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by Dario Galluccio

Ghana: We are creating economic stability

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Wednesday said the economy was not broke, rather an exceptional fiscal situation last year created challenges.

He said the situation required measures to create stability and to pursue growth-enhancing programs.

The fiscal challenges, he added, were transmitted onto the monetary sector this year (2013), and there was a decline in concessional financing.

At a meeting with the Governing Council of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF), in Accra, the Vice President said government was therefore considering the use of tariffs, and leveraging the private sector to team up with government in delivering investment.

He cited the slow rate of investment in maintenance in the power sector at the Volta River Authority (VRA), and called for a change in attitude to tariff adjustment to attain the prospects of the economy.

Nigeria: African Development Bank’s $75 million investment

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved today a US $75 million medium-term line of credit (LoC) to Fidelity Bank Plc to fund selected projects in sectors that are critical to Nigeria’s transformation agenda and economic growth such as infrastructure, manufacturing and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Fidelity Bank Plc is an universal bank that has been operational since 2001. It has over 200 branches and over two million customers located in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. It is thus strategically placed to tap into various sectors and ensure diversification of its client base. As at December 2012, Fidelity had a total shareholders fund amounting to US $1.04 billion. Fidelity is ranked among the top six banks in Nigeria by equity base and eighth in terms of deposits and totals assets.

The AfDB’s LoC will contribute to bridging Fidelity’s financing gap by providing much-needed longer-term liquidity to meet its pipeline demands against the background of a financial market that has hitherto slanted towards short-term liquidity inhibiting access to medium- to long-term lending. This financing will allow Fidelity to better serve and fund its clients, increase the tenors of loans to subprojects and expand its loan portfolio, particularly in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. Twenty per cent of the LoC proceeds will be dedicated to SMEs.

Ghana: Job losses of mining sector due to tax hikes and falling gold prices

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr. Tony Aubynn, says government’s 5% corporate tax coupled with falling gold prices on the international market is likely to result in significant job losses in the sector.

According to him, it is not only jobs that would be lost, but every aspect of the business operation of mining companies would have to be reviewed to ensure profitability.

Nigeria: Citigroup and Vetiva will manage sale of 3 banks

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria, which holds non-performing assets of troubled banks, said it had named Citigroup (C.N) and Africa-focused investment bank Vetiva Capital to manage the sale of three lenders: Mainstreet, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank.

The state organization planned to sell 100 percent of all three

Ghana: Public Private Partnership law expected in November

A Public Private Partnership (PPP) draft Bill is currently going through some amendments to meet the demands of interested parties and secure parliamentary approval by November this year.

The PPP law would give government the legal backing to join hands with private firms to carry out projects in the country, which is in line with government’s policy to partner private businesses to undertake infrastructure projects.

The state currently requires GH¢1.5 billion every year over a 10-year period to meet its infrastructure needs.

The law, moreover, would determine the cost and revenues of PPP projects before they are embarked upon to avoid abrogation of infrastructure projects before they are completed.

South Africa : Avoided Moody’s downgrade

With the South African economy on the rocks and reform efforts stalled, some had predicted Ratings agency Moody’s would issue a downgrade; Moody’s, however, maintained South Africa’s Baa1 sovereign debt rating on Thursday, praising a crimp on public spending and the possibility of a negotiated end to mining sector turmoil.

Moody’s said Africa’s largest economy had shown “renewed commitment to spending restraint” in its last two budget statements, helping reach a government target to steady debt at about 50 percent of output.

Ghana: First Allied Honoured

First Allied, the leading savings & loans company in Ghana, has been honoured for its exemplary performance in financial product innovation and quality service delivery in the micro, small and medium enterprise (SMSE) sector in Ghana.

The company received the International Star for Leadership In Quality Award in Paris on Monday 1 st of July 2013; the impressive ceremony saw 74 companies and institutions from all over the world receiving awards for leadership in quality. It was organized by Business Initiative Directions (BID) of Spain.

The International Star for Leadership In Quality (ISLQ) award is designed to recognize outstanding companies and leaders in the business world, who achieve excellence in quality delivery to their clients based on the QC100 Total Quality Management Model.

Working in a difficult economic environment where access to credit is extremely challenging for micro and small businesses, First Allied was noted to have kept faith with its customers, without diminishing its standards in product quality and service delivery.

The company’s unwavering commitment to alleviating poverty and improving income levels among the poor in Ghana came up for special mention.

Ghana: Rehabilitation works On Adomi Bridge to begin soon

The government of Ghana has secured funding from the Austrian government for the rehabilitation of the Adomi Bridge across the Volta River at Atimpoku in the Asuogyamang District of the Eastern Region.

The 46-year-old bridge links some parts of the Eastern Region, Juapong in the North Tongu District, Ho, Hohoe and the Volta North on the east of the Volta River to the Greater Accra Region and some parts of the Eastern Region on the western part of the River. This was disclosed by Amin Amidu Sulemani, Minister for Roads and Highways yesterday in Parliament in a response to a question by the Ho West MP, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzarh, on when the Adomi/Senchi Bridge would be closed for rehabilitation works to begin.

Ghana: Graphic pays GH¢600,000 dividend to government

Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) is to pay a dividend of GH¢600,000 to government for the 2012 fiscal year.

The amount, which represents a 20 percent increase over the 2011 figure of GH¢500,000 was recommended by the Board of Directors at the 10th Annual General Meeting of the company held in Accra on Thursday.

Delivering the financial results, the Board Chairman, Doris Yaa Dartey said the company’s net profit after tax increased from GH¢2.4million in 2011 to GH¢7.1million in 2012.

This represented an increase of 195.8 per cent.

Similarly, the company’s turnover increased from GH¢30.2million in 2011 to GH¢41.8million in 2012 representing a 38.4 percent increase.

Shareholder funds also increased from GH¢20.1million in 2011 to GH¢26.6million in 2012, an increase of 32.3percent.