Ecama hails Pay-as-You Earn tax-free bracket

Economists have hailed government for the upward revision of the tax-free band, stating that the revision is one way of ensuring redistribution of income as a contribution to the reduction of the rich-poor gap. Minister of Finance Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha announced in the 2019/20 National Budget tabled on Monday that government has…

‘SA unrest costing businesses’

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism says the on-going turbulence in South Africa has affected trading activities between Malawi and South Africa, expressing fears that bilatera trade may be affected should the turbulence continue. The turbulence, in which foreign nationals are being attacked in the country, started two  weeks  ago where over 50 foreign…

Malawi’s GDP per capita stagnant

Malawi’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, a measure of a country’s economic output that accounts for its number of people, has been dormant for the past 55 years. Figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) indicate that Malawi’s GDP per capita has stood at around $400 (about K296 000) per person per year…

Egenco challenged to stabilise electricity supply

Cabinet Committee on Energy has challenged Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) to step up its ongoing and budding energy projects to stabilise the country’s energy supply. The committee comprises Minister of Finance, Economic planning and Development Joseph Mwanamveka, Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony…

Coal power plant critical for electricity tariffs—Mera

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has advised Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco) to speed up the building Kamwamba Coal Plant, saying the delay could affect electricity tariffs in the medium-term. Mera chief executive officer Collins Magalsi said in an interview on Wednesday at the construction site of Tedzani IV Power Plant after Minister of…

Savings key to better retirement life—Muscco

Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Muscco), an umbrella body for the savings and credit cooperatives (Saccos), has urged Sacco members to consider making alternative savings plans for retirement. Muscco business development manager Ezekiel Thindwa said in an interview on Friday on the sidelines of a two-day training workshop on pension planning management, which…

IMF urges strong public  investment management

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised fiscal authorities to strengthen public investment management through rigorous prioritisation of projects and improved project management framework. In its Country Report for Malawi issued last week, IMF noted that Malawi has an ambitious plan for infrastructure projects that seeks to support sustainable growth and poverty reduction. But the Bretton…

Improved sugar exports boon for revenue—MRA

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says the improved sugar exports recorded by the country’s major sugar manufacturer Illovo Sugar Malawi is a boon for the country on domestic revenue. Illovo earns Malawi valuable foreign exchange through the sales of its export sugar but is also a major source of domestic revenue to government. Data shows over…

Egenco resumes normal power generation

Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) says it has resumed normal power generation at Nkula and Kapichira hydropower stations, assuring of normal and improved electricity supply. Due to incessant rains the country experienced last week, Egenco shut down its Nkula A and B and Kapichira power stations after debris blocked intake screens. Speaking during a…

UTM takes stand on interest rate capping

UTM Party has joined the interest rate capping debate, urging Parliament not to pass the proposed Financial Services (Amendment) Bill of 2018. Instead, the UTM Party, in a statement signed by its president Saulos Chilima, who is also  the country’s Vice-President, is proposing that the Registrar of Financial Institutions should ensure accountability for the persistent…

Standard Bank plc annual profit slumps 13%

Standard Bank plc has reported a 13 percent drop in after-tax profit for the year ended December 31 2018. In its financial results for the year ending December 31 2018 published yesterday, the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed bank said it posted a profit of K10.6 billion, which is a drop from K12.1 billion realised over…

Broker dismisses fuel scarcity fears

International Haulage Brokers (IHB), a local body which coordinates fuel transportation in the country, has given an assurance of continued fuel supply despite hiccups encountered at Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania. The sentiments follow  reports that over 100 fuel tankers destined for Malawi are stuck in Tanzania amid fears that the country’s fuel importers…

Huge maize output  to lower inflation

The projected increase in maize output this year will be key in reducing inflation rate given the significance of maize in the food inflation basket, analysts have said. The analysts were reacting to the first-round crop production estimates released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development last week which showed a 25 percent…

NBS Bank to lay off staff, restructuring

Barely a week after National Bank of Malawi plc asked interested employees to proceed on voluntary retrenchment, another listed commercial bank, NBS Bank plc, has followed suit. In a letter issued on Tuesday and co-signed by the bank’s chief finance officer Vera Zulu and head of human resources Austin Thunde, NBS Bank plc said it…

National Bank set to lay off staff

National Bank of Malawi plc, the country’s biggest commercial bank by assets and profitability, is set to lay off an undisclosed number of employees in what it has termed voluntary retirement to reduce its operational expenses. In a circular dated February 25 2019 signed by head of human resources Charles Dulira, the Malawi Stock Exchange…

Illegal sugar imports threaten economy—Illovo

Illovo Sugar (Malawi) plc has decried the influx of smuggled imported sugar, saying it threatens the economy and consumers’ lives. The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed sugar manufacturer has since called for continued efforts to curb the malpractice. The firm’s managing director Mark Bainbridge said in an interview on the sidelines of the company’s annual general…

Treasury upbeat as  IMF team returns

Fiscal authorities say they are hopeful monetary and fiscal targets and structural reforms are in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) requirements, whose mission evaluations will take place between March 5 and 15. Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said this in an interview on Friday ahead of the IMF mission review…

LRR cut boosts money supply

The cut in Liquidity Reserve Requirement (LRR) from 7.5 percent to 3.75 percent on foreign currency deposits and five percent on local currency deposits seems to have positively impacted on banks, with records indicating increased money supply in the banking system. RBM figures indicate increased money supply in the banking system. LRR is the ratio…

Microfinance bad loans drop ease pressure on MFIs

Reduction in non-performing loans (NPLs), loans in which the borrower is not repaying the interest, for microfinance sector has eased pressure, bolstering the sector’s profitability and liquidity. The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) December 2018 Financial Stability Report shows that the sector recorded an improvement in the levels of bad loans for both deposit-taking and…