Daily FiZ – Friday 22/05

Story of the Day: 

To decode the Monetary Policy Statement, let’s start with a recap of the global and local economy performance to date. From a global front, the world economy projects negative growth at -3% in 2020, with circa 6% recovery growth in 2021. This performance is highly attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic which has had a negative toll on the world at large. Read more 

Local Business and Finance Sponsored By Liquid Telecom 

Zambia’s state-owned electricity company Zesco Ltd has signed contracts worth $548 million with Power China to develop three solar power plants that will add 600 megawatts (MW) to the national grid, the company said in a statement. The three contracts are a step towards diversifying renewable energy for Zambia, which relies heavily on hydropower and has faced electricity shortages partly because of droughts. Read more: Reuters

Commerce Minister Christopher Yaluma has urged local producers to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare themselves to access the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose instruments will soon be handed over to the African Union once ratified by Parliament. Read more: News Diggers 

Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu has challenged mining companies to explore ways of sustaining production amid the Coronavirus pandemic. And Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko says government has NOT suspended any labour laws in view of the Covid-19. Read more: ZNBC

Zambia will benefit from the £20 million (about K450 million) funding from the United Kingdom (UK) to the African Union’s (AU) new COVID-19 Response Fund to tackle coronavirus and save lives. This is contained in a statement released by the British High Commission in Lusaka yesterday. Read more: Zambia Daily Mail 

International Business and Finance 

South Africa’s central bank cut its main lending rate by 50 basis points to 3.75% on Thursday, in an effort to shield the economy from the impact of the new coronavirus. The central bank expects gross domestic product to contract by 7% in 2020. The latest rate cut will help ease pressure on consumers amid widespread job losses, it said. Read more: Reuters

China will not set an economic growth goal for this year as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. It is the first time Beijing has not had a gross domestic product (GDP) target since 1990 when records began. Read more: BBC News 

The Reserve Bank of India today unexpectedly slashed its key policy rate for a second time this year, in a move to counter the economic fallout from an ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. It cut the repo rate by 40 basis points to 4%. The reverse repo rate was also reduced by 40 basis points to 3.35%. Read more: The Economic Times

A staggering 70% of businesses in Dubai expect to close their doors within the next six months as the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdowns ravage demand, a survey by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce revealed Thursday. Read more:  CNBC

The economy has gone from President Donald Trump’s greatest political asset to perhaps his biggest weakness. The coronavirus recession will cause Trump to suffer a “historic defeat” in November, a national election model released Wednesday by Oxford Economics predicted. Read more: CNN

Venezuela has filed a $1billion lawsuit against the Bank of England over its refusal to release gold stashed in its vaults, as the government of Nicolás Maduro scrambles for funds to alleviate a deepening economic and health crisis. Read more: Financial Times 

Capital Markets Report

There were no trades recorded yesterday. The LuSE All Share Index (LASI) maintained its close at 4,078.25 points, as there were no share price movements. The market closed on a capitalization of K56,571,643,786 including Shoprite Holdings and K22,332,437,806 excluding Shoprite Holdings.

Chart of the Day:

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For any feedback on the stories captured on the Daily FiZ, email Natasha on dailyfiz@fizambia.com

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