ZESCO Makes Their Case for November 2015 Electricity Tariff Hike
The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has received an application from ZESCO to increase electricity tariffs for its various customer categories (excluding mining, high and low voltage export customer categories) for the year 2015. In its application, ZESCO proposed to increase electricity tariffs for retail customers (Residential, Services, Commercial and Maximum demand).
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Mining tax changes set to be tabled at cabinet meeting on Monday
Zambia's cabinet will table changes to mining royalties on Monday after the finance and mines ministers proposed the amendments, the president's spokesman said on Thursday. Zambian President Edgar Lungu last month directed the finance and mining ministers to change royalties on mining firms by April 8, saying the copper-producer could consider temporarily reverting to the tax regime in 2014. (Read more)
Zambia to triple petrol supply to ease shortage in capital
Zambia plans to triple petrol supply to 900,000 litres a day using imported stocks in its storage depots after panic buying by motorists led to shortages in the capital, the energy minister said on Wednesday. Christopher Yaluma told parliament that petrol supply to the capital and outlying areas was doubled to about 600,000 litres per day this week but shortages persisted. (Read more)
ZANACO launches "loan-a-cow" product
Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) launched the “loan-a-cow” scheme – the first of its kind in Zambia. Through the scheme, smallholder farmers will be able to acquire cow-loans at an interest rate of 16 percent from ZANACO through their respective cooperatives. The farmer then services the loan through revenues from milk produced from his/her cow which is purchased by milk processors Parmalat/Zam Milk. The processor pays a percentage of the full amount they are supposed to pay the farmer to ZANACO i.e. interest payment. If a farmer can consistently produce 30 litres of milk per day, the loan can be repaid in 3 years.
Last year, Zambia put its hat in the ring to bid for the right to host the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Last week, Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspectors were in the country to assess Zambia’s facilities. The decision as to which country will host the 2019 as well as the 2021 edition of the competition will be announced next month at a meeting of the CAF executive in Cairo. So what happens IF they choose Zambia’s bid?
*THE ESTIMATES BELOW ARE CONSERVATIVE AND BY NO MEANS EXHAUSTIVE – THEY ARE MEANT TO GIVE GENERAL PICTURE OF WHAT HOSTING AFCON 2019 COULD BE LIKE FOR ZAMBIA.*
KLM set to scrap direct flight to Lusaka
Dutch airline KLM is set to discontinue direct flights from Lusaka to Amsterdam as of October 28 2014, two years after it started (and also a year after British Airways cut the Lusaka-London route). The carrier cited high operational costs as well as well a sub-optimal passenger mix which made the route unprofitable. The route will instead be serviced by KLMs strategic partner Kenya Airways via Nairobi to Amsterdam/Paris/London.
Lafarge Zambia floats additional shares as it gets closer to LuSE 25% Free Float threshold
Lafarge floated more of its shares on the Lusaka Stock Exchange which reduced its parent company's holdings to 77.37% from 84% -- 2.37% away from LuSE's Free Float Compliance program which requires any firm listed on the LuSE to float at least 25% of shares to be available for day-to-day trading. Lafarge received bids in excess of 25m shares for an available 18m which shouldnt be surprising because the stock is up 65% year-to-date on the back of blockbuster earnings in 2013. Profit after-tax increased by 14.6% to K338m in 2013.
Bank of Zambia raises OLF to 22%
The central bank dipped into their tool-box once more to counter the depreciation of the Kwacha - they raised the Overnight Lending Facility (OLF) rate by 4% to 22% and restricted access by commercial banks to ONCE a week. They will also subject local and forex Government deposits to the 14% statutory reserve requirement (this was not done previously). OLF access by commercial banks increased by 293% in Q1 2014 with a cumulative amount of K5.5bn accessed (only K1.4bn in Q4 2013). The moves by BoZ resulted in a 4% appreciation of the Kwacha.
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. * * *