It is a new week and the African market is buzzing already. But here are three big stories from Africa’s business and policy landscape last week you may have missed:
Olayemi Cardoso to replace GodwinEmefiele
On Friday, the 15th of September, President Bola Tinubu revealed the nomination of Olayemi Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN). The troubled apex bank has been under the reins of Folashodun Shonubi, a deputy governor of the bank, who served in the capacity of acting governor since the suspension of former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele. Last week, the acting CBN governor announced a partnership with local banks to clear out forex backlogs — estimated at $10 billion— in two weeks.
Cardoso, the newly nominated CBN governor is a seasoned financial expert. He was Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State between 1999 and 2004 during Tinubu’s first tenure as Lagos State governor. He was one of the critical architects of the Tinubu administration’s Ten-Point Agenda that guided its developmental trajectory. Also, he was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria.
Nigeria’s inflation surged to an 18-year high in August
Nigeria’s inflation surged to an 18-year high in August 2023, with the headline inflation rate reaching 25.80%. This marks a significant increase of 1.72% points compared to the previous month’s rate of 24.08%, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
On a year-on-year basis, the August 2023 headline inflation rate was 5.27% points higher than the rate recorded in August 2022, which stood at 20.52%. This demonstrates a notable year-over-year increase in inflation for the same month.
The spike in inflation can be attributed to various factors, including the high cost of living, currency depreciation, and the increased cost of fuel. Inflation rates are typically gauged using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), reflecting how people’s spending patterns are affected by these economic factors.
Johnson and Johnson under fire in South Africa
Last Friday, the South African Competition Commission initiated an investigation into Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a prominent pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This probe focuses on alleged “excessive” pricing of the tuberculosis drug, Bdaquiline, marketed as Sirturo.
The investigation arises from concerns that J&J may have employed exclusionary practices and overpricing. Notably, J&J has faced similar allegations of overcharging, particularly regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, with accusations that South Africa paid 15% more per dose compared to the European Union.
ICYMI: Market roundup
- The NGX All-Share Index rose by +60.60 (+0.09%) last week, 15th of September, to close at 67,395.74 points.
- The top gainers include Chams +10.00%, Cutix +9.95%, Cornerstone Insurance +9.37%, Caverton Offshore Support +8.46% and United Capital +8.13%. The top decliners were Conoil -10.00%, Mrs Oil Nigeria -9.96%, Associated Bus Company -9.64%, Tantalizers -9.52% and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals -9.36%.
- The Nigerian naira started the week at N752.83/ $1 to close the week in a decline at N784.74/ $1.
- Brent crude closed the week at $94.27, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $90.77.
- According to data from Coinmarketcap, the global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $1.06 trillion on Sunday, 17th of September, a 0.30% decrease over the last day. Bitcoin slumped by 0.13% to trade at $26,525.06, Ethereum slipped by 0.30% to trade at $1,625.53, and Binance Coin rose by 0.25% to trade at $215.84, over the last day.
- Nigeria’s Mecho Autotech raised $2.4 million pre-Series A to expand into wholesale automotive spare parts distribution.
- Egyptian fintech startup Yalla to expand into Saudi Arabia.
- Madagascan and Nigerian startups named winners of $116,ooo GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize.
- Egypt’s Qardy partners Sandah to give MSMEs access to financing