Africa

Cameroon expects its economy to rebound this year, with the growth rate coming close to pre-pandemic levels, Bloomberg reported. The government sees output expanding 3.4% in 2021, compared with 0.7% last year, Cameroonian Economy Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said. The central African economy grew 3.7% in 2019. As part of its 2030 strategy, Cameroon is focused on “the structural transformation of its economy toward industrialization, more integration, and growth that is more inclusive, sustainable and green,” he said.

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After loosing 53 cars during xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2019, Johannesburg car dealership owner Okey Uchendu never thought he would see his business destroyed again by civil unrest in less than two years. Already dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Uchendu received a call at midnight on Sunday that his dealership was engulfed in flames as looting and violence, the worst in South Africa for years, escalated, wrecking hundreds of businesses, Reuters reported.

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A silver mine in Bosnia and Herzegovina that sat derelict through the years of civil strife that gripped the region from the early 1990s may soon be taken out of mothballs to benefit from an optimistic price outlook, Bloomberg News reported. Adriatic Metals Plc’s Vares project could resume production by the end of 2022 following a hiatus of more than three decades, according to Chief Executive Officer Paul Cronin.
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Steinhoff International Holdings NV may soon release a revised proposal to resolve more than $8 billion of legal claims against the retailer after a previous deal recently fell through, Bloomberg News reported. The company “is considering its options” after a South African court ruled on July 2 that the deal related to debt refinancing was void. Steinhoff still believes that “a global settlement is in the interest of all parties,” and will “strive to achieve one,” a spokesman said on Wednesday. This is expected to include a revised offer to be made shortly.
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Four African finance ministers urged the Group of 20 nations to pressure the International Monetary Fund to accelerate the disbursement of new loans the continent needs to overcome the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and avert an insolvency crisis, Bloomberg News reported.
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Ethiopia plans to restructure an additional $1 billion of debt as the government seeks to free up funds to support its economic recovery, Bloomberg News reported. Restructuring of the debt will provide a grace period of as long as six years and extend the maturity by 10 years, the Finance Ministry said in a report on its website. “$2.5 billion in principal and interest payment has been postponed for five years by commercial creditors under the first external debt restructuring scheme,” according to the report.
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Global M&A activity broke records for a second consecutive quarter this year as companies continued to borrow cheaply and spend their cash reserves on transformative deals to reposition themselves for the post-COVID world, Reuters reported. Deals worth $1.5 trillion were announced in the three months to June 30, more than any second quarter on record and up 13% from the record first quarter of the year despite activity among blank-check firms slowed down.

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The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund announced that Sudan has met the initial criteria for over $50 billion in foreign debt relief, another step for the East African nation to rejoin the international community after nearly three decades of isolation, the Associated Press reported. The two international financial institutions said in a joint statement on Tuesday that Sudan “has taken the necessary steps to begin receiving debt relief,” which amounts to over 90% of the nation’s total external debt.
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Namibian President Hage Geingob on Tuesday appointed an 11-member Business Rescue Task Force to review business and insolvency legislation with the aim of rescuing businesses in financial distress, Reuters reported. The Southern African nation, whose mining and tourism dependent economy has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, is in the midst of a deadly third wave of infections that is threatening to take more businesses under.
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The Cajee brothers, who ran a cryptocurrency investment platform from South Africa that the local regulator suspects of being a Ponzi scheme, are confounding both their family and desperate investors alike, Bloomberg News reported. It’s still hard to establish the whereabouts of Ameer and Raees Cajee, the pair that operated Johannesburg-based Africrypt since 2019. They appear to have vanished, along with an estimated $3.6 billion in Bitcoin -- an amount that a lawyer for the brothers said was inflated.
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