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Western Union (WU) renews money transfers to Link Mali, ECOWAS

The Western Union Company WU recently restarted money transfer services to enable customers in Mali to send and receive money from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Including Mali, ECOWAS comprised 15 member countries located in the West African region. Other member countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The latest decision appears to bring a ray of hope to Malian clients after a dismal period of growing tension between Mali’s transitional authorities and the ECOWAS authority. Mali’s transitional authorities were unable to organize presidential elections before February 27, 2022, as decided in a prior agreement reached with the ECOWAS authority. Acting under pressure from ECOWAS, the transitional authorities submitted an electoral calendar at the end of December 2025. However, the new date set may not have gone down well with senior ECOWAS officials, who following this postponement , have imposed a series of financial and economic measures. sanctions against the transitional authorities in special summit held in January 2022.

Among the list of sanctions pronounced, one was called to stop all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali. The only exception remained foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment, petroleum products and electricity. Consequently, Western Union was forced to temporarily suspend its money transfer services solely for the purpose of disconnecting Mali from ECOWAS.

However, raising hopes, Mali’s military leaders promised to hold elections in February 2024, which prompted ECOWAS to withdraw sanctions previously imposed on Mali in July 2022. Subsequently, Western Union was quite quick to link Mali to ECOWAS by taking back its money. transfer services in less than a month after restrictions were eased.

Such a rapid reactivation of services shows caution on the part of Western Union, which aims to inflate the money transfer revenues that make up the bulk of its overall revenue.

Western Union’s robust cross-border money transfer platform with an extended reach to over 200 countries and territories further helps it ensure seamless money movement to and from any corner of the world. The platform has enabled WU to make cross-border money transfers to Mali for more than two decades.

It looks like Western Union went on a frenzy in August to undertake initiatives that expand its extensive network and increase money transfer revenue. In mid-August, WU entered into an alliance with Mexican supermarket chain operator Alsuper to expand its money transfer services to the latter’s supermarket centers across northern Mexico. During the same period, Western Union strengthened its ties with Texas-based Woodforest National Bank, offering its digital prowess in addition to the retail capabilities previously available to the latter’s customers.

Western Union shares have lost 25.5% in one year compared to industrydown 25.9%.

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Zacks ranking and key picks

Western Union currently wears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some top-ranked stocks in the Business services space are Automatic Data Processing, Inc. DPA, Clean Ports, Inc. HLC and Huron Consulting Group Inc. HURN. While Clean Harbors and Huron Consulting carry a Zacks rank #1 (strong buy), Automatic Data Processing carries a Zacks rank #2 (buy). You can see the full list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Automated data processing net income has exceeded estimates in each of the past four quarters, averaging 5.02%. The Zacks consensus estimate for ADP earnings in 2022 suggests a 14.8% improvement from the figure released a year ago. The same for revenue suggests growth of 8.4% from the number reported a year ago. ADP’s 2022 earnings consensus mark has moved 3.5% north in the past 30 days.

Clean Harbors earnings have exceeded estimates in each of the past four quarters, averaging 37.51%. The Zacks consensus estimate for CLH earnings in 2022 suggests an 86.3% improvement on the figure released a year ago. The same for revenue also suggests a growth of 33.4% over the previous year. CLH’s earnings consensus mark for 2022 has moved 52.7% north in the past 30 days.

Huron Consulting’s net income has exceeded estimates in each of the past four quarters, with the average surprise being 19.41%. Zacks’ consensus estimate for HURN’s revenue in 2022 suggests a 25.7% improvement from the figure reported a year ago. The same for revenue suggests growth of 17.8% over the actual figures for the previous year. HURN’s revenue consensus mark for 2022 has moved north 2.5% in the past 30 days.

Shares of Automatic Data Processing, Clean Harbors and Huron Consulting gained 22.9%, 15.3% and 39.5% respectively in one year.

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