IMF Sees Tough South Africa Budget Unless Fiscal Risk Sorted

IMF Sees Tough South Africa Budget Unless Fiscal Risk Sorted

JOHANNESBURG (Capital Markets in Africa) – South Africa will face more fiscal difficulties and higher financing costs should state-owned companies’ debt continue rising and if the nation’s local debt is downgraded to junk, the International Monetary Fund said. If state entities such as cash-strapped power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and South African Airways request more state support, the government will have to step in to help, removing fiscal space for “more socially useful activities,” Montfort…

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IMF Reaches Initial Agreement With Egypt for $2 Billion Tranche

IMF Reaches Initial Agreement With Egypt for $2 Billion Tranche

CAIRO (Capital Markets in Africa) – The International Monetary Fund reached a staff-level agreement with Egypt to unlock a $2 billion loan installment, and said economic reforms in the Arab world’s most populous nation are starting to pay off. Egypt and the Washington-based lender signed a 3-year, $12 billion agreement a year ago, of which $4 billion has already been disbursed. The next $2 billion installment is subject to approval from the IMF’s executive board, and Egyptian authorities…

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IMF says rising debt, political risk dim sub-Saharan Africa’s economic outlook

IMF says rising debt, political risk dim sub-Saharan Africa’s economic outlook

LAGOS (Capital Markets in Africa) – Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South Africa are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the…

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Drawn-Out Vote in Kenya Increased Risks for Investors, IMF Says

Drawn-Out Vote in Kenya Increased Risks for Investors, IMF Says

NAIROBI (Capital Markets in Africa) – Kenya’s election rerun is raising the country’s risk profile among investors and weighing down already sluggish economic growth, theInternational Monetary Fund said. “The prolonged election period has increased risks for investors and traders,” Jan Mikkelsen, the Washington-based lender’s new resident representative in Kenya, said in an emailed response to questions. “This in turn has led to a slowdown in economic activity.” The IMF has lowered its 2017 economic growth forecast for…

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IMF Sees No `Substantive’ Zambian Aid-Deal Talks This Month

IMF Sees No `Substantive’ Zambian Aid-Deal Talks This Month

LUSAKA (Capital Markets in Africa) – The Zambian government and the International Monetary Fund won’t be holding meaningful discussions on a proposed $1.3-billion aid program at the Washington-based lender’s annual meetings this month after talks were put on hold in August. The nation’s Eurobond yields climbed. “IMF staff will be meeting the Zambian delegation at the IMF-World Bank annual meetings to discuss next steps,” Alfredo Baldini, the fund’s resident representative in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, said in reply…

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Ethiopia plans to offer firms shares in road projects

Ethiopia plans to offer firms shares in road projects

ADDIS ABABA (Capital Markets in Africa) – Ethiopia plans to offer shares in its road-building and maintenance projects to private investors, its finance minister said on Tuesday, the latest step to open up and modernize the state-led economy. The Horn of Africa country has over 113,000 kilometres (68,0000 miles) of paved roads and plans to increase that to 220,000 kilometres by 2019/20, official data showed. “We do not have private-run roads. Through public-private partnerships, the…

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Ghana Oil Boon Not Enough to Plug Budget Hole as Prices Drop

Ghana Oil Boon Not Enough to Plug Budget Hole as Prices Drop

ACCRA (Capital Markets in Africa) – A surge in Ghana’s oil output this year may do little to ease the West African nation’s fiscal strains as crude prices are lower than what it budgeted, eroding the gains from extra production. This year’s average Brent crude price of $52 a barrel is below the $56 forecast in the budget, which could complicate the state’s plans to narrow the fiscal deficit. Output is set to climb by more than…

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