Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Botswana cuts interest rates 150bps

The Bank of Botswana reduced rates by 150bp to 11.5%. It is expected that inflation will maintain a downward trend.

This is the third consecutive rate cut by the Monetary Policy Committee since rates topped, a total of 300bps.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Uganda's National Insurance IPO

Uganda will sell a 40% government stake in Uganda's National Insurance in mid-July to list it on the Uganda Securities Exchange. In 2005, Uganda sold a 60% stake in the company to Nigeria's Industrial and General Insurance company.

Monday, 22 June 2009

United Nations looks to African agricultural expansion

The UN believes that the savannah, spanning 25 African nations, could be used to boost commercial farming. A new report says that some 400 million hectares in the Guinea Savannah zone - stretching from Senegal to South Africa - are ripe for commodity production. At present, only 10 per cent of that area is actually being farmed.

Africa can now make use of new technologies and improved business climates

Friday, 19 June 2009

Auerbach Grayson open access to Iraq

Auerbach Grayson, a New York brokerage, has just become the first international company to trade in Iraqi securities.

Auerbach has signed an agreement with Rabee Securities, a Baghdad brokerage, through which it will provide research and trade execution.

Rwanda stock exchange starts

The first company began trading on the Rwandese bourse yesterday. Kenya Commercial Bank is currently cross-listed both Uganda and Tanzania and joins a number of Kenyan companies seeking to gain a regional presence.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

New Saudi bond market opens

Saudi Arabia new bond market opened yesterday. Foreigners can tap the new investment tool in the Middle East's largest economy for the first time. The first bond session yesterday involved SR21billion (Dh20.5bn), including SR16bn bonds by Saudi Arabian Basic Industries CorporationSaudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation and SR5bn by Saudi Electricity CompanySaudi Electricity Company.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have spearheaded one of the largest bond issues in the region over the past two months.

The launching of a bond market in Saudi Arabia is the latest in a series of moves announced by the CMACMA to develop its financial market.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

African debt

Interesting slide from African Economic Forum 2009.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

New beginning in Arab US relations

President Barack Obama’s call for a “new beginning” in relations with the Muslim world set a nice tone for relations between the US and the Arab world. The address, form the golden-domed Grand Hall of Cairo University called on all to societi end the “cycle of suspicion and discord”.

Citing a verse in the Koran that tells Muslims to “speak always the truth,” Obama said that that to move forward, “we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors.”

He outlined six friction points between the U.S. and the Muslim world:

Violent extremism
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear arms
Democracy in Muslim nations
Religious freedom
Rights of women