This week was another action-packed one at From Museveni marketing Uganda at the Dubai Expo to MTN listing on the stock exchange, we bring you a summary of business news that happened around the week.

Museveni markets Uganda at Dubai Expo

The government of Uganda early this weekend announced that it has signed deals with potential investors worth $650 million at the World Trade Expo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The investment deals were signed on Monday, 04 October 2021 by Finance minister Matia Kasaija and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) Executive Director Robert Mukiza on behalf of Uganda and several companies.

President Museveni meets the UAE Foreign Affairs minister last Sunday.

“We salute the Investors who have already signed investment deals with us. I give you assurance that you have made a right decision to invest in Uganda. We shall give you all the necessary support as we thrive together,” Mr Kasaija said in Dubai on Monday.

The ongoing Dubai Expo also known as World Expo is being hosted from October 01, 2021 to March 31, 2022. The Expo was originally scheduled for October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the opening ceremony of the Uganda National Day during the World Trade Expo in Dubai, UAE, on Sunday, President Museveni made a case for Uganda as an investment destination, saying the country is well placed to facilitate trade and investment across the continent.

MTN Uganda moves to float 20% shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange

MTN Uganda on October 7 announced that it intends to offer 20 percent of its shares to the public through listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). 

According to MTN, the Capital Markets Authority and Uganda Securities Exchange have approved their offer.

President Museveni meets leaders of MTN Group at State House Entebbe on Wednesday. PHOTO/PPU

MTN Group, which owns 96% of MTN Uganda, says the listing is in line with their strategy to create shared value, partly through ensuring broad-based ownership in its operating subsidiaries.

It is also in line with the provisions of MTN Uganda’s NTO licence, which require its listing by end of June 2022.

Business in Uganda’s private sector still slow despite easing of lockdown – report

Business in Uganda’s private sector remained subdued in the month of September 2021 despite signs of economic recovery after the Covid-19 induced lockdown, a new report indicates.

According to the monthly Stanbic Bank Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), despite increase in output and new orders, companies lowered their staffing levels for the fourth successive month and continued to reduce their purchasing activity and inventory holdings.

Ronald Muyanja, the Head of Trading at Stanbic Bank Uganda said, with workloads down amid the lockdown, companies scaled back their employment and purchasing activity

The headline PMI registered 52.5 in September compared to the 50.2 in August.

Nonetheless, the latest reading is slightly lower than the monthly average of 52.9 recorded since the survey first began in June 2016.

Ronald Muyanja, the Trading, Global Markets Head at Stanbic Bank Uganda said, the Ugandan private sector was able to build on the return to growth seen during August at the end of the third quarter, registering a second consecutive gain in output and new orders.

Inside plan by Uganda govt to gain quick access to oil cash

The government is seeking an amendment to Public Finance Management Act to allow the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) access proceeds from the sale of its interest in crude oil.

On Tuesday, the government tabled the amendment Bill before Parliament, seeking to empower UNOC to meet financial obligations arising from applicable Production Sharing Agreements and Joint Operating Agreements in each year, based on an approved Work Program and Budgets for the calendar year.

The amendments will also enable the government to meet obligations borne by Uganda National Oil Company on its own behalf as well as the State as provided for in the relevant contractual agreements, including the Host Government Agreement, the Tariff and Transportation Agreement and applicable laws.

BoU advises Africell customers on where to pick mobile money balances

Bank of Uganda (BoU) on Thursday advised customers of Africell Uganda to pick their mobile money balances from Stanbic Bank as the telecom company ceased its operations in Uganda on Thursday, 07 October 2021. Africell has been offering mobile money services in partnership with Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, with the approval of Bank of Uganda.

Hence BoU says former Africell customers should approach Stanbic Bank Uganda with the necessary identification documents.

Allianz acquires majority stake in Jubilee Insurance Uganda

Allianz, one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers, has become the majority shareholder in Jubilee General Insurance Limited in Uganda.

This follows the acquisition of a 66% stake in the company, representing 1,522,622 ordinary shares, from Jubilee Holdings Limited (JHL).

Officials of Jubilee Insurance and Allianz celebrate the merger of the two companies. PHOTO/COURTESY

JHL is retaining a 34% shareholding in the company.

The acquisition is the execution of an agreement signed on September 29, 2020, whereby Allianz agreed to acquire the majority shareholding in the short-term general (property and casualty) insurance business operations of JHL in in five countries in Africa, namely, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius.

Work on $200m gold refinery starts in Busia

Chinese firm Wagagai gold mining company limited has embarked on the construction of a gold refinery in Busia district. Valued at $200M, the gold refinery will seat on 300 acres of land covering Alupe, Akipenet, Amagoro and Amonikakine villages in Buteba Sub-county.

The ground breaking ceremony of the gold refinery in Busia.

Speaking at the ground-breaking event on Tuesday, Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Minerals, said once completed, this will be the biggest gold refinery in the country. He said the refinery will earn the local government and central government a lot of money through gold exports.

Agness Alaba, the Acting Director of Geological Survey, says they have discovered gold deposits worth 8.9 million tons in the area.

Lui Hui, the general manager of Wagagai gold mining company limited, says that they will construct the gold refinery in two phases with each phase costing US$ 100million. He says that they expect to complete the first phase in 2023.