South Africa Seeks Agriculture Boost in Post-Brexit Trade Deal

South Africa sees opportunities to sell more of its agricultural produce to the U.K. under a post-Brexit trade agreement, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said.

“The U.K. doesn’t have the sensitivities of some of the countries from southern Europe that see us as competitors,” Davies said, referring to wine and fruit. “In the longer and medium term it may well be that we can improve our access into the U.K. market for those products.”

Davies, who spoke in an interview on Tuesday, is in the U.K. for talks to ensure that trade isn’t interrupted when the country leaves the European Union. The Economic Partnership Agreement, signed last year between the EU and the five-nation Southern African Customs Union, will form a template for new U.K.-South Africa trading rules, Davies said.
Nigeria Sees Oil Hitting Mid-$60s in Coming Months as OPEC Bites

Crude oil prices, hovering around $55 a barrel since early December, will climb by about $10 in the coming months as OPEC-led measures to curb a glut take hold, Nigeria’s oil minister said.

“Ultimately, the effects over the next few months will get us to where we want to be, which is in the mid-$60s,” Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Rome.

Oil surged at the end of November and in early December after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries surprised the market with output cuts and enlisted the help of non-member suppliers to eliminate a surplus. While militant attacks on its energy infrastructure meant Nigeria itself was spared from having to pump less, OPEC could ask for its participation, Kachikwu said.
Kenya Banks Face New Row With Lawmakers Over Deposits Plan

A new row is brewing between Kenyan banks and parliament after a lawmaker proposed placing restrictions on deposits by state-owned companies, months after the state imposed a cap on lending rates.

Kimani Ichung’wah, vice chairman of the Public Investments Committee, drafted a bill seeking to bar state-owned corporations from investing or depositing public funds with lenders in which the government has a stake of less than 20 percent. Ichung’wah declined to specify when the bill will be presented to legislators, though Parliament resumes sitting later on Tuesday.

“The bill seeks to provide that a public body may only deposit funds and invest surplus funds in government-owned banks,” he said by phone on Monday. “The bill defines a government owned bank as a bank in which the government owns or holds at least 20 percent of the shares.”
Angola Banks Appeal for Bailout as Oil Slump Cuts Liquidity

Angolan banks are appealing to the government to help put together a bailout package to protect account holders as lenders reel from low oil prices that make up almost all of the nation’s foreign-exchange earnings.

Financial assistance could come from the administration of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos or be shared by all of the southwest African country’s 28 operational lenders, Amilcar Silva, chairman of the Association of Angolan Banks, said in an interview in the capital, Luanda. He didn’t specify whether lenders were calling for a liquidity boost that would improve the industry’s ability to convert short-term assets into cash, or capital injections aimed at struggling banks.
Ghana Leaves Key Rate Steady as Policy Makers Seek Stable Cedi

Growth in consumer prices slowed to 15.4% in December
Ghana’s central bank cut ley lending rate in November
Ghana’s central bank unexpectedly kept its benchmark rate unchanged as it balanced the risks to inflation and economic growth.

The Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee left the rate at 25.5 percent, Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. Only two of six economists in a Bloomberg survey said the central bank would keep borrowing costs unchanged, while the remaining four predicted a rate cut of 50 to 150 basis points.

“Perhaps concerns over currency stability kept the MPC relatively cautious,” Razia Khan, head of Africa macro research at Standard Chartered Plc in London, said in an e-mailed note. “We saw room for a cautious 50 basis points easing.”

Policy makers reduced the rate in November for the first time since July 2011. While inflation has been outside the central bank’s target band of 6 percent to 10 percent since at least January 2013, growth in consumer prices eased to 15.4 percent in December, slowing for a third straight month.

The cedi weakened 0.5 percent to 4.36 against the dollar by 1:23 p.m. in Accra on Monday, extending losses for the year to 3 percent after sliding 11 percent in 2016.

Source: Bloomberg