The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Competition Authority approves the merger between Commercial Bank of Africa and NIC Bank:
The Kenyan Competition Authority announced in a press release issued on May 13 that it had approved the merger between Commercial Bank of Africa and National Industrial Credit Bank, better known by the acronym NIC Bank. However, it required that no employee be dismissed in the merged unit for 12 months after the transaction was completed. The merger between Commercial Bank of Africa and NIC Bank will be carried out through a share exchange transaction. Following the merger, the current shareholders of NIC Bank will own 47% of the merged entity compared to 53% for the shareholders of Commercial Bank of Africa. The new entity will have total assets of Kenyan shillings 444 billion ($4.41 billion), making it Kenya's third largest bank after Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank...

The Central Bank wants to pay a "support" price to encourage gold production:
Fidelity Printers and Refiners, the central bank unit that buys all the gold produced in Zimbabwe, has announced that it will pay miners an "incentive" price in addition to the contractual purchase price. The objective is, it is learned, to encourage gold production in the country. In response to the announcement, Caledonia Mining indicated that it has requested further clarification on the issue. "At this stage, it is not yet clear how long the incentive price will be maintained, whether it can be adjusted in the future and whether it is subject to the income taxes and royalties in force in the country," said the company operating on the Blanket mine...

The Ministry of Finance is releasing $1 billion to clear unpaid road debts:
The decision to pay the high cost of unpaid bills, supported the government's money, reflects the government's desire to improve the country's road networks, which has remained about 39% in good condition, 32% in good condition and 29% in poor condition over the past five years. The Ghanaian Minister of Finance addressed participants at the opening of a three-day strategic management workshop organized by the Ministry on the theme "Ghana Beyond Aid: Strategies for Sustainable Investment and Road Heritage Preservation" in Kumasi. Mr. Amoako-Attah said that since road project funding sources are limited, the Ministry has undertaken a comprehensive review of the project portfolio since 2017 to ensure that projects are streamlined and adequately funded...

Joao Lourenço makes the construction of oil refineries a priority:
In an interview on Angolan public television, President Joao Lourenço said that his government, through the state-owned oil company, Sonangol, will accelerate the construction of oil refineries. This is to ensure that the current shortage of petroleum products in the country is never repeated. For several days now, the country's major cities have been facing an unprecedented shortage with serious economic consequences. This crisis also led the president to dismiss the head of the public company, Carlos Saturnino, early last week. He is accused of mismanaging the process of importing petroleum products...

Copper production is expected to decline in 2019 (ICSG):
According to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), regulatory and fiscal issues will have a negative impact on Zambian copper production in 2019. The Zambian government introduced new reforms earlier this year that increase taxes and royalties for mining companies. In a report on the copper market outlook for 2019/20, the ICSG indicated that in addition to Zambia, there will also be a significant decline in Indonesian production. These declines are expected to be offset by Peruvian mines, which will result in stable world production year-on-year. For 2020, the organization forecasts a 1.9% increase in world copper production...

Coffee production could fall to 50,000 tonnes in 2019/2020:
In Tanzania, the coffee harvest could reach 50,000 tonnes during the 2019/2020 season, which will begin by July, 23% less than in 2018/2019. This is what the Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB) told Bloomberg. This decrease is mainly due to the drought in several bean production regions and, to a lesser extent, to the unfavourable year of the biennium cycle. For 2019/2020, Moshi's auctions will be launched by the end of July, says the TCB...