Aug 23, 2017 Last Updated 8:04 AM, Aug 23, 2017
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Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed Standard Bank has posted a 15 percent decrease in profits from MK9.63 million in the first half of last year to MK8.1 million in the first half of 2017.

The development is attributed to the 22 percent increase in operating costs due to general increase in prices of goods and services.

In a published audited report, the Bank representatives point out that due to a challenging operating environment characterised by high interest rates, credit impairments were significantly higher than the same period last year.

Standard Bank continues to focus on robust credit risk management to avert future non-performing loans and places emphasis on recoveries of written off loans.

Despite the decrease in profits, the reports indicate that the Bank, registered strong performance in the first half emanating from a strong asset base and effective balance sheet management.

The Standard Bank of Malawi (previously known as the Commercial Bank of Malawi) is a national bank in Malawi. 

The bank registered as a commercial bank on 15 March 1969. Initially it began with K2.5 million and the founder shareholders were the Malawi Development Corporation (20%), Press Holdings Limited (20%) and Banco Pinto Sotto Mayor (60%). The first branch was opened in Limbe on 11 April 1970.

In June 1998, the company's stock was listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange after a successful IPO.

TNM Registers 72% Growth

One of Malawi’s mobile phone service providers TNM is proving its worth on the market, as it continues to register notable growth.

In the first half of the year, TNM has registered a 72 percent growth in profits from where it left off as at 31st December 2016.

The company has registered a post tax profit of MK4.7 Billion, up from MK2.8 Billion, which was made during the same period in 2016.

In a published half-year financial report, the Board Chairman of the company George Partridge has attributed the growth to the decreasing national inflation, coupled with a stable exchange rate.

The company has also heavily invested in ICT services which are said to have pushed their earnings further.

This half year profit is almost equivalent to the mobile phone service company’s full year profits from two years ago.

Established in 1995, TNM is a joint venture between Telekom Malaysia and Malawi Telecommunications Limited, it is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange.

In April 2007 Telekom Malaysia sold its 60% majority stake in TNM. TNM is now wholly Malawian owned. 

Geographically TNM network covers over 74% of Malawi.

TNM operates 3.5 generation network enabling advanced high speed broadband multimedia services, in addition to GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks.

TNM offers a comprehensive range of prepaid and postpaid services, these include voice and data connectivity.

Representatives of FMB Group in Malawi are engaging Zimbabwean authorities on the best way forward to resolve conflicts arising from their purchase of Barclays Bank in Zimbabwe

FMB bought the 57.68% stake that Barclays held in its Zimbabwe subsidiary in a deal worth $60 Million, after the conglomerate announced it is exiting Africa.

The remaining 32% of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s shares are traded on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.

Online publication, the Business Day reports that Zimbabwean politicians are furious about sale of Barclays Bank Zimbabwe to Malawi.

The politicians also say that the sale of the bank to FMB flouts their laws on indigenisation.

In June, Zanu PF youth leader, Kudzai Chipanga, called on President Robert Mugabe to have the bank’s sale reversed in order to allow for indigenous shareholders to place their bids.

For FMB, the purchase of Barclays Bank Zimbabwe helps to increase its regional footprint to five countries: Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and now Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean politicians however, argue that offering foreign companies’ priority over local entities raises the risk of foreigners sabotaging Zimbabweans.

Responding to concerns, the Board of FMB disclosed to Capital FM, that they are working on transaction agreements that will benefit all parties concerned.

FMB group Managing Director in Malawi Deraj Dikshit told Capital FM that agreement is being followed and what both parties are trying to do is to make sure that they all win in the end.

What is left is for regulators in both countries to make the final decision.

According to report in Zimbabwe Independent and NewsDay of Zimbabwe, Barclays Bank Zimbabwe was established in 1912, and has operated in the country continuously since then, making it a landmark feature on the local financial services landscape.

The bank, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), has over 1000 employees and a countrywide network of 38 branches in main urban areas.

Barclays Bank Plc, which held 67, 68% shareholding in the local unit, last year announced it was disposing of its African assets, including in Zimbabwe, to focus on British and American markets.

MHub together with Her Liberty have extended their entrepreneurship challenge in which six young entrepreneurs in Malawi is expected to win MK20 million.

The two month extension is meant to give a chance for more young people to apply with their bankable business ideas.

Dubbed the “What Will Do with K20 Million Challenge”, the competition seeks to apply innovation and entrepreneurship as a catalyst for socio-economic development, job creation and youth empowerment.

MHub Chief Executive Officer, Rachel Sibande disclosed that seeks to identify and support innovative local business ideas that can create social impact in communities and foster job creation.

The challenge started in March 2017 and will receive applications up to 31st July 2017. 

“The overall objective of the challenge is to enable entrepreneurs in Malawi to be key drivers of the economy. Through the contest, young small and medium enterprises stand a chance to boost their capital with a total of MK20 million and enhance their knowledge in business and financial management through an intensive one week training for the winners,” Sibande said.

According to the CEO, the criteria for the winning entrepreneurship pitches includes business concept, strategy, value proposition, quality of the product, financial soundness and social returns. 

Sibande further stated that the “What Will Do with K20 Million Challenge” was designed to respond to the problem of unemployment and poverty which Malawi’s youthful population is grappling with.

Currently, 80% of Malawi’s over 17 million population is made up of young people below 35 years of age.

According to the National Statistical Labour Force, the rate of unemployment hovers at 21 percent and affects this youth population the most.

The challenge received support from Standard Bank which has pledged to invest MK10 million (U$14,000) as seed capital to kick-start the challenge.

The MK20 million seed capital is to kick-start six business ideas from young entrepreneurs who will emerge winners at the challenge.

MHub is Malawi’s first innovation hub and incubator for emerging entrepreneurs.

The hub nurtures emerging innovators and entrepreneurs to build sustainable business solutions.

Her Liberty is an organisation that works to empower and mentor socially disadvantaged girls and women.

It aims to equip and train them to be self-reliant and economically independent.

Her Liberty works with a bigger regional network on youth-related issues pertaining to youth development and entrepreneurship under a network called AfriYAN (African Youth and Adolescent Network).

Tenants living in Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) houses will have to start digging deeper into their pockets as the Corporation has hiked up its rentals.

Public Relations Officer for the MHC Ernestina Yobe has attributed the hike to the Corporation’s graduation into a profit making entity.

The rental adjustments, in some instances up to a 100 percent, come at a time when a majority of the tenants are grappling with the high costs of living.

Currently there is also a shortage of MHC houses, as the Corporation has sold most of its units to private owners who are offering them on the market for double the MHC value.

The MHC houses have been the most affordable in the country, providing decent accommodation to medium and low income earners.

However with the hike in rentals, properties may become unaffordable.

Speaking to capital FM, Public Relations Officer for the MHC said that the rentals have been slightly adjusted effective the first day of July.

Yobe attributed the hike to the fact that the corporation is now operating as a commercial entity and needs resources to keep it afloat.

The adjustments are said to have been hiked differently based on house location, size and class.

Yobe went on further to say that this is not the first time MHC has hiked rentals but this time around it is higher than that of the previous years mainly due to the commercialisation of the corporation.

A Blantyre based tenant of one MHC house told this reporter that he’d been notified that he will be paying up to MK36,000 for a house that used to be MK18,000.

He mentioned that the amount was too much as the prices of various commodities on the market continues to rise on a daily basis.

MHC is recently embarked on a venture to construct houses so to meet the demand for housing which is on a rise in the country’s cities.

About 25,000 houses are expected to be built in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu by the year 2018.

According to media reports, MHC last constructed a reasonable number of houses in the 1970’s when the areas of Nkolokosa, Soche, Area 18 and others were being developed.

With a population of over 17 million, the national housing demand is pegged at 21,000 units annually.

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