Malawi banks strong amid bad loans

The country’s banking sector continues to remain strong in profit, capital and liquidity terms despite registering high Non-Performing Loans (NPLs), a biannual stress test conducted by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) indicates. In absolute terms, NPLs ratio stood at 6.1 percent in December 2018, which despite being a drop from 12.7 percent in June…

RBM to roll out new cross-border forex system

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) will from March 1 replace the Foreign Exchange Statistical Database System (Fesds) with a new system for reporting data on cross-border financial transactions by authorised dealer banks and registered forex dealers. The new system, Cross-border Foreign Exchange Reporting System (Cfers), whose access will be shared with the Malawi Revenue…

Govt, businesses in joint  efforts to curb malnutrition

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has underscored the private sector’s role to enhance nutrition, saying businesses possess innovation and creativity the country needs to tackle malnutrition. Speaking on Wednesday in Blantyre during the launch of newly-formed Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network Malawi Chapter, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Francis Kasaila said it…

Treasury deficits continue to pile

Treasury continues to record deficits in its budgetary operations with the latest being a K13.3 billion deficit recorded in December 2018, published Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures have shown. However, the deficit incurred is an improvement of a deficit of K54.3 billion recorded in November 2018, the RBM  December 2018 Monthly Economic Report shows. …

Businesses challenged to eliminate malnutrition

Newly formed Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network Malawi Chapter has challenged businesses to contribute towards reducing malnutrition by making good nutrition aspiration accessible, affordable and available to the consumer. SUN Business Network chairperson Oswald Bwemba made the call at a news conference on Friday ahead of the group’s  official launch this Wednesday in Blantyre.…

Empower women cross-border traders—Unctad

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has urged Malawi to pay attention to women cross-border traders and further use cross-border trade for the benefit of women, regional integration, and inclusive growth. In a recently published report titled Women in informal cross-border trade in Malawi, Tanzania and  Zambia, Unctad observes that informal cross-border…

New power deal revives hope

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) on Thursday signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a United Arab Emirates-based solar energy developer for an additional 21 megawatts (MW) to the national grid. The company, Phanes Energy Renewables Nkhotakota Limited, which will start producing solar powered energy in the next five months, will run for 20…

Financial markets key to resource mobilisation–firm

Investment and advisory firm Alliance Capital Limited has described financial markets as an important tool for financial resources mobilisation for long-term investment. The firm, in its weekly commentary, noted that financial markets, through financial institutions such as banks, companies and individual investors, provide loans that enable companies to supplement their income and buy assets. “These…

Economy in focus  ahead of elections

Elections in less than three months is a distraction for any economy. But as Malawi gears up for the May 21 vote, onlookers are positive about the country’s economic fundamentals. With both local and international monetary authorities warning government on expenditure ahead of the polls, there is a general consensus that the economy remains on…

Bank rates stirs debate

The decision by some commercial banks to adjust lending rates downward has stirred debate from economists and stakeholders who feel banks are still giving the market a raw deal. Commercial banks, notably National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc, Standard Bank plc, FDH Bank, NBS Bank plc, CDH Investment Bank, Nedbank, New Finance Bank and First…

Illovo shareholders cry foul over dividends

Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)–listed Illovo Sugar Malawi plc’s minority shareholders have faulted the company over a four-year dividend drought.  Speaking on the sidelines of investors’ meeting held on Thursday in Nchalo, Chikwawa, minority shareholder Frank Harawa said though the company has done a good job in trying to improve its financial position, shareholders, concerns remain…

Banks soften lending rates

Commercial banks in the country have lowered their base lending rates in reaction to the Reserve Bank of Malawi’s (RBM) recent monetary policy measures, including the downward revision of the policy and Lombard rates. Out of the country’s 11 commercial banks, Standard Bank plc, National Bank of Malawi plc, FDH Bank NBS Bank plc, CDH…

Trade ministry clears fears on Zim unrest

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has cleared fears that trade may be disrupted following the Zimbabwe unrest, stressing that government continues to monitor the situation is stabilising. The ministry’s spokesperson Mayeso Msokera, in an interview on Tuesday, was reacting to a recent situation in which some cross border traders and businesses are reportedly facing…

Monetary policy measures under scrutiny

The recent decisions by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to revise some monetary policy measures such as the policy and Lombard rates, among others, have divided opinion with some stakeholders urging the move are positive and negative on the economy. The decisions that Governor Dalitso Kabambe—announced at a press conference in Blantyre on January…

Mixed fortunes on rand fluctuation

Market analysts have cautioned that the recent South African rand fluctuations could affect Malawi’s trade balance.  Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) figures show that between April and July, the rand dropped from K60 to about K54 but later the kwacha depreciated to trade at K48.43 against the rand in September then K50.61 in October and…

IMF returns amid policy uncertainty

The IMF returns yo Malawi early next month to assess Malawi’s performance under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). But with elections around the corner, policy uncertainty will be one of the major challenges in discussing benchmarks for the next period given the lack of clarity on who will be in charge. International Monetary Fund (IMF)…

Bankers cautious

Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM) has cautioned that the recent stance by the central bank to slash policy rate and the new measure for commercial banks to use Lombard Rate as the base lending will have implications on the financial sector. BAM chief executive officer Violette Santhe, while pointing out that measures taken by RBM…

Foreign exchange externalisation irks RBM

Illegal externalisation of foreign exchange coupled with transfer pricing cases have drained in excess of K500 billion as at the close of last year in Malawi, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has disclosed.  The money—almost a third of the 2819/19 K1.5 trillion National Budget—comes from unsupported  foreign exchange  transactions  remitted without imports being  returned into…