Tobacco farmers urge RBM to hold kwacha

Farmers for tobacco, the country’s principal forex earner, have urged the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to stop the steep appreciation of the kwacha because it would lead to loses when the marketing season opens. Tobacco Association of Malawi (Tama) chief executive officer Graham Kunimba in a telephone interview on Wednesday said since the kwacha…

TNM raises tariffs by 14 percent

While the kwacha is appreciating, fuel prices are falling and inflation is expected to drop further, mobile phone services provider, TNM, has announced a 14 percent rise in its tariffs effective March 4. Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed telecommunications firm said the tariff adjustment is due to high inflation in the costs of utilities, goods and…

MSE raises K32m, three counters gain

The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) raised about K32 million in the week ending February 20, with about 1.1 million shares changing hands, resulting in three counters gaining in share prices. The gain in three counters, namely Sunbird, Press Corporation Limited (PCL) and NBS Bank, pushed upwards the Malawi All Share Index (Masi) by 2.84 points…

Malawi service export dismal despite GDP dominance

Malawi exports for services—non tangible products, which include telecommunications, freight, financial and insurance—are expected to perform poorly regardless of the sector contributing over half to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Balance of Payment (BoP) figures show that this year, the country will only export $115.9 million (about K52 billion)…

Kwacha gain, fuel price drop push down inflation

Malawi’s inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) fell to 21.2 percent in January 2014 from 24.2 percent in December, courtesy of falling fuel prices and the appreciation of the kwacha. National Statistical Office (NSO) figures show that food inflation inched downward to 21.5 percent in January from 22.1 percent in December 2014…

Malawi January taxes K1.9bn below target, floods blamed

At a time Malawi is under pressure to raise more money, taxes continue to underperform. In January 2015, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) missed the target by about K1.9 billion, a situation which if it sustains would affect the 2014/15 budget implementation. During the review month, MRA collected K46.6 billion, missing expectations by about five percent,…

FDH Bank hails Escom for bringing back power

FDH Bank on Friday hailed the country’s sole power supplier, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), for bringing power after experiencing flooding due to last month’s incessant rains. Speaking at a luncheon at Nkula Power Station on Friday, in which the bank gave assorted gifts, including blankets, sugar, soap and flour, to those that directly…

Money market slows local shares market

Yields on money market, a sector for financial instruments with high liquidity and short maturities, has slowed down the performance of Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE), the local bourse’s chief operations officer John Kamanga has confirmed. With the money market yields, particularly treasury bills (T-bills), hovering around 27 percent since December last year, returns on the…

National food stocks, currently at a minimum of 60 000 tonnes, according to Famine Early Warning System (Fewsnet), are going to be under pressure and prompt  a rise in prices because of recent floods that hit Malawi’s 15 districts. The pressure, says Fewsnet, could push maize prices by up to 10 percent. The Fewsnet January…

Non-tax revenue under performance questioned

–Govt raised passport, drivers’ licence fees in H1 Non-tax revenue, which includes collections from passports, drivers’ licences and other services offered by government and its departments, underperformed between July and December 2014 although some of the fees were raised by over 300 percent. Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe, presenting the Mid-year Budget…

Forex reserves rise, kwacha gains 10%

Malawi’s foreign exchange reserves buffer is still rising, with the country’s official gross reserves increasing to about 3.5 months of import cover last week. This development guarantees the country’s continued importation of essential goods and services. On the back of the rising import cover, the kwacha has since December last year gained about 10 percent…

RBM cautions on budget spending

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has warned that pressure on the 2014/15 National Budget implementation may arise from extra-budgetary expenditures coupled with a wide fiscal deficit and heavy domestic debt. Economic analysts say budget slippages may lead to rising public debt, prohibitive interest rates, increasing inflation rate, an underperforming private sector and a low gross…

Malawi’s imports to rise to K1.6 trillion

Malawi’s 2015 imports—for goods and services combined—are expected to rise to US$3.3 billion (K1.6 trillion), over twice the country’s exports, which shows that Malawians still have a strong appetite for foreign goods. Compared to last year, the growth of imports is expected to rise more than the increase in exports, consequently worsening the country’s trade…

Standard Bank lauds Basel II

Standard Bank Malawi has said Basel II, a more stringent risk-based supervision, which requires commercial banks to maintain enough liquidity for the risks that they are taking, is good for the country’s economic growth. Speaking during a media breakfast in Blantyre on Wednesday, the bank’s chief executive officer Andrew Mashanda said although the regulations are…

Fuel prices down again, consumers disappointed

After being cut by about 10 percent in early January, prices of fuel—petrol, diesel and paraffin— have effective yesterday, been reduced by an average 10 percent triggered by falling global prices and appreciation of the kwacha. Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) acting chief executive officer Elias Hausi said in a statement that effective February 5,…

Remittances on the rise, hits k13.5 billion

Malawi received about $28.7 million (K13.5 billion at the current exchange rate) in personal remittances in 2013, slightly above the previous year, shoring up the country’s balance of payments (BoP) position and availability of foreign exchange. Figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), in dollar terms, show that the receipts have…