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Business / Economics

28 March 2024-A April 2024 Weekly Economics Wrap-Up

todayApril 4, 2024

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Namibian Developments

  1. Namibian Local Content Conference: The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with Antila Consultancy, is organizing the inaugural Namibian Local Content Conference from April 16 to 18. This conference aims to enhance local engagement in Namibia’s burgeoning oil and gas sector by facilitating discussions among government officials, international oil companies, private sector stakeholders, and SMEs.
  2. Foreign Direct Investments in Oil and Gas Sector: The Bank of Namibia disclosed that the oil and gas sector attracted N$33.4 billion in foreign direct investments between 2021 and 2023. Governor Johannes !Gawaxab highlighted the potential of these investments, driven by a significant oil discovery in 2022, to double Namibia’s GDP, positioning the country among the top 15 oil-rich nations globally.
  3. Green Hydrogen Pilot Projects: Two out of four green hydrogen pilot projects announced in 2022 have generated over 300 jobs, with production expected to commence this year. These projects received funding totaling 30 million Euros (approximately N$519.9 million) under the JCol to pilot green hydrogen initiatives.

South African Insights

  1. Executive Directors’ Remuneration: The top seven executive directors of the Standard Bank Group received over R400 million in remuneration last year, with more than half comprising fixed pay and short-term incentives. This disclosure sheds light on executive compensation practices within the banking sector.
  2. Rand’s Performance: South Africa’s rand rebounded against the dollar, with market attention focused on a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for insights into potential interest rate adjustments, amid a lack of local economic data.

African Highlights

  1. Revised Minimum Capital Requirements for Nigerian Banks: Nigeria’s central bank unveiled revised minimum capital requirements for banks, aimed at enhancing their resilience and bolstering the nation’s financial system. Commercial banks with international authorization must now maintain a minimum capital base of $353.32 million.
  2. Zimbabwe’s Currency Decline: Zimbabwe’s currency dropped to a new record low against the US dollar, prompting citizens to seek refuge in the more stable currency. The Zimbabwe dollar’s depreciation underscores ongoing economic challenges in the country.

International Market Trends

  1. Gold Prices Surge: Gold prices reached new all-time highs on Monday, reflecting investor demand for safe-haven assets amid uncertainty. Wall Street stocks dipped slightly amid diminishing hopes for a Federal Reserve interest rate cut, while Chinese shares surged on a positive global economic outlook.
  2. Trump’s Business Losses: Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s net worth declined by $1 billion following losses in his social media business. Trump Media & Technology Group Corp’s stock fell 21% after disclosing a significant loss in 2023.
  3. Asian Shares Rally: Asian shares experienced a rally fueled by expectations of potential US rate cuts. The yen weakened against all currencies except the dollar, while commodities such as gold, oil, and copper saw significant activity, contributing to gains in basic materials and energy company shares.

These developments provide insights into key economic trends and events shaping local and international markets. Stay tuned for further updates on the evolving economic landscape.

Written by: Leonard Witbeen

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