BancABC seeks credit to grow

BancABC was lining up credit worth between $100 million (R1 billion) and $300m this year, chief executive Douglas Munatsi said yesterday. The Botswanan bank, which Bob Diamond’s investment company, Atlas Mara, is seeking to take over, was in talks with lenders such as the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank, and expected a further $100m once the deal with Atlas Mara was done, he said. Atlas Mara, the UK-listed shell firm of the former Barclays boss, is hoping to convince BancABC’s investors to part with their stakes in a share swap or for cash of up to $265m. “We have been growing phenomenally and capital and liquidity have become a problem. We just can’t fund and support the growth that we are seeing with the resources that we already have,” Munatsi said. – Reuters


Food, fuel prices hike inflation

Rising food prices pushed Tanzania’s year-on-year inflation rate up to 6.1 percent last month from 6 percent in February, the statistics office said yesterday. The increase in prices of food including rice, beans, vegetable and fish and commodities such as fuel helped push inflation higher, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The inflation rate on food and non-alcoholic beverages rose to 7.9 percent in March from 6.9 percent the previous month, it said, adding that consumer prices rose by 0.6 percent month on month in March against 1.4 percent in February. – Reuters


Jubilee output ramping up

Output from Ghana’s offshore Jubilee oilfield would hit between 105 000 and 110 000 barrels a day this year, in line with a budgeted 110 000 barrels a day, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation chief executive Alex Mould said yesterday. “It is expected that the field could produce an average of 100 000 barrels a day, which is budgeted for, but I am sure we will hit about 105 000 to 110 000 barrels a day in 2014,” Mould said. “The average daily oil production as of March 25 was about 104 000 barrels. We’re currently (at) about 109 000 barrels.” Ghana discovered oil in 2007 and began producing in 2010. Its economy grew 11.8 percent the following year. – Reuters


Business climate improves

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has improved its business environment but plans to raise mining taxes could deter investors in a country where massive infrastructure challenges remain, the chief executive of a major foreign mining house said yesterday. Pieter Deboutte, manager of the Fleurette company that holds Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler’s mining and oil interests in Congo, said Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo had made progress in tackling corruption and improving government administration. “Ponyo has done a good job introducing more strictness in government,” Deboutte told the Reuters Africa summit . “There is corruption everywhere – and of course it is here – but everything is professionalising now.” Deboutte cited the arrival of foreign companies from outside the mining sector as signs of growing international investor interest. – Reuters