Angola: Latest News
Staff, 6:10 am
Angola is tapping international lenders for roughly $1 billion of new loans, including one for food and medicine, as Africa’s biggest oil producer tries to cope with the fall in global crude-oil prices. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is arranging a syndicated loan that is partly guaranteed by the World Bank, while London investment firm Gemcorp Capital LLP is separately providing dollar financing to the country to import food, medicine and other necessities, people familiar with the loans said this week.
Dana Sanchez, 3:07 pm AFKI Original
When multinational companies expand in Africa, they often send employees there on assignment. How much they pay these employees depends a lot on fluctuations in currency, inflation and accommodation prices. New York City-based human resources consulting firm Mercer has carved out a niche for itself for the last 22 years by compiling data that help big companies decide what to offer by way of expat packages. These are the 10 cheapest places to live out of 209 cities around the world if you’re an expat.
Dana Sanchez, 10:54 pm
Nigeria and Angola, the two African countries hit hardest by falling oil prices, have the highest number of hotels in the development pipeline this year. Zimbabwe-listed hospitality group African Sun laid off nearly 250 employees citing dwindling tourist numbers, lower room rates and the country’s deteriorating economic environment. About a third of the hotel deals signed between 2009 and 2013 haven’t materialized, mainly due to lack of financing. Carlson Rezidor is one that’s delivering.
Staff, 12:02 am
Lawyers and an Angolan human rights activist have challenged the appointment by presidential decree of Isabel do Santos, Africa’s richest woman, to head Sonangol, the state-run oil company. Angola’s main opposition party, UNITA, wants an investigation. President Dos Santos said he intends to step down in 2018. Isabel already owns 25% of Unitel, Angola’s first private mobile phone operator, and is a major shareholder in other big companies in Angola and Portugal.
Dana Sanchez, 3:02 pm
Some small and medium-sized Indian pharmaceutical companies must wait six-to-eight months to get paid as currency liquidity issues plague African oil-exporting countries. China worked out an agreement in April with Nigeria to use the yuan as the trading currency. In 2012-2013, in the wake of U.S. and U.K. sanctions, India worked out a barter deal with Iran using the rupee as trading currency. “We can work out something similar with countries like Nigeria … Importers now no longer need to buy the U.S. dollar,” an Indian stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:00 pm AFKI Original
Airlines are constantly struggling to generate revenue as competition forces them to drive down ticket prices. One way they do this is through inflight retail sales. The airline onboard retail industry has been growing an average of 12.9 percent a year since 2012, with $5 billion-plus in sales in 2014. Tourvest recently won a contract to operate the inflight duty free program for Ethiopian Airlines. Diversifying is part of the company’s strategy. That way, it’s less devastating when governments cut back on travel as part of austerity measures.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:10 am AFKI Original
The 2016 European Championships are underway in France, and many of the players who are representing European nations have African roots. Whether born in Africa or not, some could have decided to play for an African national team. We profile 20 players and the national teams that they could be representing if they had chosen Africa rather than Europe.
Julia Austin, 12:21 pm AFKI Original
Four of the world’s 20 largest diamonds have been found at Lesotho’s Letseng mine — at 10,000 feet, the world’s highest-elevation diamond mine. In 2008, miners of Lesotho Gem Diamonds found a white 500-carat diamond in Letseng. It had very few inclusions, a rare color and was valued at $12 million before being cut up. Africa has more top diamond-producing countries than any other continent, and it’s the site of some mind-blowingly huge gemstones.
Staff, 5:08 am
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) signed the operationalisation of phase one of the two parties’ Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Kasane town in north-eastern Botswana on June 10. There have been concerns that the conclusion of negotiations, which lasted for almost a decade, could result in EU’s advanced industries crowding out the infant industries in the region, especially those in the agricultural sector.
Dana Sanchez, 2:15 pm
Isabel’s appointment could make it more difficult for international banks to do business with Sonangol and still be in compliance, given the perception of nepotism, a senior Johannesburg-based banker said. The news that global consulting firms will be assisting with the Angola’s reform strategy of Sonangol “is at least a step in the right direction,” an analyst said.
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