Lusaka Stock Exchange-listed Zambeef Products Plc released their 2014 annual report which had revenues up 3 % year-over-year at K1.64 billion with a pre-tax loss of K21.2 million after being firmly in the black last year. Earnings per share (EPS) was of course at negative K0.0992:
Bank of Zambia raises policy rate by 50 basis points
The central bank raised the policy rate by 50 basis points to 12.5% until their next monetary policy committee meeting on 8th February 2015. They cited elevated inflationary pressures likely to last into the beginning of 2015 and material deterioration of the external sector (Balance of Payments deficit of $123.2 million in Q3 compared to a surplus of US $740 million in Q2) relative to conditions in August i.e. at their previous meeting. I’m pretty sure uncertainty over presidential elections was also baked into their decision but they didn’t mention it directly!
London-listed Gemfields (LON:GEM) raised $34.9 million at its latest higher quality emerald auction. 598,000 carats were up for sale of which 88.6% were purchased by auction conclusion yesterday. The company has 75 percent ownership in Kagem mine with the rest owned by the Zambian government through ZCCM Investment Holdings.
Fastjet secures permit to operate domestic routes in Zambia
London-listed Fastjet managed to secure permits to operate domestic routes in both Zambia and Uganda. The airline’s primary base is in Dar es Salaam but it is looking to raise capital from investors to expand operations to Zambia and Uganda by early 2015. CEO Ed Winter said that this was a significant step along the road to becoming a truly pan-African airline.
Bank of Zambia’s latest Treasury bill (T/bill) auction saw lukewarm demand as it only received bids worth K267.91 million out of at least K799 million offered – 3 times undersubscribed. The entire K267.91 million bid was allocated:
Guy Scott U-turns on firing of party Secretary General Edgar Lungu
Patriotic Front (PF) interim president Guy Scott dismissed Secretary General Edgar Lungu then quickly reversed his decision as protests broke out in various parts of the capital and pressure increased from Cabinet and the PF Central Committee. The PF Central Committee will convene sometime after the burial of late President Michael Sata next week to hash out any positional conflicts.
Zambia has one of the highest fuel prices in the region at K10.63 ($1.67) per litre which is mostly a consequence of the inefficient procurement process. This contributes a significant portion to the cost of doing business in this country. In a quest to reduce pump prices, the Government is looking to start the blending of biofuels with petroleum products for national consumption at 10 percent and 5 percent for ethanol and biodiesel, respectively.
President Michael Chilufya Sata dies in London
On 28 October 2014, the country lost President Michael Chilufya Sata who had been receiving treatment for an unspecified ailment in a London hospital. President Sata, who carried the knick name ‘King Cobra’, was 77 years old and only three years into his first term in office. He will be buried on November 11 2014. Vice President Guy Scott will act as president until fresh elections are held within the next three months.
Trying to decipher this puzzle that is Zambia by using a variety of publicly available data (structured and unstructured) in conjunction with my own skill/experience. * * *