While Other Sectors Suffer, Banks In Rwanda Are Making A Kill



Not everyone is doing badly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the economy. The financial sector in Rwanda remained solvent and liquid during 2020, despite the looming uncertainties weighed in by the pandemic, according to the Central Banks (BNR).

The Financial Stability Committee (FSC) said in a statement on Thursday after its meeting on Monday that Assets of the banking sector increased by 24% (year-on-year) to Rwf 4.31 trillion in December 2020 (and represented 53% of GDP), against 12.5% registered in December 2019 on the back of growth of deposits.

The increase in deposits, according to the FSC, was mainly from institutional investors, borrowings from other financial institutions, and capital injections.

The insurance sector also saw its assets (private and public) grow by 15% to Rwf591.7 billion, higher than the 14% growth registered in the previous year due to retained earnings and capital injections.

However, the pension sector and microfiance sector had a bit of a decline. The microfinance sector’s assets increased by 11% to Rwf356 billion in December 2020, lower than 14.7% in 2019.

Microfinances are the core of Rwanda’s household financial channel. Due to the effects of the pandemic, these small financial institutions were hurt because of the decrease in household income, and drop in revenues for micro, small and medium enterprises.

The combined effect reduced their capacity to save, instead they increased their deposit withdrawal needs to cater for the pandemic uncertainties.

The insurance sector’s assets (private and public) grew by 15% to Rwf591.7 billion, higher than the 14% growth registered in the previous year due to retained earnings and capital injections.

Growth of the public pension fund assets also had a modest growth of 10.7% to Rwf 985.6 billion as at end of December 2020, lower than 15.3% growth registered in 2019.

Pensions’ decline was due to revaluation losses on some assets as well as reductions in pension contributions following suspensions of some employers from declaring and paying pension contributions, reduced employees’ salary base in some institutions either due to reductions in salaries or termination of some employees in response to the pandemic.

Overall, credit risk, capital strength, operational resilience of systems and people due to remote working are the main areas of concern.

Central Bank said this will remain one of its priorities going forward.

The financial sector is expected to remain resilient in the near term on account of existing capital and liquidity buffers as well as economic recovery hinged on the planned global domestic rollout of the vaccine commencing in Q1 2021.

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Rwanda’s Weekly Agro Exports Performance



Last week Rwanda shipped out various tonnes of horticultural products coffee and tea fetching an impressive amount of foreign revenue.

According to National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) mandated to develop and enhance Rwanda’s agricultural exports, Last week Rwanda exported 255,298Kg of horticultural products which earned U$441,679.

Details show the Main Countries of destination of Rwanda’s horticultural products were mainly Holland, United Kingdom, DRC, Germany, among others including USA, UAE, France, Uganda, Belgium, Tanzania and Denmark.

A total of 431,107Kg of Rwanda Coffee worth U$1,383,622 was exported compared to previous week, export quantities and revenues increased by 86.2% and 83.9% respectively. 52.2% of the consignment was fully washed. Destinations: China, UK, Belgium, Russia, Kenya, South Sudan & Nigeria.

Meanwhile, 449,000Kg of Rwanda Tea  were exported generating U$1,146,118. Compared to last week, the average price slightly reduced from U$2.78/Kg to U$2.5/Kg. Main country buyers were Pakistan, and UK among others.

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Tanzania Unveils Aggressive Plan For Livestock



Tanzania has announced that it is seeking to revamp its livestock subsector with the aim of making it more profitable.

Dr. Jonas Kizima the Acting Director-General of Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (Taliri) said on Tuesday that Preliminary studies have discovered that most industries in the livestock products category are performing shoddily due to poor production and supply of raw materials.

The Tanzanian government said it is embarking on implementing a special five-year programme (2021-2025) to push for improvement of the livestock industry.

“The programme seeks to enable stakeholders in the beef and dairy cattle chains in all regions of to improve their performance by adopting better technologies and practices so that they can stand a professional chance to meet actual raw material demand in the livestock industry,” Dr. Jonas Kizima said.

Tanzania is therefore arguing that it is going to introduce and help livestock keepers across the country to raise hybrid animals, provide best animal health services, animal compounded and feeds, put in place animal husbandry infrastructure, improve milk handling, grazing systems and maintain good diary animal genetics.

“Inbreeding is the biggest technical challenge livestock keepers are facing- it is detrimental to livestock,” Dr Kizima noted.

The new agenda is in compliance with President John Magufuli’s directive issued to revive and promote animal industries for the next five years in the coastal East African country.

According to Concerns by Magufuli at least 90% of animal skins and skins produced in Tanzania were of very poor quality due to poor slaughtering methods.

Magufuli says he is seeking to motivate investors from within and outside the country to invest in meat industries, but also in leather production and other animal products such as hoofs.

Under this new program, Tanzania wants to construct seven major abattoirs in different regions with the capacity to slaughter at least 6700 cows and 11000 goats per day.

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Global Oil Prices Fall Ahead of OPEC Meeting



As the alliance of Oil producing countries under OPEC meet on Thursday, global oil prices have reportedly fallen according to sector experts.

Details indicate that the alliance is expected to loosen the taps after prices got off to their best ever start to a year.

But it’s unclear how robustly the group will act, with the Saudi Arabian energy minister calling for producers to remain “extremely cautious.”

The market continues to face risks in the near term. China’s Unipec was re-offering cargoes of April Angolan crude amid weaker sales.

Diesel demand in India was also down versus a year earlier amid record pump prices in the country. Both point to a limit on some of the recent firmness seen within the oil market.

“Now that oil’s back at $60, there’s going to be a push to wean off of those cuts,” said Stewart Glickman, energy equity analyst at CFRA Research.

“The question is how much are they going to bring back. The biggest risk is if supply presumes we’re back to pre-pandemic demand in 2021 and that turns out not to be the case.”

Still, there has been a raft of bullish calls in recent weeks predicting the rally will continue as the producer response trails consumption, while maintenance in North Sea fields is set to further reduce supply.

There are also some signs that demand is starting to pick up. U.S. gasoline demand jumped by 1 million barrels a day last week to 8.76 million barrels a day, a level comparable to March 2020 before the pandemic, according to Descartes Labs.

“People have become very optimistic about the ability of OPEC+ to manage a return to a balanced market,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.

The market continues to “see improved demand down the road and OPEC+ not oversupplying the market as they ramp up again.”

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies must decide how much output gets restored — and at what pace — with current reductions amounting to just over 7 million barrels a day, or 7% of global supply.

The 23-nation coalition will choose whether to revive a 500,000-barrel tranche in April, and in addition, whether the Saudis confirm an extra 1 million barrels they’ve taken offline will return as scheduled.

Citigroup Inc. thinks the coalition will boost output by about 500,000 barrels a day next month, with Saudi Arabia unlikely to continue its voluntary curbs.

“A higher oil-price environment, an increasingly promising demand picture by summer, and the recovering but still growing U.S. oil production outlook for 2021 should give OPEC+ the confidence to slightly increase supply,” said Louise Dickson, an analyst at consultant Rystad Energy AS.

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