While you were sleeping….

Citi Bank Head Office at Addis Ababa round about

While you were sleeping, our analysts gathered key market developments that you need to know to start your day. These are:

Government Defines Measures to be Applied on those Allergic to Progress – Zambia’s Finance Minister

Finance Minister Felix Mutati said government has clearly defined the structure of offences in the Public Finance bill that was presented to parliament this week. He said this at the launch of the report on the Evaluation of the Public Financial Management System of Zambia in Lusaka.

“We have clearly defined what constitutes misconduct, we have also clearly defined the structure of offences and measures that will be applied to colleagues who are allergic to progress, Mutati said. To read more….

Tanzania-Zambia Railway suspends services due to strike by unpaid workers

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) has suspended all train services, including the transportation of copper, following a strike by workers in Africa’s second-largest producer of the metal, the company said on yesterday.

The line is an important route for copper exports from Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa’s top producer, but the firm transporting the metal struggles to pay its workers, prompting strikes.

Tazara spokesperson Conrad Simuchile said train services between Zambia and Tanzania were suspended indefinitely after unionised employees in Zambia went on strike, demanding payment of their unpaid salaries for October and November 2017. To read more…

Africa’s largest Stock Exchange -JSE at 6 Week Low as Steinhoff Stock Plummets 60%

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange All Share Index fell to a six-week low on Wednesday 07 December, in an action-packed session dominated by the speculator collapse in the share price of Steinhoff after long-serving CEO Markus Jooste quit amid fresh claims of accounting irregularity.

Steinhoff slid a record 59.3% to R18.58, wiping out a whopping R116bn in its market value — a devastating blow to shareholders. For months, the consumer goods company has fended off allegations of dubious and unreported accounting practices.

Earlier in the day, the company said that new information has come to light, which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation. “This is a bricks-and-mortar business with real sales and the question is — what is the true value of the business now?” said Craig Pheiffer, chief investment strategist at Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management. To read more….

Bitcoin at record $USD14,000 as Mercantile Exchange Plan to Launch its Futures

Bitcoin, barely a week after posting the steepest intraday dip of 20% is now trading at a record high of $USD14,000. This was less than 24 hours after topping $USD12,000. The famous crypto currency has beat all odds and analysts thinking to understand what is driving this rally. The Bitcoin market is valued at $USD230 billion vying for 20 largest stocks in the S&P500.

Bitcoin started the the year just under $USD1,000 and its gains have accelerated as investor interest grows. Chicago-based Cboe Global Markets is planning to launch bitcoin futures on Sunday, while the world’s largest futures exchange, CME, is set to launch its futures product the following week. The addition of bitcoin futures by two respected exchanges marks another step towards establishing the digital currency as a legitimate asset class. To read more…

Copper Price could lose an additional 3%-4% in Value

Copper could have another shave off another further $200-300 (3%-4%) per ton as stock piling increases and jitters around Chinas manufacturing gauges. The metal has slumped 4.7% this week despite still trading 19% percent this year to $USD6,564 a metric ton on the London Metal exchange.  The increase in stock piles have been on the back of investors holding long positions as they bet on the price rising higher but this has had impact of lowering the price in over time.

The current price supports copper producing nations such as Zambia, DRC, Chile and Venezuela who are heavily dependent on the red metal for export revenues.  Zambia projects to produce 753,000 metric tons this year – a revised estimate-  and is on course to regain its slot as Africa’s top copper producer. The Southern African nation intends to increase produce its productivity to 1 million metric tons by 2021 to be in the world’s top 4. To read more…

Lookout for the 7th edition of the Zambian Business Times on the 11 December.