Dana Sanchez, 12:45 pm
Coca-Cola and AB InBev are the world’s largest makers of soft drinks and beer, respectively. Africa is important for Coke because soft drink consumption continues to grow on the continent. Coke has not said why it decided to buy back the stake, but it might be in its best interest to avoid partnering with AB InBev, which has no experience in Africa. With little room left for AB InBev to grow meaningfully in beer, bankers speculate the deal-hungry mega brewer may eventually move into soft drinks. That could put Coke at the top of its list.
Dana Sanchez, 11:43 am
Disruption is expected to pick up in South Africa’s real estate industry in 2017, a stakeholder says. South African homeowners increasingly want to earn income from their real estate investments. Airbnb — a website that lets homeowners rent out space in their homes — is making it easier to do so. This is expected to impact how people buy property as they look for homes that will double as vacation rentals.
Dana Sanchez, 1:29 pm
Steinmetz’s attorney says his client is determined to prove his innocence. He says Guinean President Alpha Conde is trying to cover his own corruption by confiscating Steinmetz’s mining rights. The investigation is being conducted in the U.S., Switzerland and Guinea, part of a global push led by the OECD to address official corruption in member states, an Israeli newspaper reported. Guinea is not an OECD member. There are no African member countries in the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Dana Sanchez, 8:34 am
Paystack, one of Nigeria’s most hotly anticipated tech start-ups, has secured $1.3M seed funding from investors including Tencent and Comcast Ventures. China’s Tencent is 46% owned by South African media company Naspers. Comcast is the largest broadcasting and cable TV company in the world. Donald Trump said he intends to keep business ties to Comcast, staying on as executive producer for the spin-off of Comcast affiliate NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” series.
Dana Sanchez, 2:09 pm
Grace bought a $1.4 million diamond ring from a Dubai dealer and paid for it from her Zimbabwe account at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. She changed her mind and demanded a refund to her bank in Dubai. The country’s economy is crippled by cash shortages and a forex crisis. President Robert Mugabe is immune from prosecution while in office. Grace is not immune. Many Zimbabwean lawyers won’t risk taking on Grace, but the diamond ring case is the second time Beatrice Mtetwa has gone head-to-head with the first lady.
Dana Sanchez, 12:15 pm
The deal could create a new liquified natural gas hub in Africa. BP is on a spending spree, bulking up its new drilling resources after years of selloffs. BP sold assets worth $40 billion since 2010 to cover the $60 billion costs of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When Kosmos discovered the gas field off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal, investors were skeptical. “We think we’ve opened up one of the largest areas in the Atlantic basin in the last 15 years,” said the Kosmos CEO.
Dana Sanchez, 9:39 am
The Kenyan production facility will be Volkswagen’s third on the continent. Volkswagen hasn’t assembled cars in Kenya since the 1970s when it manufactured the Beetle model. Kenyans overwhelmingly buy second-hand imports. Used car sellers account for about 80% of total vehicle sales. VW is expanding in Africa to tap the enormous growth potential of the African new car market. The cars will be assembled in Kenya using vehicle kits imported from VW’s South African plant.
Dana Sanchez, 2:35 pm
The 26-acre Atlantis Resorts in Hawaii will be similar to the over-the-top Atlantis The Palm Dubai, which has a water park, aquarium, dolphin encounter and more than 20 restaurants. South African-born hotel magnate Sol Kerzner developed some of the country’s top hotel brands and helped put South African tourism on the map. Kerzner sold his stake in Kerzner International to a Dubai firm in 2014 but the company still bears his name. Other owners include investment banker Goldman Sachs and the L.A. investment firm Colony Capital.
Dana Sanchez, 11:42 am
With 13.5M people, Guangzhou, China, is one of the most populous metropolitan areas on Earth, and it’s though to have Asia’s largest African population. Formerly known as Canton, the city was home at one point to up to 200,000 Africans, although that number has been disputed. One trend seems undisputed. The African population in Guangzhou is shrinking. Africans are leaving for greener pastures elsewhere in Asia.
Dana Sanchez, 7:00 am
You can spend two days hiking to the top of Karthala Volcano in the center of Grand Comore Island. The largest active volcano in the world, it stands 7,746 feet above the Indian Ocean. But be careful–it erupts every 11 years on average, and did so at least 20 times in 20th century. The volcano is home to the giant heath Erica comorensis and four bird species found only on its slopes: Humblot’s flycatcher, Comoro white-eye, Comoro drongo and Karthala scops owl.