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UDB Scores high with International Fitch Rating

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The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole (2nd from right) makes her remarks.

The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole (2nd from right) makes her remarks.

By Our Reporter

Fitch Rating, one of the top International Credit rating agencies worldwide based out of New York and London has assigned Uganda Development Bank Ltd (UDB) a Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) of B+ with a Stable Outlook.

A credit rating is an assessment of the creditworthiness of a borrower in general terms or with respect to a particular debt or financial obligation. A credit rating can be assigned to any entity that seeks to borrow money — an individual, corporation, state or provincial authority, or sovereign government.

UDB is a state-owned development bank and its Issuer Default Ratings are driven by its Support Rating and Support Rating Floor of ‘4’ and ‘B+’, respectively, which reflects Fitch’s view of a high propensity of Ugandan authorities to support the bank in case of need. This is due to:

(1) UDB’s important, longstanding and clearly defined policy role in financing the country’s priority sectors as part of the bank’s mandate of contributing to economic growth and social development

(2) UDB’s 100% state-ownership

(3) Significant funding guarantees and ordinary capital contributions from the state.

UDB is Uganda’s primary development bank and its unique business model would be difficult to replicate by other domestic financial institutions. It is owned by government and overseen by the Ministry of Finance. Fitch Rating believes the sovereign funding guarantees that UDB receives will remain in place over the medium term. The bank’s policy role and strategic importance to the state is also evidenced by the government’s annual capital contributions, which have been committed until 2022. Fitch Rating’s assessment makes consideration for the government’s ‘B+’/ Stable IDR.

“The Stable Outlook on UDB’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating mirrors that on the sovereign,” the credit rating agency highlights.

The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole expressed pleasure upon this achievement. “This rating casts confidence in the institution in terms of our credit processes, governance and unwavering support from government, this process has provided our partners with an impartial opinion about the soundness of our business,” she remarked.

The Association of African Development Finance Institutions rating Uganda Development Bank Limited is a member of the The Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) and therefore adopted the Prudential Standards, Guidelines and Rating System (PSGRS) by which members assess themselves to the standards and guidelines for Development Finance Institutions across Africa. In adopting these standards and guidelines, UDB achieves two objectives in particular:

• Examine the institution’s operations in terms of how well they comply with good corporate governance principles and in identifying weak areas which need to be addressed.

• Assist Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and/or other supervisory authorities to custom-design supervisory procedures that better address some aspects of the Development Finance Institution’s operations that differ fundamentally from commercial bank operations.

In 2018, UDB was rated the Best Performing Development Finance Institution in Africa by the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) with an A+ rating on its 8th peer review of AADFI member Institutions.

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Companies

MTN Uganda launches 5G connectivity, first in East Africa and 3rd in Africa with connection

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By Reporter

MTN Uganda has today taken internet connectivity to another level. With fourth-generation (4G) technology still staggering, the leading telecom company in Uganda has introduced 5G connectivity. At an event today at the offices in Kololo, MTN Uganda demonstrated the first live demo of 5G network in Uganda in an event presided over by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhana Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni fulfilling their earlier promise to commercially roll out 5G in before 2020 ends.“5G will make our life better, drive incremental capacity and open up new businesses. MTN as a company is constantly making efforts to break barriers by democratizing voice and data connectivity in order to improve subscriber experience,” said MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte.

It is also expected that with an adequate spectrum allocated to the 5G standard, the increased capacity would result in lower data cost to Uganda.

MTN is working with South Korean firm ZTE the market leaders in 5G. ZTE is already working with operators to out 5+.

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Local Business

MTN MoMoPay Customers to win free shopping worth UGX 1,000,000 in a Trolley Dash experience.

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By Staff Writer

MTN is set to reward its customers who have embraced paying for their goods and services using the Telecom giant’s mobile payment platform, MTN MoMo Pay.

MoMo Pay is an MTN service that allows customers to pay for their goods and services directly from their mobile money accounts using their mobile devices at no cost. Retailers and businesses receive the payments for the goods and services instantly.

Up to 20 customers will be selected from a draw to participate in a trolley dash where they shall be allowed to shop merchandise of up to 1 million shillings in 60 seconds. To stand a chance to enter the draw, customers are required to make 2 MoMoPay transactions each week. 

Ali Monzer the General Manager Mobile Financial Services said the promotion is MTN’s way of giving back to customers for adopting the service one year since it was launched. “The response from customers has been overwhelming. Many of the people have appreciated the convenience of having to pay for all their goods and services using MoMo Pay. Thus we felt the need to thank them by giving back to them and that’s why we launched this promotion.”

MoMo Pay is MTN’s way of creating convenience for customers and merchants alike. “The world is going cashless today. It’s now more convenient to go cashless than to carry lots of cash on you. You can literally run your life using MoMo Pay. You can pay for your meals, medication, car service, shopping and several other services using MoMo Pay,” Monzer said.

This service is available to merchants who register for the service and all MTN Mobile Money customers.

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Local Business

Harvest Money Expo 4th edition launched

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank in partnership with Vision Group and the Netherlands Embassy have launched this year’s edition of the Harvest Money Expo that will take place from 14 th – 16 th February, at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole.

Under the theme ‘Value Addition’, dfcu Bank and its partners seek to improve production and marketing of agricultural products to increase the commodity value in order to ensure a rise in sales, market growth and that farmers get a good price for their products.

The Harvest Money Expo initiative, now in its 4th edition, aims to highlight the contribution of agriculture to the development of the economy and also change the negative perception that most Ugandans hold towards agriculture as not being a good career option.

Speaking during the Expo launch, dfcu Bank’s CEO, Mathias Katamba, said; “The economy of Uganda can be transformed through mechanization improvement of agriculture, commercialization and taking advantage of the unique nature of our country’s weather and soils. As dfcu Bank, we would like to offer more support to the agricultural industry by giving farmers access to equipment for agricultural mechanization through our asset financing product.”

Mr. Katamba also reiterated the need to get young people involved in agriculture to grow the sector.

Last year, over 28,000 people attended the Harvest Money Expo. This year, the sponsors and organizers are aiming for a target of over 35,000 people who will include; farmers, business representatives, the general public, foreign exhibitors from various countries. The Netherlands Embassy has promised to have a ‘Netherlands Village’ at the Expo, where 48 companies including 16 top Dutch agriculture companies will showcase, share knowledge and farming experiences.

The Vision Group CEO, Robert Kabushenga said; “The Harvest Money Expo has become a calendar event for every farmer because of the benefits they get from it. It is also a social event where people come to socialize and share knowledge.”

This year’s Harvest Money Expo will also have in attendance all the past winners of the Best farmers’ competition.

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