Tobacco earnings  Hit k13bn in 2 weeks

  Revenue from tobacco, the country’s main foreign exchange earner, hit $17.9 million (about K13 billion), a jump from the previous week’s $5.7 million (about KK4.2 billion), figures from the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) show. The revenue was realised from 12.6 million kilogrammes (kg) of tobacco sold at the Lilongwe, Limbe and Chinkhoma floors at…

NBS Bank partners Nico  Holdings in bancassurance

  NBS Bank plc has partnered two insurance firms in  bancassurance, which is the selling of insurance products and services by banking institutions. The firms—Nico Life Insurance Company and Nico General Insurance Company—just like the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed bank, are subsidiaries of financial services group Nico Holdings Limited, which is also listed on…

MSE automated trading starts June

  The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) is expected to begin electronic trading in June with securities transferred and registered in the Central Securities Depository (CSD) to trade in the Automated Trading System (ATS). In a statement last week, MSE said the development follows the establishment of ATS at the bourse as well as the introduction…

‘Soaring debt cost to economy’

In 10 years from 2007 to 2017, Malawi has spent K123 billion on debt service-cash that is required to cover the repayment of interest and principal on a debt for the period, out of which K52 billion was interest payments, a situation analysts say may choke the economy at one point. Published figures from the…

Private sector arrears  on the rise—MCCCI

  Despite government paying private sector arrears through zero coupon promissory notes, the arrears continue to rise and have jumped to K206 billion, according to the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI). Speaking on the sidelines of MCCCI’s 124th Annual General Meeting in Blantyre on Wednesday, immediate past president Karl Chokotho said…

Investors continue to shun government bonds

  Treasury’s hope of boosting trading on the 13-counter Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and promoting financial assets diversification for investors is failing materialise. This follows the lukewarm response from investors particularly on the listed bonds, a situation market analysts attribute to the nature of investors. Treasury has over the past months listed three bonds worth…

Govt lacks seriousness on energy crisis—MCCCI

  Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has urged government to start looking at issues of energy with the seriousness it deserves as unreliable energy supply is costing the economy dearly. Speaking during the 124th MCCCI annual general meeting (AGM) in Blantyre yesterday, the chamber’s outgoing president Karl Chokotho said businesses feel…

Unscrupulous vendors expose Malawians to cancer

  Unscrupulous vendors are exposing unsuspecting Malawians to the risk of cancer following revelations that some traders are selling fresh foods, including fish and mushrooms, preserved using formaldehyde which a medical expert said is an embalming fluid. Professor John Chisi of the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine was reacting to The Nation enquiry following…

Maize prices push March inflation

  Rising maize prices have pushed up March 2018 inflation by 2.1 percentage points to 9.9 percent, figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) published yesterday have shown. During the review period, food inflation rose by3.3 percentage points to 10.6 percent while non-food inflation registered a meagre 0.3 percentage increase. In the recent months, maize…

Government positive on better tobacco prices

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha has expressed optimism over this year’s tobacco prices, which he said are promising and is five percent higher than last year’s minimum prices. Speaking during the official opening of Limbe Auction Floors in Blantyre yesterday, Mwanamvekha said government is banking on the low supply and the…

Mera maintains fuel pump prices

  Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has maintained fuel pump prices at current levels which means that petrol remains at K824.70 per litre, diesel at K815.80 per litre and paraffin at K648.70 per litre. In a statement issued on Friday, Mera board chairperson Reverend Joseph Bvumbwe said the average free on board (FOB) prices of…

National export strategy under review

The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) has said it is banking on the revised National Export Strategy (NES) for enhanced diversification which should help narrow the country’s trade deficit. Mitc chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba told Business News on the sidelines of Mitc trade facilitation roundtable meeting in Blantyre on Thursday NES, which is…

Tobacco growers mood

Some tobacco growers in the country have expressed dissatisfaction with prices buyers are offering for the lower leaf (primmings), saying the prices do not meet their expectations. The farmers said they were expecting good prices following reports that there is a drop in production of the ‘green gold’ by 14 percent due to dry spells…

Maize export ban  discourages farmers

Researchers have found that policy-induced distortions in the form of export bans on agricultural commodities in Malawi create disincentives for farmers to produce, rendering these policies self-defeating and unsustainable in the long run. In their paper published on Tuesday titled Achieving Food Security and Industrial Development in Malawi: Are export restrictions the solution? Emerta Aragie,…

Productive capacity  Hinders export drive

Inadequate productive capacity continues to hinder Malawi from exploiting its trade agreements despite having markets for exports, according to an official from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. In an interview yesterday in Blantyre on the sidelines of a trade facilitation workshop organised by the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc),  the ministry’s principal…

Two years on, buy  Malawi strategy falters

  Two years after President Peter Mutharika launched the Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS), local small businesses say they are yet to register gains. In an interview on Tuesday, Malawi Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises executive secretary James Chiutsi said while BMS—which seeks to stimulate local production and growth by inspiring consumers to embrace locally-produced…

Nampak fires half of its employees

Nampak Malawi, the country’s largest diversified packaging manufacturer, has retrenched more than half of its workforce, citing turbulent economic environment and shrinking market. The move by the company could be a microcosm of a troubled economy characterised by high interest rates, diminishing purchasing power and the effects of prolonged power cuts. An official from Nampak,…

Retail maize prices fall in March

Maize prices declined by four percent in March 2018 ahead of the 2017/18 harvesting season, International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) has said. In its March 2018 monthly maize price bulletin, Ifpri said maize prices tend to be on a downward trend, especially in the second half of the month across the regions as the…