High Volatility of the South African Rand might lead to De-Pegging of Namibia Dollar
Namibia is growing tired of the economic pain caused by the volatile rand and is considering ending a 25-year-old peg to the SA currency.
The government in Windhoek is weighing options to amend the currency arrangement or forge a new path for the Namibian dollar, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said in an interview in New York. A change isn’t imminent as the nation seeks to emerge from its first recession in 14 years, but as the economy recovers integration with South Africa, including customs agreements, has to be reassessed. “The whole basket has to be re-evaluated,” he said.
Namibia, with a population of just 2.6 million people, introduced its own currency in 1993, pegged at parity to the rand, three years after gaining indep…
President considers Land Expropriation
Namibian President Hage Geingob says the southern African country should give “careful consideration” to expropriating land because the principle of having willing buyers and sellers hasn’t delivered results.
“We can pursue the constitutional mechanisms to achieve land equity,” he said on Monday at the national land conference in the capital, Windhoek. “This position stands, provided expropriation is carried out in the public interest.”
Neighboring South Africa is investigating whether to change its Constitution to make it clearer how the government can expropriate land without compensation as it seeks to redress skewed ownership in favor of the country’s white population.
Namibia is among the world’s most economically unequal n…
First 5-star Green Building
Earlier this year it was announced that FNB Namibia Holdings’ @Parkside building in Windhoek achieved the first 4-Star Green Star design rating in Namibia and was aiming towards an “As Built” rating. With further innovations, this has been achieved and the building was awarded a 5-Star Green Star Africa As Built rating by the Green Building Council – making it the first 5-Star rated building in Namibia and Africa, outside of South Africa.
Greg Rice, sustainability consultant at WSP Building Services Africa, says as the first “As Built” rating outside of South Africa, this is a remarkable achievement in itself for the sustainable construction industry in Africa. "The ‘As Built’ rating verifies that the building has been constructed an…
House Price Index beats all SA Provinces, except for the Western Cape
Of all the major rand area regions, the Western Cape had the highest house price growth in the first quarter, followed by Namibia with 8.1%. On average, after 15 very strong years, Namibia remains the most expensive of all the major rand area regions, according to John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB. “Namibia has been the clear outperformer. Since 2008 Namibia has performed noticeably stronger than SA in terms of real house prices,” he said at an information session this week. He added that it is unlikely that any of the rand areas – Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland – can escape the current period of global economic stagnation unscathed. Some will, however, do better than others, depending on the “competiti…
Pension Funds allowed to invest into Private Equity will boost local Investments
The Namibian Minister of Finance released a notice in respect of the amendments to Long-term Insurance Regulations: Long-Term Insurance Act No. 5 of 1998 and the Regulations for Pension Funds: Pension Funds Act No. 24 1956, effective 1 January 2014. The notice confirmed the substitution of certain regulations which among other things introduced:
- Unlisted Investments as a regulated asset class, which asset class was not regulated before.
- Statutory investment requirements. Regulations specify that “_Every registered insurer or reinsurer must invest 1.75 per cent of the market value of its investments in unlisted investments within a period of 12 months from the date of publication of the notice, but the unlisted investments may cum…
Drought Relief of N$ 100bn promised by Zuma in 2013 still not paid
Namibia is still waiting for drought relief aid to the value of R100m which President Jacob Zuma had promised his country would render during his state visit in November 2013. The ministry of foreign affairs on Monday said processes had to be finalised after which disbursement would follow.
“At a technical level, officials continue to finalise processes upon which the disbursement is hinged. These essential bureaucratic processes on both sides are the reason for the delay,” the ministry said in a statement. “The reasons for the delay in the disbursement of funds are mutual and cannot be solely attributed to one government.”
During his visit to Namibia, Zuma announced in his address to Parliament the N$100m support to Namibia’s drou…
Hospitality Industry with Record 9% Growth
The hospitality industry of Namibia experienced a record growth of nine percent in room and bed occupancy last year, according to new statistics released. “The quarterly and annual room and bed occupancy statistics report compiled by the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) reveals that the Namibian tourism accommodation industry experienced a growth of some nine percent in room sales last year compared to 2013,” Gitta Paetzold, chief executive officer of HAN stated. “In 2014, the annual average occupancy rates exceeded the 50% threshold of 2008 again and reached 57.4%,” Paetzold added. According to her, tourism in Namibia seemed to have experienced its best year in seven years during 2014 with occupancy statistics five percent highe…
Mining Output will set Pace for Growth and low Inflation
Namibia will see a 5.7% economic growth this year, low inflation and higher mining output coupled with foreign investment, a local investment group said yesterday. Namibia’s second gold mine, B2Gold, started production last month and the new Tschudi copper mine will start operations next month, while the Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine in Namibia will commence with an initial production phase later this year.
“For this year, we expect to see economic expansion of 5.7% driven by an ongoing construction boom in Namibia, which is likely to continue for a number of years, as well as major foreign direct investment inflows into the mining industry,” IJG Securities Namibia stated in its economic preview. "As the construction …
Government clarifies: No Naval Base to be built by China
The Namibian government dismissed yesterday fabricated local media reports that China planned to construct a naval base along Namibia’s coast. “The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to unequivocally state that there are no discussions between the Republic of Namibia and the People’s Republic of China regarding the establishment by the latter of a naval base in Namibia,” the ministry said in a statement.
On Tuesday, a local daily paper carried an article headlined “Chinese naval base for Walvis” quoting from an allegedly official letter. According to the ministry the letter was forged. The alleged “confidential letter” appeared to have been written by the Namibian ambassador to China and addressed to the permanent secretary of the min…
Interest Rate remains unchanged, Inflation down to 5%
Namibia’s Reserve Bank kept its repo rate unchanged at 6%, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) announced last week. “The monetary policy committee has decided to leave the repo rate at 6% to support domestic economic activities,” BoN governor Ipumbu Shiimi told reporters. “The bank remains concerned that growth in household credit remains high and continues to largely finance unproductive imported luxury goods. This puts pressure on international reserves.”
Shiimi said Namibia’s international reserves were covering eight weeks, while 10 to 12 weeks would be desirable. Apart from international reserves in South African rand, US dollars and Euros, the BoN recently started to build international reserves in Chinese Yuan …