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Nigeria: Covid-19 – Anambra Postpones Reopening of Schools, Threatens to Close Markets

nigeria covid 19 anambra postpones reopening of schools threatens to close markets

Following the surge in COVID-19 cases in Anambra State, the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano has postponed the reopening of schools in the state by two weeks.

Obiano stated this yesterday in his broadcast to the people of the state.

He also banned any gathering exceeding 50 people in the state, while threatening to close any market that would violate COVID-19 protocol.

He said the decisions had become necessary following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that was “sweeping across the world”.

“Sadly, it appears that our warnings fell on deaf ears. Our people allowed themselves to be carried away by the joys of the Yuletide and failed to maintain the COVID-19 protocols.”

Obiano added that the state had been faced with a clear and present danger, adding that between December 7, 2020, and January 11, 2021, the state had recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19.

The governor’s address read in part, “My administration has taken a string of hard decisions to stamp out the renewed spread of this pandemic before it gains a serious advantage over us.

“All government offices must observe the standard COVID-19 protocols – washing of hands at the entrance, wearing of facemasks, regular use of hand sanitizers, and strict observance of social distancing. Nobody will be allowed into any government premises without properly wearing a face mask.

“No one should step outside their homes without wearing a facemask.

” The ban on nightclubs is still firmly in place. Hotels are directed to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

“There should not be more than 50 people in any public gathering.

“The COVID-19 Action Teams in all our 61 markets must ensure full compliance with the standard COVID-19 protocols.

“All markets in Anambra State are given one week to set-up the necessary safety standards and ensure proper compliance. Any market found violating the standards after one week shall be quickly shut down.

“Transport operators are advised to revert to all the practices that helped us during the first wave of the pandemic. They must ensure social distancing inside the vehicles and maintain a passenger manifest.

“Schools in Anambra shall not re-open on January 18, 2021 as earlier scheduled. Rather, schools will re-open after two weeks from today to enable the principals and teachers prepare for the return of our children .

“Churches and other religious organisations are advised to set up Action Teams and go back to the practices that helped us in the first phase of the pandemic. For the sake of emphasis, nobody should go to any market, public places, church, schools, enter any transport, attend functions as stated above without properly wearing facemasks.”

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Nigeria: CBN Meeting and NSE in Focus

nigeria cbn meeting and nse in focus
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Nigerian stocks struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors adopted a guarded approach ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s interest rate decision this week.

After claiming the title as the world’s best-performing stock market in 2020, equity bulls in Nigeria seem to be missing with the NSE All-Share Index down only 0.36 per cent year-to-date.

While appetite towards the local stocks was fuelled by a sense of optimism over Nigeria’s economic outlook, the primary driver behind such gains last year revolved around the bond markets. It must be kept in mind that investors were hunting for gains at a time where the country’s fixed income markets offered negative real yields.

Given how this has drained demand for naira bonds, they may remain unloved and depressed over the coming months.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is unlikely to change its monetary policy stance with interest rates expected to remain unchanged at 11.5 per cent. While central banks across the globe have embraced looser monetary policy and lower interest rates, the CBN may not have the breathing space.

Inflation which has accelerated to a 34 month high of 14.9 per cent in November is likely to push higher amid dollar shortages. On top of this, the country is still battling with COVID-19 with a new variant emerging a few backs back.

On the bright side, oil prices are trading to levels not seen since February 2018 amid signs of tightening global supply. For emerging market oil producers like Nigeria, this is a welcome development and could boost optimism over the growth outlook for 2021. While prices could push higher in the near term, surging coronavirus cases and lockdowns across the globe may fuel fears around weak oil demand.

Oil is up almost 10 per cent since the start of the year with the commodity’s near-term outlook likely to be influenced by the pending OPEC monthly market report on Thursday.

Away from Nigeria, things are set to heat up in Washington after Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach U.S President Donald Trump for a second time, setting the stage for a vote on Wednesday. The idea of Democrats pushing for the removal of Trump who has less than two weeks left in his term is likely to fuel risk aversion and spur demand for safe-haven assets. If this becomes reality, the move would mark a first in history as no president has ever been impeached twice.

Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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South Africa: Ayo Share Price Surge – Some Things Are Just Too Good to Be True

south africa ayo share price surge some things are just too good to be true
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The JSE was a difficult place to be for investors in 2020, with the All Share Index returning less than 1% over the year. That is, unless you were invested in resources or a handful of small-cap shares that managed to outperform. Of these, one that stands out is AYO Technology Solutions, whose shareholders must be smiling.

First published by Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Technology company AYO, owned 29% by the PIC, 49% by African Equity Empowerment Investments and 20% by individual investors, has delivered stellar returns for its shareholders in the past year. Its share price appreciated by more than 300% – from 148c in January 2020 to 600c in January 2021 – making it the second-best performer of the year, after AH-Vest, makers of tomato sauce.

Incredibly, on Monday, 11 January, the share leapt once again, this time from R6 to R30 after an on-market acquisition of a paltry 400 shares.

In a year that also saw a dividend drought, AYO shareholders had another reason to smile – dividends leapt by 100% from 51c in 2019 to 100c in 2020.

This sudden reversal in fortune must be of interest to the PIC, given that it acquired its…

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Tanzania: Dse Market Activities Forecast to Increase in Coming Week

tanzania dse market activities forecast to increase in coming week

IN the coming week, like previous week there could be an increase in market activities as we have witnessed increased in market activities during the start of the year 2021, we still prospect that the market will remain vibrant going forward, thanks to prospects from the banking sector performance for the year ended 2020 and activities in the industrial and allied sector.

The market will remain active during the week and mainly from the top local active counters. Even though it remains a mystery to justify JATU PLC’s demand at the bourse it is likely that it may remain active for some coming trading sessions, but we remain wary that price will decline during the week. Other top counters expected to transact during the week include TBL, JATU, CRDB, TPCC, NICOL, SWIS and DSE.

In midweek we expect a 2-year Treasury bond auction to be held by the central bank. There could be slight increase in the WAY with low volatility towards decline in yields for the Medium-term instruments due to low appetite for these medium-term instruments, but with likelihood of oversubscription but at minimal amount compared to previous auctions.

Hence the increases in yields out-weigh the decline in the coming auction. In the interbank money market, notwithstanding the decrease in the Weighted average rate (WAR) during the previous week, we still reiterate foresee that WAR will continue to be stable and within a range of 3.50 per cent to 4.00 per cent with slight volatility in the high and low rate.

The Bourse

During the week, total market capitalisation slightly gained by 0.03 per cent to close the market at TZS 15.10 Trillion from TZS 15.09 Trillion in the previous week mainly due to share price appreciation of locally listed firms at the bourse.

CRDB share price increased by 5.13 per cent to close at TZS 205, DSE share price increased by 2.27 per cent to close at TZS 900, JHL share price increased by 6.09 per cent to close at TZS 6,100 while EABL lost 0.61 per cent to close at TZS 3,260, KCB declined by 1.23 per cent to close at TZS 800, JATU share price declined by 1.34 per cent to close at 2,940 and TCCL share price declined by 6 per cent to close at TZS 470.

Domestic market capitalisation increased by 0.27 per cent, thanks to share price appreciation of CRDB and DSE. TSI gained 0.27 per cent to close at 3,493.88 points, DSEI gained 0.03 per cent to close at 1,817.41 points, Industrial & allied index lost 0.04 per cent to close at 4,821.47 points, Bank, Finance and Investment Index (B&F) gained 1.44 per cent to close at 2,363.98 points while Commercial Service (CS) remained stationary for the week to close at 2,139.33 points.

Total Volume of shares traded decreased by 99.20 per cent to 1,395,341 with 258 deals from last week’s 175,031,822 with 176 deals. Total turnover for the week declined by 99.74 per cent to TZS 1.39 billion from TZS 420.91 billion previous week.

Tanzania breweries Limited (TBL) led all counters after transaction shares worth TZS 657.65 Million, CRDB counter followed after transacting shares worth TZS 216.57 Million, JATU transacted shares worth TZS 92.25 Million, TCCL counter transacted shares worth TZS 57.39 Million, TPCC transacted shares worth TZS 34.92 Million, DSE transacted shares worth TZS 12.95 Million, SWIS transacted shares worth TZS 4.72 Million, NICOL transacted shares worth 3.99 Million, VODA transacted shares worth TZS 1.28 Million, NMB transacted shares worth TZS 224,000.00, DCB transacted shares worth TZS 17,500.00, MCB transacted shares worth TZS 4,500.00. TICL joined the laggard after transacting shares worth TZS 1,400 after a prolonged dormancy for the latter.

Interbank market

During the week, the Interbank Cash Market (IBCM) recorded a total transaction value of TZS 229.5 billion being an increase from last week’s TZS 63 billion traded. The WAR declined to close at 3.55 per cent from 3.73 per cent. The highest and lowest rate was 4.50 per cent and 3.50 per cent from last week’s 4.00 per cent and 3.00 per cent.

Debt Market

In the debt market, outstanding government bond listed at the bourse stood at TZS 12.91 trillion. On the Secondary market, the government bond segment transacted TZS 39.40 billion whose face value was TZS 37.70 billion from last week’s TZS 19.61 billion and TZS 18.81 billion, respectively. For the Corporate bonds the market transacted bond worth TZS 5.44 Million and face value of TZS 6.00 Million from the previous week transaction value of TZS 9.07 Million and face value of TZS 10.00 Million.

During the week, the central government in line with its debt issuance plan sought to raise total of TZS 90.23 Billion from the public through a treasury bill. The auction was undersubscribed by TZS 21.70 Billion. The central bank pocketed total of TZS 50.53 Billion; 35-days successful amount worth TZS 1 Billion, 91-days successful amount worth TZS 1.5 Billion, 182-days successful amount worth TZS 873.68 Million and 364-days successful amount worth TZS 47.15 Billion.

WAY for 35 days, 91 days, 182 days and 364 days was 1.99 per cent, 2.50 per cent, 2.60 per cent and 4.63 per cent respectively. WAP for 35-days, 91-days, 182-days and 364-days was 99.81, 99.38, 98.72 and 95.59, respectively.

Interbank Foreign Exchange

Market Total volume in the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market decreased to USD 3.65 Million from USD 9.97 Million in the previous week. TZS/USD remain strong to close the market at TZS/ USD 2,309.92 from TZS/ USD 2,309.90 in the previous week

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South Africa: Business Highlights of the Week – From the JSE’s Surprising High to MTN’s Low

south africa business highlights of the week from the jses surprising high to mtns low
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The JSE hit an all-time high on the third trading day of the new year. Sounds great, until you consider that it has just matched the levels it last traded at in January 2018. So, if you’re invested in the broader market, your investment has gone nowhere over the past three years – although, granted, you will have earned dividends.

It’s difficult to fathom why other global indices, including the US’s much-watched Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq, are hitting record highs as second waves of the coronavirus pandemic sweep across the globe. Much less so our own market. While the expectation of more economic stimulus packages under a Democrat-controlled government in the US and the rollout of Covid vaccination programmes in a number of countries are offering investors a glimmer of hope, they’re all missing here.

However, all the factors driving our market higher are exogenous. Like last year, however, resource stocks and a handful of other shares are propping up the JSE, masking the devastating impact Covid-19 and an already struggling economy had on sectors, including listed property, financials and so-called SA Inc shares.

Gold jumped 25% over the course of 2020, while platinum rose 11% and palladium…

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Zimbabwe: Ama Restructures, Seeks Sanity in Agric Markets

zimbabwe ama restructures seeks sanity in agric markets

THE recent restructuring of the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) is expected to enhance its primary mandate of regulating production, processing and marketing of various agricultural products in Zimbabwe, its chairman Mr Allan Majuru said yesterday.

For long, farmers have been calling for overhauling of AMA to ensure better service delivery.

Some stakeholders where viewing AMA as a ‘revenue collector’ rather than a partner in development and promoting fair market practices. It had repeatedly failed to solve the chaotic marketing of various crops, particularly cotton where side marketing is rampant.

AMA, which is charged with enforcing cotton regulations has over the years demonstrated reluctance to enforce effective deterrent penalties resulting in total chaos in the marketing of the commodity. The primary cause of the failure of the cotton industry between 2012 and 2015 was side marketing largely due to regulatory failure.

For instance, US based agro-focused firm, Cargill closed its local cotton business in 2014 citing operational challenges. Cargill, which had more than 20 000 farmers under its cotton contract scheme, significantly suffered from low cotton output, depressed margins as well as high levels of breach of contractual obligations by cotton growers.

Similarly, The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) almost went into judicial management in 2014 after its debt ballooned to nearly US$50 million after it lost it’s a significant amount if its crop through side marketing. Cottco, which is now administering the Presidential Inputs Scheme since 2015, has also been losing significant amount of cotton to private players through marketing, further exposing regulatory failure.

Mr Majuru said the restructuring, which saw retrenchment two senior executives and a manager fulfilled President Mnangagwa’s pledge during the 6th Annual National Agribusiness Conference held in August 2018 where he said the Second Republic will restructure the Agricultural Marketing Authority to make it “more responsive to address these marketing gaps within the sector . . . and deal decisively with side marketing.”

Subsequently, a new board led by Mr Majuru was appointed in October 2019 as part of the AMA’s restructuring exercise.

To drive the transformation of AMA, the new board appointed a substantive chief executive officer, Mr Clever Isaya in July 2020 to turn AMA into a robust, innovative and effective regulator for the agricultural sector.

Mr Majuru said the restructuring of AMA was expected to improve the role played by the agriculture sector towards the nation’s Vision 2030.

“There is need to understand that for Zimbabwe to achieve Vision 2030 of transforming the country into an upper middle-class economy, there is need to prioritise agriculture as this is one of the key sectors of the economy,” Mr Majuru told The Herald Finance and Business.

“A well-coordinated agricultural sector, which contributes meaningfully to national economy therefore requires AMA to be an honest arbiter, facilitator, enabler and a force multiplier to achieve the set targets.”

Majuru added the transformation of AMA was market driven and is expected to address challenges raised by farmers and other key stakeholders.

“There was also need to align with the Agricultural and Food Systems Transformation Strategy and the Horticulture Recovery Plan so that we assist players in all different value chains,” he said.

“So this transformation comes at a time when the country is gearing for improved agricultural production, which is a low hanging fruit considering the competitive and comparative advantage enjoyed by Zimbabwean farmers.”

Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director Mr Paul Zakariya said it was now critical that AMA moved with speed to implement policies that “enhances ease of doing business.”

“AMA should do more in terms of making it easier for one selling and one buying,” said Mr Zakariya.

“It should also extend its mandate beyond production by eliminating profiteering in inputs credit scheme and look at speedy implementation of marketing platforms.”

Agriculture economist Dr Midway Bhunu said AMA, as an authority should come up with a deliberate robust engagement strategy to involve all key value chain actors for different value chains starting with the one with known production and marketing challenges such cotton and tobacco.

This would help them in understanding real bottlenecks that result in problems of side marketing among other counter production behaviours.

“To start with it is very important for all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to appreciate the role or mandate of AMA in driving sustainable agriculture and marketing,” said Dr Bhunu.

“This institution should be resourced to be fully capacitated to deliver its mandate.”

Dr Bhunu said the private sector was also key in supporting AMA’s mandate and “this can only happen when producers and buyers understand AMA’s role.”

AMA is a statutory body established in terms of an Act of Parliament and is mandated with the overall regulation of the production, marketing and processing of agricultural products in Zimbabwe.

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Tanzania: Dar Exchange Starts Year On Right Foot

tanzania dar exchange starts year on right foot
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THE Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) has started the year on a right foot after seeing the rise of share prices which goes against the norm of the month of January.

The bourse saw domestic shares namely Jatu, DSE and CRDB appreciating between 1.0 and 10 per cent and defying the tradition of stock depreciation in the first month of the year.

According to DSE daily market reports, Jatu led the pack after gaining by 9.82 per cent to 3,580/- in the first two trading days of the year, followed by CRDB by 2.56 per cent to 200/- and DSE by 1.14 per cent to 890/-.

The Tanzania Securities Wednesday market report for domestic listed firms showed that the market picked up on the second day of trading where seven counters were active of which three registered share gains.

“The market picked up on the second trading day of the year. Jatu price is still appreciating and more shares are being traded,” Tanzania Securities said in the report.

Analysts have it that in January the shares are normally trading at declining prices since investors have a number of obligations to fulfill. “This year the norm was broken as share prices are appreciating instead of depreciating… this is not the usual January,” an analyst told the ‘Daily News’ on Wednesday.

On top of that the DSE activities have increased in the first month of the year where over 600,000 shares exchange hands in the last two trading days.

Active counters were CRDB traded 575,200 shares at a price of 200/-, NICOL traded 10,260 shares at a price range of 180/- and 185/- and Jatu moved 6,230 shares at 3,580/-. Others were DSE traded 2,950 shares at 890/-, Twiga traded 2,016 shares at between 2,500/- and 2,600/-, Swissport 409 shares at 1,160/- and Voda 10 shares at 740/-.

The average daily turnover in the last two trading days was 55.36m/-. Also, foreigners participated by 78.05per cent on the buying side only.

Late last year stock analysts projected that DSE would close last year on an optimistic note, based on surging Jatu price and block trades.

The exchange ended the year by echoing analysts’ prediction and warranted to open this year on the right foot.

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South Africa: A Rocky Year for Almost Every Firm On the JSE, Except the Mining Companies

south africa a rocky year for almost every firm on the jse except the mining companies
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Covid-19 took its toll on global economies and SA’s in particular – that much can be seen in the performance of SA’s blue-chip banking, retail and industrial stocks, which were hammered. Those that recover and thrive will be the companies with the strongest balance sheets and best management.

It is safe to say that the JSE had an interesting year in 2020. After crashing spectacularly in March, the stock exchange recovered its losses within weeks. Considering the devastation that Covid-19 wrought on the South African economy, the fact that the JSE ended the year up 0.63% from where it began in January 2020 is remarkable.

However, a closer look at the Top 100 stocks will show that while heavyweights like Naspers and Prosus did their bit to hold the bourse steady, gaining 31.8% and 52%, respectively, in the year, it was the resource stocks that saved the day.

That’s because stalwarts like British American Tobacco (BAT), AB InBev, Sasol and Remgro had a disastrous year, losing anything between 8.7% in the case of BAT and 50.7% in the case of Remgro.

Banks, which were expected to prop up the economy during and after the lockdown by providing extended terms and…

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Namibia: Covid-19 Wipes Out N$10 Billion of Local Companies’ Value

namibia covid 19 wipes out n10 billion of local companies value

LISTED Namibian companies at the beginning of last year were worth over N$36 billion. A year later, their value has dipped by a whopping N$10 billion.

A basic comparison of the market capitalisation at the beginning and end of last year reveals this. The cause, according to their trade updates and commentary on released financials, is Covid-19 and its accompanying restrictions.

Local and international investors with shareholding in these companies have therefore lost around N$10 billion in terms of the value of the shares they hold in these companies.

This includes typical investors such as pension funds, private individuals, state-owned enterprises and insurance companies, which have all been affected.

Data from the Namibian Stock Exchange show that 10 of Namibia’s listed companies started off the year with a worth of N$36,4 billion, and late last week, their value stood at N$27,3 billion.

Market capitalisation is a measure of a company’s value calculated by multiplying the share price with the number of shares outstanding.

Many companies have seen their share price nosediving by double digits.

The companies are Namibia Breweries Limited, Nictus Holdings, Oryx Properties Limited, Paratus Namibia Holdings, Namibia Asset Management Limited, Stimulus Investments Limited, and the four banking groups: Letshego Holdings Namibia, Capricorn Group Limited, FirstRand Namibia and Standard Bank Namibia Holdings.

From the list, only Paratus Namibia Holdings and Namibia Asset Managers saw share prices edging up, while others took painful hits.

These two saw share prices moving up by 11,6% and 12%, respectively – closing the year with shares trading at N$11,49 and N$0,62.

Namibia Breweries Limited was the hardest hit, with share prices plummeting by almost a third at 31,12% – from N$48,27 to N$33,25 a share.

Following is FirstRand Namibia, of which shares also plunged – settling at N$23,04 at the end of the year, compared to a high of N$33,41 at the beginning of 2020.

Share prices of Oryx Properties, Letshego and the Capricorn Group also took a knock, dipping by 30,8%, 19,1% and 14,9%, respectively.

The consolidated figures above exclude Alpha Namibia Industries Renewable Power Limited (Anirep), which only moved to the main board last year.

Anirep and Standard Bank Namibia are all trading below their initial public offer at N$6,90 and N$9,00, respectively.

This means to sell these shares, investors will be recording actual losses on their investments.

Last year also saw the central government’s treasury bills balance hiking slightly from N$24,2 billion to N$27,3 billion.

Analysts expect some recovery this year, hinging on the availability of a Covid-19 vaccine, which could see trade resuming to normal.

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @Lasarus_A

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South Africa: Stocks to Watch in 2021

south africa stocks to watch in 2021
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Investors had high hopes for the JSE in 2020. After a lacklustre five years, ending December 2019, when the JSE managed subpar returns of 6% and barely beat inflation, it was hoped that 2020 would be the year of recovery. Instead, it’s been a year of wild rides beginning in March, when bourses around the world crashed on the news that Covid-19 was a pandemic.

By 19 March, the JSE was trading 30% lower than it was in January and despite some gains, by early December the FTSE/JSE Capped Swix Index was standing at a miserable -1%. At the same time, global indices shot the lights out, driven by a handful of technology stocks whose share prices exploded.

But it looks like the stars may finally be aligning for the local equity market, with the global stimulus finding its way to local shares as global investors become more comfortable investing in riskier emerging-market assets.

In addition, the interest rate environment is expected to remain benign – encouraging investment and growth, while local profits are expected to recover in 2021.

And if South Africa’s fiscal position remains relatively stable and GDP growth improves, then even better for the JSE,…