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Equity Bank To Support Agribusiness SMEs With New Structured Trade Commodity Finance

Equity Bank Uganda has launched a new loan portfolio dubbed “Structured Commodity Finance Loan (SCF)”; a financing solution aimed at supporting the growth of agribusinesses and smallholders.

The structured commodity finance loan will allow agribusinesses to borrow against their agricultural inventory which can be used as collateral for security and repayment. Agribusinesses stand to benefit from SCF by receiving financing to ensure that cash flow is available for maximum output; with the intention of repaying the loans once sale of the agricultural produce is complete. A financing solution that will allow them to sustain customer demand and have access to new markets and customers.

Commenting during the launch of the new financing solution, Equity Bank Uganda Executive Director Anthony Kituuka said, “Agriculture remains a key sector in our economy and as Equity, we have chosen to invest in upscaling smallholder and medium holder farmers because they play a key role in the growth of the economy. With the new Structured Commodity Financing, farmers and agribusiness SMEs can now effectively manage their liquidity and mitigate against risks related to the production, purchase and sale of farm outputs.” 

Working with the farmers, Equity will isolate assets which have relatively predictable cash flows attached to them through price discovery and discounting.  The agribusinesses will then use these to mitigate risk and secure affordable credit with flexible repayment terms.

With the new facility, customers can now access loan amounts of between shs30 million to shs5 billion at competitive interest rates per annum determined on a case-by-case basis and repayable within flexible periods as agreed during the application process.

Farmers and agribusiness SMEs looking to access the new financing solution will need to have an existing bank account with Equity Uganda while new customers will be required to open new accounts with the bank and provide previous banking history and statements. All agribusiness SMEs will also have to provide proof of operation in the commercial agribusiness sector for at least one year and demonstrate ability to repay the loans as well as meet the other mandatory loan application requirements.

Other than SCF financing, Equity offers farmers various financing solutions including production loans which aims at improving crop and livestock production, asset finance loans for farm machinery such as tractors, marketing loans and processing loans which allows them to add value to their farm inputs and increase sales.

Premier Recruitment Flags Off 68 Ugandans For Jobs In Qatar, Saudi Arabia

Premier Recruitment Ltd has flagged off 29 male Ugandans to work as facility cleaners in Qatar and 39 young ladies to work as domestic workers in Riyadh – Saudi Arabia under the Saudi based prestigious Enaya Recruitment Agency respectively.

The 29 boys deployed to Qatar are the first group of a job order requiring 80 Ugandans to work as cleaners under Acciona Facility Company and the ladies deployed in Saudi Arabia are part of the group of over 200 that were about to leave the country before being stopped by the COVID19 travel ban.

The workers have in the past three weeks been undergoing thorough training and document processing.

Premier Recruitment PR and Marketing Manager Amon Baita noted that the labor externalization sector is now fully open after going through the almost year-long suspension due to COVID19 precautionary measures to stop the spread of the virus.

“The Covid lockdown and suspension gave us time to reflect and learn mistakes that are in the industry. This has made us organize ourselves better and build structures and policies that will ensure better and timely service delivery to our customers with high levels of integrity, honesty and transparent manner with a focus on big image and brand,” Baita noted.

The company has since the resumption of business a few months back been able to secure jobs for over 100 cleaners, over 100 electrical and mechanical technicians, plumbers, carpenters and painters to work in Doha, Qatar.

“We are unveiling a big job order for over 600 Ugandans soon to work as Airport workers in Dubai under Fly Emirates airlines. We have interviews going on for different job orders including cleaners, painters and technicians, especially to Qatar.

We have pending job orders for over 100 taxi drivers in Abu-Dhabi and over 50 nurses to work in Saudi Arabia as bedside nurses whose interviews we plan to communicate soon,” Baita revealed.

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Fresh Dairy Calls On Customers To Use Home Delivery Service

Fresh Dairy, the leading dairy products producer in Uganda has urged its customers to utilize its boosted free home delivery services this festive season for the safe and quick delivery of both Fresh Dairy and Brookside products.

The recently expanded home delivery fleet includes more tricycle Tuk Tuks and mobile vans and a dedicated sales team that deliver door to door with an aim of heightening consumer convenience.  

Marketing Manager Fresh Dairy, Vincent Omoth said, ‘This festive season, we want to ensure that our consumers enjoy both Fresh Dairy and Brookside healthy and nutritious products conveniently at a click of just a phone call (Customer care Toll free 0800 100 020/21) or WhatsApp (0715 744 664).  

Our home delivery solution is aimed at ensuring that consumers remain safe and healthy especially during this time of rising COVID-19 cases, while enjoying the greater convenience of safe product transportation using our door to door tricycle Tuk Tuks and mobile van delivery solution. 

Omoth further noted that all Fresh Dairy and Brookside products are available for the free home delivery services to include: Fresh milk, flavoured milk, Long life or UHT milk, powdered milk, Yoghurt (both flavoured and Brookside fruit yoghurt), Butter, Ghee and Cream. ‘All our dairy products are nutrient-rich with Energy, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat and Calcium among others.’ 

Fresh Dairy’s home delivery solution is free and available to all customers in Kampala and Greater Kampala areas of Entebbe, Wakiso and Mukono districts primarily throughout the week. 

Omoth elaborated that a dedicated team of distributors and agents have equipped the entire motorbike and van home delivery team with health and safety equipment such as masks, gloves, sanitizers and social distancing skills to re-assure consumer safety.

‘We believe that health safety is key in re-assuring consumers during this COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we have also publicized our location specific agent contact numbers via all Fresh Dairy’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that consumers can call for home delivery as well.’ 

Omoth concluded by noting that all payments for the home delivery service can either be made via mobile money or cash on delivery. ‘Fresh Dairy and Brookside products are still available countrywide in Shops, Duukas, Kiosks, Supermarkets and Tricycle Agents located near consumers.’

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COVID-19: Biggest Shock In History Of Oil & Gas Sector

2020 has likely challenged the industry unlike any year in its history. A relatively stable growth in liquids demand has indeed been observed over the last 20 years. Even during the financial meltdown in 2008 and 2009, the demand overall was very resilient. In 2020 however, demand is currently expected to be about 10 million barrels of liquids less per day than pre-COVID-19 expectations.

Intra year, this difference is even more extreme as the brunt of this reduction occurred during the widespread lockdown in the second quarter to halt the coronavirus outbreak.

Such a dramatic change to demand created shockwaves into the markets by putting enormous negative pressure on prices. Most notably, the West Texas Intermediary reference price even ended up trading at negative levels as there simply was no ability to store more oil. The market forces therefore led to widespread production shut ins in North America as well as an OPEC agreement to cut production by about 10 million barrels per day.

As such, the oil markets have now rebalanced but with significant available capacity offline. COVID-19 has triggered a big short-term negative revision in oil price expectation while the mid to long term outlook still points to an oil price at least north of $50/bbl based on the assumption that a solution will be found to the current COVID-19 pandemic, pushing global economic activity towards pre-COVID-19 levels. As a consequence of less revenue, the various operators in the world have also slashed their investment outlooks considerably. The combined reduction for 2020 to 2025 in expected global upstream CAPEX is of $690 billion compared to the initial expectation in February 2020 before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. The reduction is front loaded implying that it is 2020 and 2021 where one should expect to see the biggest changes with almost 30 percent lower spend than pre-COVID-19 expectations.

This is an excerpt taken from the Africa Energy Outlook 2021. Read the full article by visiting https://EnergyChamber.org/ to download the full report. Engage with us on our social media platforms using #ChamberNews #ChamberEnergyOutlook2021.

  • Published in Africa
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