Finance, Investments & Trade

Corruption Corner

EuroBic – Portuguese Lender Severs Ties with Isabel Dos Santos & Sales Stake

March 4, 2020Portugal to freeze the proceeds from the expected sale of Isabel dos Santos’ 42.5% stake in EuroBic, worth around $200 million, the country’s central bank governor Carlos Costa has stated.

The judicial authorities want to preserve the value associated with this deal will not block the transaction.

After safeguarding the value how is this going to help the Angolan People as the funds will remain locked in Portugal? Probably that is where all these asset seizures and forfeitures fall short. The looted funds take too long to get back to the Third World countries where they would have originated from in the first place. They keep on benefitting the host country.

#COVID19 Investment Opportunities

March 11, 2020 – With the global onset and proliferation of the coronavirus #COVID19 there are new business opportunities that are showing up on the horizon.

People and investors will be encouraged to adjust to the new normal as “Personal Touch” in doing business takes a back burner. Remote business transactioning will in the future take first preference as contact is minimised as much as possible.

To that end, new online business opportunities in Health / Medical care, Education, Entertainment, Service Sector and Telecommunicating will take root. It will be the enterprising young one that will carry the day eventually.

#COVID19 Hygiene & Transmission different surfaces

March 11, 2020 – The #COVID19 germ has been discovered that it survives longest on plastic and stainless steel, where it clings for as long as three days.

“Virus stability in air and on surfaces may directly affect virus transmission, as virus particles need to remain viable long enough after being expelled from the host to be taken up by a novel host,” Munster and his team write.

This means that the disease can actually be airborne contrary to what many people are peddling out there.

#COVID19 Impact on Global Business

U.S. Treasury will likely extend deadline for filing tax due to coronavirus: WSJ

March 11, 2020 – Taxation which is the life line for any government is already seeing a serious obstruction due t #COVID19.

The Trump administration is looking at pushing back the April 15 deadline for filing taxes as part of efforts to curb the coronavirus’ effects on U.S. households and businesses.

USA Stock Market Dow Index enters bear market as #COVID19 Pandemic declared

March 11, 2020 – World Health Organisation @WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general, used the term. “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time,” he said.

Line chart of Index points showing Big daily moves see S&P 500 reapproach recent lows
Source – Financial Times

That has sent the DOW into bear territory. So much economic uncertainty now affecting economic decisions

Statement by the International Monetary and Financial Committee on the Coronavirus

March 4, 2020 – The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) today held a teleconference call, chaired by Governor of the South African Reserve Bank Lesetja Kganyago and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, and issued the following statement.

“The IMF’s 189 member countries stand united to address the global challenges related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic and we extend our sympathies to all those affected. The economic and financial impact has also been felt globally, creating uncertainty and damaging near-term prospects. We are determined to provide the necessary support to mitigate the impact, especially on the most vulnerable people and countries. We have called upon the IMF to use all its available financing instruments to help member countries in need. We are confident that, working together, we will overcome the challenge facing us and restore growth and prosperity for all.”

IMF Fund Emergency Disbursements for #COVID19

According to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, the fund could quickly disburse $50 billion through its emergency financing facilities to low income and emerging market countries.

IMF & World Bank Spring Meetings to use a Virtual Format

Signalling a strong departure from the past, and maybe a way future meeting will be done in the future; the Management of the IMF and World Bank Group and their Executive Boards have agreed to implement a joint plan to adapt the 2020 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings to a virtual format.

“Our goal is to serve our membership effectively while ensuring the health and safety of Spring Meetings participants and staff,” said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and The World Bank Group President David Malpass in a joint statement. “Like everyone else around the world, we have been deeply concerned by the evolving situation of the hashtag#coronavirus and the human tragedy surrounding it. We remain fully committed to maintaining a productive dialogue with our stakeholders and will leverage our IT-related and virtual connection capabilities to the fullest to hold our essential policy consultations with the membership.” http://ow.ly/jIMf50yBQdVhashtag#COVID19

World Bank Group Announces Up to $12 Billion Immediate Support for COVID-19 Country Response – Fast Track Financing for Developing Countries

March 3, 2020 – The World Bank Group comprising the  IDA, IBRD and IFC will provide financing for developing countries as immediate support to assist the countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.

The World Bank Group has said that the financing package “will help developing countries strengthen their health systems, including ensuring better access to health services, to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies”.

The countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have so far been spared the brunt of the epidemic but it is still early days to say whether they have dodged the bullet. The governments are urged to engage the World Bank Group to see how they can be assisted in getting such support given the vulnerable health systems in countries like Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It is also not clear how this financial assistance will be treated given the already existing trade embargoes on countries like Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iran. especially given that the proliferation of the virus does not follow the dictates of man made embargoes and sanctions.


Trade / Investment Fairs & Exhibitions

Breaking News: #COVID19 (Coronavirus): DUE TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC OCCASIONED BY CORONAVIRUS #COVID19 THERE WILL BE NO TRADE AND INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE AS COUNTRIES ARE GOING THROUGH VARIOUS FORMS OF ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Trade

Important Trade Links

African Continental Free Trade Area
Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA)
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Eastern African Community (EAC)

News & Opinions

Is Self Quarantine, Observation & Reporting a viable option in the fight against #COVID19 Virus?

Many countries around the world that are constrained for resources have introduced a system of Self Quarantine, Observation & Reporting for all suspected cases of #COVID19 virus, amongst them the United Kingdom and countries in Sub-Saharan AFrica like Zimbabwe, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia and Malawi .

This method of managing the proliferation of the virus has been a source of contestation right from the beginning and the prophets of doom seem to have been vindicated. This is after an individual in the United Kingdom did not follow set guidelines and in the process jeopardised the lives of many innocent people. Maybe it’s time these countries in Africa designate specific infectious hospitals / facilities to which such people shall be quarantined and how they shall be transported there.

At the same time is very critical that the media provides uptodate and accurate information about #COVID19 to ensure there is no stigmatisation and spreading of false information.

The Wage Bill Headache for African Governments & State Owned Entities:

The Government of the Republic of South Africa is planning to reduce its wage bill by cutting 30,000 jobs and freeze salary increases for at least three (3) years according to the President Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation address. Is this the most viable way of addressing the issue of wage bill against revenues? It is a highly debatable and one can understand why the unions are up in arms against such a move.

This can also have a ripple effect on the economy and slow down any economic growth that is there. The best proposal would be to look at how the state can create more revenues from the State Owned assets that it controls, increase revenues through more efficient taxation and attract more money (investment) into the ailing economy.

This issue is not a South African Government / market problem but affects the whole of Southern & Eastern African countries without exception. It’s time the region engaged more on business than politics.

Eskom Conundrum

The Eskom Holdings within the South African Government continues unabated with yet again conflicting signals from the Ministers of Mineral and Energy Resources (Honourable Samson Gwede Mantashe) and Public Enterprises (Honourable Pravin Gordhan). Does this dissonance signal that the end of the once mighty Eskom is nigh? Does it mean an uncertain future for investment in Southern Africa as a whole? Read more….

CoronaVirus Impact on Africa Trade & Investment

The CoronaVirus (Code named #2019nCoV) is already having a profound impact on the African Economy as China is now essentially under quarantine. China is the world’s second largest economy and Africa’s largest trading partner as well as source of investment for Capital Projects that have a great impact on her people. It would be advisable for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to consider putting the economic impact of the virus on Africa HIGH on the agenda for the African Union (@-AfricanUnion) Heads of State 33rd Summit pencilled in for 9-10 February 2020.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres) and the World Health Organisation (@WHO) can also use that opportunity to brief the African Continent on the Global Calamity that is unfolding and what needs to be done by the states to prepare themselves going forward.

Non-Tariff Barriers & Trade – Reporting Tool – African Continental Free Trade Area

Are you experiencing Non-Tariff Barriers to Regional trade in the form of quotas, excessive import documents or unjustified packaging requirements? Here is the tool to report such activities. African Union (AU) #AfCFTA must become a reality Africa. Please Register your account and fill in the form

Common Market for Eastern, Southern Africa (COMESA) – Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – Simplified Trade Regime (STR)

This a facility that has been put in place by the three countries to simplify trade between their peoples and small businesses. The three countries have created lists of the goods that are applicable duty free under this facility. There are three requirements that need to be met for an impoter to enjoy this service:

  1. Are the goods worth US$500.00 or less?
  2. Are the goods going to be sold in the neighbouring country to that of origin?
  3. Do the Goods appear on the STR List of Products for the two countries?

If the answer to all three is YES, then can fill in the Simplified Certificate of Origin, which can be obtained at the Border post.

NB: – If the goods do not appear on the STR List of products but are subject to duty free treatment under the Free Trade Agreement, you should obtain a Certificate of Origin for them before travelling to the border.

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