Anglophone West Africa
- According to the National Pension Commission (NPC), Pension Fund Administration (PFAs) exposure to the Nigerian equities market increased to N856.2bn in Nov-22 from N828.2bn in Oct-22. It represents a N23.0bn or 3.4% m/m increase. This follows the drive to position in some fundamental stocks with low prices.
- The Nigerian Meteorological Agency yesterday disclosed that rainfall is expected to begin earlier than normal in most parts of the country. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika disclosed this while outlining some of the rainfall predictions at the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction event held in Abuja.
- The Edo State government-backed Edo Modular Refinery has begun production at its 6.0kbpd plant in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha LGA. The facility with its feedstock can produce 50.0% diesel (500,000 ltr.), 25.0% naphtha (300,000 ltr.) and 20.0% Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) (200,000 ltr.).
- The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has unveiled the $1.5bn Lekki deep seaport and the Imota Rice Mill in Ikorodu, Lagos. The Lekki deep seaport has been described as one of the largest seaports in the country and one of the biggest in West Africa. It is projected to improve efficiency and serve as a major driver for economic growth in the region
- According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the maximum lending rate in the banking sector hit 29.13%, while savings deposit rates printed at 4.13% at the end of Dec-2022. The prime lending rate closed at 13.85%, while the inter-bank call rate settled at 12.0%.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks, super agents, and mobile money operators to swap the old N200, N500 and N1,000 for the newly redesigned notes. They are expected to swap up to N10,000 per person, while amounts above N10,000 are to be treated as deposits. This is to speed up the permeation of the new Naira notes, particularly in the rural areas of the country. However, mobile money/Point of Sales agents in Abuja and Lagos are excluded from this cash swap programme.
- The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill for transmission to the National Assembly. The bill, which seeks to give Nigerians full legal backing in protecting their data, will replace the current Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
- The Customs Area Controller in charge of the Murtala International Airport Command of the Nigerian Customs Service revealed an N1.8bn increase in revenue compared to the N19.0bn the command collected in 2021.
- According to the Finance Ministry, Ghana commercial banks agreed to the government’s proposal of a 5.0% coupon payment (previously 0% coupon) for the 2023 bond in the restructured terms of the domestic debt swap program. They also agreed on a single coupon rate of 9.0% for each of the other 12 new bonds as against the step-up rates initially proposed.
- They also agreed to removal of amendments of all clauses in exchange memorandum that empower Ghana to, at its sole discretion, vary the terms of the exchange. Agreement is subject to approval of management of individual banks by 30-Jan.
Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)
- Bloomberg reports revealed that Ivory Coast farmers sent 63,902 tons of cocoa to ports last week. Total arrivals since the season started in Oct-2022 are 1.51m tons, compared to an estimated 1.4m tons a year ago.
- The Government of Cote d'Ivoire has revised the minimum wage in the country. The last revision was done in 2012. The minimum monthly salary for manual workers has been increased from CFA60,000 to CFA75,000.
- Mako Gold confirmed an extensive gold system at its 90.0%-owned Napié project in Côte d’Ivoire after receiving results from the first phase of a 25,000-meter auger drill program. According to company representatives, drilling identified several multi-kilometre long gold anomalies several times larger than Tchaga and Gogbala.
- Notable hits include 55.9grams per tonne of gold south of Gogbala, where there has been no previous drilling. The anomalies, which measured 4.7km, more than 10.0km and 2.3km, highlighted the significant near-term resource growth potential at Napié.
- BP (UK) revealed that the Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessel that will be installed at the Greater Tortue/Ahmeyim (GTA) block offshore Mauritania and Senegal had set sail from the shipyard in Qidong, China.
- BP and its partner Kosmos Energy (US) aim to install the FPSO in 120-metre-deep water to launch natural gas and LNG production at GTA later this year. The vessel will process about 500mn cubic feet (14.2mn cubic metres) per day, separating gas condensate, water, and various impurities of the production stream.
- Cape Town, South Africa’s second-biggest city, plans to make its biggest attempt yet to reduce its reliance on the ailing national power utility by holding a tender next month for the provision of as much as 1,000 megawatts of power to the municipality.
- The tender will seek so-called dispatchable power, which can be supplied whenever it is needed from anywhere in the country. The move comes as the country endures its worst-ever energy crisis, with state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. struggling to meet demand and imposing record blackouts.
- According to Statistics South Africa (SSA), the country’s producer prices index printed lower than expected in Dec-2022. Producer prices climbed 13.5% y/y (estimate +13.9% y/y) in Dec-2022 vs +15.0% y/y in Nov-2022.
- According to Fitch Solutions, economic growth in South Africa is expected to slow from an estimated 2.1% to 1.6%, as power outages are likely to persist through the year.
- According to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the US is seeking to deepen its economic integration with South Africa in pursuit of policies to diversify global supply chains.
- She further iterated that closer ties with nations that share the US’s economic values will help promote so-called friend-shoring, in which allies cooperate on manufacturing and sourcing raw materials.
- Angola’s central bank carried out the world’s biggest interest rate cut so far this year as it forecasts inflation to slow further. The policy committee dropped the rate to 18.0% from 19.5%, representing the steepest cut since Jul-2018.
- According to a senior US Treasury official, Zambia’s debt restructuring is being delayed by requests from China to have the Southern African nation’s local-currency debt held by foreigners included in a deal that could set a global precedent.
- According to a notice published in the Zambia Daily Mail, Zambia’s state-owned power company Zesco Ltd. has applied for electricity tariff increases through 2027. The proposed weighted average percentage changes to the tariff are 37.0% for 2023, 9.0% in 2024, 15.0% in 2025, 10.0% in 2026, and 14.0% in 2027.
- According to interim Statistician-General Mulenga Musepa, the Bank of Zambia will likely look past a slowdown in annual inflation and increase the benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than a year on Feb. 15 as a slide in the kwacha puts upward pressure on prices.
- According to the Zambia Statistics Agency, Zambia's trade moved to deficit ZMW0.5bn in Dec-2022 from a surplus of ZMW2.8bn in Nov-2022, down 117.9% y/y.
- According to the Zambia Statistics Agency, Zambia's consumer prices rose 9.4% y/y in Jan-2023 vs +9.9% y/y in Dec-2022, indicating that overall prices of goods and services rose but at a decelerating pace.
- According to Zambian Energy Minister Peter Kapala in comments broadcast on state-owned ZNBC TV, the Southern African country wants to start importing power from Mozambique to mitigate the effects of shortages that have led to hours of rolling blackouts every day.
- According to data from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean diaspora remittances climbed to $1.6bn last year from $1.4bn a year earlier, up by 15.4% y/y.
- According to Morgan & Co. in a research note, the Zimbabwean currency is seen undermined by spillover of foreign inflation, and unbudgeted government spending in the run-up to presidential elections later this year.
- According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the country’s trade deficit in the first eleven months of 2022 widened by 20.4% amid a surge in fuel & cooking oil imports and a weakening shilling. Notably, the county’s total import bill (both public and private sector) rose by 20.0% to Sh2.3tn, led by increases in the cost of goods such as fuel & lubricants, vehicles, industrial inputs, and edible oils.
- According to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Kenya Power is seeking to review consumer tariffs to allow for a "competitively priced, efficient and sustainable" provision of electricity. The authority is proposing to increase tariffs by 40.0% to Sh14.0/kwh from Sh10.0/kwh for low-income consumers.
- The Kenyan Revenue Authority has opened a consultation on the 2023 Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations draft for digital, electronic, and internet marketplace supplies. The draft regulations include measures that would establish the scope of taxable supplies and clarify that VAT applies to taxable supplies made in Kenya.
- The President, William Ruto, met with Morocco’s Prime Minister on discussions to accelerate and strengthen strategic ties for the shared benefit of the citizens of the two countries. The discussion includes establishing relations in the areas of trade, agriculture, health, tourism, and energy between the nations.
- The Tanzania Indian Business Forum (TIBF) and the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) met with the aim of fostering business collaboration between India and Tanzania.
- NMB Bank has pledged to continue investing in research for finding technologically driven banking solutions as part of its commitment to enhancing financial inclusion and bridging the unbanked gap in Tanzania.
- The Ugandan subsidiary of the giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has started drilling production wells at the Kingfisher oilfield on the shores of Lake Albert amid protests from environmentalists. The rig will drill 31 wells, with 20 used to produce oil in Uganda, while 11 will improve production by injecting water into the reservoir.
- The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) has been granted a license by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development to construct the 1,445km crude oil pipeline in Hoima, Uganda.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
- According to Bloomberg reports, tension on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern front with neighbouring Rwanda led Congo to hire private military groups. The Rwandan government said the move is an indication of war, accusing the DRC of violating an ongoing peace process by continuing to back an armed group with links to the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide. President Felix Tshisekedi said in an interview during the World Economic Forum in Davos that Congo hired a Bulgarian military company to work with the army in its restive east.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi criticised a $6.2bn minerals-or-infrastructure contract with China and seeks better terms, saying the world’s largest producer of a key battery metal hasn’t benefited from the deal.
- Bloomberg reports also revealed that Congolese opposition leader Moise Katumbi said he would cancel a controversial plan to allow drilling for oil and gas in one of the world’s most important carbon sinks if he wins an election later this year. Plans to drill in 30 blocks, several of which overlap with the world’s most extensive tropical peatlands, have drawn criticism from climate activists and a plea from US climate envoy John Kerry to halt part of the program. His request was rebuffed by President Felix Tshisekedi last year.
- According to figures published by the country's National Cocoa and Coffee Board, the price offered for cocoa at Cameroon's chief port of Douala remained flat this week. Exporters offered XAF1,417 ($2.34) per kilogram of the beans, unchanged from Friday of the week prior. Meanwhile, prices at farmgate also remained flat for the sixth consecutive week, at XAF1,200 in the South-West Region and XAF1,275 in the Centre Region.
- In addition, the price paid for Robusta coffee rose at Cameroon's chief port of Douala amid increased demand compared with the week before. A kilogram of beans fetched XAF1,094 ($1.81), up 3.0% from XAF1,062 on Wednesday. However, prices at the farmgate stayed flat, with buyers paying XAF850 for a kilogram of Robusta in the East, Center, and Littoral regions and XAF800 in the country's South-West.
- Government officials and farmers revealed Cameroonian crops, including cotton, rice, and corn, are being hit by insects in the country's northern region. The head of the northern region's Department of Phytosanitary Protection of Crop Vegetation, Aime Djoulde Dalla said - At least 7,335 hectares of crops had been destroyed so far by infestations of caterpillars.