BUSINESS NEWS

Exchange Rates (April 1995):
US$ = Shs 605
£ Sterling = Shs 966

The STANDARD BANK INVESTMENT CORPORATION OF SOUTH AFRICA (STANBIC) took over the collapsed Meridien BIAO Bank on June 2 and customers were assured that all their deposits would be safe and due interest would be paid. STANBIC said it would retain most of the 150 members of staff at the three branches in Dar es Salaam and Arusha but not open additional branches. The total losses incurred – $34 million – are being covered by Ministry of Finance Bonds ($18m), the Central Bank ($10m) and STANBIC ($6m) – The Dar es Salaam Guardian (May 3) and Daily News (July 17).

PARASTATAL REFORM was going well the Reform Commission’s Chairman Mr George Mbowe said recently. 95 firms had been divested in the last two years and by the end of this year 145 firms would have been either partly or wholly sold, liquidated or subjected to a performance contract. In some cases production had picked up from zero to 75% of capacity. Very positive results were being seen in the leather, beer, hotel and pharmaceutical industries – Daily News.

The WORLD BANK’S IDA has granted an additional credit of $10.9 million for financial sector reforms and for the restructuring, privatisation and downsizing of three banks including the Bank of Tanzania and for the development of capital markets – World Bank News.

The recent BUSINESS FORUM in Zanzibar attracted 190 participants and was a great success. Of the 90 projects presented 62 have materialised, involving an investment of $81.5 million. “What Singapore is for Asian countries Zanzibar could do for East African countries and activate an Afrodollar market” said Finance Minister Amina Ali. The government has put together an attractive investment package including 100% foreign ownership, exemption from import or sales tax on many importations, a IQ-year tax holiday on dividends and a quota- free environment as far as the export of garments to the US and Europe is concerned – Business Times (July/August),

The World Bank Group’s INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION will invest $24.4 million in Tanzania Breweries to help the company to increase output and meet international health, safety and environmental standards – World Bank News (June 1).

A newly formed NGO, the ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION (ESRF) will conduct at least six studies by the end of next year on the effects of the stabilisation and structural adjustment programmes on Tanzania’s policy reform process – East African (April 17).

The 27-year old NATIONAL INSURANCE CORPORATION (NIC) increased its gross premium income by 30% in 1994 and made Shs 567 million profit before tax compared with Shs 180 million the year before – Daily News (April 19).

TOURIST ARRIVALS last year were 261,395 and earnings totalled $192 million equivalent to 18% of the country’s exports Daily News.

The Government collected Shs 9.1 billion in May as IMPORT DUTY, SALES TAX, AND EXCISE DUTY – the highest ever.

The World Bank has asked Tanzania to de-regulate its OIL INDUSTRY and to close its oil refinery because it is small and inefficient. The government opposes this and has set up a task force to study the matter – East African (April 24).

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