News feed – 6th February 2017
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is planning to put into circulation the new GHC5 notes from March 4.
The notes which are being issued in line with the BoG’s 60th Anniversary will circulate alongside the current notes in the system. The GH¢5 cedi denomination will be a legal tender as well as a collector’s item.
Ghana’s debt bailout program with the International Monetary Fund may require “tweaking” after the nation’s new administration revealed that 7 billion cedi ($1.6 billion) in expenses were not accounted for by the previous government, the finance minister said.
Government is in talks with the IMF and will seek to finalize an audit of the undisclosed spending by Feb. 15, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta told reporters in the capital, Accra, on Sunday.
Once the financing gap is established, the government will determine how it wants to raise funds for the shortfall, Ofori-Atta said.
The Finance Minister has hinted that some levies which have been described as “nuisance taxes” will be removed when he presents the 2017 budget. Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to present the NPP government’s first budget, before the middle of March 2017.
However, there are fears that with rising public debts which have reached almost GHC120 billion, as at November 2016 and new arrears reaching GHC7 billion that have been discovered will make government’s decision to remove these taxes a little difficult. But at an engagement with some journalists in Accra, Mr Ofori-Atta said the review will happen, as they complete forensic audit of the fiscal accounts.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has outlined plans aimed at fighting corruption in the country in the first year of the Nana Akufo-Addo administration.
Dr. Bawumia said, “Our government has already declared that we will be passing the Right To Information Act, we will make sure that a Special Prosecutor’s Office is set up to prosecute corrupt persons and we will amend the criminal code to move corruption from a misdemeanor to a felony, these are some of the actions we intend to implement this year.”
A total of 97 companies — including Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) — filed a court motion Sunday night declaring that Trump’s executive order on immigration “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution.”
The ban represents “a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies,” says the court document, whose backers also include Twitter (TWTR, Tech30), Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) and Uber.
Volkswagen faces its first legal action in Germany from a big corporate client over the diesel emissions scandal.
Deutsche See, which leases 500 vehicles from VW, said it had been unable to reach an out-of-court settlement, Reuters news agency reported.
VW is involved in numerous lawsuits from individual owners, regulators, states and dealers, many of them class-action cases in the US.
Ryanair has said its average fares fell faster than “initially planned” in the final three months of last year, while profits at the airline also declined.
Average fares dropped 17%, and profits slid 8% to 95m euros (£82m) as the fall in the pound also hit its results.
However, passenger numbers in the quarter rose 16% to 29 million, and its planes flew at 95% capacity.
Ryanair said it was “cautious” about the rest of the financial year, but profits would still meet expectations.
Toyota says its full-year profits will be better than expected thanks to a pick-up in sales and a boost from currency fluctuations.
The Japanese firm expects net profit in the year to March of 1.7 trillion yen ($15.1bn; £12.1bn), compared with a previous forecast of 1.55 trillion yen.
That is despite losing its top-selling carmaker status to Volkswagen in 2016,
Meanwhile, Toyota said it had begun formal talks to work with Suzuki on projects including safety technology.
Asian shares crept ahead on Monday as Wall Street gathered momentum into a busy week of earnings with more than 100 major companies due to report, while the dollar was again hobbled by a lack of progress on U.S. fiscal stimulus.
WORLD OIL PRICES
Oil prices edged up on Monday on fears that new U.S. sanctions against Iran could be extended to affect crude supplies, but markets were capped by further signs of growing U.S. production.
SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
South Africa’s rand gained more than one percent to just short of a two-month peak on Friday after a jobs report from the United States showed wages there remain subdued, dimming the chances of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
Nigeria’s central bank sold about 400 billion naira ($1.27 billion) of Treasury bills on Friday, lifting the interbank lending rate up to 12 percent, traders said.
Ghana’s new government will seek to enhance its relationship with China in order to help develop its economy, Finance
Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told reporters on Sunday.
The Kenyan shilling was steady against the dollar on Friday, supported by expectations of offshore foreign exchange inflows into local Treasury bonds, traders said.