Africa Brief: Chinese miners flee crackdown in Ghana, Mozambiquan interest rates and more…
Kenya: BAT sells more pricier smokes
British American Tobacco (BAT) Kenya posted an 11 percent jump in first-half pre-tax profit to 2.2 billion shillings (R255 million) because of higher sales and prices. The region’s biggest cigarette maker maintained its interim dividend at 3.50 shillings a share, it said in a statement seen by Reuters yesterday. BAT Kenya, a unit of London-listed BAT, reported a rise of 4 percent in gross revenue for the six months to June, which countered lower semi-processed leaf sales. Net revenue was flat at 9 billion shillings, offset by excise duty and VAT. Cost controls in the manufacturing process had buoyed earnings.
For the full story, read Kenya: BAT sells more pricier smokes by Reuters, published by The Star, Business Report on 15/07/13
Ghana: Chinese miners flee crackdown
More than 4 500 Chinese had left Ghana since a crackdown on illegal mining began last month, with the illicit industry having drawn scores of Chinese to the country an official said on Friday Ghana Immigration Services spokesman Francis Palmdeti said that between June 1 and July 3, a total of 571 Chinese had been arrested or had voluntarily turned themselves over to immigration authorities in Ghana. A total of 4 592 Chinese, including those arrested, had departed the country since the government sent a task force of police, military and immigration officials to Ghana’s gold mining regions, he said. The task force is aimed at rooting out illegal small-scale miners blamed for ruining the environment.
Excerpt from Ghana: Chinese miners flee crackdown by Sapa-AFP published by The Star, Business Report on 15/07/13
FirstRand determined to get foothold in Ghana
FirstRand is still committed to Ghana and applying for a banking licence in the West African country remains an option, it says. FirstRand announced on Friday that its plans to acquire a 75% stake in Merchant Bank Ghana, for about R750m, were thwarted after the parties had failed to reach agreement. This is the third deal to collapse in two years.
For the full story, read FirstRand determined to get foothold in Ghana by Phakamisa Ndzamela, published by Business Day on 15/07/13
Investors not ready to trust the African odyssey of ‘visionary Friedland’
Ivanplats, a mine developer based in Canada, is the worst performer among its global peers this year. Analysts say its stock should be almost three times higher. Ivanplats has three main projects in copper, zinc and platinum group metals located in South Africa and the Democra¬tic Republic of Congo (DRC). Its Toronto-listed stock has slid 69 percent this year, the most among 115 companies in a Bloomberg global mining index, which has lost 30 percent. The Vancouver-based company’s capital expenditure needs the geopolitical risk inherent in its African projects and the general doldrums in the global mining industry had spurred the decline, said John Goldsmith, the deputy head of equities at Montrusco Bolton Investments in Toronto.
Excerpt from Investors not ready to trust the African odyssey of ‘visionary Friedland’ by Liezel Hill, published by The Star, Business Report on 15/07/13
Mozambique: Interest rates left unchanged
Mozambique‘s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Friday, after lowering it for the first time in seven months in June. The rate was left at 9 percent, the Maputo-based Banco de Mozambique said on its website. The inflation rate rose for a sixth month in June to 5.2 percent from 4.9 percent in the previous month, the official statistics agency said on July 5. The bank said it had kept the compulsory reserves ratio for lenders at 8 percent and maintained the deposit rate at 1.75 percent. The central bank‘s monetary policy committee will make its next rate decision on August 12.
For the full story, read Mozambique: Interest rates left unchanged by Bloomberg, published by The Star, Business Report on 15/07/13.
Okavango Diamond concludes pilot sale
Sale / Botswana’s Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) on Friday announced the conclusion of its pilot-sale of about 123,000 carats of Debswana diamond production. The sale’s aim was to test the core systems and processes that have been developed for auctioning rough diamonds in Gaborone, ahead of a full launch of commercial sales operations in September. About 50 domestic and international firms visited ODC’s new facility in Gaborone’s Diamond Technology Park between June 26 and July 5 to inspect the diamond lots before taking part in the online sale.
Excerpt from Okavango Diamond concludes pilot sale by Brendan Ryan, published by Business Day on 15/07/13