Markets: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 1:11 pm
Aliko Dangote, CEO of Nigeria’s massive Dangote Group, said he wants to diversify his investments in Ethiopia, and he’s looking at sugar production. Ethiopia produces enough of its own sugar to finally stop importing it this year and start exporting it — a turnaround the government describes as revolutionary. Three new sugar refineries are scheduled to begin production this month. Construction is also planned for 10 new sugar factories for a total of 13 by 2020. Sugar is where Africa’s richest man cut his teeth.
Kurt Davis Jr., 10:23 am AFKI Original
French cosmetics company L’Oreal has invested in organic beeswax in Mali, the surprise country for 2017. Economic growth should hover around 5-to-6 percent this year as agricultural production strengthens. Lack of investment or interest in the country in recent years means there are unexploited opportunities with many investors still sitting on the sidelines. Opportunities exist in cashews, biofuels, shea butter and cotton. This year should see some investors put cash into the country, especially in agriculture.
Staff, 11:27 am
Legal permanent residents from three African countries who hold U.S. green cards may not be able to return to the U.S. if they are traveling abroad, according to new rules imposed by Donald Trump. A travel ban affects travelers with passports from Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and four other Muslim-majority countries. Confusion abounded at airports as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules, with some legal residents who were in the air when the order was issued detained at airports upon arrival. An official argued the pause on travel is a response to concerns that immigration and refugee programs are being abused.
Dana Sanchez, 10:35 am
Ethiopia’s shoe-making industry is getting more attention in the U.S., where 87 percent of imported footwear is from China. A local group of 10 Ethiopian leather and footwear manufacturers have joined forces to supply footwear products destined mainly for the U.S. It’s part of a pioneering effort to persuade global buyers that Ethiopia is an alternative sourcing market to Bangladesh and Vietnam. Ten major brands visited Ethiopia recently. Most are are represented by the 1,000-member American Apparel and Footwear Association.
Dana Sanchez, 4:05 pm
The E.U. wants to pay for migrant holding camps in Libya or neighboring countries that will be run by the U.N. and aid groups. There, in a supposedly “safe place,” migrants who want to attempt the treacherous Mediterranean crossing will be processed and returned before they ever attempt it. A similar deal with Turkey worked. The E.U. approach fails to recognize that migration is a positive thing for African countries which receive remittances from workers abroad and get rid of people who could politically destabilize the country, an analyst said.
Dana Sanchez, 10:32 am
Faced with an escalating price war at home in India, Bharti Airtel is looking to its African operations to reduce debt. India is one of the most competitive telecom markets in the world. The company lost $91 million in Africa in Q3 of 2016. Airtel has 22.14 percent market share in Nigeria and 34.1 million customers. Market observers in Nigeria say lack of access to foreign exchange for operators, falling revenue per user and customers’ lack of disposable income are hurting telecom operators in the country.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:00 am AFKI Original
Last week Davos 2017 took place in Switzerland, with the annual week-long World Economic Forum meeting bringing together the world’s economic elite to discuss global issues and solutions to challenges that face the world at large. Africa plays a key part in these discussions, with politicians, business people and others with an interest in Africa’s economic future making their way to the gathering in order to contribute to various discussions. Here are 12 insightful quotes from African representatives who were present at Davos 2017.
Global Law Firms Bypass South African Alliances And Set Up Independent Offices For African ExpansionBy Dana Sanchez, 2:20 pm
When apartheid ended, local law firms had unprecedented growth as SA re-entered the global economy. Leading law firms came calling and formed local alliances. “South African firms had to decide whether they wanted to be South African, African or global,” a stakeholder said. More recently, international firms have bypassed local ones, opening their own offices. SA is a jumping-off point for building networks of offices throughout the continent. Don’t expect the SA influx of international firms to end anytime soon, stakeholders say.
Dana Sanchez, 11:22 am
Islamic finance is in its early stages in Africa but the potential is getting huge attention from financiers on the continent, due in part to the demographic realities of Africa. Muslims account for 40 percent or more of the population in nearly half the countries in Africa. Africa’s infrastructure deficit needs around $90 billion in investment each year for the next 10 years, according to consulting firm EY. Sukuk could be an affordable way for African governments to fill the gap.
Staff, 5:31 pm
In KwaZulu-Natal the strongest activity is along the North Coast from Durban to Ballito — popular among investors. Residential development in upscale areas such as uMhlanga and Sibaya is enormous, prompting converns of oversupply, but home prices are expected to increase. Durban’s North and South Beach areas, including The Point, have increased as popular residential areas, thanks in part to the general upgrade to the Promenade.
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