Moody’s moves to downgrade Egypt to B3

Moody’s Investors Services has placed Egypt’s B3 long-term foreign-currency and local-currency issuer ratings under review for downgrade, according to a local report. This follows Fitch Ratings’ downgrading of the country’s long-term foreign-currency credit rating to “B” from “B+” for its debt issuances, last week.

“The review period will focus on the government’s ability to finalize the targeted $2 billion in asset sales necessary to meet the IMF program’s financing targets for fiscal 2023 (ending June) and demonstrate the viability of the program’s external funding strategy that relies significantly on asset sales,” Moody’s noted.

When an economy is downgraded by a credit ratings company, like Moody’s, it provides data for foreign capital market investors to understand the level of risk in the market they are planning to enter before making any investment moves. Invariably, the latest down ground could reduce investment or make investors shy of entering the Egyptian market.

New wealth source discovery in Zimbabwe

Invictus Energy, an A-listed company from Australia recently confirmed the presence of light oil, gas condensate, and helium at its Cabora Bassa project in Zimbabwe. The company has provided assurances that helium gas is present in commercially viable concentrations, comparable to helium-producing fields worldwide. With the latest discovery, Zimbabwe could become a significant supplier of helium gas on the international market. In its announcement, Invictus Energy noted that mud gas tests showed helium commercial concentrations of about 0.1 per cent. Meanwhile, commercial production typically requires helium concentrations between 0.04-0.35%.

Tanzania partners with US clubs to boost tourism

Last week, Tanzania signed three significant agreements with prominent sports clubs in the United States in the major soccer and basketball leagues. These deals aim to enhance strategic investments and tourism through sports with American clubs. During the signing event in the US, Hassan Abbas, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources, confirmed that the government is committed to supporting the promotion of sports and tourism globally.

The new partnerships seek to increase the number of tourists in various tourism circuits across the East African nation. Tourism is an important foreign earner for Tanzania. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, its tourism sector still manage to slightly increased to 6 per cent, up from 5.7 per cent in 2020. The American clubs involved in the new agreement are Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Seahawks (NFL), and Portland Trailblazers (NBA).

ICYMI: Market roundup

The Nigerian Exchange Group opened trading on the stock market on Monday 7th May. The NGX All-Share Index rose by +0.10% (52.16) to close the week 12th of May 2023 at 52,214.62 points.

  • The top gainers were Mrs Oil Nigeria +9.93%, Academy Press +9.87%, Ikeja Hotel +9.86%, Transcorp +9.75% and Forte Oil +9.09%. On the other hand, the top decliners were C & I Leasing -9.86%, Prestige Assurance -9.76%, Sterling Bank -7.50%, Royal Exchange -6.90% and Courteville Business Solutions -6.52%.
  • The naira declined to close the week at N462.50/1$ on Friday compared to the N461.50/1$ recorded the previous week.  
  • Brent crude closed the week at $74.17, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $70.04.
  • The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $1.12 trillion, at 8.52 pm Sunday, the 14th of May, 2023. Bitcoin stood at $26,891.01 (a 7.15% decrease in 7 days), Ethereum stood at $1,797.77 (a 6.23% decrease in 7 days) and Binance coin stood at $311.55 (a 3.87% decrease in 7 days).
  • South African e-health startup Quro Medical raises $1.3 million in funding from Mineworkers Investment Company.
  • Egyptian fintech startup Balad raises a 7-figure pre-seed funding round.
  • South African student housing startup DigsConnect secures funding from Intaba Capital.
  • Kenyan fundraising startup secures investment from US-based firm Carta.

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