Current account  deficit narrows

Malawi’s current account deficit is expected to take a knock from an estimated 18.20 percent of gross domestic product in 2018 to 15.20 percent in 2020, as import growth falters, investment advisory firm Nico Asset Managers has said. The current account deficit is a measurement of a country’s trade where the value of the goods…

Lack of medical insurance haunts players

Lack of medical scheme and insurance policy in the country continues to put football players’ lives at risk. Yet Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm) offered a fair scheme for all TNM Super League teams players. Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and its influential affiliate Super League of Malawi (Sulom) have confessed that the situation…

Economists decry low investment levels

The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has decried the country’s low levels of investments which it say is below the Sub-saharan Region (SSR)’s 20 percent average. Published figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO) indicate that Malawi has one of the lowest rates of total investment in SSA, with the average…

RBM banks on new regulation

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says new regulation will now make it mandatory for all licensed businesses to deploy at least one electronic payment point in their premises. But the Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises fears the move  will drive up the cost of doing business. In an e-mail response, RBM spokesperson Mbane…

Trade balance improves—report

Malawi’s trade balance with the rest of the world has improved to $1.42 billlion (about K1 trillion) from $1.31 billion (about K 970 billion), figures from African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) show. In its 2019 African Trade Report, the bank reported that merchandise exports grew by 119 percent to $2.52 billion (about K1.9 trillion) from…

Firms challenged on jobs, growth

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has challenged the private sector to spearhead job creation and economic growth by creating innovations that provide commercial and development impact. UNDP resident representative Shigeki Komatsubura said this on Tuesday in Blantyre on the sidelines of the launch of the 2019 agribusiness window of the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund…

UK eyes Malawi for investment

Britain has identified Malawi, alongside 19 other African countries, as priority investment markets, a move that is expected to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. British High Commission Charge d’Affaires Gary Leslie said in an interview yesterday that among other countries listed as priority investment destinations are South Africa, Mozambique and Angola, with…

Nico Asset warns of inflation risks

Nico Asset Managers Limited has warned that expected maize price increases during the lean season will pile pressure on headline inflation and raise the cost of investment. In its 2019 Mid-Year Economic Report released on Friday, the portfolio and investment management firm observes that localised maize shortages in many parts of the Southern Region, which…

Paladin CEO speaks  on Kayelekera sale

Paladin Energy chief executive officer Scott Sullivan says while the sale of Kayelekera Uranium Mine frees up cash for the firm, the deal gives an opportunity to the new owners to focus on studies to reduce costs. Speaking in a television interview on Proactive Investors, Sullivan said assuming that the sale goes through; Paladin Energy…

MW among top African exporters

Malawi’s progress towards regional integration is yielding with the country  ranked among top-ten lead intra-Africa exporters. According to latest figures from the United Nations Commission for Trade and Development (Unctad) Economic Development in Africa Report,  at 38.3 percent, Malawi is the 10th leading intra-Africa exporter with Zimbabwe, Uganda, Togo Senegal, Djibouti, Lesotho and Kenya having…

FUND opens window for financial sector

Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (Micf), a $24 million (about K19 billion) matching grant fund for the private sector, has challenged the financial sector to introduce innovative products that address the needs of small and medium enterprises. Micf director Buddhika Samarasinghe said this in Blantyre yesterday during the launch of a new window focusing on the…

Weather shocks dampen economy

Crop production losses resulting from the country’s over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture dominated by maize growing, continues to affect economic growth, an agriculture expert has said. In a written assessment, agriculture expert Tamani-Nkhono Mvula said with 99 percent of smallholder farmers growing maize and relying on a single rain-fed season, weather shocks are further worsening poverty…

Two oil exploration firms relinquish licences

Two oil exploration firms, Efora Company, formerly Sac Oil, and Pacific Oil Limited have relinquished ownership of their licensed blocks one and six, respectively, a move government says will not affect operations. The Malawi Government issued six oil and gas exploration and production licences in which 60 percent lies outside the lake. The country granted…

Speculation drives up maize prices

Maize prices have gone up by about 18 percent within a week, a development Grain Traders and Processors Association of Malawi has blamed on speculation. Business News spot checks in some selected produce markets show that a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag is now selling at between K9 500 and K10 000 from last week’s K8…

Players fear for gas sector

Players in the gas-sub sector have expressed fear over potential reduction in demand for gas following authorities’ decision to hike the product by 12.11 percent. On Saturday, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) increased the price of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) by 12.11 percent due to increased global prices and the depreciation of the South African…

TNM not affected by US-Huawei row—CEO

TNM plc chief executive officer Michiel Buitelaar says the firm is not affected by the row between US government and Huawei, the world’s number one telecommunications supplier and number two phone manufacturer. Speaking during the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed firm’s annual general meeting in Blantyre on Thursday, Buitelaar said besides Huawei being one of their…

Mixed fortunes for microfinance institutions

Despite registering satisfactory performance in 2018, the microfinance institutions have, during the year under review, posted mixed results in their assets and earnings. Recently published Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures show that during the review period, aggregate assets for the sector comprising microcredit agencies, non-deposit taking microfinance institutions and deposit taking microfinance institutions, increased…

Traders cash in on Admarc delay

Unscrupulous traders continue to cash in on maize trade following the delay by State produce trader Admarc to start buying the staple grain from farmers four months after harvest. The development has riled agriculture stakeholders, including Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), who argue that the situation is putting farmers at a disadvantage. FUM president Alfred…

Pension fund investments drop

Despite registering growth last year, pension funds investments return declined by 5.9 percent, published figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) showed on Wednesday. The 2018 Financial Institutions Supervision Report shows that the fund achieved an investment return of 21 percent in 2018 compared to 26.9 percent in 2017 on account of a combination…

Safety nets financing  not sustainable—WB

Given the country’s dependence on development partner support, the World Bank says the financing of safety nets at current levels is not sustainable. The banks’ country economist Priscilla Kandoole observed in the June 2019 Malawi Economic Monitor that government currently finances only six percent of all Malawi’s safety net spending, which is being overshadowed by…