Who Owns Whom


Country Code: 454

ISO2 Code: MW

ISO3 Code: MWI

Country Economic Snapshot


Economic growth forecasts remain high for Malawi despite extreme poverty, food insecurity and recent protests over its May elections.

President Peter Mutharika, voted in by a small margin in the election, which protesters across Lilongwe and Blantyre say was rigged, said in his state of the nation address that economic growth would reach 5% in 2019 on the back of higher agricultural production and growth in mining, ICT, and financial services.
Riots over the election have caused instability in the country where extreme poverty, droughts, cyclones and prior corruption scandals forced Malawi to go to the International Monetary Fund for a US$112m extended credit facility.

In April 2018 the IMF approved a new three-year arrangement for Malawi "to support the country's economic and financial reforms". The IMF said Malawi has shown progress in achieving macroeconomic stabilisation following two years of drought, with growth rebounding and inflation reducing to single digits, although its fiscal position had deteriorated and the public debt to GDP ratio has increased. "Increased debt service pressures have reduced space for needed infrastructure and social spending," it said.

Malawi's GDP grew by an estimated 3.7% in 2018, compared to 5.1% in 2017 and 2.7% in 2016. The African Development Bank expects GDP to grow by 4.6% in 2018/19 and 5.6% in 2019/20, driven by agricultural improvements, stable macroeconomic fundamentals, the recovery in commodity prices and foreign direct investment inflows.

Still, at least half the population lives below the poverty line and the country is wracked by food insecurity and power cuts, with Reuters saying it is "among the world's poorest countries, reliant on donor funding and tobacco and tea exports". The Malawi Project says 85% of the population survives from subsistence farming.

A Who Owns Whom report on the tobacco industry states that Malawi "is widely regarded as the most tobacco-dependent country in the world", and its tobacco industry is the country's second-largest employer, with more than 350,000 farmers and their families dependent on this industry. The report says tobacco is Malawi's main cash crop, contributing 60% to foreign exchange reserves and 15% to GDP. But annual tobacco revenues have declined 24%, resulting in farmers starting to grow other crops. The industry has, however, attracted investment. Japan Tobacco International is one of Malawi's largest tobacco buyers and has invested US$450m in the business over past five years, contracting 11,000 tobacco growers, according to the Who Owns Whom report.

The African Development Bank says that due to high dependence on rain-fed agriculture, "weather-related shocks are key risks to export commodities such as tea, tobacco, and other products".

The protests add another risk. As Malawian political scientist and Wits lecturer Michael Jana told AFP: "A significant section of Malawi society is disgruntled and does not want the current government. It's a divided country".


Capital Lilongwe
Currency (Name, Abbreviation, Symbol) Malawian kwacha , MWK , MK
Area 118,484 sq km
Type of Government multiparty democracy
Languages Chichewa (official) 57.2%, Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, other 3.6% (1998 census)
Natural Resources limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite
Type of Industry tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement, consumer goods
Stock Exchange Malawi Stock Exchange
Stock Exchange Location Blantyre
Stock Exchange Founded 1995
Tax Rate: Corporate 30%
Tax Rate: Individual 30%
Natural Resources limestone, arable land, hydropower, unexploited deposits of uranium, coal, and bauxite

Latest available information as sourced from:

African Markets

Trading Economics

Economy Watch

The World Fact Book

KPMG Tax Tables

Company Profile

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Sector Research

CompanyName Stock Exchange Listed Date Ticker Code Country Status
Airtel Malawi PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2019-12-16 AIRTEL Malawi Active
Blantyre Hotels Ltd Malawi Stock Exchange 1997-03-25 BHL Malawi Active
FDH Bank PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2020-08-03 FDH Malawi Active
FMB Capital Holdings PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2017-09-18 FMBCH Malawi Active
ICON Properties PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2019-01-21 ICON Malawi Active
Illovo Sugar (Malawi) PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 1997-11-10 SUCOMA Malawi Active
MPICO PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2007-11-12 MPICO Malawi Active
National Bank of Malawi PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2000-08-21 NBM Malawi Active
National Investment Trust PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2005-03-21 NITL Malawi Active
NBS Bank PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2007-06-25 NBS Malawi Active
NICO Holdings Ltd Malawi Stock Exchange 1996-11-11 NICO Malawi Active
Press Corporation PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 1998-09-00 PCL Malawi Active
Standard Bank PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 1998-06-29 SBL Malawi Active
Sunbird Tourism PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2002-08-22 STL Malawi Active
Telekom Networks Malawi PLC Malawi Stock Exchange 2008-11-03 TNM Malawi Active

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