Country economic outlook


By: Momodou Camara

Good Morning Gambia and welcome to MONEY & MARKETS, a Column we wish to stage each week here on the STANDARD NEWSPAPER.
Please keep reading and keep following. Today the currency outlook is bleak with the Dalasi making no gains in trading against international currencies. A lot has been attributed among others as amplified by the Director of Finance and Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance Mr. Jobe, last week. The Gambia’s as a country is making very little in terms of exports and selling products, produces and services as Made-In-The Gambia. He further dilated into the fact that SOEs meaning the State Owned Enterprises are not equally making any dividends to support Government in its drive to reinvest locally and bring about some much needed reduction to basic commodities. We import virtually all we eat and need he posited. Apart from the foreign remittances that make inroads into the country and the slowly creeping in of Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs), we struggled as a country to attract and earn foreign currencies. According to sources and news hitting our stands by the Ministry of Tourism that we have witnessed a very good Tourism Season and one of the best in our country’s history but the impact in strengthening the Dalasi and reduction in the cost of living is still not felt in any significant way. Therefore, the cost of leaving will continue to be high for the average Gambia and no matter how much money is added to pay cheques we will still struggle. Recently the Government of Adam Barrow increased by 50% all the salaries of Civil servants which is a good move but their circumstances have not greatly improved. The level of inflation in the Country is also not working to our advantage to combating the high cost of living. I am of the view that government will employ other mechanisms to combating the high cost of living and others with a drive to stabilizing the Dalasi further. We are very encourage with change of personnel at the Ministry of Finance and we hope in the weeks and months ahead there will sound government policies and market strategies that will bring down the cost of basic food stuff and others and ultimately the cost of living in the country.

Regional markets
Ndungu Kebbeh ‘Lumo’ and ‘Daral’
This week the lumo at of Ndungu Kebbeh which is situated in Lower Nuimi District in NBR is a regional centre of commerce for people of the North Bank and the Gambia as a whole. Business was as usual, a bit slow as trade season finances begin to ebb! However, the money traffic within the ‘Darral’ section of the ‘lumo’ was a bit impressive as the demand for meant is always there. This is the time of the year when ‘Gamo’ and weddings are on high observations and it goes with cattle, goat and sheep must-buys. Prices of meat and bone and steak are a D25.00 cheaper in all categories compared to the Greater Banjul Areas. There is good money changing hands within the ‘darral’ which runs into hundreds of thousand Gambian Dalasi each ‘lumo’ day. The cost of livestock is always cheaper here that in the ‘Kombos’.


Inetrnational financial markets

International Money Market
The international money market is the market that handles the international currency transactions between the various central banks of the nations. In the international money market, the transactions are carried out mainly in gold or in US dollar. International money market is governed by the international monetary transactions between various nations currency. The international money market mainly handles the currency trading between the countries. The trading of one country’s currency for another one is also named as the foreign exchange currency trading or forex trading. The international money market has grown phenomenally over last few years and is expected to grow even more. It is the largest financial market in the world and the participants in this large market are large banks, central banks, governments, multinational corporations and currency speculators. A money market is the safest financial market available and is commonly used by the big financial institutions, large corporations and governments. The investment made in a money market is generally for a very short period of time and hence they are often referred as cash investments. The basic performance of the international money market involves the money borrowing or lending by a government or some large financial institutions. Unlike share markets, the international money market deals with much larger fund and the players of the market are big financial institutes. The international money market allows investing in a less risk while the return that comes from that is also less. The best way to invest in the international money market is by money market mutual funds or treasury bills. Everyday, the International money market regulates a huge amount of international currency trading. According to the reports given by the Bank for International Settlements, the daily turnover in a traditional exchange market estimated is $1880 billion. The Major International money market participants are: Citigroup/ Deutsche Bank /HSBC/ Barclays Capital/ UBS AG/ Royal Bank of Scotland /Bank of America/ Goldman Sachs/ Merrill Lynch/ JP Morgan Chase. The international money market takes care of the exchange rates on a regular basis. Currency band, exchange rate regime, fixed exchange rate, linked exchange rate and floating exchange rates are some of the other indices that govern the international money market in a huge way.

Entrepreneur quotes
Of the week
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
By- Abraham Lincoln

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
By- Jim Rohn

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
By- Karen Lamb

“Don’t build links. Build relationships.”
By- Rand Fishkin, Moz

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
By- M. Scott Peck

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”
By- Scott Belsky, Behance

Make A Stand: “Stick with it, even on the bad days.”
By- Vivienne Harr

World commerce & business

Saudi Aramco made $111 billion in 2018, topping Apple as the world’s most profitable company
The company made a whopping $111 billion in 2018, the data shows. By comparison, Apple made $59.53 billion in fiscal 2018. Saudi Aramco made its financial information available in a prospectus for a $10 billion bond sale, which the company plans to use to finance a nearly $70 billion stake in Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals company. Saudi Aramco is by far the most profitable company in the world, according to financial data disclosed by the state-run oil giant in Saudi Arabia. The company made a whopping $111 billion in 2018, the data shows. By comparison, Apple made $59.53 billion in fiscal 2018. Saudi Aramco also made more money than J.P. Morgan Chase, Google-parent Alphabet, Facebook and Exxon Mobil combined. Put together, those companies made nearly $106 billion in 2018, according to FactSet. Saudi Aramco made its financial information available in a prospectus for a $10 billion bond sale, which the company plans to use to finance a nearly $70 billion stake in Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals company. Despite Aramco’s massive earnings, the company did not receive the top credit rating from agencies like Moody’s since its heavy dependence on the country’s economy could be a headwind for the company. Moody’s issued an A1 rating for Aramco. Companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil have ratings of Aa2 and Aaa, which are higher than Aramco’s. “Credit linkages to the government of Saudi Arabia (A1 stable; A1 foreign currency ceiling) are significant, and result in our decision to constrain Aramco’s rating to that of the government,” Rehan Akbar, senior credit officer at Moody’s, said in a note. “While there is a clear track record of Aramco having been run as a commercially independent company, the government’s budget is highly reliant upon contributions from Aramco in the form of royalties, taxes and dividends,” Akbar added.

— CNBC’s Tom DiChristopher and Reuters contributed to this report.