Uganda

The Ugandan High Court on Wednesday ruled that a syndicated loan granted to a local company was illegal in a shock judgment that banks warned could lead to a spike in defaults on $1.5 billion of debt, Bloomberg News reported. The case relates to a loan Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Ltd. provided to a Kampala-based firm with interests spanning real estate to agriculture, using its Ugandan subsidiary as the agent.

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Uganda’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time this year to a new low as risks to inflation remain benign and the outlook for economic growth is tilted toward the downside, Bloomberg News reported. The monetary policy committee reduced the rate to 7% from 8%, Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said Monday in a speech broadcast online. That is the lowest level since the central bank introduced the policy rate in 2011 at 13%. Returning to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity will be gradual, partly due to weak external demand, Tumusiime-Mutebile said.

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Uganda would prefer debt cancellation to help rebuild its economy after the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, rather than rescheduling of payments, Bloomberg News reported. The government of Africa’s second-biggest coffee grower is considering offers from various creditors, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said by phone Thursday and declined to identify the lenders. “There is an argument with creditors,” Kasaija said, without elaborating. “Most of those who have written” to the ministry suggest the nation reschedule payments, he said from the capital, Kampala.

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Banks expect loan default rates to increase on the account of a volatile economic environment characterised by a weak shilling and rising inflationary pressures, according to the Bank Lending Survey Report released last week. According to the 2017/18 fourth quarter report compiled by Bank of Uganda, businesses that hold dollar denominated loans are likely to default because of persistent depreciation of the shilling against the dollar, AllAfrica reported. The shilling has depreciated by more than 7 per cent since the beginning of the year and is projected to weaken further.
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Uganda Gets IMF OK to Raise Debt Limit

The International Monetary Fund has cleared Uganda to increase its debt ceiling on non-concessional borrowing by up to 47%, to allow the East African nation to fund ambitious hydroelectric projects aimed at addressing chronic power shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported. The country's borrowing limit has been increased to $2.2 billion from $1.5 billion, a boost for the country's efforts to access funds to meet its widening budget deficit, Ana Lucia Coronel, the IMF's senior resident representative in Uganda, said Monday.
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The Commercial Court has rejected an application by Aya Bakery to block being put under receivership and paying a sh2b arbitral award to Roko Construction, NewVision.co.ug reported. The head of the Commercial Court, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, ruled that Enoth Mugabi of Mugabi and Company Advocates, who was appointed receiver of the Aya Bakery, should, instead, immediately enter the premises and prepare a statement of affairs of the company and file his findings in court.
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