The World Bank’s private sector lending arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has advanced $10 million loan to I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc to support enterprises facing Covid-19-related liquidity challenges.
The loan is Rwanda’s first one through the International Finance Corporation’s global $8 billion Covid-19 facility launched in March 2020 to help businesses maintain operations during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
The IFC said the loan was availed to help I&M Bank (Rwanda) increase lending to thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), many of which are facing Covid-19 cash-flow challenges.
IFC’s resident representative for Rwanda Dan Kasirye said “our support will increase the bank’s liquidity and help its small business clients continue their activities and sustain jobs. This will ensure small businesses are well equipped to navigate the difficult waters of Covid-19.”
According to a World Bank Group report, SMEs comprise the vast majority of all businesses in Rwanda, and about 40 percent of them are owned by women who struggle to access credit facilities.
Kasirye said IFC’s support will enable I&M to provide additional trade-related or working capital loans.
World Bank’s private sector lending arm is also helping small businesses in Rwanda through online crisis management webinars.
“This funding of $10 million will allow us to meet increasing financial needs of our small business customers as they recover from negative impact caused by Covid-19 crisis,” said I&M’s chief executive officer Robin Bairstow.
Previous investment by IFC helped I&M increase its loans to SMEs by 14 per cent between 2018 and 2019.
Algeria Reduces Hydrocarbon Exports by 11 Per Cent
Algeria reduced its hydrocarbon exports by 11 per cent to 82.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE), the country’s Ministry of Energy has said.
According to the ministry, the total volume of hydrocarbon exports in 2020 reached 82.2 million TOE amounting to $20 billion, “i.e. down by 11% and 40% respectively compared to 2019.”
Oil exports from the North African country stood at 571,000 barrels per day in 2019, while exports of the natural gas were 42.5 million cubic meters (over 1.5 billion cubic feet), in line with the data from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
With Algeria ranked in the world’s top ten gas producers, authorities adopted in November 2019, a law on hydrocarbon resources, designed to facilitate the work of foreign companies.
The law is also expected to boost the inflow of much-needed investment in the country’s oil industry, which has been halted and required foreign investments in order to recover.
Earlier in the month, Algerian Energy Minister Abdelmadjid Attar expressed hope that oil prices would remain above $50 per barrel in the first half of 2021.
Nigeria Bourse Resumes Week With N40Bn Loss
The Nigerian stock market opened for the week on Monday with a loss of N40 billion, halting five consecutive days positive run.
Speficially, the market capitalisation which opened at N21.530 trillion shed N40 billion to close at N21.490 trillion.
Also, the All Share Index which opened at 41,176.14 lost 93.76 points or 0.23 per cent to close at 41,082.38.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, among which are; Dangote Cement, Flour Mills, Guinness, NASCON Allied Industries and FBN Holdings.
Analysts at United Capital said that investors would take advantage of gains posted recently to book profit.
“While we expect investors to book some profit from last week’s gains, demand for high-yield dividend companies should sustain the market’s bullish momentum,” they said.
An analysis of the price movement chart shows that Japaul Gold and Ventures led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 6.58 per cent to close at N1.42 per share.
Flour Mills trailed with a loss of 5.49 per cent to close at N31, while Wema Bank dipped 5.33 per cent to close at 71k per share.
Neimeth shed 4.76 per cent to close at N2, while GlaxoSmithKline depreciated by 4.29 per cent to close at N6.70 per share.
Conversely, African Alliance Insurance, AIICO Insurance, Cadbury Nigeria, R.T. Briscoe, Trans-Nationwide Express and Universal Insurance dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each, to close at 22k, N1.32, N10.45, 22k, 88k and 22k per share, respectively.
BOC Gases followed with 9.98 per cent to close at N13.77, while Livestock Feeds rose by 9.95 per cent to close at N2.32 per share.
Meanwhile, the total volume of shares traded increased by 10.77 per cent as investors bought and sold 738.53 million shares worth N4.17 billion in 7,396 deals.
This was in contrast with 666.61 million shares valued at N6.39 billion achieved in 6,980 deals on Friday.
Transactions in the shares of Japaul Gold and Ventures topped the activity chart with 92.36 million shares worth N145.79 million.
Universal Insurance followed with 51.79 million shares valued at N10.41 million, while Transcorp traded 43.15 million shares worth N46.17 million.
FBNH traded 39.77 million shares valued at N298.25 million, while AXA Mansard Insurance transacted 38.19 million shares worth N63.88 million.
Uganda Extends Central Bank Governor’s Contract for Five Years
Emmanuel Mutebile will head the Bank of Uganda for another five years after his contract was extended by President Yoweri Museveni.
According to local reports, Mutebile’s contract was extended on the eve of Uganda’s parliamentary and presidential election last week. It was gathered that the details of the extension were not released because of Internet shutdown in Uganda.
The Acting Director communications at BoU, Mr Kelvin Kiyingi confirmed the development.
“We have learnt that the president has re-appointed Prof Emmanuel Mutebile as governor bank of Uganda for the next five years,” he said.
Mutebile will be appearing before the Parliamentary Committee for approval.
Mutebile, 71, has been at the helm of Bank of Uganda since 2001. The new term makes him one of the longest servicing governors of the Central Bank..
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