Zimbabwe land

Africa Brief: Implats, Zimbabwe, Comair, drug firms, Congo oil contract and more

Implats in the dark about land seizure in Zimbabwe

Implats and Zimbabwean Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere signed a conditional, non-binding term sheet for an R8.3bn deal to transfer 20% of Zimplats to employee and community trusts and 31% to a state-run National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.

Zimplats holds a special mining lease over two areas in Zimbabwe totalling 48,535ha in extent.

Mr Mpofu said yesterday that the state had “repossessed” 27,948ha of land from Zimplats, which is listed in Australia and is 87% owned by Implats. Mr Mpofu said the land had been seized “with immediate effect” and offered to other investors.

It is not clear whether the land seized contains mineral resources or whether it formed part of Zimplats’ expansion plans.

For the full story, read Implats in the dark about land seizure in Zimbabwe by Tawanda Karombo and Allan Seccombe, published in Business Day on 13/02/13

Comair reports profit, but “cautious on Africa”

LISTED carrier Comair, which operates some British Airways flights and low-cost carrier kulula.com, was taking a cautious approach to new routes in Africa beyond a planned new service to Maputo in May, Comair CEO Erik Venter said yesterday.

“Africa is looking a bit shaky at the moment,” Mr Venter said. “With Emirates flying directly to Harare, Lusaka and Luanda and going through its hub in Dubai, we have seen a drop in traffic through Johannesburg. Consequently, those routes from Johannesburg have taken quite a knock.”

For the full story, read Comair reports profit, but “cautious on Africa” by Nicky Smith, published in Business Day on 13/02/13

Analysts bullish about stock in Africa

ANALYSTS are bullish about stock markets across Africa, with Renaissance Capital noting in a report released yesterday that the sub-Saharan Africa region remains on a growth trajectory.

Elections in Africa are often associated with uncertainty, but analysts have taken a long-term and positive view about polls in Kenya and fresh voting expected later this year in Zimbabwe.

“Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, remains strongly on the trajectory of growth,” said analysts at Renaissance in a research note titled African Boom Continues.

For the full story, read Analysts bullish about stock in Africa by Tawanda Karombo, published in Business Day on 13/02/13 

Drug firms eye Africa as its health needs shift

Opportunities are opening up for treating chronic diseases afflicting the middle class, rather than just firefighting infection.

European firms in particular hope to reap rewards by investing early in a region where many of them already have historic commercial ties.

According to IMS Health data, by 2016 drug spending in Africa will reach $30 billion (R267bn), driven by a 10.6 percent annual growth rate that is second only to Asia and in line with Latin America. By 2020 the market will have doubled from current levels to $45bn.

For the full story, read Drug firms eye Africa as its health needs shift by Elena Berton, published in The Star Business Report on 13/02/13

Switzerland steps up probe into Congo oil contract

SWITZERLAND had stepped up a criminal investigation into an oil contract in the Republic of Congo and would question a former Gunvor Group employee and his associate on suspicions of fraud, the company confirmed yesterday The attorney general originally opened the money laundering investigation in late 2011, but did not have sufficient evidence until last month to identify the individuals and proceed with questioning.

At issue is whether the former Gunvor agent and his associate siphoned off millions of dollars in connection with a contract in the former French colony in west Africa, worth over $2 billion (R18bn) according to Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

For the full story, read Switzerland steps up probe into Congo oil contract by Emma Farge, published in The Star, Business Report on 13/02/13

David Okwara

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