Photograph — Tech.Africa

Here are three big stories from Africa’s business and policy landscape you (probably) didn’t miss but should keep in mind this week:

MultiChoice investors lose $1.7 billion

MultiChoice, a pay-TV company, has seen its share price plummet by $1.7 billion in six months as it faces challenges in keeping its high-end customers and finding new sources of income. In early March 2023, MultiChoice’s shares were worth more than $7.86 each. But on March 13, when it announced that its South African revenue growth would be lower than expected, its shares dropped to around $6.41 each. It also had a much lower profit margin because of its fixed costs and the extra expenses of Showmax, its streaming service. This was the beginning of a six-month slump that wiped out billions of dollars from its market value. One of the main problems for MultiChoice is that many South Africans are canceling their DStv subscriptions, especially in the Premium and Mid-market segments. This can be seen in the average amount of money that each DStv user pays, which fell from $14.38 to $13.69 in a year.

Nigeria’s naira falls to a record low

The naira, Nigeria’s currency, hit a new low on the black market last week Wednesday, as people bought more dollars to protect their wealth from inflation. The naira was selling for 980 naira per dollar on abokiFx, a website that tracks the unofficial exchange rates, compared with 965 on Tuesday. On the official market, where the central bank removed some restrictions on trading the naira in June, the currency was trading at 773.50 naira per dollar at 1349 GMT. The naira has been fluctuating between 738 naira and 789 naira this month on the official market. The gap between the official and black market rates has widened because of excess demand for dollars on the informal market and speculation.

Safaricom and Apple’s collaboration

Kenyan telecom company, Safaricom is working with Apple to connect M-PESA, its mobile money service, with PayPal, its online payment platform. This will allow M-PESA users to make and receive payments globally. Kenya’s President William Ruto revealed this at a business meeting between the US and Africa. Safaricom and PayPal already have a partnership that lets customers link their PayPal accounts to their M-PESA wallets. This way, they can buy goods and services from sellers around the world. Also, M-PESA users can still get and withdraw cash from more than 140,000 agents in Kenya. Currently, M-PESA has more than 51 million users in seven countries. It also has other international partnerships with AliExpress and Western Union that enable its users to send and receive money anywhere in the world. 

ICYMI: Market roundup

  • Nigeria’s equities market edged upwards over a 5-day trading week, with the NGX All-Share Index depreciating by 0.11% to close at 67,324.59 points. The top gainers were Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc. (32.91%), Ellah Lakes plc. (28.79%), E-transact International Plc (28.57%), Chams Holding Company Plc (19.09%), and Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc (17.65%). The top decliners were Tantalizers plc (-21.05%), Guinea Insurance plc (-20.69%), Mcnichols plc (-13.33%), Unity Bank plc (-11.29%), and Secure Electronic Technology Plc (-10.34%).
  • The naira closed the week at ₦ 772.98/$1 on Friday at the investor’s and Exporters’ window.
  • Brent crude closed the week at $93.27 while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $90.03.
  • The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $ 1.05 trillion, as of 10 pm Sunday, the 24th of September. Bitcoin stood at $26,491.69, a 0.00%, signaling a change over the week, Ethereum also decreased by 1.86% to trade at $1,589.74. However, Binance coin dropped by 3.09% over the week, to trade at $209.64.
  • Zambian neobank Lupiya successfully secured $8.25 million in Series A funding to scale operations in its home market and new ones. 
  • Fixit45, an Aftermarket Pan-African automotive platform, raised a $1.9 million pre-seed round to enhance access to equal-quality repairs and spare parts and unlock new markets. 

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