Business round-up

Ocir-café projects a dip in coffee revenues  Rwanda’s coffee revenues will drop by 9.5 percent this year to $42m (Rwf23.7b) from $46m (Rwf26.1b) last year due to low levels of output, top Ocir-café official said at the beginning of this week. Alex Kanyankole, the Director General of Ocir-café told Business Times last week that the harvest of coffee beans will be low this year.
Vincent Karega, State Minister in charge of Natural Resources.
Vincent Karega, State Minister in charge of Natural Resources.

Ocir-café projects a dip in coffee revenues 

Rwanda’s coffee revenues will drop by 9.5 percent this year to $42m (Rwf23.7b) from $46m (Rwf26.1b) last year due to low levels of output, top Ocir-café official said at the beginning of this week.

Alex Kanyankole, the Director General of Ocir-café told Business Times last week that the harvest of coffee beans will be low this year.

“Last year was a period of a boom and this year it was the lower circle. Next year it will be a boom, that is the trend of coffee,” Kanyankole explained.

The government owned parastatal is targeting USD100 million (Rwf56.6 billion) in foreign exchange earnings from 35,000 tonnes of coffee exports by 2012.

Kanyankole also revealed that 10 delegates from Rwanda are expected to attend the seventh coffee farmers’ conference due to take place in 2010.

The annual event, which is expected to take place in Mombasa, Kenya, from February 11 to 13, 2010, will bring together coffee farmers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania and other professionals from around the world.

Cassiterite, coltan boost mineral export volume

Rwanda’s mineral export volume in the 3rd quarter of 2009 registered an upward trend compared to the same period last year, but export receipts declined on account of low prices on the international market, the Ministry of Natural Resources (Minirena) reported.

The latest quarterly report by Minirena shows that cassiterite exports in volume terms increased by 14 percent to 374,880 kilograms from July to September compared to 366,660 kilogram exported in the same period of 2008.

In the period under study, coltan exports rose by 4 percent from 82,766 Kilograms to 95,944 kilograms.

“This is due to the investments that continue to grow – more companies, more equipment and more interest by investors in Rwanda because of its enhanced ‘doing business’ environment,” Vincent Karega, State Minister in charge of Mines told Business Times last week.

However in the two respective periods, foreign exchange revenue from cassiterite dropped from $3.8 (Rwf2.1b) to $2.6 (Rwf1.5b). Export receipts from coltan also declined from $1.6m (Rwf891m) to $1.5m (Rwf828) in the same period.

The report shows that wolfram exports reduced, mainly due to the very low persistent prices related to the world financial crisis. 

The minister said that Rwanda has established mineral deposits in all provinces.

BK posts Rwf.4.5b net profit for nine months

The Bank of Kigali (BK) has shown resilience to the current global economic downturn by registering Rwf4.5b in net profit in nine months of 2001 compared to Rwf4.2b registered in whole of 2007.

The bank’s financial statement for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 released to the press on Thursday last week shows that net interest income increased by 24 percent compared to the same period last year.

Henry Gaperi, the Vice Chairman Board of Directors of the bank attributed the gain to continuous improvement in customer service, product innovation and expansion in the branch network.

“We are benefiting from increased customer loyalty because the bank has continued lending business as usual during the crisis,” Gaperi said, referring to liquidity crunch experienced by the banking sector at the beginning of the year. The situation forced local commercial banks to increase their interest rates.

As a result of the liquidity crunch, interest rates rose to 16 percent from six percent in April last year.

However according to Gaperi, BK maintained its interest rates and continued to issue new credit to the economy. 
Within the nine months, the bank’s net loans are at Rwf69 b compared to Rwf72b issued for 12 months last year. 

“It sent a very significant message that we are here for clients and working together even when the economy is not doing well. The fruits are beginning to show when you care for your client, the feeling is mutual they also care for you,” he said, adding that this has had a positive effect on the bank’s deposits.

Economy projected to grow by 4.5 percent- BNR

Central Bank governor, Francois Kanimba, last week said that the overall economic growth is expected to increase by between four to five percent down from earlier estimation of 5.3 and 7 percent.

The conservative estimates in the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates are a result of the slow down in the manufacturing and service industries.

“The growth we have in 2009 comes from the agriculture sector, very little from the manufacturing sector,” said Kanimba.

In the second quarter of the year, the economy grew by eight percent largely due better agricultural out put.

Rwandair hires two Rwandan pilots set to acquire a Boeing aircraft

Rwanda’s national carrier, Rwandair has signed contracts with two Rwandan pilots a head of the arrival of its two 50 sitter CRJ200 aircrafts by the end of December 2009. This was revealed by the management on Tuesday last week.

The airline also said that it is in negotiations with Boeing for the acquisition of a 737,800 aircraft with the capacity to carry 130 to 160 passengers. The deal is expected to be finalized by mid 2011.

Gerald Zirimwabagabo the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said that this is the first time the company is sharing Rwandan pilots.

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