Economic Update: 15 March 2018
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AfDB extends $25m loan facility - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has extended a three and half year $25 million loan facility to the local private sector that will be administered through CABS. The facility is expected to help small to medium private players improve on their working capital, address liquidity constraints, cover the growing gap in foreign currency needs as well as import the much needed raw materials.
Comments – This is a good initiative that will require an effective monitoring strategy towards the utilization of this loan facility. Off late the local industry has been affected by business confidence which has been low over the last two decades during which the sector has grappled with numerous challenges including lack of working capital, liquidity constraints, inadequate foreign currency for manufacturing companies and the continued influx of cheap imported products.
ICT an enabler to grow GDP - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the information communication technology (ICT) must be viewed as an economic enabler for the development and establishment of sector appropriate solutions with comprehensive breath, depth, flexibility and applicability. To this end, the importance of the policy will go a long way towards making the information technology revolution the basis for ultimately transforming Zimbabwe into an e-society.
Zimra surpasses February revenue target - The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has surpassed its gross revenue target of $322.53 million in February by 5.1 percent to $339.09 million. Value Added Tax (VAT) on imports contributed $47.13 million to total revenue against a target of $33.70 million, which resulted in a positive variance of 39.85 percent. The revenue head recorded a 53.72 percent growth from the $30.66 million that was collected during the same period last year. Zimra said this was due to the strategies implemented by the authority such as risk-based examinations, bonded warehouse inspections, roadblocks, borderline patrols and post clearance audits.
IMF approves Kenya’s request to extend stand-by agreement - The International Monetary Fund has approved a request by Kenya to extend by six months a stand-by agreement that was due to expire at the end of March, giving it time to finish mandatory reviews. The stand-by agreement, which was approved in March 2016, was for $989.8 million, alongside a stand-by credit facility of about $494.9 million. Last month that Kenya had lost access to the funds meant to cushion it against unforeseen external shocks last June, due to failure to complete a review of the programme.
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Performance
The Industrial Index was down 0.32% to 288.55 points on the back of a 9.09% gain in Bindura Nickel which was offset a 15.17% decline in Simbisa Group. The Mining Index was up 1.63% to close at 122.73 points. The All Share Index was down 0.32% to close at 86.22.
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