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News Feed: 18/04/2017


No worker lay-offs under IMF programme – Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has given assurance that government will not lay-off workers under the International Monitoring Fund (IMF) programme although it has committed itself to completing the programme.

According to him, the issue of worker lay-offs has not been brought to the table during government’s discussions with the IMF mission.

Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting organised by the Multimedia Group Limited in Accra, Monday, Dr Bawumia noted that government would push against any such arrangements should it be raised by the IMF.

Financial sector mergers in the wind

Although the central bank is yet to announce by how much it will increase stated minimum capital for banks, some players in the sector have said they are open to and have begun talks on mergers and acquisitions, in order to build stronger financial institutions.

Nii Kotei Dzani, President of Groupe Ideal, which includes a savings and loans company, a finance house and others, said the company is in talks with one or two banks for a takeover.

“We are ready to acquire a bank and transform it to meeting the expected increment in the stated minimum capital,” he said, adding that Groupe Ideal already has investors lined up and is putting a team together.

Ghana saves $300M following review of power agreements

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, says government’s review of some power purchase agreements entered into by the previous government has bolstered the energy sector.

He disclosed that they have saved the nation some $300 million through the cancellation of about 20 agreements and review of four others.

This, he said, has “helped to reduce government expenditure.”

Speaking at Joy News’ 100 days Town Hall meeting at the new court complex in Accra yesterday, the vice president said government was committed to improving the energy situation in the country.

Government to give distress but viable companies GH220 million as stimulus package – Bawumia

Government will soon release an amount of GH220 million as stimulus package to support distress but viable companies across the country, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated.

He made the disclosure at the Townhall meeting held in Accra by Accra-based Joy FM to appraise the policies of government in its first 100 days.

According to him, government has intervened in propping up a steel factory that was in distress. ”

They closed down in October 2016 over disputed tariffs and we came and brought the parties together.

50k ‘ghost names’ yanked off payroll – Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has revealed that government has successfully removed about 50,000 fictitious names from its payroll and the pensions’ payroll of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

The payroll cleaning exercise forms part of efforts to block revenue leakages and make the most out of government’s revenue.

Mr. Ofori-Atta, speaking after a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) described some of government’s projections, particularly revenue, as being optimistic, said government is taking pragmatic steps to deal with revenue leakages.



Easyjet forced couple off overbooked flight

Two Easyjet passengers were removed from an overbooked flight and not offered compensation a day after a United Airlines passenger was dragged off a plane in the US.
The British couple were due to fly from Luton Airport to Catania in Sicily on Monday last week.
After boarding the aircraft they were asked to leave by staff because the plane had been overbooked.
Easyjet has apologised and blamed human error for the situation.
The two passengers, who had booked non-refundable accommodation in Italy, were told that the next available Easyjet flight was four days later.


China’s first quarter growth beats expectations at 6.9%

China’s economy grew by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2017, according to official figures.
The growth rate, which compares expansion with the same three months in the previous year, was slightly higher than many economists had forecast.
State-led infrastructure spending and demand for new property helped drive the world’s second-largest economy.
Last month China cut its growth target for this year to 6.5% from 6.7% in 2016.


Can Toshiba escape fate of corporate Japan’s zombie hordes?

Once a household name, Toshiba is now bleeding billions of dollars and frantically trying to reassure investors that it will not succumb to the kiss of death.
But it also faces another fate: becoming the most high-profile member of Japan’s corporate living dead, also known as zombie firms.
Toshiba admitted this week that its survival is at risk and that the firm could be delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange, following a major accounting scandal and an ill-timed bet on nuclear power.
The 142-year-old company is poised to record Japan’s biggest industrial loss after its investment in US nuclear unit Westinghouse turned toxic.


Lloyds eyes Berlin for post-Brexit push

Lloyds Banking Group has decided to set up a European base in Germany after the UK leaves the EU, the BBC understands.
Lloyds has decided to convert its Berlin branch into a European hub, in order to maintain a presence inside the EU, sources told the BBC.
Several British financial institutions are putting plans in place to protect their EU operations after Brexit.
With the UK likely to leave the EU single market, they want to make sure they can still cater for EU clients.


Asian stocks pulled back on Tuesday, and the dollar gave up the gains it had clocked on the U.S. Treasury Secretary’s comments in support of a stronger currency, as escalating tensions over North Korea dragged sentiment lower.


Oil prices fell in thin trade on Tuesday after the Easter holiday break shut many markets for as long as four days and as a U.S. government report indicated rising production.



South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that leaders should listen to protesters who have taken to the streets demanding that President Jacob Zuma resign or be removed after a cabinet reshuffle triggered damaging credit downgrades.



Japan on Monday started withdrawing its troops from a U.N. mission in war battered South Sudan, according to an official, a move coinciding with escalating violence in a conflict where killings have been described as genocide.



A doctors’ strike in Cameroon left patients without critical care in the capital Yaoude on Monday, the latest in a string of union actions that have crippled a country in the midst of political crisis.

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