World Bank Enterprise Survey - Zambia 2013
The World Bank did an enterprise survey of 720 firms operating in Zambia (Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone) which highlighted the biggest obstacles faced by businesses in this country. The results were as follows:
Access to finance, practices of informal sector and electricity were the biggest constraints. This is very insightful data and should dictate policy maker’s decisions over the short to medium term (it already is).
Energy Regulation Board (ERB) Approves 28.8% Increase in Electricity Prices for Mining Sector
The bulk supply agreement tariffs between ZESCO and Copperbelt Energy Corporation (biggest supplier to mining sector) would be adjusted to 6.84 cents/KWh from 5.31 cents/KWh effective April 2nd 2014. According to a statement by ERB, this would effectively mean tariffs between CEC and its customers would rise by an average of 17% ABOVE the minimum 6.84 cents/KWh.
Stay of Execution Upholds Against Mining Project in Lower Zambezi National Park
The Lusaka High Court upheld a stay of execution granted in February 2014 against the government’s decision to allow the commencement of Zambezi Resource’s Kangaluwi mining project in the pristine Lower Zambezi National Park. Commencement of the project will only be determined after the final determination of the appeal by the challengers i.e. the battle has been won but the outcome of the war is still to be determined.
Zambian Delegation Marketing Second Eurobond
A delegation which includes Bank of Zambia governor Michael Gondwe was on a USA coast-to-coast roadshow which ended in London on Friday. Analysts are predicting a yield of between 8 to 9%, depending on size and tenor, higher than the $750 2012 debut bond which was trading at a bid price of 84.56 and yield of 7.91%. The new issue will certainly be more expensive but demand should be there. For perspective, the 2012 issue was much cheaper than it should have been even before Fed tapering was a considerations – it put Zambia ‘in-the-money’, so to speak, because a country with a bad credit history like Zambia shouldn't normally get low yields on bond issuances.
Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Offloads 280,000MT of Maize on the Market
The price of a 25Kg of mealie-meal has been trending upward since Q1 2013. The product has been trading between K70 and K75 at various markets around the country. The FRA is hoping that this will stabilize and even lower prices of the commodity which continues to be the staple food of the country. Will this work? Well, it’s a tough - regional demand also remains very high and despite an export ban on mealie-meal imposed last year, traders continue to sneak across borders to sell the commodity at even more attractive prices – bootleggers! We’ll keep an eye on this…
The LuSE All Share Index closed Friday at 5,896.12 points up by 1.40% from yesterday's close of 5,814.49 points.One Price movement was recorded today in SCZ of K0.20. Trading activity was recorded in AELZ, CEC, ZAMEFA and ZANACO. A total of 28,140 shares were transacted in 18 trades resulting in a turnover of K20,608.
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. * * *