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January 7, 2017
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January 12, 2017

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News Feed: 08/02/2017

The e-payment evolution; the modern payment regime in Ghana

The current Payment system in Ghana refers to the entire matrix of institutional infrastructure arrangements and processes in a country set up to enable economic agents (individuals, businesses, organisations and Government) initiate and transfer monetary claims in the form of commercial and central bank liabilities.

According to Bank of Ghana records, Ghana’s payment system has improved significantly since 1997 when the MICR cheques were introduced, and continues to evolve to meet the developmental needs of the country. The current trend in Ghana’s payment systems development is being driven by economic, financial, public policy factors as well as a growing local ICT industry and global trends in payment systems development.

Cedi seen wobbling in first quarter

The cedi is expected to continue to wobble in the first quarter of the year as demand pressure increases, although analysts believe the instability will be short-lived.

From November to now, the cedi has depreciated by over 10 percent, and has already done a year-to-date depreciation of 1.8percent against the US dollar, largely due to low commodity prices and low foreign exchange earnings, whereas the whole of the first quarter of 2016 saw a depreciation of 1percent.

But in a renewed effort to stabilise the cedi, the Bank of Ghana recently auctioned US$69million into the market.

Agriculture sector has key to unlock wealth – Kosmos Energy

Mr. Joe Mensah, Country Manager and Vice President of Kosmos Energy, has stated that the agriculture sector has the key to unlock wealth for the country if it receives more innovative approaches through information communication technology.

The sector, he told the B&FT, has the potential to resolve several challenges facing the country, from unemployment, to food security and improved incomes, among others.

To help unlock this potential, Mr. Mensah said, Kosmos Energy is rolling out its flagship social investment product under the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), and is emboldened by the government’s recent policy on planting for food and jobs project.

“The KIC begins its work by choosing an area of focus from one of Ghana’s many different sectors. In its first year, the KIC is turning its attention to agriculture – the largest sector in Ghana’s   economy – where it will pursue and nurture the development of market-based solutions that address various development challenges,” he said.

“At the brainstorming session of the KIC team to figure out what to do, we came to the concept that, we need to infuse technology into agriculture, since the intersection of that is what attracts the youth in to the space,” he said.

MTN denies illegally transferring $14 billion out of Nigeria

MTN Group said it “strongly refutes” an accusation by Nigerian lawmakers that the wireless carrier illegally moved almost $14 billion out of the country, as the company tries to quell the latest controversy in its largest market.

“The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit,” MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer Ferdi Moolman said in a statement on Wednesday.

MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company by sales, is accused of repatriating the funds over 10 years starting in 2006, according to Dino Melaye, the Nigerian politician who proposed the motion on Tuesday. The country’s Senate will thoroughly investigate the claim, it said on its Twitter account. The four banks involved in the alleged illegal transfers are Citigroup Inc., Standard Chartered Plc, and Nigeria’s Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Diamond Bank Plc.

Telecom operators kick against tax on mobile money

Telecom operators have strongly opposed any attempt by the government to tax mobile money services in the country.

They argue that the move will be shooting down government’s efforts at achieving a cashlite economy.

The Head of Mobile Money at MTN Ghana, Eli Hini speaking to Citi Business News on the matter said,“I think for the customer, it is the time to encourage; not the time to disincentivise him or her through taxes.”

The Communications Minister Nominee, Ursula Owusu Ekuful at her vetting hinted that levying mobile money services may not be a bad option.

Disney boss warns China trade war would be damaging

Walt Disney’s chief executive has warned that a trade war between the US and China would be bad for business.

China is increasingly important for the firm’s movie and merchandise sales.

And it says Disneyland Shanghai – its first theme park in mainland China – was one of its “biggest success stories in 2016.”

But there are fears protectionist policies being pursued by US President Donald Trump could set off a trade war between the two countries.

Facebook doubles down on paid family leave

Facebook was one of the tech companies that helped kick off an arms race in corporate America for better parental leave.

Now it’s hoping to do the same for bereavement leave.

Facebook (FB, Tech30) employees now receive up to 20 days paid leave to grieve the loss of an immediate family member and up to 10 days after the death of an extended family member.

The policy doubles the amount of time employees used to receive for bereavement. It went into effect at the beginning of the year, but was announced publicly on Tuesday.

Google is using data to help design the perfect dress

Google (GOOGL, Tech30) has teamed up with Ivyrevel, a fashion house backed by H&M Group (HMRZF), to create “data dresses” that are customized to fit an individual’s daily activities and lifestyle choices.

The dress designs will be based on data collected by an Android smartphone app over the course of one week.

The app uses “awareness” tools created by Google to gather data on a user’s location, physical activity, and the weather when they’re outside. The information is then passed through an algorithm that designs a custom dress.

 

GM’s US workers to get $12,000 bonus

Workers paid hourly at General Motors in the US will receive bonuses of $12,000 (£9,700) after the firm made a profit of $12bn in North America.

The United Automobile Workers union negotiated a profit sharing deal in 2011.

It is worth up to $1,000 per $1bn of profit the company makes in the continent.

However, net profit for the whole of GM dropped 2.7% last year to $9.43bn after foreign exchange losses.

 

GLOBAL MARKETS

Asian share markets retreated on Wednesday and the euro was pressured as doubts over the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump and an election looming in France sapped investor confidence.

WORLD OIL PRICES

Oil prices dropped on Wednesday to extend falls from the previous day, as a massive increase in U.S. fuel inventories and a slump in Chinese demand implied that global crude markets remain oversupplied despite OPEC-led efforts to cut output.

EMERGING MARKETS

SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS

South Africa’s rand weakened on Tuesday as risk aversion grew, amid worries a far-right candidate was gaining momentum in France’s presidential race.

NIGERIA MARKETS

Nigeria plans to raise about 142.43 billion naira ($453.60 million) in short-dated Treasury bills at an auction on Feb. 15, the central bank said on Tuesday.

KENYA MARKETS

Kenya’s shilling was steady on Tuesday and it was expected to get support from dollar inflows from non-governmental organisations and remittances from Kenyans abroad.

IVORY COAST COCOA

Cocoa prices should regain some ground by the end of 2017 following a prolonged slide fuelled by expectations for a global surplus in the current 2016/17 season, a Reuters poll of nine traders and analysts showed on Tuesday.

SENEGAL TELECOMS

Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement to sell its Tigo Senegal subsidiary to the local Wari group for $129 million.

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