Monetary Policy Decisions Across Africa

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Monetary Policy Committees (MPC) of 7 African countries under our watchlist (Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Angola) were scheduled to meet over May-19 to decide on the best monetary policy recommendations for their various economies. This week, four of those MPC met with only Zambia taking a different turn. More specifically, MPC in Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt left rates unchanged at 13.5%, 6.75% and 16.75% respectively while the Zambian MPC took a different turn as it raised its policy rate by 50bps to 10.25% in a quest to quell inflationary pressures.

On the global scene, the dovish chorus of Advanced central banks has been reinforced by the release of the Fed’s minutes. The minutes of the meeting that was held earlier this month relayed the Federal Open Market Committee’s intention to adopt a patient approach to determining future adjustments to rates, at least in the near term. This relatively accommodative stance is positive for flows to emerging markets as carry trade becomes attractive.

With this backdrop, we do not expect a broad dramatic change in monetary policy stance by Apex banks in Africa. Yet, this does not single out inflationary pressures emanating from drought, upticks in food prices and increment fuel prices, that could possibly sway the various MPC's decisions. 

 

Top African Stories

• Nigeria Central Bank Holds Benchmark Interest Rate: Nigeria’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 13.5%, its governor Godwin Emefiele said, after a surprise 0.5 percentage point cut at the previous meeting. Read more

 

• Nigeria's Economic Growth Slows in Q1 as Oil Sector Shrinks: Growth in Nigeria’s fragile economy slowed to 2.01% in the first quarter as the country’s dominant oil sector shrank, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Read more

 

• Tunisia's Parliament Approves $800mn Bonds Plan:  The Tunisian parliament approved a government plan to issue bonds worth up to $800 million this year, lawmakers told Reuters. Read more

 

• Ivory Coast Awards Total And Eni New Oil And Gas Blocks: Ivory Coast has awarded four new offshore oil and gas blocks, two to France’s Total and two to Italy’s ENI, government spokesman Sidi Toure said. Read more

 

• Egyptian Government Debt Surges In 2018: Egypt’s government debt surged to around $339 billion in the year to end-December, the central bank said, but economists say the borrowing remains within relatively safe limits. Read more

 

• Egypt to Raise Power Prices By 14.9% for FY 2019-2020: Egypt will raise electricity prices by an average of 14.9% in the 2019-2020 fiscal year beginning in July, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker. Read more

 

Looking Forward

 

South Africa

May-19 Producer Price Inflation to be released on May 30th

Apr-19 Private Sector Credit to be released on May 30th

 

 

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