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World Bank resumes aid to Mozambique after 6 years, gives $300 million grant

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Six years after it suspended aid, the World Bank on Monday gave $300 million to Mozambique amidst the financial woes of the South African country.

The grant marks the resumption of World Bank’s support to the country following a financial scandal involving the government.

Mozambique’s finance minister, Max Tonela, while speaking on the World Bank’s grant during the signing of the agreement in Maputo, said the funds disbursed by the multilateral organisation will be used for infrastructure projects to support the economy and improve the living conditions of the population.

Tonela added the fund is the first funding to support the state budget that we hope for in the next three years.

The World Bank in June predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024.

The grant comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted its first loan to Mozambique (worth $456 million) in May since the so-called “hidden debt” scandal.

Reports say nineteen people accused of blackmail, forgery, embezzlement and money laundering, for amounts of several million euros, are to be heard in hearings scheduled over nearly two months. Among them is the son of former president Armando Guebuza, Ndambi Guebuza.

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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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