Here are the top three events from Africa’s economic space you probably missed last week.

Nigeria’s stock market is on a defiant bull run.

Nigeria’s economy may be downturned, but the stock market isn’t. The first quarter of the year isn’t over, and it’s already up 35.52%. No other bourse in Africa did this well. That puts it on course to outperform last year’s stellar growth of 45.9%, which put it among the world’s best-performing stock markets.

There are now more than a dozen listed companies on the NGX valued at N1 trillion (about $13bn) or more: Airtel Africa, BUA Cement, Dangote Cement, FBN Holdings, MTN Nigeria, BUA Foods, Seplat, GT, Zenith, UBA and Geregu.

If you’re looking for an explanation, we put one together here.

Ghana is considering a risky anti-LGBT law.

Two weeks ago, Ghana’s parliament passed a sweeping anti-LGBT+ law called the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill. The legislation received bipartisan support and has been welcomed by Christian, Muslim, and traditional groups.

It expands the criminalisation of consensual same-sex relationships and imposes jail time for sexual minorities and people and organisations deemed to advocate on their behalf. The law recommends three years in prison for anyone convicted of being gay, five years for “promoters” of gay rights and five years for those engaging in gay sex, up from three previously.

But all of that is on hold for now. Why? There’s a financial risk. Ghana is seeking to recover from its worst economic crisis in a generation. So it needs funding, lots of it. However, according to its finance ministry, implementing this law could derail funding from multilateral institutions, including the World Bank and IMF.

Egypt signed another big deal

Egypt secured a deal to more than double its IMF bailout to $8bn after the country took the bitter pill to let its currency drop to a record low against the US dollar. The central bank devalued the pound by 40% and massively raised interest rates to relieve a foreign currency shortage.

Floating the currency and allowing market forces to set the pound’s value were key to accessing IMF funds. The original bailout discussed was $3 billion in 2022. With an inflation rate of close to 30% in January, Egypt has been wary of allowing the pound to fall further and piling additional hardship on residents.

But the recent move by ADQ, an Abu Dhabi investment vehicle, to inject $35bn into Egypt, the biggest single investment in the country’s history, provided the central bank with the buffer it needed to prevent the currency from freefall once controls had been lifted.

ICYMI: Market roundup

  • The Nigerian stock market had a bullish week with the ASI gaining 2.61% and the market cap gaining 6.03% to close at 101,330.85 and N57.293 trillion respectively.
  • Top gainers were Transcorp Power Plc (+46.38%), Juli Plc. (+32.53%), International Energy Insurance Plc (+20.86%), Transnational Corporation Plc (+19.05%), and P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc. (+18.52%). Top decliners were Guinness Nig Plc (-17.55%), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (-17.01%), NEM Insurance Plc (-16.67%), FTN Cocoa Processors Plc (-16.36%), and Chams Holding Company Plc (-15.97%).
  • The naira closed at ₦1627.40 against the US dollar at the official market.
  • Brent oil closed the week at $82.05/barrel, while WTI closed at $77.86.
  • The crypto markets have reached an all-time high of $2.68 trillion in market cap. BTC was up 11%, trading at $71,300; ETH gained 15% to reach 4003 and BNB rallied 27% to reach $531.
  • RecoMed, a South African digital healthcare marketplace company, raised undisclosed funding from the Japanese pharmaceutical firm Eisai.
  • Tookeez, a Moroccan FinTech, raised $1.5 million from the Azur Innovation Fund.
  • MDaaS Global, the operator of BeaconHealth Diagnostics, raised a $3 million Pre-Series A round.

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