Parastatals liquidity position worsening

The build-up of trade debtors has worsened the liquidity position of most parastatals, a situation that has impacted on their working capital, a government annual report has shown. The situation, which was most prevalent among the water boards and other trading parastatals, forced many of them to turn to banks for overdrafts to cushion their…

2019/20 budget hopes, aspirations

On Monday last week, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha presented the 2019/20 fiscal plan, whose nominal value in terms of total expenditure has been pegged at K1.7 trillion, representing 27.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The budget, which he said is anchored on ensuring debt sustainability, inclusive growth as well…

MCCCI says 2019/20 Budget unrealistic

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has faulted the proposed 2019/20 National Budget for assuming a rosy picture in a year when the business environment is hostile. In its 2019/20 National Budget Analysis, MCCCI chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira observed that while there have been a few positive tax policy measures, overall,…

ICAM warns treasury on debt strategy

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) has warned that external borrowing could expose the country to currency risks, which may result in kwacha depreciation. Icam chief executive officer Francis Chinjoka Gondwe said this on Saturday in reaction to the proposed 2019/20 National Budget presented by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha.…

Gas tax reduction offers hope

Treasury’s move to remove value added tax (VAT) on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)  and gas cylinders, coupled with a 10.61 percent decline on gas prices has raised hope on increased uptake by consumers. On Monday, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said in his 2019/20National Budget presentation on Tuesday that to promote…

Unemployment tops doing business risks

Unemployment and underemployment risk is Malawi’s most pressing concern for businesses in the short-term, in light of the demographic and technological changes that lie ahead, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said. WEF reports that this is besides energy price shocks and failure of critical infrastructure posing as the second and third top risks to…

World Bank non-committal on budget support

World Bank country director for Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi and Somalia Bella Bird was yesterday non-committal on whether the Bretton Woods institution will provide budgetary support for the 2019/20 National Budget. Speaking at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on the sidelines of a meeting the World Bank delegation had with President Peter Mutharika and other government officials,…

Grand Business Park creates jobs for youths

The Grand Business Park, which is under construction in Lilongwe, has created job opportunities for the youth, including graduates from community technical colleges, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has said. Speaking on Friday when he toured the construction site at Area 46 along the Western Bypass Road, Minister Simon Vuwa Kaunda said the…

‘Weather shocks threaten growth’

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says persistent adverse weather shocks in the country could lead to hyperinflation, escalating debt ratios and reduced economic growth if not well managed. In its July 2019 Working Paper Series for Malawi, AfDB said the country’s economy could contract by two percentage points in the next five years due to…

AfDB proposes tax reforms

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says some mild and gradual adjustments in income tax and value added tax (VAT) rates could significantly improve Malawi’s debt ratio trajectories, especially in the medium to long-term. In its paper titled A DGE Model for Growth and Development Planning: Malawi published last week, the bank said adjusting income tax…

AfDB tips Malawi on economic growth

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says Malawi needs to scale up its public investment by 100 percent to $1.2 billion (about K912 billion) to double its per capita income. At about $1.2 billion, this is about 65 percent of the 2018/19 National Budget of K1.4 trillion and about 21 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).…

Global economic outlook threatens stability—RBM

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says risks to global economic outlook could threaten the country’s financial stability in the short-term. In its Financial Stability Report, the central bank cited trade tensions between the United States (US) and China, higher-than-expected inflation in the US and a ‘no-deal Brexit’ agreement in the United Kingdom (UK) as…

MPC diversifies amid falling mail volumes

Amid declining mail volumes, the Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) has unveiled plans to venture into transportation and mobile money business to stay afloat and expand its revenue base. MPC postmaster general Henry Shamu said this in an interview on the sidelines of a familiarisation tour of the institution’s head offices in Blantyre Minister of Information,…

Mixed fortunes for export crops

Rising sugar prices on the global market have helped to push up the export basket by 28 percent between April and June, figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show. RBM Second Quarter Financial and Economic Review shows that sugar exports rose to $183.8 million (about K136 billion) in the period under review, from…

Sunbird international conference centre opens October

Sunbird Tourism Limited (STL) plc is this October expected to open its newly constructed K2.1billion Soche International ConferenceCentre at Mount Soche in Blantyre. According to the hotel chain, the 800-seater facility comprising of a five-language interpretation solution, aims to strategically position Sunbird Mount Soche as the leading hospitality provider for large-scale conference and entertainment events…

Growth, poverty reduction stalls

Malawi made no progress on improving the frameworks necessary to promote poverty reduction and sustainable growth in 2018, the World Bank has established. The Washington-based development bank found in its annual 2018 Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) that the score remained unchanged from 2017 at 3.2, just slightly above the 3.1 Sub-Saharan region average.…

Rising maize prices push up inflation to 9.3%

Rising maize prices continue to put pressure on inflation, with latest figures showing a 0.3 percentage points increase in year-on-year inflation rate for July to 9.3 percent. National Statistical Office (NSO) Stats Flash shows that inflation rate increased from nine percent the month before. Food inflation, on the other hand, rose by 0.5 percentage points…

Credit demand soars

The banking sector’s demand for loans and credit lines have increased amid declining bad loans, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said. According to the RBM’s Bank Lending Survey (BLS), covering a six-month period from January to June 2019 in nine commercial banks, the increase in demand for loans and credit lines mainly emanated…