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Ghana disclosed plans to get 27 Defunct SOEs off Nation’s Books

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Abena

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, has indicated that moves were underway to clear defunct State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) off government’s books.

Mrs Osei-Asare, MP, Atiwa East, said that in this vein, government, through the Ministry of Finance will soon present to Parliament an audited report of the SOEs as part of the approval processes needed to write them off.



Appearing before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Accra yesterday to answer questions on the 2016 Auditor General’s report on Consolidated Funds, she revealed that the Finance Ministry had secured the services of England based accounting firm, Deloitte and Touche, to audit and find out the values of the defunct companies and also study their equity stakes.

“We have received the consultant’s report and we will review it. The Ministry of Finance will come to Parliament to seek approval to clear these defunct companies and also reduce loan balances they have with government” she told the James Klutse Avedzi-chaired committee.

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Per the 2016 Auditor General’s report, sighted by the Ghanaian Times, 27 erstwhile SOEs and Joint Venture companies which were divested or officially liquidated have been included in the Investment of the state as at December 31, 2016.

The companies are the National Savings and Credit Bank, Ashanti Cocoa Project, State Construction Corporation, State Fishing Corporation, New India Assurance, Zenith Assurance, Ghana Livestock Company, Ejura Farms and Bridatrust International.

Others are Oppong Mansi Integrated Iron and Steel, Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation, State Hotels Corporation, Rural Banks, Ghana National Trading Corporation, Bakeley Steel Ltd, Kumasi Brewery, Home Finance Company and Ghana International Airways.

The rest are the Bonsa Tyre Company, Ghana Tobacco Company, Ghana Bottling Company, West Africa Mills, Crystal Oil Mills, Neoplan Ghana Limited, Ghana Cargo Handling, Ghana Merchant Company and Ghana Sugar Estate.

According to the report, Public Debt and Investment (PDI) and Public Investment Divisions of the Ministry of Finance and the Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) respectively compiled the statements making up Governments’ Investments which forms part of the financial assets in the Consolidated Fund.

The report added that sampled review of 35 transactions disclosed that investments in four SOEs and three other companies, partly owned by the Government of Ghana, were omitted from the investment schedule.

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-GhanaianTimes

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Nigeria: Experts predicts Further Naira Depreciation As External Reserves Fall.

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The depreciation of the naira in the parallel market and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window last week is expected to persist this week, even as the nation’s external reserves maintained its downward trend falling by $955 million in the first ten days of October.



Last week the naira depreciated by N1 in the parallel market where the exchange rate rose to N360 per dollar on Friday from N359 per dollar the previous week. In the I&E window, the indicative exchange rate crossed the N364 per dollar mark for the first time this year, rising to N364.12 per dollar on Friday from N363.42 per dollar the previous week.

On the other hand, data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed that the external reserves declined to $43.35 billion on Wednesday, October 10, from $44.305 at the end of September, translating to $955 million in the first day of the month.

The reserves have been declining steadily since July 5, when it peaked at $47.798 billion. Since then the reserves have declined by $4.448 billion or by 9.3 percent. The steady decline in reserves is driven by increased dollar sales by the CBN to meet increased demand prompted by foreign portfolio investors exiting the nation’s debt market.

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Last week, the CBN sustained its weekly injection of $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market, allocating $100 million to the wholesale segment, $55 million to the SME window and $55 million for invisibles.

Analysts at Lagos based Cowry Assets Management Limited, projected further naira depreciation of the naira in most segments of the foreign exchange market this week due to persistent demand for dollar by foreign portfolio investors. They said: “This week, we expect further depreciation in the exchange rate in most market segments, especially at the I&E FX window as foreign portfolio investors’ demand for the greenback persist.”

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N494 billion inflow to moderate cost of funds

Meanwhile cost of funds is expected to further moderate downwards in the interbank money market this week in response N494.76 billion inflow from maturing treasury bills.

Last week, cost of funds dropped marginally in response to inflow of N277.07 billion inflow from matured treasury bills (TBs) which mitigated the impact of N244.1 billion mopped out of the market by the CBN through secondary market (or Open Market Operation, OMO) TBs.

Naira down to N360.3/$ in parallel market

According to FMDQ, interest rate on Collateralised lending (Open Buy Back, OBB) dropped by 169 basis points (bpts) to 19.17 percent on Friday from 20.86 percent the previous week. Also, interest rate on Overnight lending dropped by 230 bpts to 19.75 percent last week from 22.05 percent the previous week.

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-AllAfrica

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Singapore reclaims longest flight

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Such a lengthy flight would surely leave your body pleading for mercy if you had to endure it in a cattle-class seat, so the airline has opted to fit the plane with luxurious business seats as well as a number of still-not-that-comfortable-sounding premium economy seats.

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Taking 18 hours and 45 minutes between Singapore’s Changi Airport and Newark Liberty Airport just a short drive from New York City, the service, which starts on October 11, is actually a relaunch after the Asian carrier scrapped the route in 2013 due to running costs.

Having deemed it viable again, the carrier is using Airbus A350-900 ULR (ultra-long range) aircraft with 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats for the colossal 10,377-mile (16,700 km) flight. The airline’s other A350-900 aircraft are configured to carry a total 253 passengers instead of the 161 we see here.

In a bid to increase comfort for what sounds like a grueling journey — it does, after all, last just five hours short of an entire day — the aircraft has been designed with special lighting to reduce jet lag (there’s a 12-hour time difference), larger windows, and higher ceilings.

Perhaps wisely, Singapore Airlines also teamed up with health spa resort Canyon Ranch, which has knocked together a wellness plan to ease passengers through a flight that spans half the globe. It includes specially designed menus that focus on hydration, nutrition, and bold flavors; “subtle sleep strategies” to improve rest quality; and guided stretching exercises to ensure that your body doesn’t completely seize up halfway across the Pacific.

For in-flight entertainment, the airline has added 200 hours worth of movies and TV shows to the 1,000 already available as part of its regular services, and for anyone who needs to stay connected even at 38,000 feet, there’s Wi-Fi, though it’s not free.

Seat prices vary according to demand and date, but some passengers have been paying around $4,000 for a premium economy return ticket.

“Singapore Airlines has always taken pride in pushing the boundaries to provide the best possible travel convenience for our customers, and we are pleased to be leading the way with these new non-stop flights using the latest-technology, ultra-long-range [aircraft],” Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said in a release.

Singapore Airlines’ new service takes the place of Qatar Airways Doha-to-Auckland, New Zealand, route as the world’s longest flight. That one launched in February 2017 and takes 17 hours and 30 minutes to reach its destination.

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