Shock for South Africa as country heads into recession

Shock for South Africa as country heads into recession

Shock for South Africa as country heads into recession

Agriculture might help South Africa out of recession but retail and hospitality sectors are likely to feel the pinch as the South African economy contracted in Q1 2017 by 0.7%, following a 0.3% contraction in Q4 2016, moving the country into a technical recession, despite expectations of a 0.9% expansion. According to new analysis from credit insurer Coface, with unemployment…

Economic performance expected to improve in South Africa, despite declaration of recession

Economic performance expected to improve in South Africa, despite declaration of recession

Economic performance expected to improve in South Africa, despite declaration of recession

Business practitioners remain confident that the South African business environment will improve this year. According to Deloitte’s fourth annual South African Restructuring Outlook 2017 survey, the results show a significant improvement from 2016, with most respondents to the survey expecting an improved economic environment in 2017, in line with the wider trend seen across developing economies. However, an important caveat,…

Nigeria’s exchange rate still a cause for concern

Nigeria’s exchange rate still a cause for concern

Nigeria’s exchange rate still a cause for concern

Investors are being put off Nigeria because of its erratic foreign exchange policy, but analysts are warning the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) still has little room for manoeuvre. Malte Liewerscheidt, politics senior analyst, Africa, Verisk Maplecroft, explained: “An overvalued official exchange rate curbed traders’ appetite, while tight currency controls and lack of liquidity in the forex market meant that…

Confidence in investment into Africa remains high

Confidence in investment into Africa remains high

Confidence in investment into Africa remains high

FDI flows to Africa may be threatened by global economic uncertainty, but delegates at the fourth annual African Trade Insurance Agency roundtable heard that Africans can do more to help themselves and boost intra-African trade. Liz Booth reports from the event Africans must learn to do more for themselves and to seek out investment support, according to speakers and delegates…

Nigerian banks still vulnerable, warns Fitch

Nigerian banks still vulnerable, warns Fitch

Nigerian banks still vulnerable, warns Fitch

The devaluation of the naira and increasing loan defaults, as well as the lower oil price, are continuing to impact Nigeria’s banking sector. The latest round of results announced by Nigerian banks highlights capital weakness in the sector, with some mid-sized and small banks particularly vulnerable to deteriorating asset quality, according to Fitch Ratings. It warned: “Headline capital adequacy ratios…

Ivory Coast joins ATI member countries

Ivory Coast joins ATI member countries

Ivory Coast joins ATI member countries

Ivory Coast has joined the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) in a bid to reach emerging country status by 2020. ATI is a multilateral investment insurer whose specialised investment and commercial risk insurance products are expected to help attract up to US$2bn of inward investments and trade into the country and to potentially help lower its sovereign borrowing costs by…

South African insurers and reinsurers hit by country downgrade

South African insurers and reinsurers hit by country downgrade

South African insurers and reinsurers hit by country downgrade

South African insurers and reinsurers have been hit by downgrades, following the downgrade of the country as a whole by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings. S&P warned: “The negative outlooks largely reflect that on the sovereign, meaning we could lower the ratings further if we lower our ratings on South Africa.” The ratings agency revised the outlook to negative…

South Africa downgraded to junk status after cabinet reshuffle

South Africa downgraded to junk status after cabinet reshuffle

South Africa downgraded to junk status after cabinet reshuffle

“Heightened political and institutional uncertainties that have arisen from the recent changes in executive leadership” have resulted in S&P Global Ratings effectively taking the country to junk status, with Moody’s placing the country on watch for a possible investment downgrade. This reaction from the ratings agencies had been feared by businesses both inside and outside the country. Political commentators said…

Enko Capital launches Africa investment fund

Enko Capital launches Africa investment fund

Enko Capital launches Africa investment fund

A new fund has been launched to promote African investment, with $200m of assets under management. The Enko Africa Debt Fund (EADF) will invest solely in fixed income securities issued by corporates and sovereigns, denominated in local and hard currencies across Africa, and has been launched by Enko Capital, an asset management company focused on investing in opportunities across Africa…

CEO outlines Kenya banking challenges

CEO outlines Kenya banking challenges

CEO outlines Kenya banking challenges

Kenya’s banking industry is still paying the price resulting from the receivership of three banks in late 2015 and early 2016, as panic withdrawals and negative reputation resulted in lower liquidity in the industry, the chief executive of Kenya’s largest bank by customer base, Equity Bank’s James Mwangi, has said. Chase Bank, Dubai Bank and Imperial Bank were placed under…

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