South Africa September Inflation Uptick Limits Room for Rate Cuts

South Africa September Inflation Uptick Limits Room for Rate Cuts

JOHANNESBURG (Capital Markets in Africa) – South African inflation quickened for a second consecutive month in September, reducing room for the nation’s central bank to ease policy. The inflation rate rose to 5.1 percent from 4.8 percent the previous month, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a report on its website on Wednesday. The median of 24 economist’s estimates in a Bloomberg survey was 5 percent. Prices rose 0.5 percent in the month, the highest monthly rate since March….

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Egypt’s $18 Billion Debt Inflows Seen Peaking as Rate Cut Looms

Egypt’s $18 Billion Debt Inflows Seen Peaking as Rate Cut Looms

CAIRO (Capital Markets in Africa) – Foreign investors may be finally curbing their enthusiasm for Egyptian local-currency debt. After almost a year and $18 billion of purchases, some investors have allocated all they can to Egypt. The inflows from foreign funds are still growing, but the pace has slowed to an average of 2 percent a week since mid-August, down from 8 percent, as policy makers signaled they may lower record interest rates once inflation eases. The surge…

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Uganda Cuts Benchmark Rate to Record Low to Boost Credit

Uganda Cuts Benchmark Rate to Record Low to Boost Credit

KAMPALA (Capital Markets in Africa) Uganda’s central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate to support economic growth even as lending to businesses and individuals begins to show signs of improvement. Policy makers at the Bank of Uganda cut the rate by 50 basis points to 9.5 percent, extending an easing cycle that began in April 2016. Prior to Tuesday’s decision, they’d reduced the rate by a total of 700 basis points in eight of the past nine…

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Zambia Central Bank Reduces Key Rate to Lowest Since 2014

Zambia Central Bank Reduces Key Rate to Lowest Since 2014

LUSAKA (Capital Markets in Africa) -Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate for a third time this year as inflation remained below the government’s target. The Bank of Zambia lowered the rate to 11 percent from 12.5 percent, Governor Denny Kalyalya told reporters Thursday in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the lowest level since February 2014. The southern African nation’s consumer inflation rate is near the lowest since 2013, with this year’s record harvest of corn, which is used to make…

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Why Ghana Central Bank May Cut Key Interest Rate

Why Ghana Central Bank May Cut Key Interest Rate

ACCRA (Capital Markets in Africa) – Ghana’s central bank may cut its key interest rate for a third straight meeting with inflation at its slowest in four years and a strengthening currency. Consumer-price growth has tumbled 7.1 percentage points since reaching an all-time high of 19.2 percent in March last year. While the cedi weakened to a record low against the dollar on March 2, it has strengthened 8.2 percent since then. The median of seven economists’ estimates…

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Kenyan Central Bank Says Lenders Face New Era of Smaller Profits

Kenyan Central Bank Says Lenders Face New Era of Smaller Profits

NAIROBI (Capital Markets in Africa) – Kenyan lenders must adjust their business models to adapt to a new era of lower profits as interest-rate caps curb investor returns, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said. Return on equity in the Kenyan banking industry declined to 13.6 percent in March from 18.2 percent in June, Njoroge told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. For the country’s biggest lenders, the drop was more severe, slumping to 23 percent…

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Egypt Central Bank keeps key interest rates unchanged at MPC meeting

Egypt Central Bank keeps key interest rates unchanged at MPC meeting

CAIRO (Capital Markets in Africa) – Egypt’s central bank kept its key interest rates unchanged on Thursday in a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee, it said in a statement, two weeks after it surprised markets with a 3 percent hike in its key rates. The bank kept its overnight deposit rate at 14.75 percent and its overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent, it said in a statement, meeting expectations of all 15 respondents in a…

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