governance in SA. The risks and uncertainties around the expected Cabinet reshuffle are highly relevant to the future role of the NT as a trusted custodian of taxpayers' funds'.


Prof Raymond Parsons


February 2017

21 February 2017

Africa Confidential Weekly News Update

This week we start in Cape Town with renewed speculation about a cabinet reshuffle as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan prepares to read his budget and then to Somalia where the IMF has promised the new government it will back a debt relief scheme. In Gambia, jubilation at President Adama Barrow's inauguration was tinged with some concern about the stability of the transition and a third high-ranking member of the South Sudan government has quit in a week, alleging ethnic bias. Finally, Nigeria's government gets a vote of confidence from investors despite the month-long absence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

SOUTH AFRICA: Zuma positions his money man ahead of budget speech
For political insiders the news that Brian Molefe, the disgraced former head of the state power company Eskom, has been 'deployed to parliament' could mean only one thing: President Jacob Zuma wants to appoint his friend as a minister or deputy minister.

Under the country's proportional representation system, party leaders can choose whom they send to parliament as MPs at will. The word for months has been that President Zuma wants to sack Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is due to read the budget tomorrow (22 February), and replace him with someone more pliable, or to find a way to rein him in. 

Molefe fits the bill. He wept at a briefing at Eskom after he was named in a report on state capture by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. She had revealed that there were 58 phone calls between Molefe and the Gupta family when their company Tegeta was buying the Optimum Coal mine, which had a lucrative supply contract with the state utility. 

Molefe's defenders say at least he had the decency to resign after Madonsela had pointed to the conflict of interest. Now, he is back in the game, courtesy of Zuma's plans for another cabinet reshuffle.

Although Zuma has the constitutional right to sack Gordhan and replace him directly with Molefe such a move could provoke strong opposition from other senior ministers and figures in the African National Congress. 

A plausible alternative for Zuma would be to replace the current Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, with Molefe, who could act as a brake on Gordhan or at least report on what he is doing. Jonas could then be moved to the currently vacant spot of Deputy Trade Minister. That could still panic the markets, pushing down the rand against the dollar again and forcing up interest rates – to say nothing of prompting a ratings downgrade later this year.

In terms of economic rationality, this makes no sense when Finance Minister Gordhan is due to read the budget under some of the toughest financial conditions for more than a decade. Yet according to the dictates of the power game now being played at the top levels of government it is just part of the political calculus. 

SOMALIA: The IMF talks debt relief and new currency notes
After his surprise selection by parliament, new President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo' has received another endorsement from a more unexpected quarter – the International Monetary Fund. Not only is the IMF willing to back the introduction of new Somali shilling notes, due to come into circulation this year alongside the US dollar, it is also willing to help the country negotiate a deal to get relief on some of the US$5.3 billion it owes to major creditors.

Remonetising the national currency – almost all the Somali banknotes in circulation are counterfeit – would be an important step towards economic normalisation for President Mohamed's new government. The Kenya Commercial Bank has already applied to set up in Mogadishu. Somalia currently receives about $2.5 billion a year in remittances from its highly entrepreneurial diaspora, dotted around Africa, Europe and North America.

THE GAMBIA: Mass arrests of Jammeh supporters
The formal inauguration of President Adama Barrow at Banjul's Independence Stadium last Saturday (18 February) to popular acclaim has not calmed concerns about the stability of the regime and its relations with its neighbours. The guest of honour was Senegal's President Macky Sall, who has been asked to keep some of his soldiers in Gambia to consolidate the transition after the departure of defeated President Yahya Jammeh.

The European Union has already announced an aid package worth $80 million for Barrow's government; some French officials have long suggested that a closer union between Senegal and Gambia would make sense. Yet four days before Barrow's inauguration, Britain's passionately anti-EU Foreign Minister Boris Johnson turned up in Banjul to fete the new government. Johnson said Britain would fast-track Gambia's return to the Commonwealth; Jammeh had taken Gambia out of the organisation labelling it 'colonialist'. 

And there are residual supporters of Jammeh and his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction. Police arrested about 50 of Jammeh's supporters in Kafenda, one of his strongholds, after violent arguments with a contingent returning from the inauguration. 

SOUTH SUDAN: More senior officers quit Salva's government claiming discrimination
The resignation of Khalid Ono Loki claiming ethnic bias is the third top-level departure from President Salva Kiir's government in the past week. It follows the resignations of General Thomas Cirillo Swaka and Minister of Labour Gabriel Duop Lam. Their common complaint is that Salva's government is blatantly biased in favour of his own Dinka people. Khalid Ono, who headed the military court system, extended this criticism to the head of South Sudan's army, General Paul Malong, accusing him of covering up crimes such as murder, rape and theft.

This comes at a time of chronic economic difficulties for the Juba government: it has lost almost all its oil revenues due to the resurgence of conflict last June. Drought and war have hit food supply and the UN has officially declared famine in parts of the country. Inflation was reckoned to have hit over 800% last year. 

More than three mn. of the country's 11 mn. people were forced from their homes by fighting last year; 100,000 face starvation and 1 mn. are on the brink of famine, says the World Food Programme. Up to 400,000 have fled across the border to Uganda whose government says it's struggling to cope. 

NIGERIA: Vice-President Osinbajo reaches out as Buhari's health worries continue
Several investors who last week snapped up a billion-dollar Eurobond launched by Nigeria told Africa Confidential last Friday (17 February) that they were unfazed by the month-long absence of President Muhammadu Buhari from his country on medical grounds. They pointed to the orderly transfer of power, during Buhari's absence, to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

A consummate technocrat and part-time pastor with no independent political base, Osinbajo has pressed ahead with the business of government. Last week his team was preparing the launch of an economic recovery plan and he led a delegation to the Niger Delta to reinforce a government agreement with local militant groups.

However, Osinbajo is treading a fine line between assuring Nigerians and outsiders that there is no power vacuum during Buhari's absence and overplaying his hand politically. Some investors say the financial team launching the bond had suggested that further exchange rate reforms were likely to be announced later in the month, probably as part of the recovery plan. So far, President Buhari has shown no sign of resiling from his long-held opposition to a sharp devaluation of depreciation of the Naira.


February 2017

20 February 2017

BCA Member Speaks on Nigeria's Eurobond on the BBC World Service

Make sure you listen to Actis speaking on the BBC World Services Morning Programme (February 17th) regarding the recent Nigerian Eurobond being floated on the London Stock Exchange. See here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04sf9hz  


February 2017

17 February 2017

IMF backs Ghana government’s one district, one factory initiative

By Bernard Busulwa | Business & Financial Times, Ghana

The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, has said that government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached an agreement for government to roll out its ‘one district, one factory project’ as part of the review of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme.

Speaking to the media in Accra, the Senior Minister said: “IMF has a programme with Ghana, and within the programme are certain restrictions. We have gone to fight for elections and we won based on our manifesto. In our manifesto, we said one district, one factory. So we need some fiscal space to implement that one.

And the IMF knows that we need it. They know that we are in power because we promised certain things. Therefore, we are marrying the two and so far, we have not had any problem. They have agreed,” he said.

He reiterated the need for government to continue to remain committed to the programme despite earlier assertions that government will discontinue it.

“The IMF programme provides market support for countries; it provides some confidence in you as a country and you do not want to give wrong signals to the market out there. When you are going to borrow, your interest rate depends on your ratings. The programme will help for people to put confidence in you as a country, so we must look at these things very carefully and make sure that Ghana does not lose its market value,” Mr. Osafo Maafo said.

Meanwhile, the IMF has expressed some concerns about the economy after it concluded its visit to the country to review the progress of the ECF programme, citing fiscal deficit deterioration as a major worry.

Joel Toujas-Bernate, leader of the mission, noted that: “In 2016, the overall fiscal deficit (on a cash basis) deteriorated to an estimated 9 percent of GDP, instead of declining to 5¼ percent of GDP as envisaged under the IMF-supported program. The large deviation was mainly due to poor oil and non-oil revenue performance and large expenditure overruns. As a result, the government’s debt-to-GDP ratio increased further to close to 74 percent of GDP at end-2016.”

He further welcomed government’s intention to control public spending and protection of the public purse.

“Significant public spending commitments that bypassed public finance management (PFM) systems were reported. We welcome the new government’s intention to conduct a full audit of outstanding obligations, its commitment to transparency and its readiness to take strong remedial actions to ensure the integrity of the PFM systems going forward.

The large financial imbalances of state-owned enterprises in the energy sector also need to be addressed with urgency to avoid the build-up of contingent liabilities for the new government. We welcome the new government’s commitments to encourage its departments and agencies to implement growth-enhancing reforms in a fiscally sustainable manner,” he added.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/imf-agrees-to-1-district-1-factory-project...

17 February 2017

Africa has raised $5 billion from IPO’s over last five years

By Partner Press Release | Asoko Insight

2016 marked a challenging year for African equity markets in the wake of lower economic growth and political upheaval around the globe, largely as a result of the US elections cycle and the Brexit vote. African equity capital markets (ECM) broke a streak of three successive years of growth, recording a decline in overall ECM activity of 28% from 2015 in the number of transactions and 33% from 2015 in terms of capital raised.

PwC issued its 2016 Africa Capital Markets Watch publication today, which analyses equity and debt capital markets transactions that took place between 2012 and 2016 on exchanges throughout Africa, as well as transactions by African companies on international exchanges. ECM transactions included in the analysis comprise capital raising activities, whether initial public offerings (IPOs) or further offers (FOs), by African companies on exchanges worldwide, as well as those made by non-African companies on African exchanges. Debt capital markets (DCM) transactions analysed include debt funding raised by African companies and public institutions.

Darrell McGraw, PwC Capital Markets Partner based in Lagos, says: “Many African economies, in particular those dependent on resources suffered in a low growth environment, significantly reducing ECM activity, and a continued lack of clarity around foreign exchange risk in Nigeria further discouraged foreign investment.

“Although overall ECM activity decreased in 2016 in terms of both transaction volume and value as compared to 2015, there was a significant increase in ECM activity, particularly IPOs, in the second half of the year, indicating the cautious optimism of issuers and investors as the year progressed.”

Since 2012, there have been 450 African ECM transactions raising a total of $44.9bn, up 8% in terms of capital raised over the previous five year period 2011-2015.

African IPO Market

Overall, $1.5bn was raised in IPO proceeds in 2016, and while 2016 saw a decrease from the prior year, there has been an overall upward trend in IPO activity over the five year period.

Over the past five years there have been 110 IPOs raising $6.5 billion by African companies on exchanges worldwide and non-African companies on African exchanges.

In 2016, capital raised from IPOs by companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) increased by 25% in US dollar terms as compared to 2015, mainly driven by a comparatively stronger rand and three large listings by Dis-Chem, the Liberty Two Degrees real estate investment trust (REIT) and one of South Africa’s largest private equity firms, Ethos. It was also a record year for the JSE’s AltX, which saw the secondary listing of the fledgling Mauritian private equity investor, Universal Partners, generate proceeds of more than five times greater than in 2015.

Capital raised from IPOs by companies on exchanges other than the JSE decreased by 22% as compared to 2015, largely driven by relatively smaller Egyptian IPOs in 2016. IPO activity on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) decreased significantly – by 72% in terms of value of IPO proceeds – as companies delayed listing plans in anticipation of an improved economic outlook following the August 2016 announcement of a potential stabilisation programme by the IMF and the free float of the Egyptian pound in November 2016.

Elsewhere on the continent, there were some significant increases in IPO capital raised on exchanges in Ghana, Morocco and Botswana compared to 2015, due to partial privatisations of state-owned entities.

Coenraad Richardson, PwC Capital Markets Partner based in Johannesburg, adds: “The JSE retains the leading position in the African capital markets, with capital raised from IPOs by companies on the JSE representing 42% of the total African IPO capital and 34% of the total number of transactions since 2012.” In terms of value over the past five years, the next-largest value of IPO proceeds raised was on the EGX at $1.1 billion, followed by the Nigerian Stock Exchange at $751 million.

On a sector basis, the financial services sector continued to dominate the African IPO market during 2016 with 45% of total value and 55% of total volume, followed by consumer goods and industrials with a total value of 31% and 13% respectively.

African FO Market

Over the past five years, there have been 340 FOs raising $38.4 billion on both African and international exchanges. As was the case with the IPO market, FO activity was hit by a significant decrease in terms of transaction volume and value, down 27% and 34% respectively. Andrew Del Boccio, PwC Capital Markets Partner based in Johannesburg, notes: “The decline in FO activity after a period of sustained growth reflects many of the challenges and uncertainties in Africa and around the globe.”

In terms of geography, 85% of FO proceeds in 2016 were raised either by South African companies or by foreign companies listed on the JSE. However, the nature of these FOs shows a mixed landscape–a significant portion of funds were raised for business restructuring or divesture by foreign investors looking to monetise or exit their African investments, or by South African companies seeking to diversify their portfolios via acquisition of assets outside of Africa.

Both during 2016 and over the five-year period, the vast majority of FO activity was from sub-Saharan countries representing 78% and 81% in total FOs volume, respectively, and 96% and 95%, respectively of total FO value.

Between 2012 and 2016, FO capital raised on the JSE represented 87% of total African FO capital raised and 71% of total transaction volume. In terms of movements from 2015, Nigerian FO activity dried up, with no further offers in 2016, mainly as a result of the ongoing recession and exchange rate environment. Tunisia also saw a significant decline in activity based on value of proceeds raised.

On a sector basis, the financial services sector contributed 47% of total FO value, followed by the healthcare sector at 12%.

During the five-year period from 2012, average FO capital raised per transaction of $113 million remained well above the average proceeds raised from IPOs of $59 million, as a number of large, seasoned issuers, such as Naspers, Aspen, Mediclinic and Steinhoff, among others, tapped markets 17 times for proceeds in excess of $500 million; only one IPO, that of Seplat in 2014 exceeded the $500 million threshold.

African Debt Markets

Debt capital market (DCM) activity, in particular Eurobond activity, represents only a portion of the total debt raised in Africa, with a large component of debt funding sourced from traditional bank finance, other lending arrangements with investors or debt raised in local currency on local exchanges.

Eurobond activity by African corporates continued to decline in 2016, with investment grade and high-yield proceeds from Eurobond issuances falling by 21% to $4.5 billion, and the number of issuances by 53% to just seven, including some large issuances by South African telecommunications provider, MTN, and Nigerian telecommunications infrastructure company, IHS, which raised $800 million in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest-ever high-yield bond. Proceeds from all seven of these 2016 issuances were raised in US dollars.

Domestic debt markets also played a more significant role in the overall DCM story in 2016 than in previous years, particularly in Nigeria, as companies and governments across the continent retreated from risks related to foreign currency funding in 2016 and as global appetite for African debt securities declined.

Del Boccio concludes: “Despite challenging times, we expect to see improved conditions around capital markets activity in 2017, continuing the momentum built in the final two months of 2016, including an increase in ECM activity by companies on the JSE as well as by companies pursuing privatisation plans through the capital markets in Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and the BRVM region.”

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/africa-has-raised-5-billion-from-ipos-over...

17 February 2017

Nigeria’s $1 billion Eurobond begins trading on the London Stock Exchange

By Ugo Obi-chukwu | Nairametrics

Nigeria’s $1 billion 15-year Eurobond started trading on the London Stock Exchange yesterday.
The Offer which was nearly eight times oversubscribed, with $7.7bn in orders, is the longest ever maturity for an international Nigerian issuance, highlighting strong international investor demand and demonstrating confidence in Nigeria’s economy.

“London Stock Exchange welcomes Nigeria’s $1 billion Eurobond to start trading in London today”, said a press release issued by the exchange yesterday.

Simon Kirby, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, in the press release, said: “I am delighted that the Nigerian government has chosen London as the location to list its $1bn sovereign bond. This issuance underlines Britain’s position as the world’s leading global financial center and strengthens our economic and financial relationship with Nigeria.”

According to Ibukun Adebayo of the International Markets Unit, and Head of Middle East, Africa and South Asia, at the London Stock Exchange: “Nigeria’s choice of London Stock Exchange for its first international bond offering since 2013 underlines London Stock Exchange’s position as a leading global venue for debt fund raising and London’s enduring status as a market open to the world.

“The success of Nigeria’s bond listing is a strong statement of international investor interest in building exposure to Nigeria’s economy. It reinforces London Stock Exchange’s status as a strong partner to Nigeria and the City’s ability to provide a deep additional channel of finance for the development of Nigerian infrastructure and the growth of the economy.”

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/nigerias-1-billion-eurobond-begins-trading...

17 February 2017

African countries slow execution of renewable power sources

By Staff Writer | The Exchange

There are more than half a billion people who are living in darkness, having no access to electricity. The challenge is quite prevalent in the sub-Saharan Africa region, but the states have not lagged too much to make an effort to deal with the obstacle. The statistics made by World Bank report on Wednesday also noted that in the trail of world’s government policies that promote sustainable energy, the states are on the verge of lighting such regions.

Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said.

In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down.

More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of the global population, were at an advanced stage and progress was not limited to rich countries.

Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda outperformed their peers in access to energy, while Pakistan made progress on renewable energy, and Vietnam had developed policies on energy efficiency.

Yet the report showed “on the whole that African countries are scoring very poorly on the policy environment for energy access,” said Vivien Foster, the World Bank’s global lead for energy economics.

“As many as 40 percent of them are in the red zone, meaning they’ve barely begun to take policy measures to accelerate access to energy.”

There were bright spots on the African continent, such as South Africa, Tunisia, and Morocco, she noted.

UN member states in 2015 adopted a set of sustainable development goals to reach by 2030, including a guarantee of cheap, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all people.

The report, which will be updated every two years, said local authorities should use its findings to compare their policies to regional and global peers in efforts to meet the development goals.

Riccardo Puliti, head of the bank’s energy and extractives global practice, told reporters the global lender currently had a $1.6 billion portfolio to support energy access that was mainly focused in Asia and Latin America.

“But we are moving very strongly in Africa as well,” he said.

For the current budget year, the bank had set $260 million to carry out new projects for the off-grid power generation. The countries to benefit include Kenya, Rwanda, Niger, and Zambia, he added.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/african-countries-slow-execution-of-renewa...