REPORT OF LAST WEEK (from 12/08/13 to 16/08/13)
by Dario Galluccio – This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com
Zambia: ABB Wins $32 Million order to power Africa’s biggest copper mine
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $32 million from Kansanshi Mining PLC, a subsidiary of Canadian mining and metals company First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FQM), for the construction of a new substation and upgrade of an existing one. The facilities will help to provide reliable power supplies to Africa’s biggest copper mine, being built in the northwestern province of the country. The order was booked in the second quarter.
Global demand for raw materials is one of the main growth drivers in Africa. The Zambian economy is highly dependent on the copper mining industry, which accounts for around 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The new copper mine will be the biggest of its kind on the African continent and will help reinforce the country’s number eight global position in terms of copper production. The mining project is also expected to bring employment opportunities in the Zambezi Basin area, with a completely new town being built to support it.
Ghana: 2013 West Africa Business Expo launched
The 2013 West Africa Business Expo to be held in Accra would on September 5th and 6th next month has been launched under the theme:’Kick Starting and Sustaining Business Growth’.
The organizers stated that their overriding objective is to drive growth in Ghana’s private sector by bringing together key industry players across a wide spectrum of the business environment in a bid to build networks and foster co-operation among participants.
The West Africa Business Expo 2013, will see banks, insurance companies, venture capital groups as well as institutions in the public sector such as the Registrar General’s Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry among others on exhibition.
Also, the Nigerian High Commission and the Togolese Embassy will be present at the event to offer participants information on viable business opportunities in their respective countries.
The event, which is also made possible by Geovision is the first of its kind in West Africa.
Tanzania: Japanese investment plan for the country
Tanzania could become a reputable business hub on the continent if the envisaged technical cooperation with Japan comes to fruition. An agreement signed recently prepares the ground for an economic boom.
The upgrading of the Central Railway line will be a major stimulus to economic prosperity. The railway, whose gauge will be expanded to international standards, will resume its role as the key link to upcountry regions. The Japanese support will also see the all-important Port of Dar es Salaam expanded. Naturally, this expansion will improve service delivery.
The Asian nation has also agreed to invest in cotton farming and make a rigorous revival of textile factories hence promote consumption of locally manufactured garments.
East Africa: New railway to connect Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda
Three East African countries Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are implementing a joint $13b project for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa via Kampala to Kigali. The project, to be jointly financed by the three countries, is expected to be completed by 2018.
It will ease trade and reduce road traffic. Each member state will meet its loan liabilities differently. Eng. Abraham Byandala, the works minister said Kenya is already ahead of Uganda and Rwanda since they charge 1.5% of the railway cargo value for financing the project.
He said the preliminary designs for Mombasa- Nairobi (SGR) have been completed and the ground breaking is expected by November this year. The feasibility study and preliminary designs for the 511km Nairobi-Malaba section is being undertaken in-house by Kenya Railway Corporation strengthened by local experts and is expected to be ready by December this year.
Byandala said the designs for 250Km Nakuru-Kisumu is also expected by December 2013. For Uganda, the preliminary engineering designs for 250km Kampala- Malaba SGR is being undertaken by a consultant and is expected to be ready by October this year.
South Africa: Royal Bafokeng’s earnings soar
Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) said its interim earnings soared on the back of weaker South African currency. JSE-listed platinum miner said headline earnings a share surged 103 percent from 43 cents to 87.2 cents in the six months ended June this year.
According to Reuters, mining companies gain from a shakier South African currency as they pay for costs in rands and sell output in dollars.
Mozambique: New railways will bring development to Mutarara
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza declared that the new railway lines that will cross Mutarara district, in the western province of Tete, will bring new socio-economic development to the area – but this will only be possible in an environment of peace.
Currently the mining companies export their coal along the Sena line to the port of Beira. But this railway cannot handle more than around six million tonnes of cargo a year, and within a few years it is hoped that up to 100 million tonnes a year will be exported from the Moatize coal basin.
One of the plans to diversify the coal export routes is to build a new line branching off the Sena line in Mutarara, and passing through Zambezia province to a new deep water port to be built at Macuse. Another line will cross Mutarara, and head through southern Malawi before it joins the existing northern railway to the port of Nacala.
These new routes, Guebuza said, will improve the situation in Mutarara, and the life of people living in the district who will be directly or indirectly linked to the major mining and transport projects.
Ghana: Carrefour CEO follows stock surge with African expansion
Pent-up demand from African shoppers has lured Carrefour SA to enter the region of a billion people set to grow at three times the pace of the U.S. next year. The Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based retailer, which spent much of the past two years exiting markets it failed to dominate, has partnered with distributor CFAO SA to open shops in eight African countries by 2015.
After the boom and eventual bust of the past three decades of retail growth (Carrefour had to pay 220 million euros ($294 million) to get out of Greece alone last year) Chief Executive Officer Georges Plassat chose a safer route for Africa by partnering with CFAO, a distributor and the continent’s biggest supplier of cars, trucks and pharmaceuticals. With the venture, he’s hoping to avoid the roadblocks competitors including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have faced expanding beyond South Africa: a lack of distribution and available real estate.
Ghana: Jubilee partners export almost 19 million barrels of crude for half year
Oil firms operating on the jubilee field have exported almost 19 million barrels of crude Oil from January to June this year. The country’s share of these exports was however almost 2 million barrels. Ghana also earned 391 million dollars in terms of taxes and royalties from its share of the crude exports. The country on the average earned 98 dollars for each barrel sold in the second quarter, down from the 108 dollars secured in the first quarter of 2013.
Ghana: Government receives Eurobond proceeds
The government has received proceeds from the $1 billion Eurobond to facilitate the speedy implementation of projects and programmes under the 2013 budget.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper, said the $102 million (GH¢204 million) allocated for counterpart funding would facilitate the disbursement for committed funds from the development partners for the implementation of existing projects.
The counterpart funding projects include the Afram Plains Irrigation Project; rice projects in the northern and southern parts of the country; rural electrification project – Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP 4) as well as the completion of the Bui Dam. Major road networks which are at various stages of completion will also attract part of the counterpart funding.
The minister said $307 million (GH¢614 million) had been earmarked for new projects in the 2013 budget, $250 million to refinance the 2007 bond while $341 million (GH¢682 million) for refinancing maturing domestic debts.
Nigeria: Dangote promises more investment
The president and CEO of pan-African conglomerate, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has promised to invest and create more jobs opportunities in Nigeria. Dangote, who recently ventured into Nigeria’s petrochemical and agricultural sub-sector stated that the nation’s economy rests more on the shoulders of the private sector, and if more Nigerians were economically empowered through gainful employment, the poverty level would be reduced to a minimal level.
While speaking to a business group, the Africa’s richest man, Dangote said his venture into the petrochemical and agricultural sub-sector was his personal contribution towards reducing unemployment in the country.
Expressing optimism on Nigeria’s economic revival through the private sector, Alhaji Dangote reinstated: “I have always said that Nigeria is a good place to invest. We have all in abundance. God has blessed this country. What we have naturally in abundance is what other countries are looking for to buy. Good enough, Nigeria has the resources and the market for any company to survive, only in few other areas government should intensify efforts to ensure to make the sector attractive to investors”.
Nigeria: Britain will strengthen investments in Nigeria
The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Peter Carter, said Britain would strengthen its existing investments in the country. Speaking during his visit to Guinness Nigeria Plc’s factory in Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos State, Carter called for closer business relationship between Nigeria and Britain.
While receiving the envoy, Mr. Babatunde Savage, Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, highlighted that “Guinness is the biggest UK-parented Nigerian company quoted on the Stock Exchange, in terms of capitalization, turnover and profits and we are indeed very proud of our British heritage.”
The British Deputy High Commissioner commended Guinness Nigeria for sustaining the legacy of the parent company, Diageo by providing consumers in Nigeria with the quality and premium brands the company is known for worldwide. Guinness Nigeria Plc was established in 1950 and got listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1965. The company built its first brewery in Ikeja in 1962, and currently has facilities in Ogba, Benin City and Aba.
Ghana: GCB interest income rises by 41.5%
The interest income of the GCB Bank Limited rose from GH¢150.29 million in the first half of 2012 to GH¢256.76 million in the first half of this year, its half year results released last week showed. This represented a 41.5 per cent growth in the bank’s interest income over the six month period.
It further showed that net profit for the period increased to GH¢90.43 million compared to GH¢50.21 million recorded in period before.
Ghana: GOIL makes positive gains in first half
The half year results of Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) released late July showed that the company made positive gains in the six-month period. GOIL, which markets refined petroleum products to players in the aviation, mining and transport sectors, recorded a pre-tax profit of GH¢8.16 million in the first half of 2013 compared to GH¢7.07 million posted in the same period last year. After a tax deduction of GH¢2.04 million, GOIL’s net profit closed the period at GH¢6.12 million, higher than the 2012 first half figure of GH¢5.30 million.
These positive showings were influenced by a 20 per cent rise in the company’s gross revenues for the six-month period. Its revenues rose from GH¢374.102 million in the first half of last year to GH¢472.96 million in the period under review.
Zimbabwe: Russian firms target Darwendale platinum
A consortium of companies including Russia’s Rostec and Vneshekonombank is buying a 40% stake in a project to develop one of the world’s largest platinum fields in Zimbabwe. The companies will invest in Ruschrome Mining, a Russian-African joint venture licensed to mine the field.
The parties hope to exploit the Darwendale platinum project’s 19 tons in proven reserves and 775 total tons of metals including palladium, gold, nickel and copper.
Ruschrome is partly owned by the Zimbabwean government and the Centre of Business Cooperation with Foreign Countries, an association of machinery and defence firms that will retain a ten per cent stake in the project.
Africa: Isuzu enters Africa with left hand drive
After covering 1.3 million kilometers of testing, mostly on the roads of the Eastern Cape, the new Isuzu left hand drive 4&4 and 4&2 was launched in the city of Port Elizabeth and expected to be roll out across the continent in the coming months. ‘This will obviously be in a staggered approach country by country but our anticipation is that we can grow a lot with this vehicle,’ ‘ according to Mario Spangenberg, president and managing director of GM Africa
Last year GM sold 180,493 vehicles on the continent, a growth in sales of 17.5 per cent from 2011. With new Isuzu product coming to market, General Motors is expecting exponential growth. GM spent R250 million (US$27 million) in setting up the facility and with all the vehicles the company turn out vehicles such as Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu. GM has also invested R1 billion ($109 million) into their South African manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth, where the new Isuzu pick-up will be assembled. In addition, the company has a manufacturing plant in Kenya, which builds Isuzu trucks and buses to supply the East African market, and one in Egypt, their second biggest African market after South Africa.
Ghana: Indices register more gains
The benchmark Composite Index (CI) as a result rose 30.47 points to close the last week (Friday 09/08/2013) at 1,965.55 points. This gain saw the year-to-date return of the CI improve to 64.65 per cent. The Financial Stocks Index (FSI) was also bullish as it jumped 36.44 points to close the week at 1,717.23 points. The return on the financial index stands at 66.22 per cent.
Ghana: Government will source cheaper funds for SMEs
Obtaining funds remains a big challenge for most SMEs in the country as most of them are not able to provide the requisite collateral for loans, while those who are able to do so get them at higher interest rates. The Minister of State in Charge of Public Private Partnerships, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, said the government would be financially innovative in finding cheaper ways of getting money for SMEs. According to Mr Pelpuo, the growth of an economy is in question if it cannot create jobs for its people, hence the need for investment by both public and private workers, adding, ‘It is through investments that you can create jobs.’
Meanwhile, the 2013 Budget Statement of Government hinted that it would revamp existing credit schemes alongside new schemes, such as the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Fund, to provide funds for start-ups and SMEs.
South Africa: Sibanye gold shares gain 7% on good results
The share price of gold miner, Sibanye Gold gaining 7 percent during early trade on the JSE.
This showed that the market liked the results which saw headline earnings for the six months to June surging to R880 million from R453 million during the previous reporting period.
The company said during the period under review it posted a 63 percent surge in operating profit to R3.3 billion ($363 million). This was despite a marked collapse in the price of gold since mid-April this year.
Neal Froneman, the CEO of Sibanye Gold, said the improved performance in the second quarter of this year had become evident even in the third quarter of this year. Froneman said the company has begun the process of containing falling gold production and was also managing high costs that have beset some of the company’s assets. He also said the company remained positive about the outlook of all operations.
Sibanye Gold is a South African gold mining firm consisting of three principal operations. These include Kloof and Driefontein in the West Wits region and Beatrix in the Free State Province. Sibanye Gold is one of the largest gold producers in South Africa and among the top 10 largest gold producers in the country.
Kenya: KWS launches Sh20 million Taveta Water Project
The Kenya Wildlife Service will launch water projects worth more than Sh20 million in Taita Taveta county. Speaking to the press at his Voi office, KWS assistant director, Robert Obrien said the projects will improve the livelihoods of communities in wildlife prone areas. “We want to ensure people get direct benefits from the wildlife resources around them and reduce poverty levels,”Obrien said. He said KWS is drilling a bore hole worth Sh4.2 million at Mwatate .
“We shall install a water pump and a generator. We are also undertaking a water project at Bura worth Sh1.3 million,” he said. Obrien said they have spent Sh6 million for a water project in Wundanyi constituency. He said other projects include rehabilitation of Mlughi water pipeline at Sh4 million and excavation at Kasighau for Sh4 million. Obrien said the projects will help encourage residents to protect the wildlife that is currently facing the challenge of poachers.
Ghana: To seek more concessionary loans
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has said the government is seeking for strategic investors, both locally and foreign, to partner and to finance some key projects in the country. The projects include infrastructure-energy, construction of health facilities in the Western and Central regions, building of commercial markets, reconstruction of the Ghana Trade Fair Centre, road construction in the Western and Eastern corridors, industrial zones (parks). Public, Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to execute those projects since that formed part of the key policies of the government to get projects done faster.
Mr. Iddrisu said government will support foreigners who invest in Ghana to boost the economy and create jobs for the people.
He said the Government of Ghana is looking for concessionary loans to execute some projects, adding that the Public Private Partnership initiative will be pursued.
Ghana: To restore the Ghana Trade Fair Centre
The government is seeking strategic investors, both locally and foreign, to partner it to restore the deteriorating trade fair centre in Accra to its former glory.
According to the Director of Communication at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nana Akrasi Sarpong, the move forms part of the government’s Public Private Partnership programme
The Ghana Trade Fair Centre, the once magnificent edifice meant to host major local and international fairs has been left to rot, a situation which makes it unattractive and safe to host any major fair or exhibition. Built some five decades ago, the Centre, which is placed in the care of the Ghana Trade Fair Company under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was meant to be a site to showcase the works of industrialists in the country as part of efforts to promote made-in-Ghana goods as well as serve as a platform for other countries, mostly from the sub-region to exhibit their products and services to promote the sub regional integration agenda.
Tanzania: CTI Nods to Japan plans for Dar es Salaam
The business community in Tanzania has welcomed the nomination of the country as Japan’s new investment centre to serve the East African region saying it is a real opportunity to transform Tanzania into an industrial economy. The Confederation of Tanzania Industries sees the new Japanese plan for Tanzania as consisting of abundant opportunities to boost the growth of local businesses and spur economic development of the East African country.
Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industries, Toshimistu Motegi announced that his country had nominated Tanzania to be the centre for investment that will serve the East African region and the continent at large.
With the implementation of the plan, the CTI Chairman, Mr Felix Mosha, said the industrial contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is currently below 20 per cent would definitely go up to more than doubling. The industrial growth will be supported by the improved power availability.
The venture is meant to strengthen the economic base and creation of job opportunities. Among the projects lined up for implementation include refurbishment of the central line railway network which will be replaced with the international gauge and expansion of the Port of Dar es Salaam to help increase efficiency in service delivery.
Ghana: World Bank support vital for economic growth
The Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says the country’s economic growth can be linked to the tremendous support from the World Bank.
The Breton Wood institution over the years has assisted the country with funding and technical support for majority of government’s projects since country’s independence. Speaking at the opening of the World Bank Groups’ new corporate office in Accra, the vice president said the country could not have come this far without the bank.
“Ghana’s partnership with the World Bank Group has been long and fruitful,” Mr Amissah-Arthur said, noting that the IFC’s portfolio in Ghana, he learned, is the third largest in Africa, “that is something we are grateful for”.
The 28 million dollar structure would house the private sector arm of the World Bank, IFC and MIGA. Since joining the group in 1957 Ghana has benefited from close to 20 billion dollars.
Ghana: July inflation rises to 11.8 per cent
Ghana’s inflation rate rose to 11.8 per cent in July, compared with 11.6 per cent in June, Dr Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician. Dr Nyarko said the July 2013 inflation main drivers were clothing and footwear, which were largely influenced by the cedi exchange rate.
Food inflation was unchanged at 7.3 per cent in July, same as in June while the non-food inflation ticked slightly higher at 15.4 per cent from 15.1 percent. Clothing and footwear contributed 18.1 per cent to the rate of inflation while miscellaneous goods and services added 17.7 per cent. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other utilities recorded inflation of 16.6 per cent whilst the communications sub-group had the lowest inflation rate of 1.3 per cent.
At the regional level, the year-on-year inflation rate ranged from 4.6 per cent in the Upper East Region to 15 per cent in the Western Region. Four regions namely Western, Ashanti, Eastern and Volta recorded inflation rate above the national average of 11.8 per cent.
Africa: Financial flows to Nigeria and others will hit $203.9 Billion in December
Financial flows to Nigeria and other African countries through external sources are projected to increase by 9.5 percent to a new record of $203.9 billion by end of 2013, compared with $186.3 billion in 2012. A report by African Economic Outlook disclosed this, adding that the expected increase would be boosted by projected contributions of remittances, Official Development Assistance (ODA) and investments respectively.
Emerging economies such as South Africa, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and some Asian countries are predicted to grow much faster than the G7 – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and Canada – over the next four decades.
Global economic turbulence, the report stated, still posed significant risks to the outlook for external finance of all kinds, resulting in scepticism from some investors in the West, stressing that uncertainty on the recovery might have a negative impact on trade and investment. This however has not had any major negative impact on investment projections for the continent.
A host of black nations have become home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and offers high returns on foreign direct investment among emerging economies.
While mining and oil remain the bigger businesses, telecoms, banking, and retail have become sectors that are also showing great promises bringing about an increase of investors worldwide who are vying for a piece of the action.
Ghana: Oil industry will yield $20b in 5 years
Public sector players in the minerals industry are meeting in Accra to find ways of reducing the impact of falling gold prices on the Ghanaian economy.
Organized by the Mineral Commission, the workshop is part of a series of brainstorming sessions to ensure that the economic shocks that come with falling gold prices – unemployment and revenue loss – have little impact on the Ghanaian economy. It brought together participants from the Minerals Commission, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ghana Revenue Authority, civil society, and the Bank of Ghana.
After a rather interesting two years of soaring gold prices in 2011 and 2012, the price of the powerful metal has taken a nosedive in 2013, forcing the government to abandon proposed windfall taxes. Currently, gold is trading between $1300 and $ 1350.
With 2012 Ghana Revenue Authority figures showing a $5.6 billion in export revenues and a total foreign direct investment of more than $12.5 billion from 1983 to 2012, the mineral sector currently contributes 27 per cent of government’s revenue.
Kenya, Tanzania: Partnership to exploit geothermal energy
Kenya plans to partner with Tanzania in production of geothermal power in efforts to increase energy production in the East African region. A delegation of senior government officials and members of Tanzania’s parliamentary Committee on Energy and Mining has been on a one-week experiential visit on geothermal development in Kenya with the aim of understanding capacity building, licensing and how to attract investors for the partnership.
Tanzania, which has the longest rift stretch in Eastern Africa, has about 52 identified sites with a geothermal potential of 650MW that have not been fully exploited.
Tanzania’s commissioner for energy and petroleum affairs Hosea Mbise said the exploited energy in Tanzania is about 600MW, which is low considering that the demand of the resource is about 900MW. To kick off the project, the African Development Bank — key financiers of the Menengai Geothermal project — is sponsoring a few experts from Tanzania to train on geothermal science.
The key prospects of the project include Lake Ngozi, River Mbaka and Songwe around the Mbeya region.
Ghana: Eurobond proceeds rescue domestic projects
Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, has stated that the partial use of Government’s bond issue proceeds to refinance maturing domestic debt will reduce reliance on the short-end of the market, especially for domestic capital projects. He said it could also reduce the long lead times being experienced in sourcing and implementing of some projects related to multilateral and bilateral funds.
‘In addition, given that access to concessional funds will dwindle as a result of the country’s attainment of a lower middle-income status, the tapping of the global bond market and provisioning for existing bonds will strengthen Ghana’s credentials as a regular and responsible borrower in those markets.’
‘Secondly, the availability of the Eurobond proceeds will speed up the implementation of development projects in the 2013 Budget. In particular, counterpart funding can be made available for previously approved projects to enable these projects to be completed.’
Mr Terkper said the early redemption of Ghana’s debut 2017 Eurobond will reduce the rollover risk of refinancing the entire $750 million bond when it matures in 2017.
Mozambique: ENI will pay $400m tax to Maputo
ENI, the Italian energy giant, on Thursday disclosed it will fork out $400 million to the Mozambican taxman. Paulo Scaroni, the CEO at ENI, reportedly said this money will be in the form of capital gains tax (CGT). He also indicated that the decision was made after a meeting with Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza, in Changara.
On March 13 this year, ENI had agreed to sell its 28.57 percent stake in Area Four to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for $4.21 billion.
However, according to ENI, it was discovered in March this year that ENI was capitalizing on a seeming tax escape route and allegedly planned to avoid paying capital gains tax through this deal.
ENI is the leader of the a group of companies searching legally for hydrocarbons in Area Four of the Rovuma Basin in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. In this region, large amounts of natural gas deposits have been found. They reach some 80 trillion cubic feet.
ENI is the biggest utilities firm in Europe, with a diversified gas supply portfolio and a strong position in the industrial, power generation and retail markets. It is one of the largest integrated energy companies in the world, operating in the sectors of oil and gas exploration & production and international gas transportation. Eni is active in 90 countries with 78,000 employees.
Tanzania: TIC registers 106 projects in Kilimanjaro
Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has registered 106 projects in Kilimanjaro Region, between January 2008 and December last year, with a total value of 265.26 million US dollars, TIC Acting Northern Zonal Manager, Mr George Mukono revealed.
He said that the projects created 8,646 jobs and he mentioned the sectors involved: agriculture (11), commercial buildings (4), human resources (9), manufacturing (28), tourism (47) and transportation (7). According to Mr Mukono, the manufacturing sector employed 2,439 people, followed by the following sectors: agriculture (2,427), tourism (2,315), human resources (887), transportation (417) and commercial buildings (161).
He mentioned lack of water for agricultural activities and difficulties involved in acquiring water rights and scarcity of land for agricultural purposes as some of the challenges facing potential investors in Kilimanjaro Region. Other challenges include lack of industrial sites as well as real estate development sites, power rationing, lack of investment and reliable market and transportation of vegetable crops and flowers as well as other crops.