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BMI shifts deficit targets further out as government fails to reduce public service

BMI shifts deficit targets further out as government fails to reduce public service

An international economic research company this week modified its view of the government’s ability to attain its own deficit targets, stating that the public service burden, which has not been addressed at all, is the major reason for Namibia failing to rein in its deficit faster. However, the deficit is still expected to gradually reduce, only at a slower pace.

BMI Research, an independent unit operating under the Fitch Group said in their latest analysis that at this point, the economy’s hopes are pinned on increased revenues from mining.

“We now expect the deficit to fall from 6.3% of GDP in 2016/17 to 3.8% by 2020/21, as opposed to 2.3% previously. We believe that Namibia’s debt position will remain stable, as we expect that the debt burden will gradually fall due to a declining requirement for deficit financing and growing levels of real GDP growth. There is a moderate rollover risk which will be complicated by the government’s recent downgrade to junk status but we do not expect it to cause a major threat to the stability of the country’s fiscal position” stated BMI.

BMI Research said in their view “Namibia will continue to see a gradual reduction in its fiscal deficit due to increasing revenues from mining, but its inability to reduce recurrent expenditure significantly will mean that consolidation moves slowly. The narrowing fiscal deficit and growing GDP will see the debt burden gradually decline relative to the size of the economy.”

On the expected contribution of mining, BMI stated “We expect that Namibia’s fiscal deficit will slowly narrow over the coming years, driven by a major increase in government revenues from mining” but it cautioned “However, a weak performance elsewhere in the economy will temper any progress to balance the budget, and with levels of expenditure likely remaining relatively stable, the country will continue to post sizeable fiscal deficits.

“In light of this outlook, while we still expect the fiscal deficit to continue its decline, we have revised our forecasts to show a more gradual pace of narrowing.”

“Our mining team expects that uranium production will increase by 20% in 2018 after doubling in 2017 as the Husab uranium mine moves to full production. This will boost revenues through the 37.5% corporation tax on companies that mine uranium.”

“However, as revenues from the non-mining economy will be more modest, the pace of the deficit narrowing will be somewhat slower than previously expected” BMI stated.


 

 

About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at www.economist.com.na. It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. Daniel Steinmann is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional jourlists. He regularly helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to daniel@economist.com.na

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.