Reuters, 10:52 am
The deal includes 820 Chevron and Caltex gas stations, 220 convenience stores across South Africa and Botswana, a refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban, and other oil storage facilities. The Chinese firm says it will keep jobs and company names intact for up to six years before launching a rebranding strategy. Sinopec was the last remaining bidder in an auction to sell Chevron Corp’s South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana. The auction lasted more than a year and drew interest from French oil firm Total and commodity traders Glencore and Gunvor.
Reuters, 1:01 am
Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
Reuters, 9:38 pm
Monday’s hijack followed a long hiatus, with only 4 unsuccessful attempts in the past 3 years. The lull encouraged foreign fishing vessels to return to Somali waters. Now shipping companies are scrambling to learn if pirates will once again threaten one of the world’s most important shipping lanes and cost the industry billions of dollars. Locals are infuriated at government failure to crack down on foreign fishing vessels. The last straw was when 7n Thai fishing vessels paid the local government more than $672,000 for fishing licences, A Bosasso-based weapons dealer said orders have increased for rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and ammunition.