African Banker du 03-03-2021
76 pages
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African Banker du 03-03-2021

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76 pages
Français

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Date de parution 03 mars 2021
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 81 Mo

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1 s t Q u a r t e r 2 0 2 1I S S U E A N 5 4 P U B L I C AT I O NI C
C O V E R S T O RY: Has Covid changed banking forever?
W TO boss , Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
I n c o n v e r s a t i o n : SAMEH SHENOUDAAFC SK ANDER OUESL ATIAfricInvest JOSEPHINE ANANANKOMAH  Ecobank Group
Ramaphosa’s ‘ four arrows’ Nigerian banks thrive under ‘new normal’ Costing African vaccine rollouts Womenowned businesses get major boost
EUROZONE €8.00, UK £6.00, USA $9.95, CFA Zone CFA5.000, Egypt E£80, Ethiopia R200, Gambia Da400, Ghana GH¢40.00, Kenya KShs800, Liberia $8, Mauritius MR300, Morocco Dh60, Sierra Leone LE 70000, South Africa R50.00 (inc tax), Tunisia DT7, Uganda USh30,000, Zambia ZMW 100, Other Southern African countries R49.00 (excl tax), Tanzania TShs20,000.
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Cover Story Has Covid changed African banking forever?
Editorial 5response to crisis makes us proud Industry
African Banker’s World 6sector news Banking  from around the world 14 Who’s going where in the  African banking industry
Cover Story24Covid changed African banking forever? Has 26 Banks duck and weave to avoid punches 28 Crisis accelerates the digital revolution 30 Pandemic stokes sovereign debt problem
Topic 32vaccine rollout gathers pace African
Viewpoint 36point way to Fintechs  economic recovery
View from the Top 38 Social partnerships key  to navigating crises
In Conversation 40Skander Oueslati, AfricInvest 42Sameh Shenouda,AFC
Stock Market 44walk slippery debt path Sovereigns 47launches Africa’s first online platform NSE
Opinion 50must conquer new frontiers Banks
In Conversation 52Josephine AnanAnkomah, Ecobank Group
The Bigger Picture 54it time to invest in gold? Is
Islamic Finance 56banking still in the slow lane African 58 AfroArab trading buds ready to bloom Straight from the Shoulder 60 Central bank independence  under attack again
Profile 62Ngozi OkonjoIweala,  DirectorGeneral, WTO
Country Focus 66Nigeria:Banks thrive under  ‘new normal’ 69 CBN mandates remittances  to dollar accounts 72South Africa: Ramaphosa’s ‘four arrows’
Accuracy has never been more important.
BBC News is the world’s most trusted and accurate news brand. Across all platforms the BBC reaches 136 million people in Africa every week.
Source: Global web index: Q1-Q4 2020, GAM, 2020 based on all BBC platforms
A N V E R V E R S I ,
ED ITO R
Industry response to Covid makes us proud
ince March last year, it has been impossible to discuss S anything except through the of ten ter r i f y i ng Cov id-19 pandemic. While it brought ‘normal’ life to an abrupt standstill and ushered in a whole set of new survival rules – many of which undercut the whole basis of our commercial and social lives – the human being is the most adaptable of all creatures and has found ways and means to not only endure this pandemic but in some instances to actually thrive. When it comes to the ability to adapt to changing, hostile environments, the African is probably the champion of the human family, given the enormous range of changes s/he has had to undergo over the century. Since the îrst rule to survive the pandemic was to cut to the bone all human interaction to prevent the transmission of the air-borne virus, governments the world over imposed lockdowns to varying degrees. There have been exceptions – Tanzania’s John Magufuli and the US’s Donald Trump cocked a snook at what science and the evidence before their own eyes was saying and refused to believe in the reality of the epidemic. The US has paid with the deaths of more than half a million people in a year and Tanzania keeps a tight lid of infection numbers and deaths, although anecdotal evidence suggests that very many have succumbed. Most of the other African countries – long accustomed to battling one epidemic or the other – took proactive measures sooner than many other regions and mercifully, the rate of
attrition on the continent (apart from in some North African countries and South Africa) has been well managed and seems to be under control. But what about t he wholesa le devastation to everyday economic activity unleashed by the pandemic-induced lockdowns? The rich countries -with their ability to print money without running into raging ination - were able to pump cash into society, keeping businesses (and therefore jobs) on a life-support system through furlough schemes, loans, deferred repayments and taxes and outright grants. The cost has been in the trillions of dollars. For African countries, this was always an impossible dream. Few, if any, have even t he most basic state-funded social security systems such as unemployment pay or free housing, schooling and medical care. In short, in Africa, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. The question was, how to enable people to continue earning their daily crust, especially the small-scale self-employed, while still maintaining the social distancing rules required to battle Covid-19? The fact that perhaps the majority of countries managed to do this is something for us in Africa to be proud of. Yes, there has been attrition and economies have taken body blows, but commercial life has continued.
All change on the run And this is where African banks – central as well as commercial – have done Africa proud. Social distancing meant that hand-to-hand cash or
cheque transactions became fraught with danger. Countries like Kenya, where mobile money services like M-Pesa have been the norm for years, had little diïculty adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Even transactions with street hawkers for roast maize or single fruits can be conducted through M-Pesa. Where mobile money transactions are not so well entrenched, banks had to scramble to set up digital platforms and train sta as well as their customers. They had to do all this on the run, so to speak. Our Cover Story, as well as many of our features and interviews, tells the story of how this was achieved. We also examine other aspects of the impact of Covid-19 on national wealth and sovereign debt and the critical role that a system like Islamic înance can play in regenerating economies. Talking of regeneration, Ecobank’s new programme is focused on supporting women-owned businesses in Africa. About time too, considering that one in four female adults in Africa starts or manages a business, making the continent one of the most advanced in terms of women entrepreneurs globally. Despite the pall cast by the pandemic, we can at least celebrate the well-deser ved elevation of t wo of t he continent’s great economic and social thinkers to high oïce. The redoubtable Madam Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala becomes the new WTO Director-General and another old friend ofAfrican Banker magazine, Makhtar Diop, înally gets the post he has deserved for a long while – that of head of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.n
61 S T B A N K E R 2 0 2 1Q U A R T E R A F R I C A N
AFRICAN BANKER’S WORLDNEWS
ECOBANK NIGERIA LANDS FIRST NONSOVEREIGN AFRICAN BOND OF 2021
In mid-February Ecobank Nigeria (ENG), a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, successfully priced and issued its $300m bond maturing in February 2026. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The îxed-rate, US dollar denominated bond, with a tenor of îve years, has a coupon rate of 7.125%. It is accompanied by an Issuer Rating of B- from Fitch Rating Agency and S&P. The coupon/yield represents the lowest-ever coupon/yield achieved by a Nigerian înancial institution for a benchmark bond transaction. At the peak of marketing the issue, it was oversubscribed three times, with signiîcant interest from international investors. It demonstrates global investors’ strong appetite for the Ecobank franchise in Nigeria, a testament to the strength of the Ecobank Group. The transaction is the îrst non-sovereign bond from Africa in 2021 and is a milestone capital raise for the banking sector in Nigeria, giving Ecobank access to global debt capital markets, and more favourable credit terms, commensurate with its strong înancial position and robust capital structure. For international investors, it represented
an attractive option to gain exposure to Nigeria. The transaction followed a series of virtual global investor calls, with a number of blue-chip local, regional and international înancial institutions, led by Citi, Mashreq, Renaissance Capital and Standard Chartered Bank as joint lead managers and bookrunners. Patrick Akinwuntan (below), Managing Director of ENG, said: “ENG, through this issuance, is being proactive in optimising its capital structure as it continues to drive its medium-term growth strategy of establishing itself as a leading facilitator of pan-African and international trade and payments.” He added: “We believe that our capital raising activities are key steps forward towards strengthening ENG beyond the regulatory ratios, in addition to diversifying ENG’s medium-term înancing sources. ENG is poised for continued growth in the Nigerian înancial services industry.”
MAURITIUS AND MOROCCO JOIN BLOOMBERG AFRICAN BOND INDEX
Mauritius and Morocco have joined eight African countries that are part of the Bloomberg African Bond Indices (ABABI) to provide investors with a tool to measure and track the performance of Africa’s local bond markets. The set of indices, which are administered by the African Development Bank (AfDB), are calculated by the global index provider and media giant Bloomberg. Indices are used as a benchmark against which the performance of a Inancial instrument can be tracked and to make comparisons within a region, industry sector or other asset class. It is hoped that ABABI will help drive investment into bond markets in Mauritius and Morocco, which are two of Africa’s better-rated issuers. Morocco, Mauritius, Senegal and South Africa are the only African countries that are above the ‘B’ rating of ‘speculative’ and ‘subject to high credit risk,’ given by the bond ratings agency Moody’s. “This is a positive development as the inclusion of Mauritius and Morocco will improve the overall credit quality of the ABABI, which now captures close to 90% of
the outstanding amount of African sovereign local currencybonds,saidStefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s director of the Financial Sector Development Department. He adds that sovereign debt managers will need to “further diversify their local currency funding instruments, adjust their strategies, enhance transparency and widen their Ixed income investor base,toattractcapital. African countries have come under pressure to develop their domestic debt markets to meet state and corporate borrowing needs. Many rely on international markets where debt is issued in euros and dollars and sovereigns are exposed to exchange rate risk. Some countries like Tanzania remain wary of international investment in domestic markets and will not allow foreign investors to buy local bonds. Other issues include the lack of corporate participation, with governments accounting for around 75% of all debt issuance across local markets. The ABABI was introduced in 2014 in partnership with the African Financial Markets Initiative (AFMI), to deepen debt markets across the continent.
OKONJOIWEALA ROLLS UP HER SLEEVES AS WTO HEAD
Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (below), recently elected as the îrst African and female Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, the multilateral body that regulates global trade, said she was ready to tackle the multitude of issues that will land on her desk. The conîrmation of Okonjo-Iweala’s victory, which followed the early February concession by remaining rival Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, has been welcomed as a major boost for African trade and diplomacy, further amplifying the continent’s voice following the launch of the ambitious African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January. The former World Bank Managing Director received unanimous backing from member states, following on from her accession being blocked by the administration of then-President Donald Trump in October. “It is done! Thank you WTO members for înalising my election today and making history. In the 73 years of GATT and WTO, honoured to be First Woman and First African to lead. But now the real work begins. Ready to tackle the challenges of WTO. Forget Business as usual!” Okonjo-Iweala tweeted. When Trump was defeated by President
Joe Biden in November’s election, analysts predicted that US opposition to Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy would melt away, as part of a US bid to improve ties with African states and reassert its commitment to a multilateral trading system.Okonjo-Iweala, who is also a US citizen, had already secured the backing of the European Union and African member states, prompting WTO General Council chair David
Walker to recommend her for the Director-General post in October, based on the “broad support by members from all levels of development and all geographic regions” throughout the process. Okonjo-Iweala ran on a platform of using her political skills and reputation as an honest broker – honed during two stints as înance minister of Nigeria and her time as managing director at the World Bank – to forge high-
A F R I C A N B A N K E R 1 S T Q U A R T E R 2 0 2 17
level political agreements between global decision makers. She has expressed conîdence in her ability to mediate disputes between the sparring US and China, and claims to be the only candidate working at the intersection of trade and public health, which she says will enable the trade system to better deliver vaccines and medical supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic. In October, Sven Simon and Bernd Lange, co-chairs of the European Parliament’s Steering Group for the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, argued that Okonjo-Iweala “revealed a deep understanding of the fault lines dividing the WTO membership. “The priorities she set out for her îrst steps after being appointed to the position reveal a clear-eyed agenda, tackling head on key topics such as special and dierential treatment, industrial subsidies and dispute settlement reform, while recognising the need for positive momentum through the conclusion of agreements on issues such as îsheries, e-commerce and health.” (See proîle, page 62.)
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