Sunday, January 26, 2020



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    The “Banque de Tunisie” (BT) has just published its activity indicators for the fourth quarter of last year. These indicators show a 9.4% increase in NBI (Net Banking Income).

    At the end of the year ending December 31, 2019, customer loans (net of provisions made at the end of the year) of the BT reached the same level recorded at the end of 2018, i.e. a net amount of 4.45 billion dinars.

    Customer deposits, on the other hand, grew by +7.5% from 3.74 billion dinars to 4.02 billion dinars on December 31, 2019.

    This growth was mainly generated by an increase in savings deposits of +7.9% and term deposits of +15.8%.

    The outstanding special resources increased by +23.8% from 431 million dinars in 2018 to 533.6 million dinars in 2019, following the new drawings made by the bank on new external credit lines granted by international donors.

    Banking operating income went up by +13.7% to 620.8 million dinars compared to 546 million dinars at the end of December 2018. This increase mainly concerns interests +18.3% and commissions +3.5%.

    Banking operating expenses increased by 20.1% to 262.3 million dinars. This increase in charges is mainly due to the increase in the volume of deposits and drawdowns from external resources.

    In this respect, the Net Banking Income (NBI) reached 358.5 million dinars in 2019, against 327.5 million one year earlier, i.e. an increase of +9.4%.

    Moreover, the Gross Operating Income (GOI) amounted to 247.3 million dinars on 31 December 2019, up 10% compared to 2018.

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      The Arab Tunisian Bank (ATB) saw its net outstanding credits reach 4.83 billion dinars, at the end of the year ending December 31, 2019, against 4.15 billion on the same date in 2018, i.e. an increase of +16.4%.

      As for outstanding customer deposits, they amounted to 5.24 billion dinars, against 4.65 billion dinars at the end of December 2018, up 12.6% (+587.5 million dinars).

      This increase is partly explained by the 7.7% rise in the volume of sight deposits to 1.66 billion dinars and the 7% increase in savings accounts, whose balance amounted to 1.15 billion dinars.

      Banking operating income grew 12.4% to 587.1 million dinars, against 522.4 million at the end of December 2018.

      Banking operating expenses reached 334.9 million dinars, against 276.1 million in 2018, i.e. an increase of 58.8 million dinars.

      To this effect, the net banking income stood at 252.2 million dinars in 2019, against 246.4 million dinars in 2018, i.e. up 5.8 million (+2.35%).

      In addition, the bank’s operating expenses reached 177.9 million dinars, compared to 164 million at the end of December 2018, i.e. a rise of 13.9 million.

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        The Tunisian Technical Cooperation Agency (ATCT) has recorded a 5% increase in 2019 in the recruitment of Tunisians overseas which reached 3,140 hires, against 2985 in 2018.

        According to statistical figures published by the ATCT, the total number of Tunisians recruited abroad within the framework of technical cooperation amounted to 20,227 guest workers in December 2019.

        The same source said 734 hires were made in the secondary and technical education sector, 428 in the higher education sector, 416 in the health and paramedical sector, 399 in the administration sector and 336 in the physical education sector.

        On the other hand, there were only two recruitments in the oil and gas sector.

        Saudi Arabia took first place in the recruitment of Tunisian guest workers (654 professionals), followed by Qatar (407), France (391), Oman (308), the United Arab Emirates (297), Canada (289) and Kuwait (201).

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        The Ministry of Energy and Dams is currently working on the rollout of public/private partnerships to bring power to regional cities after success of Juba grid project; $289 million has been invested in a power plant run by Ezra Power that will provide 100 megawatts when fully completed. The plant is already active; The government is providing 100 kW of free power to all users to help low income residents of Juba.

        South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams is working on the rollout of public private partnerships to bring power to regional cities, based on the success of its partnership with Ezra Power in Juba. The city grid became operational in 2019 and all homes and businesses will have access to power by March 2020, said Minister of Energy and Dams, Hon. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol on Thursday.

        Ezra has invested $289 million in a thermal and solar power plant that will add 100 megawatts to the grid when fully completed. A new city grid has been constructed alongside the power generation plant.

        “Electricity is a basic need and electricity is the engine of development. If you look into the criteria used to start a development, you will see that electricity is at the top. If we aspire to be like other developing countries, we need to help generate electricity,” said the Minister of Energy and Dams at the swearing in ceremony of new Undersecretary Hon. Macham Mecham Angui on Thursday.

        The ministry has acknowledged the high tariff price of the new power system and is working on reducing it as a priority. The first 100 kW of power is free, to help low income residents.

        Former Undersecretary and new Technical Advisor Eng. Lawrence Loku Moyu noted that the government had plans to expand the country’s grid networks, “but these network expansions need human resources to develop; we need new engineers, technicians, to bring these expansions to South Sudan.”

        Moyu further highlighted that after gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan had not yet obtained feasibility studies done by the Khartoum government on the power sector. Purchasing these studies and implementing their recommendations is a strategic objective for the ministry.

        “The new engineers that we are recruiting will have to study this program from the beginning. Getting these studies and implementing their recommendations is now a priority for us,” he concluded.


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          The banking sector generated an exceptional net result of 1,142 million dinars (MD) in 2018, against 1,059 MD in 2017, due to the increase in the average monthly money market rate (MMR) and revenues on Treasury bills, said an annual report on banking supervision 2018 published by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT).

          Profitability indicators were at generally satisfactory levels, with a return on assets (ROA) of 1.1% comparable to that of 2017.

          The report noted that 18 banks posted a profit result with a cumulative profit of 1 227 MD in 2018, while 5 banks posted a deficit result amounting to 85 MD.

          “The cumulative profit of 2018 was allocated up to 71.5% in reserves against 74.4% in 2017.

          The amount of dividends reached 350 MD in 2018, i.e. 28.5% of profits against 25.6% in 2017″, the document underlines.

          During the same year, banks continued their efforts to strengthen their equity capital which amounted to 10 337 MD but at a slower pace than in 2017 (10.8% against 16.7%) against a 10.4% increase in commitments.

          This increase comes from 86.9% of retained earnings, 6.5% from capital increases and the rest from subordinated loans, i.e. 6.6%.

          “Thanks to the prudent profit distribution policies adopted by most banks, the banking sector recorded a consolidation of the share of core capital to constitute 77% of net equity against 74.8% in 2017, which reflects the consistency of the quality of the banking sector’s equity capital,” the report on banking supervision 2018 further analyzed.

          Indeed, the outstanding risks of the banking sector increased by 8,809 MD including 1,637 MD under market risks and this, following the rise of risks on foreign exchange positions, especially for those having the status of market maker.

          According to the same report, market risks in 2018 were divided between foreign exchange risk (82%), interest rate risk (11%) and risk of position on property titles (7%).

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            Four thousand economic operators from 20 sub-Saharan countries as well as representatives of about fifty international institutions are expected in Tunis on February 4-5, to participate in the 3rd International Conference on Financing Investment & Trade in Africa (FITA2020).

            The conference, organized by the Tunisia-Africa Business Council (TABC), aims to create an environment conducive to trade and a proximity framework for productive dialogue between decision-makers and key players in the public and private sectors, planning 2 thousand networking meetings.

            To this end, it will bring together international investors, representatives of international financial institutions as well as heads of investment promotion institutions.

            According to the TABC, it is an opportunity to continue to make the voice of the private sector heard on the themes of financial support in Africa, the major structuring themes for African economies, and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

            Emphasis will also be laid on the business environment, sector-based development strategies, local transformation and industrialization as well as on ways to improve competitiveness.

            “FITA 2020 will also be the flagship event to connect Tunisian enterprises with pan-African and international donors to get funding and speed up their growth on the Continent,” TABC considered.

            In addition, the event will help identify new business opportunities with future and current partners and learn how to orient business strategy according to current economic trends.

            Several themes will be addressed during the two days of the conference, notably “the role of insurance in the development of inter-African trade,” “the impact of the digital transition on the

            African economy,” “ECOWAS-COMESA: exchanges with Tunisia and experience feedback” and “Economic integration and the role of the (AfCFTA).”

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              Tunisian fashion brand LYOUM is eyeing new product ranges and expansion in international markets after an investment of €500,000 from Tunisian philanthropist Hazem Ben-Gacem who believes the Tunis-based business, founded by French and Tunisian couple Claire and Sofiane Ben Chaabane, can fulfill its ambitions of overseas growth with the new investment, reports Devdiscourse.

              Founded in 2011 following the Tunisian uprising, LYOUM has been a forefront player on the Mediterranean apparel and design market.

              This new funding will enable the company, which is renowned for designing stunning fresh apparel that casually highlights the Mediterranean lifestyle, to double its workforce and push expansion outside of Tunisia.

              LYOUM, which has two boutiques in Tunisia, has also run successful ‘pop-up’ shops in Paris and London and has a very effective international online sales market.

              The fresh investment will be used to expand into other European markets, as well as enhancing their digital sales channels and communications.

              “We have an ambitious vision, which is we want to build LYOUM into an international Mediterranean brand,” said Claire Ben Chaabane.

              “This is an important investment for LYOUM that will allow the company to set the pace and better prepare to tackle this exciting challenge!

              It is the second significant investment in the business since its launch in 2011, following an injection of funds from Mehdi Majoul in 2015.

              LYOUM’s highly sought-after apparel is 100 percent manufactured in Tunisia. Its fashion lines offer unique Mediterranean blends, mixing Arabic and European influences with a touch of Parisian chic.

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                The total number of projects funded under the Raida program (Program for the Promotion of Women Entrepreneurship), has reached 195 projects in the governorate of Kasserine, from the launch of the program in 2017 until 2019.

                The projects have been funded by a budget of one million 735 thousand dinars, Zine Najlaoui, regional commissioner for women’s affairs told TAP.

                In 2017, the RAIDA program financed 114 projects with an allocation of one million 64 thousand 306 dinars.

                An amount of 199 thousand 575 dinars has been allocated to finance nearly 22 projects in 2018.

                59 projects have been funded in 2019 at a cost of 471 thousand dinars.

                These projects, which have been implemented in all delegations, cover several activities, including kindergartens, training centers, sewing workshops, hairdressing salons, pastry shops and small businesses (food, furniture, crafts).

                The “Raida” Program for the Promotion of Women’s Entrepreneurship is carried out in partnership between the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Tunisian Solidarity Bank.

                It is aimed at women who wish to start small or medium-sized enterprises, in order to increase their employability and strengthen their contribution to the economy.

                According to Najlaoui, this program continues until the end of 2020; it aims to finance 8 thousand national projects.

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                  The Euro-Cycles company achieved a turnover of 87.5 million dinars on December 31, 2019, i.e. an increase of 30%, while production (in volume) posted a growth of 17% compared to the previous year.

                  The turnover of the 4th quarter 2019 saw a rise of 41% to 18.2 million dinars while the volume of production went up 46% year-on-year.

                  Investments as of December 31, 2019 were of the order of 886,891 dinars, while the company’s bank commitments amounted to 17.6 million dinars, i.e. down 3% compared to 2018.

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                    Tunisia’s state grains agency has issued an international tender to purchase around 117,000 tons of durum wheat, 100,000 tons of soft wheat and 75,000 tons of animal feed barley, European traders said on Thursday.

                    The tender closes on Friday, Jan. 17, they said.

                    The grains can be sourced from optional origins.

                    The durum was sought in four 25,000 ton consignments and one of 17,000 tons. The soft wheat was sought in four consignments of 25,000 tons and the barley in three 25,000 ton consignments.

                    Durum shipment was sought between Feb. 15 and May 5, depending on origin selected.

                    Soft wheat shipment was sought between Feb. 10 and March 25 also depending on origin.

                    If the soft wheat is sourced from east Europe/the Black Sea region, shipment was sought between Feb. 20-29, Feb. 25 and March 5, March 1-15 and March 15-25.

                    Barley shipment was between Feb. 15 and March 25, depending on origin supplied.

                    In its last reported tender on Dec. 13, Tunisia’s state grains agency purchased an estimated 92,000 tons of soft milling wheat, 125,000 tons of durum wheat and 50,000 tons of feed barley.

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