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REPORT OF LAST WEEK (from 02/09/13 to 06/09/13)

by Dario Galluccio

This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com

Mozambique: Aggreko completes power expansion project

Temporary power supply solutions company Aggreko has completed the expansion of its gas-fired power plant at Gigawatt Park in Ressano Garcia, Mozambique. The expansion will add an additional 122 MW of capacity to the Ressano Garcia facility, bringing the total generation output from the plant to 232 MW and was formally inaugurated by the Mozambique Minister of Energy, The Honorable Salvador Namburete during a ceremony held, last week, at the project site.

Following the success of the first stage of Ressano Garcia, Aggreko announced in March 2013 that it had signed agreements with both EDM and NamPower, the Namibian power utility, to supply an additional 122 MW from the project.

Immediately, work began to more than double the generating capacity of the plant. As Aggreko designed and built the plant infrastructure to allow for modular increases in capacity, adding the additional power generation was achieved in just 12 weeks.

Tanzania: Government vows to support local investors

The government has pledged to support investment initiatives in the country to boost the country’s economy and well being of people; Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Prof. Adolf Mkenda said creating good investment climate would boost the economy.

“The Ministry of Finance understands the challenges facing the cement industry that includes poor infrastructure, competition and imports. We will continue working with other government ministries and agencies to ensure that the cement sector continues to play a pivotal role in economic development,” he said.

He also said the cement sector has for the last five years been growing at an average of nine per cent with its contribution to GDP increasing from 7.7 per cent in 2008 to 8.1 per cent in 2012 “Production grew from 2.4 million tonnes in 2011 to 3.42 million tonnes in 2012. If all the cement produced in the country is sold within in the country without exporting, demand will be met by 75 per cent,” he said.

Africa: Natural resources, oil to underwrite Chinese investment

Africa’s importance to China’s overseas investment agenda could become more significant as Beijing pursues a strategy of securing access to vital natural resources and takes big financial risks to get them. Last year, Chinese companies completed construction contracts worth US$40 billion in Africa, up 45 per cent over 2009, making up 35 per cent of all of China’s overseas contracts.

Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, reckons that number could jump as Beijing seeks to secure access to Africa’s oil resources. China became the world’s biggest net oil importer earlier this year, taking the position that had been held by the United States since the 1970s.

Chinese firms have invested billions of US dollars in the oil-rich nations of Angola and Sudan to secure access to oil. That means Beijing’s influence on the continent, relative to the US, is likely to grow. Africa, projected to grow 5 per cent this year, gets 1 per cent of US foreign direct investment.

The continent, home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies, has been China’s second-largest overseas contract market since 2009. The trend is likely continue, according to vice-minister of commerce, Li Jinzao, who said that China-Africa ties had reached a new historic high and would “enter the fast lane” this year. According to Li there were opportunities for deeper investment ties as African nations sought to upgrade their economic infrastructure.

Tanzania: New Project to view vision 2025 challenges

The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a new project targeting to highlight the challenges Tanzania faces in realizing Vision 2025 goals. Titled ‘The Tanzania Human Development Report (THDR 2014),’ the project focuses on national perspectives on human development in addressing priority themes, emerging trends, opportunities and challenges the country encounters in reaching the Vision 2025 targets.

Ghana: Turkish trade expo finally in Accra

The fourth Turkish Trade Exhibition dubbed “Ghana Big 5 Show” has opened in Accra to showcase their products to their Ghanaian counterparts and create trade bridge between Ghana and Turkey. Over 40 Turkish companies and Ghanaian company like MBC Trading Company Limited, dealers in construction chemicals and Thetford Company, dealers in water flushing toilet begun a four-day exhibition.

The fair was to develop and broaden trade convergence between the two countries and ensure mutual protection of businesses: moreover the fair would showcase products including Turkish building and construction, Food and Agriculture, Fashion, Cleaning materials, iron and steel, mechanical appliances, electrical machinery and equipment.

Mr Seth Adjei Baah, President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the relationship between the two would boost trade and investment as well as lead to cultural and other exchanges. He said Ghana is a centre of peace and gateway to West Africa and that investing in the country would lead to increase results and assured them of the country’s readiness to collaborate and work with them during the exhibition.

Rwanda: French investors coming

A delegation of French investors will visit Rwanda early this month to assess business and investment opportunities, Chantal Umuraza, the chamber of industries executive director general, has said. She said the companies are interested in agro-processing, architecture, fabrication, IT and aviation sectors.Eusebe Muhikira, the head of trade and manufacturing department at the Rwanda Development Board, noted that Rwanda continues to attract foreign investments because of the business reform agenda started in 2009.

Rwanda is the third-best place to do business in Africa and ranks 52nd out 185 countries globally, according to the recent World Bank report. During the last quarter, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) registered investments worth $1.2b (about Rwf800b), of these, 22 were foreign investments worth $406.9m and nine were joint ventures worth $338.1m.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Actis injects $278m

Private equity company, Actis, has injected an extra $278 million into “property developments” in Sub-Saharan Africa region. This latest capital injection takes the firm’s entire African capital spending in its funds to approximately $433 million.

Louis Deppe, a director at Actis, believes that there is a lot of activity in the “private equity space” particularly in the region. It is understood that the sub-Saharan Africa region, with the exception of South Africa, has insufficient investment in high profile estates (properties). JSE-listed funds have allegedly shown little attraction to injecting money into the continent. But the advancement of excellent stock by private equity companies is likely to attract bigger attention from the publicly traded sector.

Actis has two real estate development funds and it claims to be the only pan-emerging private equity firm. With $5 billion managed by 105 investment professionals, the company has put in money in 65 companies, employing 101,000 people.The private equity firm has invested $4 billion in emerging markets so far. The company has realised $2.2 billion from its investment since the company was started in 2004.

Ghana: SEC lauds IFC US$1bn domestic bond

Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mr. Adu Anane Antwi says the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) planned move to raise US$1bn from the domestic market will add to the local bourse’s growing credibility. “Once IFC starts issuing its bonds, then all the other institutions that issue bonds will begin to look at Ghana as a possible market, and that is good for us,” Mr. Anane Antwi said.

The IFC last week was given approval by the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue regular cedi-denominated bonds worth up to US$1billion in Ghana’s market. “The consent from the Ghanaian authorities enables us to support deepening of the local capital markets and offer local-currency funding for priority sectors such as infrastructure,” IFC’s Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua said in a statement.

The bonds will be sold to domestic and foreign institutional investors, and proceeds will be used to fund private sector projects in areas such as infrastructure and to increase access to finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The bonds are to be issued under the IFC’s Pan-African Domestic Medium-Term Note Programme that was launched last year, a statement from the IFC said.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) last week successfully raised US$3.5billion from a five-year global bond to be used in lending support to private sector development. The five-year bond, according to the private arm of the World Bank Group, is its largest bond issue to date.

The bond issue generated an order book close to US$5billion and set the pricing benchmark for IFC’s 2014 fiscal year borrowing programme.

The IFC says it plans to raise US$16billion across a range of markets and currencies during its current fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. It also plans to issue debt in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia under the programme.

Ghana: Diversify investment of heritage fund

A petroleum economist has suggested to the government and the Bank of Ghana to diversify the investment of the country’s heritage oil funds to keep some investments locally.

Currently, the country invests funds meant for future generations, known as the Heritage Funds, abroad in ‚ “secured international investment environment.” Mr John Gatsi, who is also a lecturer in Finance at the University of Cape Coast, said although investing abroad could shore up the country’s reserves, the government should have confidence in the local investment fund managers and keep some of the funds locally to improve liquidity and check risk.

Mr Gatsi lauded the country’s Petroleum Revenue Management law which, he said, laid out clear guidelines on spending, investing and transparent accounting for the proceeds the country got from its petroleum resources. He also praised the accountability clauses in the law and its reporting in the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government, adding that while the Stabilisation and Heritage funds were a good creation in the law, the best form of protecting the future was in investing heavily in social and economic infrastructure.

On local content, the economic analyst said it was important for the government to leverage the policy and first equip small and medium scale enterprises to take advantage of it.

South Africa: Bank of China and Nedbank partner to boost trade

One of China’s big four state-owned lenders, Bank of China (BoC) and South Africa’s fourth biggest lender, Nedbank Group, have partnered to lift business between the two countries. The partnership will assist BoC clients that want to inject money in South Africa and the rest of the continent.

The alliance will include currency exchange between the two banks. It will also provide more backing services to Chinese firms with businesses in Africa through the banks’ networks. There will also be an increased collaboration when it comes to injecting capital in infrastructure projects in southern Africa.

Ghana: Finance Minister Says Plan to Halve Deficit Succeeding

Ghana’s plan to trim its budget deficit by half over three years by containing public-sector pay increases and raising taxes is showing initial signs of success, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said. The government is on track to achieve its deficit-reduction target of 9 percent of gross domestic production this year from 12.1 percent in 2012 when spending rose in the run-up to elections.

As the economy grows faster than the sub-Saharan African average [expansion in West Africa’s second-largest economy is forecast at 6.9 percent this year versus 4.8 percent for the continent south of Sahara] and the government “moderates” salary increases for public servants, the fiscal gap is forecast to narrow to 5 percent and 6 percent of GDP by 2015, he said.

The world’s second-largest cocoa exporter and an oil-producing nation since 2010 is implementing austerity measures including the reduction of fuel and utility subsidies, combined with higher revenue by adding at least four new taxes. The state wants to lower the wage bill to between 30 percent and 35 percent of tax income by 2015 from 72 percent last year.

India-Africa ties energised with oil and other products

India and Africa are coming closer to each other faster than most realize. In the last few years India has diversified its energy procurement to African countries. In 2005, India did not import any oil from African countries. Just eight years later, more than 20 per cent of India’s oil and gas imports are from Africa. While much is being traded, India has also begun investing in the energy sector in Africa.

State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has just acquired a 10 per cent stake in an offshore gas field of Anadarko Petroleum Corp in Mozambique for $2.64 billion.It’s not just Mozambique. India has increased its purchase of oil and gas from a range of African countries. The biggest sellers of petroleum products to India from the continent are Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco.

Within Africa also, India’s overall economic relationship is changing. In 2001 Southern Africa accounted for nearly 60 per cent of exports to India while West Africa accounted for just above 16 per cent. Now West Africa is the largest supplier with a share of 40 per cent, while the share of Southern Africa is 24 per cent.

A recent report by Confederation of Indian Industry has an interesting nugget. Investment from Africa to India is growing. “Morocco and South Africa are the next largest investors in India with investments worth US$137 million and US$112 million, respectively.While the figures may not appear high, this is a beginning of an important development. The growing economic interdependence of India and African countries will add confidence to their dealings with the rest of the world.

Ghana: Will take advantage of Japan’s $32b for Africa

The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, has disclosed Ghana’s willingness to take advantage of the Japanese government’s proposed $32billion intended to support developing economies in Africa in areas of infrastructure development and energy to improve living standards in the region.Hon Kofi-Buah who made the disclosure during a courtesy call on him by delegation from Sojitz Corporation, a Japanese company undertaking the $125 million seawater desalination project in Nungua, Accra to discuss progress of the project and other investments opportunities in the Energy sector, noted that Ghana’s excellent relationship with Japan could be further strengthened with increase investments.

The Teshie project, which will begin commercial operations in 2014, is expected to supply 60,000 m3 of drinking water to about 600,000 people in Teshie and surrounding communities. The desalinated water will be sold to Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) under a long term water sales contract of 25 years to ensure stable provision of drinking water on a long-term basis in the capital. The project is the first desalination project in sub-Saharan Africa, and also the first investment by a Japanese corporation in Africa.

Ghana: To consolidate its middle-income status with bonds

Ghana’s Finance Minister Seth Terkper says it is prudent to finance the capital component of the national budget with long-term bonds as the country consolidates its middle-income status. According to the Finance Minister, it is important for the country to develop its local capital market more especially to mobilize funds to finance the infrastructural gaps which constrains the development efforts of Ghana.

According to the African Development Bank‘s Financial Markets Initiative, Africa as a whole requires about $20 billion in infrastructure investment per year which can only be sustainably financed through long-term bonds. In Ghana alone, Mr Terkper says “our estimation is that the required financing gap is about $1.2 billion a year”.

Mr Terkper argues that a well-developed local bond market is critical in Government’s ability to mobilize the necessary funds to support capital expenditures. He added that such markets are necessary for enhanced financial stability and better integration in the global financial landscape.

Liberia: German investment encouraged

Highlighting Liberia’s numerous challenges rating from youth unemployment to lack of capacity and infrastructure amid vast natural resources, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has told newly accredited German Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Ralph Timmermann that the country encourages German Private Sector to take a more active role as Liberia aims to manage its own resources efficiently. The Liberian Chief Executive said government’s aim was to grow the private sector to be able to manage the country’s resources efficiently to enable government support its own endowment and development agenda.

In a interview with journalists at the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Timmermann said Liberia has many opportunities for German companies, especially where Liberia is a country rich in natural resources couple with infrastructure that has to be built.

Africa: Global Competitiveness Index – Mauritius the most competitive economy

Mauritius moved up nine places this year out-pacing South Africa in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, as the most competitive economy in Africa. The country benefits from relatively strong and transparent public institutions with clear property rights, strong judicial independence, and an efficient government. Financial markets also deepened based on the improved access to different modes of financing and financial services.

Mauritius which ranked 45th globally is followed by South Africa (53rd), Rwanda (66th), Botswana (74th) and Morocco (77th) – as the most competitive economy in Africa. Seychelles, Tunisia, Zambia, Kenya, Algeria, Libya, Gabon, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Gambia ranks 80, 83, 93,96,100,108, 112, 113,114,115 and 116th positions respectively.

Although the report indicated that great efforts need to be made to improve Africa’s competitiveness, it says Sub-Saharan Africa continues its impressive growth rate of close to 5 percent in 2012, providing something of a silver lining in an otherwise uncertain global economy.

Ghana: Bank of Ghana rejects cedi pessimism

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it has substantial buffers to defend the cedi and “completely disagrees” with a forecast that the currency will depreciate by a further 10 percent against the dollar by year-end.

Reacting to the grim forecast, which was made by French bank Societe Generale SA on August 20, the BoG’s Head of Treasury, Adams Nyinaku, said the Central Bank expects to accumulate US$6billion of foreign exchange reserves by year-end, which will maintain the cedi’s stability. “Through the Eurobond, we increased the reserves to US$5.8billion; and later this month Cocobod will bring in US$1.2billion through its syndicated loan. These inflows will make up for the decline in commodity prices,” Mr. Nyinaku told the B&FT in an interview.

Nigeria: Dangote gets $3.3bn loan from 12 banks to build refinery

Nigeria’s diversified industrial giant, Dangote Industries, said it has won a $3.3 billion “term loan facility” from 12 local and global lenders to build Nigeria’s biggest Petroleum Oil Refinery & Petrochemical/Fertilizer Plants. According to Dangote, the factories will create about 9500 direct and 25 000 indirect posts.

These plants will cut the existing volumes of refined fuel that are imported by about half.

In total, the projects will cost $9 billion, comprising $3 billion equity and a $6billiion loan.

The $3.3 billion deal struck with the banks is the initial consignment of loans made available to Dangote. It is a “term loan facility” backed by a group of 12 local and global lenders.

The first loan facility was co-ordinated jointly by Standard Chartered, the global co-ordinator, and Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank, the local co-ordinator.

The 2.8 million tonnes of urea that will be made at these factories will be directed into developing the Nigerian agriculture sector. The petrochemical plant will make polypropylene which is a usual element of many plastic and fabric products. Aliko Dangote, the president of Dangote Group, said these factories would showcase Africa as maker of refined oil products and fertiliser.

Ghana: Borrowing reduced to 25 years

Ghana cannot borrow long term funds which are more than 25 years. This is because of the country’s middle income status since 2009. Ghana’s economic growth of about 8.7 percent in 2008 culminated in the country’s middle income status. Prior to that, the country was borrowing long term funds of up to 40 years from the World Bank and other institutions. Finance Minister, Seth Tekper, said the country will no longer borrow short term funds for capital projects of five years or more. He reiterated that government will be returning to the international bond market to raise long term funds to finance capital projects.

Meanwhile, 16.5 million dollars of the 750 million dollar Eurobond listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange is held by local investors. Mr. Tekper said “the need to develop the capital market in Ghana cannot be overemphasized. More especially, the wide infrastructural gaps which constraints our developments efforts as a country can only be closed when we tap into long-term financing options such as the capital markets, both domestic and foreign.”

Ghana: Government sure of investments

The government has expressed confidence that economic activities and investment will soar in the country with the resolution of the election petition.

A deputy minister of Information and Media Relations,Mr Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, said the election petition resulted in uncertainty as many investors were holding on to their investment. He was optimistic that the confidence of investors would be boosted in the economy after the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of President John Dramani Mahama’s election in the 2012 presidential polls.

The deputy minister also said with the completion of the election petition, the government had now focused on implementing its programmes and policies. The programmes would be geared towards creating jobs and improving the country’s socio- economic development.

Africa: IFC investment in Sub-Saharan Africa hits $5.3 billion

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group , says its investments in sub-Saharan Africa has hit a record $5.3 billion. This was acknowledged in its year ending financials, which showed it carried out advisory services projects worth $65 million in Sub-Saharan Africa and committed funds towards supporting the upgrades of infrastructure, health and agribusiness. According to an official statement, the investment body offered $3.5 billion from its own account, while it spearheaded the mobilization of $1.8 billion from other investors.

“This has been a record year for us,” said IFC director for eastern and southern Africa Oumar Seydi.

The Washington-based institution believes such financial offerings will further enhance the development of vital sectors key to the growth of several economies across Africa. IFC strategically focuses its investment in areas where it makes the most difference, and as such turned its attention to Africa by investing in developmental projects to stimulate economic growth in nations mostly plagued with poor living standards.

Kenya: IFC has invested 39 Billion in Kenya

The International Finance Corporation invested more than Sh39.6 billion ($456m) in Kenya in the year to June 2013.

IFC, the private development lending arm of the World Bank, put its money in energy projects, infrastructure and in the financial markets where it has partnered with 18 Kenyan banks to offer financial support to small and medium enterprises. IFC loaned Sh3.9 billion to Kenya Power to expand its network to reach over half a million new households by 2014. It has also invested in Gulf Power, Lamu Wind and made an equity investment in AAR to help it upscale operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Ethiopia: Turkey to set up an industrial zone in Addis Ababa

Turkey is preparing to create a Turkish industrial zone in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, as part of its African policy which started in 2005 and has been showing marked development of its business assets. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Ethiopian prime minister had proposed the assignment of some land to establish a Turkish industrial zone in Addis Ababa, and that Turkey hopes to implement this plan.

Commenting on the new diplomatic steps, Davutoglu stated that Turkey has come a long way in the last ten years. Davutoglu explained that a Turkish firm invested $50 million in Ethiopia in 2005 while there are now 341 Turkish companies with a total investment of $3 billion in the country.

The Turkish foreign minister also mentioned the results of the Turkish government’s public diplomacy in Africa. “The amount of Turkish aid to the African continent, particularly to Somalia, has reached $750 million. If we hadn’t spent billions of dollars in public diplomacy and activity, we wouldn’t have the positive image and perception that we got from our humanitarian aid in Somalia,” Davutoglu said, reiterating that Turkey is reaping the rewards of its humanitarian foreign policy.

In the African continent, there are 30 offices of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) and 25 trade offices of the under secretariat for Foreign Trade, aiming to strengthen economic and bilateral relations between the two countries. The number of Turkish ambassadors in Africa has risen to 34 from 12 in 2005. Turkey has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with four African countries, as well as agreements to prevent double taxation and support mutual investments, and Turkey has also established a business council with 17 African countries.

Kenya: Eurobond advisors to be known in two weeks

The lead transaction advisors for the country’s first Eurobond will be known within the next one or two weeks. Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said once the advisors have been picked, it will take another two months to prepare all the document terms before the roadshows to market the issue kicks off.

Rotich said it has not been decided how much will be issued but it will be between Sh87 billion ($1 billion) and Sh174 billion ($2 billion).

The government is banking on the peaceful election early this year and favourable credit rating to issue the international bond for infrastructure projects.

Ghana: Consumers saved from possible fuel increase

Consumers of petroleum products have been saved from paying extra cost on fuel as government in the most recent price review has absorbed an increase in the product. This is the second time in the row that government is taking up the increased cost since the last increment at the beginning of August. These subsidies, however worsens government’s indebtedness to the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies, an impasse yet unresolved.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in its most recent price review for the first half of this month, maintained prices of all petroleum products except industrial kerosene which increased marginally by 1.6%.

Petrol is being subsidised at 3% and Diesel less than 1%. Domestic kerosene continues to be the most highly subsidised, with government taking up to 42% of the cost. This was followed by Premix which is subsidised up to 19%.

Nigeria: UBA to invest $2 Billion in Africa’s power projects

CEO of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Phillips Oduoza, has revealed that the bank plans to invest an additional $2 billion into power projects across the continent over the next three years, aside the $700 million it has invested in Nigeria’s power sector this year. Of the proposed $2 billion, Oduoza said UBA will earmark about $1.2 billion to help Nigeria put an end to its chronic power shortages.

State-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria has been broken up into 11 generation companies and six distribution companies, all being sold separately to private consortia, for about $2.5 billion.

Since Nigeria embarked on its power transformation projects, banks in the country have contributed over 70 percent (about N280 billion) of the money needed by investors for the 14 successor companies to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria. According to reports, about N400 billion ($2.4 billion) was realised by the Federal Government (FG) in the power sector privatisation project.

Nigeria: Arik operations inject U.S.$10 Billion annually into economy

Lloyds, world’s renowned insurance organisation, has said Arik Air realises about $10 billion annually from its operations for Nigeria’s economy

Arik last year engaged the services of Lloyds to assess its assets and also audit its transactions to know the expanse of its business and its worth. Lloyd in its report said with a fleet of 24 new generation aircraft, 43,000 flights per annum, airlifting over 2.4 million passengers in all its destinations in 2012, the airline injects $10 billion. The report stated the amount was inclusive of banking services and charges; the money expended on fuel, food and other supplies, aeronautical and non-aeronautical services; payment of salaries to over 2,800 employees, bills on hotel services, expenditure on training of indigenous pilots, engineers, cabin crew and other services.