Africa: Citigroup plans to invest more

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AFRICA

Citigroup plans to invest more

Citigroup, the US lender scaling back in some emerging markets, plans to invest in Africa as it sees a pick-up in merger and acquisition, debt and equity capital market deals on the continent. The third-largest US lender by assets had a “new strategic plan for sub-Saharan Africa” with Nigeria, east Africa and South Africa as its top priorities, Jim Cowles, the chief executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said yesterday. “On the growth in EMEA, we’re counting on Africa to be a major contributor,” Cowles said, declining to say how much the bank earned from Africa or how much it would invest. – Bloomberg

NAMIBIA

Rand peg ‘is still beneficial’

Namibia was benefiting from its currency peg with the rand, even after it slumped 6 percent against the dollar in the past six months, central bank governor Ipumbu Shiimi said yesterday. The nation had no plans to decouple the Namibian dollar from the rand, he said. “The rand is weakening, yes, but to a large extent this is not because of domestic factors,” he said. “We believe that the South African economy is still well managed.” The currency arrangement “benefits us more than them”. While the Bank of Namibia generally follows the SA Reserve Bank’s lead, Shiimi kept interest rates unchanged at 5.5 percent yesterday even after the Reserve Bank raised its repo rate to 6 percent earlier this month. – Bloomberg

NIGERIA

Ecobank told to reinstate boss

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had told pan-African lender Ecobank that it must reinstate former finance director Laurence do Rego pending a probe into her allegations of corporate governance breaches, a spokesman for the regulator, Obi Adindu, said yesterday. Adindu said this was in line with Nigeria’s regulatory laws. This week top executives at Ecobank asked chief executive Thierry Tanoh to step down to resolve a crisis centred on governance problems at the bank. – Reuters


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