World Bank faults maize export ban

  The World Bank says while maize export ban leads to low domestic prices which benefit consumers, incomes of producers is adversely affected, thereby discouraging farmers from growing the staple crop. The bank’s senior country economist Patrick Hettinger said in an interview on Tuesday that depending on the elasticity of supply and demand, this may…

Fuel fund to continue cushioning consumers

Authority (Mera) says it will sustain the current fuel pump prices, thanks to the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) which compensates trading losses in line with automatic fuel adjustment formula framework. Mera director of economic regulation Eunice Potani said this on Friday in response to a question on whether the PSF—an account that accumulates funds from…

EIU forecasts 4.6% growth in 5 years

  The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has projected that Malawi’s economy will grow by an average of 4.6 percent in the next five years. This is contrary to government’s expectation of an average seven percent growth in the medium-term, which according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development…

EIU forecasts lower deficit by 2022

Malawi’s budget deficit is expected to reduce to 2.6 percent by the 2021/22 financial year, United Kingdom-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has forecasted in the second quarter report for Malawi. This, according to EIU, will depend on whether some new taxes are introduced and greater control is exercised over current spending. “Despite the pressures for…

Fiscal adjustments  costly—analyst

Treasury’s failure to meet targets for domestic revenues and grants has the potential to affect provision of social services, Ecama and IMF have said. This follows Treasury’s missing of revenue targets in the third quarter (January-March) of this fiscal year by K13.8 billion. Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) collected K207.6 billion against a target of K221.4…

Treasury to double private sector credit

  Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM), a representative body of commercial banks,  has welcomed Treasury’s plans to double credit to the private sector in the next five years, but argued that sustainability will depend on macro-economic performance. In an interview on Tuesday, BAM president Paul Guta observed that while the interest of the banking sector…

Malawi FDI inflows unstable—Report

  Malawi’s foreign direct investments (FDI)—the flow of capital between countries—have been fluctuating in the recent past, despite various ambitious initiatives to increase the inflows. Figures released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) this week show that FDIs to Malawi have been fluctuating from $129 million (K94 billion) in 2012, $446…

Bank outlines economic risks

  National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has said gains accrued in 2017 arising from low food prices are in danger of being eroded, with maize prices increasing by 40 percent thus far in 2018. NBM chief executive officer Macfussy Kawawa said in an interview on Friday in Blantyre the upward pressure in non-food inflation…

Public debt soars to k2.9 trillion

  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said while the rising public debt, now at K2.9 trillion, is not too surprising given primary fiscal balance deficit performance in the 2017/18 financial year, fiscal authorities should tread carefully on the recent trend of a shift of debt composition toward domestic debt. Speaking in an interview yesterday,…

2018/19 fiscal programmes under scrutiny

Government’s move to introduce new programmes and maintain some of the existing ones has been put on the spotlight, with opposing views from some sectors of the economy. In the 2018/19 National Budget, Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe announced plans to include ambitious youth programmes that are primarily intended to reduce youth…

Poor loan recoveries  impacting on Medf

The Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf) continues to report a negative financial performance to poor loan recoveries, Treasury has said. According to published figures from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development 2018 Annual Economic Report, in the 2016/17 financial year, total revenues reduced by 26 percent to K197.6 million from K1.5 billion in…

Are Parastatal reforms failing?

  Parastatal performance remains subdued despite government instituting reforms in over 40 State-owned enterprises three years ago. In an interview yesterday, professor of finance and corporate strategy at the Malawi Polytechnic James Kamwachale Khomba said parastatals are failing to devise new revenue streams and improve efficiency because the reforms are yet to translate into action.…

Escom ponders on new tariff model

Escom says it is pondering on adopting a cost-reflective tariff model to sustain its operations on the market. Speaking during a  press conference in Blantyre on Monday on the power situation and other issues, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) chief executive officer Allexon Chiwaya said this follows a cost of service study on how…

Body wants thriving manufacturing sector

  Manufacturing Industries Association (MIA), a representative body of 200 manufacturing firms, says government has to intervene to save the manufacturers from closure due to various challenges. In an interview on Monday, MIA chairperson Ahmed Sunka said a few companies are only growing at the moment, a development which  is worrisome to the sector that…

Rate cut fails to boost credit growth

  Despite the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) reducing the policy rate to 16 percent, the lowest in seven years, credit growth for the private sector remains subdued, the World Bank has said. World Bank senior country economist Patrick Hettinger said in an interview on Friday the central bank has maintained a tight monetary stance,…

Mining revenue jumps 25%—annual report

  Treasury says it has raised K500 million in mining revenue within nine months—July 2017 and April 2018—through royalties, licence processing and ground fees. This represents a 25 percent increase over the same period last year when K400 million was raised, according to figures published in the Malawi Government Annual Economic Report 2018. The report,…

Trade disparity up, hits K758 billion

At K758 billion, Malawi’s trade balance in 2017 continues to worsen despite various policy interventions to narrow the trade gap, figures from Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development have shown. In 2016, Malawi’s trade balance stood at K706.8 billion. According to the 2018 Malawi Government Annual Economic Report, as at December 2017, total exports…

High demand for Malawi’s legumes

The AHL Commodity Exchange Limited (AHCX) says there is high demand for Malawi’s soya, groundnuts and sugar beans on the international market with buyers offering competitive prices on offer. AHCX communications manager Thom Khanje said in an interview that there are a lot of open export opportunities in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya as well…

Masm fee hike irks consumers

  Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has expressed frustration with the hike in Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm) subscriptions by an average of 19 percent effective next month. In an interview yesterday, Cama executive director John Kapito described the adjustment as “unfair, absurd and unheard of”. He said: “Just recently, Masm increased its fees…