Items filtered by date: Saturday, 04 November 2017
Saturday, 04 November 2017 12:36

Ghana to issue domestic dollar bond next week

Ghana plans to issue a three-year domestic dollar bond next week to develop local funding sources to support the economy, deal arrangers told Reuters this week.

The bond, open only to Ghanaians, is the second after a debut issue in October last year, a two-year bond with a six percent yield that raised $94.64 million. The issue size has not been announced but sources said the government is targeting a range of $50 million-$100 million. Bids will open on Tuesday until final pricing on Thursday.

The bond, which will mature in 2020, will be issued through book-building to be arranged by Barclays Bank, Stanbic Bank and brokerage firm Strategic African Securities. Settlement is slated for Nov. 13.

“It’s not really about the size. Rather, the motivation is to continue to develop a local funding market, and the target is those investors and businesses that directly generate dollar revenues,” a co-arranger said.

Ghana is emerging from a fiscal crisis that has left it with a large budget deficit and public debt, forcing the government into an aid deal with the International Monetary Fund that has now been extended by a year to April 2019.


- Reuters

Published in Bank & Finance

Zimbabwean police arrested a US citizen on Friday for allegedly tweeting that President Robert Mugabe is a "goblin whose wife and step-son bought a Rolls-Royce," lawyers said.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said officers detained Martha O'Donovan in a dawn raid at her home just weeks after Mugabe appointed a cyber security minister charged with policing social media.

Police confiscated her laptop and transferred O'Donovan, who works for Harare-based Magamba TV, to the city's central police station, the group added in its statement.

"The reported offensive and insulting tweet does not make any mention of the president's name," ZLHR said.


However Mugabe's stepson with his wife and first-lady Grace, Russell Goreraza, is thought to have recently imported two Rolls-Royce vehicles into the country, local media reported.

The British-built cars — both Rolls-Royce Ghosts that sell for around $220,000 and have a top speed of 155 miles per hour — are marketed by the manufacturer as "more measured, more realistic" than the $300,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Grace Mugabe's son is also reported to have purchased two Range Rover 4X4s, two Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousines and an Aston Martin, while Grace herself is also thought to have acquired a Rolls-Royce.

"The US embassy has been in contact with the American who has been arrested and her counsel," an embassy spokesman said. "We will continue to monitor the situation."

Police did not respond to calls for comment. There have been several arrests in recent years for actions deemed to undermine the president, although no one has been convicted. Two men were arrested separately on Friday after they allegedly said they would not vote for the ruling ZANU-PF party and comparing Mugabe to a dog.

The new cyber-security ministry is "an attempt to clamp down on social media movements that pose a big threat to his regime ahead of the election," Bulawayo-based analyst Dumisani Mpofu previously said.

Mugabe has already been named by ZANU-PF party as its presidential candidate for the 2018 poll. 

Zimbabwe has an unemployment of more than 90 per cent and rising levels of poverty.



Published in Telecoms

Liberia's Supreme Court will rule on Monday on a petition asking to delay the runoff presidential election after a complaint said the National Election Commission failed to investigate claims of irregularities in the first round of the vote to replace Africa's first elected female president.

All activity to prepare for Tuesday's runoff has been halted until the court's decision. A delay of the vote is almost certain, as the electoral commission has said it would be hard to meet deadlines now.

The court heard arguments on Friday. Charles Brumskine, the Liberty Party candidate who placed third, has asked the court to grant an October 27 petition to halt the runoff vote until the claims of irregularities are investigated. He argued before the packed court that the October 10 first round was marked by fraud.

His party petitioned the court to compel the election commission to investigate the complaints.

A lawyer for the commission, Alexander Zoe, asked the court to dismiss the petition and allow the runoff vote to proceed. Brumskine told The Associated Press he looks forward to a rerun of the October vote, in which 20 candidates vied to replace Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

"The process was completely corrupted," he said. "We now realise elections were lost long before election day."

International soccer star George Weah placed first in the October vote, followed by Vice President Joseph Boakai. They were to face off on Tuesday after neither won the required 50% plus one vote to win outright.


- Associated Press

Published in Economy
Saturday, 04 November 2017 05:52

Emirates to restore full operations in Nigeria

Emirates Vice President, Commercial Operations Africa Orhan Abbas said in Dubai that the airline will resume two daily flights from Dubai to Lagos and four weekly flights to Abuja beginning from 15th December this year. This will make the total weekly flights into Nigeria by Emirates 16.

In a chat with Africa journalist who were on working visit to Expo 2020 Dubai Abbas said that “All Emirates’ destinations in Africa are being served with Boeing 777 aircraft, except Morocco and Mauritius, which have EmirateA380s. One of the four services to Johannesburg is also an A380 service.

He said that Emirates fly 165 flights per week from Dubai to Africa. He said that nearly 5,8 million passengers were carried in 2016/2017 a 6 per cent increase over 2015/2016. According to him the “percentage revenue contribution of Africa to Emirates is over 8 per cent. He said that Emirates top three markets in Africa are South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. Continuing Abbas said “Emirates employs nearly 7,700 nationals from African countries across the Group”.

Abbas said that Emirates has 269 air craft worth $104 billion. He said that the airline total revenue for 2016/2017 financial year was $23.2 billion and its net profit was $34 million. Emirates he said carried 56.1 million passengers and earned a total of $2.9 billion as revenue from 2.6 million tonnes of cargo it carried during the period. He said that the airline has 156 destinations in 84 countries and territories including cargo only service. of this destinations 26 are to Africa. He said that the challenge the airline is facing in Africa is that of repatriation of proceeds of ticket sales.

He said that was what led to the airline scaling down its operation in Nigeria. He said now that the foreign exchange situation has improved, the airline can now restore full operation to Nigeria routes. Emirates said that the added frequencies to Lagos will be operated with Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, offering eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class.

The reinstated service to Abuja will be served by a 360-seat Boeing 777-300 in a three-class configuration. Emirates will be offering Nigerian travellers the opportunity to visit Dubai with a special Economy and Business Class return airfare that includes a free third piece of luggage of up to 23 kg. Under the special offer, an Economy Class ticket from Lagos to Dubai costs USD899 and Business Class USD3499. The fare offer is for a limited time only and tickets must be booked between 1st November and 17 November 2017.

Travel must take place between 1st November 2017 and 30 March 2018. The cost of the ticket includes airport taxes. Seasonality and blackout dates apply as well as other terms and conditions. “Nigeria is a key market for Emirates and its importance is reflected by the fact that we will add 11 weekly flights between Dubai and two major cities in Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos. This is great news for both our business and leisure customers and highlights our commitment to providing travellers in Nigeria with not only the very latest in aircraft innovations but also increased connectivity,” said Orhan Abbas, Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa.

“We thank the Nigerian authorities for facilitating the reinstatement of our flights to Abuja and Lagos which will, in turn, greatly benefit Nigerian tourism, trade, investment and economy at large.” added Mr Abbas.

According to the airline by operating a double daily service to Lagos and four weekly flights to Abuja, Emirates will offer travellers in Nigeria very convenient and comfortable access to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on the Emirates network, including more than 35 destinations in the Middle East and Far East, 18 destinations in South Asia and over 20 destinations in the Americas and Australia. Many of these destinations are served by Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft.

Apart from the increased passenger capacity, the new flights will provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight, giving businesses and traders more opportunities for increased imports such as electronic goods, construction equipment and pharmaceuticals, and exports such as fresh produce and perishables. The added Lagos flight EK781 will depart Dubai every day at 0355hrs and arrive in Lagos at 0905hrs. The return flight EK782 will depart Lagos at 1240hrs and arrive in Dubai at 2255hrs. The Abuja flight EK785 will depart Dubai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 1035hrs and arrive in Abuja at 1535hrs.

The return flight EK786 will depart Abuja at 1855hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0435hrs the next day. The arrival of the flight in Dubai is conveniently timed to enable a shorter transit period for customers connecting to Emirates’ early morning flights to popular destinations such as New York, Houston, London, Beirut, Bangkok, Jeddah, Medina, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Delhi and Sydney, amongst others, which are popular cities for Nigerian travellers.

Customers on Emirates can look forward to the famed on board service and hospitality from its multi-national cabin crew including Nigerians, as well as enjoy regionally and internationally inspired meals and complimentary beverages. Passengers can also enjoy Emirates’ award winning ice entertainment system, offering up to 2500 channels of on demand movies, television programmes, music, audio books and music.

Families with young children are also well catered for with special products and services to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable flight, from free toys to kid’s meals and entertainment, as well as priority boarding.

Emirates launched services to Nigeria on 2 January 2004 with four flights per week from Dubai to Lagos linked with Accra in Ghana, using an A330-200 aircraft. Just over a year later Emirates increased its services from four to six flights a week, and following further demand, it became a daily operation in October 2005. On 1 January 2006, Lagos was delinked from Accra and became a direct service to Dubai.

Emirates operated a second daily service to Lagos between February 2009 and June 2016 and daily flights to Abuja between August 2014 and October 2016. From 15 December 2017, Emirates will operate 18 weekly flights between Dubai and Nigeria.




Published in Travel & Tourism
Saturday, 04 November 2017 05:44

Kenya: Shoprite set for Kenya entry

Shoprite Holdings is in talks to open its first stores in Kenya by filling retail space left empty by the struggling Nakumatt Holdings chain.

“We are currently in talks with some of the property owners but nothing has been signed,” Shoprite director Gerhard Fritz said in an emailed response to questions. Africa’s biggest food retailer is awaiting the outcome of merger talks between Nakumatt and local rival Tusker Mattresses before deciding whether to proceed, he said.

Taking over vacated outlets would be the preferred way for the Cape Town-based company to enter East Africa’s largest economy as the retail market there is “too well established” to build new stores, said Fritz, who runs Shoprite’s African operations outside its home market.

The move would represent a major step in the expansion of Shoprite as it seeks to strengthen its position outside South Africa, where consumer confidence has been weak because of sluggish economic growth. The grocer had 2 689 stores in 15 countries across the continent at the end of its last fiscal year, according to its annual report.

Shoprite faces competition in Kenya from retailers including Game - owned by South African retailer Massmart Holdings, which in turn is controlled by Wal-Mart Stores - Carrefour of France, run by franchise holder Majid Al Futtaim Holding, and Choppies Enterprises of Botswana. Local grocers include Chandarana Foodplus Supermarkets and Naivas Supermarkets.

For its part, Nakumatt has shut more than a dozen branches in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as East Africa’s biggest retailer struggles to pay suppliers and owes more than 30 billion Kenyan shillings ($289m) to creditors. Chief executive officer Atul Shah, whose family controls the Nairobi-based company, said last month he was in talks with Tusker, which trades under the Tuskys brand.

Shoprite also plans to buy two Nakumatt sites in Uganda, Fritz said. The South African company’s shares closed 0.9% higher at R207.49 rand on Friday in Johannesburg, valuing the grocer at R123bn.


- Bloomberg

Published in Business

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