Malawi grapples to narrow trade gap

Despite a number of  interventions, Malawi’s trade gap with the rest of the world continues to widen, a development analysts attribute to policy failure. National Working Group on Trade Policy chairperson Frederick Changaya said in an interview yesterday that with no multiplier effect in Malawi and a heavily subsidised manufacturing of food products in other…

Escom moves to relieve Low-income customers

Low-income customers on Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) power grid will now start accessing electricity at a lower rate following the change in pricing mechanism for domestic customers. This follows Escom’s implementation of a life-line tariff for domestic customers approved by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) in October 2018 as part of the four-year…

Universal fertiliser subsidy expensive for Malawi

An analysis by the International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) on the universal fertiliser subsidy (UFS) has revealed that untargeted programme would put pressure on the budget and its benefits disproportionally distributed to beneficiaries. The analysis assumes that the demand for fertiliser is relatively responsive to its price. In his published op-ed Ifpri leader of…

Mixed fortunes for tea as demand dip 3%

Despite having a promising start to the tea marketing season fluctuating prices and changing consumption trends threaten farmer’s earnings. Industry players expressed the concerns on Saturday during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day cerebrations jointly organised by the Tea Association of Malawi (Taml), International Labour Orgnisation and the World University Service of Canada (Wusc)…

Lilongwe Dairy eyes Dairibord takeover

One of the country’s dairy processors, Lilongwe Dairy (2001) Limited, is in discussion with Dairibord Malawi Limited (DML) for a possible takeover of its operations. In a statement The Nation saw yesterday, the board and management of DML said the discussions follow the announcement by Dairibord Holdings Limited (DHL) that the company is a going…

Where do we invest pension funds?

Financial market analysts have called for government’s deliberate policy to ensure that a huge chunk of pension funds are invested in infrastructure development if the country is to maximise returns. In an interview on Tuesday, one of the market analysts, Benson Jere, who is also chief executive officer (CEO) of NBM Capital Markets Limited, observed…

Malawi fairs well on prosperity

 Malawi has emerged as one of the gainers in prosperity in the sub-Saharan region, emerging as the 11th prosperous country out of 41 in the region, according to the latest Legatum Prosperity Index. This means that in terms of poverty levels, Malawi is making strides to improve the well-being of its people with opportunities for…

Tourism contribution To GDP stalls—report

 Malawi tourism sector contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) has remained static at around seven percent for the past two years, a situation players in the sector say is worrisome. Malawi Tourism Council (MTC), a grouping of tourism operators, said it is worrisome that the industry has not grown, observing that operators have been…

RBM touts financial inclusion initiative

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says efforts invested in the financial literacy initiatives are yielding results, with over 700 000 bank accounts opened within one year. RBM financial sector regulation director George Chioza said this yesterday in Blantyre on the sidelines of the start of the 2019 Global Money Week when the central bank together…

Economy under siege

Economic commentators say the rising fiscal deficits and debt threaten the current economic gains, a situation which could rob citizens of access to quality social services in the near future. Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures show that as at December 2018, the stock of central government debt stood at K3.3 trillion with external debt…

FDH Bank pushes group profit to K7.8bn

FDH Financial Holdings Limited has posted a K7.8 billion after-tax profit for the year ending December 31 2018 buoyed by improved performance of one of its subsidiary, FDH Bank. This compares to K94.6 million profit the group reported in the year ended December 31 2017. In the year under review, FDH Bank posted an after-tax…

February inflation eases to 7.9%

Malawi’s year-on-year inflation for January eased by 0.9 percentage points to 7.9 percent, thanks to the easing prices of non-food items, published figures from the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed yesterday. During the same period last year, inflation stood at 7.8 percent. During the month under review, food and non-food inflation eased to 10.8 and…

Malawi’s capacity to pursue development agenda high

Malawi has been ranked among top three countries in Africa with the capacity to pursue her development agenda, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) reports. Out of 48 countries, Malawi was ranked position three as one of the countries with excellent performance in three indicator clusters: policy environment for capacity development, processes for implementation, and…

‘EU market being underutilised’

Despite having access to duty free and quota free access to the European Union (EU) single market for all products but arms, Malawi is yet to fully utilise the trade opportunity. EU team leader for economic, trade and governance section Jose Navarro said this on the sidelines of the EU-funded Institute of Chartered Accountants in…

EU talks aid, good governance

European Union (EU) team leader for economic, trade and governance section Jose Navarro has hinted that there is potential to resume budget support in the near future, but governance remains a key priority area. The diplomat said this on Wednesday in Blantyre on the sidelines of the EU-funded Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam)…

Non-Tax revenue drop worrisome—analysts

Treasury’s plans to cut non-tax revenue projections in the 2018/19 financial year could stifle government’s efforts to diversify revenue base amid declining foreign aid, economic commentators have warned. Non-tax revenue, which includes collections of fees from issuance of passports, drivers’ licences and other services offered by government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), has been revised…