Markets: Latest News
Global Risk Insights, 7:36 am
A few weeks ago the World Bank published their ‘2017 Ease of Doing Business Report’: Tanzania performed impressively in this year’s report, climbing seven places in the world ranking. This upward trajectory is largely due to the substantial reforms over the past year in four key areas: business licensing, land reforms, easy registration of businesses and people’s registration.
Staff, 12:02 am
One aspect of U.S. military operations in Africa that remains vastly under-covered and unappreciated is the role of private military and security contractors. Private military and security contractors are the U.S. military’s American Express card. It dare not deploy overseas without them. This is nowhere truer than in Africa. It is fitting that modern private military and security contractors should be operating in Africa. After all, Africa gave rise to much of the industry. The pioneer in the field was the South Africa-based Executive Outcomes, which shut down in 1998.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Netherlands based off-grid solar provider Nova Lumos has raised $90 million in financing from private equity investment and development banks to roll out pay-as-you-go solar power systems in Nigeria. It’s the biggest fundraising round to date for the off-grid solar market, and hopes to provide cheaper and cleaner alternatives to kerosene for millions of people living in Africa. Nova Lumos was founded in Israel in 2012. Its “home power station in a box” includes a solar panel activated by text messaging that can supply enough electricity to charge a cell phone, operate a radio and illuminate a home.
Dana Sanchez, 2:50 pm
London-based discount airline Fastjet is seeking another injection of capital and trying to stabilize its business by cutting unprofitable routes. It’s hoping to add internal South African flights — a crowded market but one it said it can’t ignore. Fastjet was engaged in a price war with Kenya Airways. Now it’s cutting routes. Traded on the London Stock Exchange, Fastjet wants to be the first pan-African low-cost carrier, but has not made a profit since its 2012 inception. A new, sooner-than-expected capital raising effort in the first quarter of 2017 prompted Fastjet Chairman Colin Child’s resignation.
Dana Sanchez, 12:13 pm
The Zimbabwean diaspora has a significant interest in property investment in their home country. Although agricultural land is typically state-owned, and rural land communally owned, urban land in Zimbabwe is held under freehold title, and deeds are registered. There are rights to ownership of urban land, and interest and potential for investment in urban land in Zimbabwe. Continued interest in the diaspora has seen increased demand for small-scale, affordable housing in low- and high-density areas.
Kevin Mwanza, 6:47 am
South Africa, the biggest economy on the continent, could slip into junk rating due to political instability that has led to a weakened rand and slowed growth, according to Fitch Ratings Ltd who forecast the economy to grow by less than three percent in the next two years. The country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 44 percent, while the rand and stocks took a hit last week, further increasing the country’s debt.
Dana Sanchez, 5:18 pm
Chinese company Xinwei agreed to buy Israeli satellite company Spacecom for $190 million despite a Sept. 1 rocket explosion on the launchpad in Florida that took Spacecom’s share prices down more than 50 percent. The explosion destroyed a rocket owned by tech and space entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX. It was carrying a satellite that Facebook had planned to use to expand internet access in Africa. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he wouldn’t give up on internet for Africa.
Kevin Mwanza, 5:35 am
Dangote Cement temporary shut down operations in its Mtwara plant in Tanzania last week, raising fears that the firm may be forced to exit the market, its only operational plant in the East African region after it closed its Ethiopian plant in October and it’s Kenyan foray failed to take off. The company attributed the Tanzanian plant closure to technical issues, even as sources privy to the government said Dangote Cement was caught up in political infighting.
Dana Sanchez, 3:50 pm
An Israeli garment firm manufacturing in Ethiopia just made its first shipment to the U.S. for Sweden’s H&M. Ethiopia has all the key elements for manufacturing — cheap labor, government support, and access to the U.S. through AGOA, the Israeli CEO said. Ethiopian garment workers start at about $21 a month compared to Bangladesh’s minimum wage of $68 per month and China’s average monthly wage of $500 in the textile sector.
Dana Sanchez, 1:39 pm
There is a gap for hospital services in Africa and property investors can benefit from this with healthcare real estate investment trusts, an expert says. A REIT is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. Large hospital owners like Netcare or Life Healthcare in South Africa could sell hospitals to a property manager who runs a healthcare REIT. The REIT would then lease them back. REITs provide investors with a liquid stake in real estate, special tax considerations and typically high-dividend yields. In more mature markets, healthcare REITs are often popular investments.
- Real Estate