Atta Financial Update

Executive summary: Bitcoin, a crypto-currency based on the blockchain technology, is finding its place in Africa.

Building on the successes of mobile-money for domestic transactions, a Kenyan company has combined the Bitcoin with local versions of the popular mobile payment platform M-Pesa to offer same day international payments at much lower cost. The system relies on the blockchain currency for cross-border payments and combines it with mobile-money for “last mile” delivery of funds.

Currently available in East Africa and Nigeria, hybrid technologies such as BitPesa have been particularly favoured by online workers such a web developers, but could prove a catalyst for SMEs and remitters looking for faster and cheaper international payment solutions.

Fact: The Apollo 11 astronauts have a moon on the Hollywood Walk of Fame instead of a star.

Shell’s sale of 20pc stake completes exit from Africa downstream fuel business

  • Anglo­ Dutch petroleum giant Shell has sold its remaining 20 per cent shareholding in Vivo Energy for Sh25.5 billion (US$250 million)
  • Vivo Energy - which has been the Shell licensee in 16 African markets - is a joint venture between Vitol Group, a Dutch firm, Helios Investment Partners, an African private investment firm, and Shell
  • Shell said in a statement completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of next year, subject to regulatory approval
  • Vitol and Helios Investment own a 40 per cent stake in the firm, each; Shell owns 20 per cent

Tanzania and Malawi ink a power joint deal

  • Tanzania and Malawi are expecting to implement a joint 180-megawatt electricity project that will enable each country to produce 90mw
  • The two countries also expect to implement another joint project on irrigation where a total of 600 hectares will be developed, with 3000 farms in each country

IFC to acquire 10 per cent stake in Britam for Sh3.6b (US$35m)

  • The IFC has made an entry into Kenya's insurance industry by acquiring a significant stake in Britham Holdings
  • The group will pay Sh3.6b (US$35m) for a 10.37% stake in the company
  • The transaction is currently waiting approval from the capital markets regulator but is expected to be approved