Daily FiZ – Friday 01/04

Story of the Day

The Covid-19 pandemic continued being a major trading impediment, affecting the financial sector in many ways. In spite of this challenge, Izwe Loans Zambia Plc “Izwe” continued to show strong growth in business results and customer numbers during the financial year of 2021. Support through the Targeted Medium-Term Refinancing Facility (TMTRF) by the Bank of Zambia, coupled with the normalisation of collections, helped to sustain a reasonable trading environment especially in the second half of the year and Izwe was able to capitalise on this stability which increased demand for its products, culminating in record sales during the fourth quarter of 2021. Read more

Local Business and Finance Sponsored By Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Zambia has scaled its pump petroleum prices higher by a fifth. According to a communique by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) released on its website, geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine has propelled crude prices higher offset in part by a marginal Kwacha appreciation in the period to force the second pump price hike of the year 2022. Petrol and low sulphur diesel pricing for April will now be K4.5 and K4.68 higher than previous month to K26.5 and K26.22 per liter respectively. Read more: The Business Telegraph

Zambia’s annual inflation rate for March has dropped to 13.1 percent from 14.2 recorded last month. Meanwhile preliminary annual Gross Domestic Product estimates for 2021 show that economic activities grew by 3.6 percent compared to a contraction of 3.1 in 2020. Zambia Statistics Agency Interim Statistician General Mulenga Musepa attributes the drop in inflation to a reduction in the annual food inflation from 16 percent in February to 15.3 this month. Read more: ZNBC

Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) (in liquidation) has increased production capacity by 41 percent since the reign of the United Party for National Development-UPND. The mine is now producing 6100Mt of Copper monthly as opposed to the previous capacity of Four Thousand 3-hundred Metric Tonnes. Read more: ZNBC

Government has released K805 million for Constituency Development Fund for first quarter for 2021. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Gary Nkombo announced that the Treasury has ok March 30, 2022, released a total of K805 million of the Constituency Development Fund-CDF. Mr Nkombo said the amount which is for the first quarter of this year, will be shared among all the 156 Constituencies countrywide. He said that the funds released are earmarked for various community projects, youth and women empowerment for the first quarter of this year. Read more: Lusaka Times 

International Business and Finance Sponsored By Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia

The Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways, Allan Kilavuka, said the company’s board of directors has approved a plan aimed at hedging prices for 35% of the airline’s fuel needs. The CEO explained that this is part of the airline’s cost cutting measures, adding that talks are already ongoing with the African Airlines Association with regards to bulk fuel purchases. Read more: Business Insider

US President Joe Biden has ordered a major release of oil from America’s reserves in an effort to bring down high fuel costs. The release of up to 180m barrels of oil over six months is the largest since the reserve was created in 1974. Oil prices dropped on reports of the move, which is aimed at easing a supply crunch sparked by war in Ukraine. But the release – of about 1m barrels a day – is unlikely to fully resolve the energy crisis, analysts say. Read more: BBC News

China’s economy faces so much new pressure from Covid that Beijing may increase stimulus — boosting overall growth, Citi said Thursday. “Given the strong start of the year and the anticipated government support, we revise up our growth forecast from 4.7% to 5.0% for 2022,” Xiangrong Yu, chief China economist at Citi, said in a report late Thursday. The new forecast is closer to the official gross domestic product target of around 5.5%, which was announced in early March. Read more: CNBC

Stock futures rose early Thursday as investors assessed a new quarter of trading and a troublesome bond market recession indicator. Investors were also awaiting the official jobs report for March, which the Labor Department will release at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday. Dow futures gained 90 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures added 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.3% to kick off the first trading session of the second quarter. Read more: CNBC

Capital Markets Report Sponsored By ZCCM-IH

In 88 trades recorded yesterday, 82,831 shares were transacted resulting in a turnover of K252,489.19. Trading activity was recorded in Bata, Copperbelt Energy Corporation, First Quantum Minerals Zambia, Chilanga Cement, PUMA, Standard Chartered Zambia, Zambia Breweries, ZAMEFA and Zambeef. The LuSE All Share Index (LASI) closed at 6,847.50 points. The market closed on a capitalization of K70,618,105,530 including Shoprite Holdings and K35,835,420,090 excluding Shoprite Holdings.

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