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Egypt on the verge of securing IMF funding as talks enter final stage

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The Egyptian government says it is in the final stage of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to secure new funding in the aftermath of growing economic crisis brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli who announced the progress of the talks during the Logos Coptic Youth Forum held in Alexandria on Monday, said the north African country had no choice but to source for funding from the IMF.

While previewing the most prominent economic files that the government is working on, Madbouli noted that though Egypt has achieved huge growth rates due to the economic reform program of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the government has adopted to approach the international money lender as the economy has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war crisis.

The process for the loan was laid in July when Finance Minister, Mohamed Maait, pointed out that Egypt was working out the remaining points of difference with the IMF over a new extended fund facility.

Maait had then affirmed that talks with the IMF were ongoing and that they had achieved “very, very good progress.”

The value of the loan has not yet been set but Maait noted on the sidelines of the general assembly meeting of the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) in Cairo that Egypt had been talks with the IMF since March with the bulk of the discussion centred on a new program that seeks to support Egyptian state’s plans of national comprehensive economic reform.

The new program with the IMF aims at supporting the structural reforms that boost the Egyptian national economy without placing any burdens on citizens, Maait had said.

In the last decade, Egypt has had to turn to the IMF on more than three occasions to serk for a financial leeway, including borrowing $2.8 billion and $5.2 billion in May and June 2020 respectively in addition to $12 billion loan it accessed in 2016.

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Nigeria’s Access Bank acquires majority equity stake in Angolan financial firm, Finibanco

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One of Nigeria’s mega financial institutions, Access Bank, has penned an agreement to acquire 51% majority shareholding in Finibanco Angola S.A from Montepio Holding SGPS S.A, according the bank’s parent company, Access Holdings Plc.

The company which made the announcement late Tuesday, said it had purchased existing shares owned by Montepio, the holding company for Banco Montepio, a Portuguese commercial bank with over 20 branches and valued at $300 million in total assets.

The takeover of the Angolan bank sees an increase in the number of branches under Access Bank across Africa, making it the largest commercial bank in Africa by number of customers.

“Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation (‘the Corporation’) today announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Access Bank Plc (the Bank) has entered into a binding agreement with Montepio Holding SGPS S.A (‘Montepio’) to acquire a 51 percent majority shareholding in Finibanco Angola S.A. (the Transaction),” the company said in the statement.

“The Transaction furthers the bank’s strategy to be Africa’s payment gateway to the world whilst working with other Africa-focused multilateral to provide robust and efficient payment platforms and ecosystems to serve the continent,” it added.

Access Bank has been very active on the African continent as it has so far acquired banks in other countries to expand leadrship position and extend its market trades.

The Nigerian financial institution had acquired Kenyan lender, Sidian Bank Ltd, African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited, African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited, as well as Cavmont Bank in the last few years.

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Petrol prices fall in South Africa, Libya but cost of diesel keeps flying

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Prices of petrol have fallen in South Africa and Libya but such cannot be said of diesel.

The government of government on Monday announced that the petrol pump price would decrease by up to 1.02 Rand a litre but the price of diesel would increase by up to 15 cents a litre from October 5.

In Sudan also, petrol prices seem to be obeying the law of gravity as the energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that price had fallen from 700 Sudanese pounds to 522 pounds ($0.9235) per litre.

There has been a fall in global oil prices recently which has caused a fall in domestic inflation to 7.6% in August in South Africa.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has had its knock-on effects on oil prices globally. Prices of diesel have almost tripled in most African countries.

In Nigeria for instance, industries like aviationtelecom operators have all struggled with the situation which has disrupted business operations.

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