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Negotiation ongoing as Tunisia sets to seal over $2 billion IMF deal

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North African country, Tunisia is hoping to seal a deal with the International Monetary Fund in the coming weeks on a loan of between $2 billion and $4 billion over three years.

The central bank governor, Marouan Abassi gave the hint on Sunday that the country which is suffering its worst financial crisis is seeking to secure an IMF loan to save public finances from collapse.

Abassi told journalists that “the size is still under negotiation and I think it will be between $2 billion and $4 billion, we hope to reach a staff level deal in coming weeks.”

Abassi said the wage deal was an important step for negotiations with the IMF and will give a clear view of wages’ weight in GDP in coming years.

“It will give us a clear vision about the wage mass that is expected to decline in the coming years,” he added.

Efforts to secure the IMF bailout have been complicated by Tunisia’s political upheavals since President Kais Saied seized most powers a year ago, shutting down parliament and moving to rule by decree.

But the government in August reached an agreement with the country’s main labour and commerce unions for economic reforms.

The Tunisian government in the bid to secure the deal last week announced plans to remove subsidies on fuel products, which is one of the preconditions given to it by the IMF before the release of the fund.

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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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