Markets: Latest News
Reuters, 1:01 am
Gordhan is leading a team to London, Boston and New York provide an update on the most recent South African developments, “engage constructively with investors and share the government’s thinking behind its’ latest policy proposals.” Investors are concerned about rising political tensions in the ruling ANC, which is due to vote this year to replace President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader. For investors, Gordhan is the face of stability. Talk that Zuma might fire him has rattled financial markets.
Mongabay, 12:37 pm
An 8-pound monkey can cost $105 in Paris compared to $5.37 in Cameroon. In Europe’s biggest cities, demand for exotic delicacies or a “taste of home” drives a trade in African bushmeat that is as yet unquantified. African traffickers can get high prices for increasingly rare African species. The influx of bushmeat is small compared to the greater crisis in Africa. “Africa is eating its forests and we are looking at empty forest syndrome,” a stakeholder said. As African species get rarer and fetch a higher price abroad, Europe and the U.S. could become bigger bushmeat markets.
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.
Ann Brown, 12:48 pm AFKI Original
There is no Silicon Valley in Cape Verde. The government sells a lot of tech services that independent companies could be providing, acting as both regulator and provider. This limits the private market, says Pedro Fernandes Lopes, a local who is bringing the first TEDx talk event to the island nation. It took a local Cape Verdean tech startup months just to register an app because Google didn’t recognize Cape Verde, Lopes told AFKInsider. “We need to raise the global visibility of Cape Verde and its tech innovators. And I think TEDx Praia will play a part in that.”
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:08 am AFKI Original
The economic downturn did little to stifle demand for African real estate. Some of the biggest returns and opportunities exist in rental properties, from beachfront getaways to hidden villas. Affordable housing is a major challenge for governments. Private investment is seen as a solution. Developers, private investors, and ordinary people can play a role in addressing the construction gap in the real estate sector and make a good return while doing so.
Dana Sanchez, 7:17 pm AFKI Original
500 Startups invests 70% in the U.S. The rest of its deals are in 60 other countries and the VC fund has its eyes on Africa. “We continue to look for and source deals from traditionally underrepresented ecosystems,” said 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure. Geeks on a Plane has done 17 tours. This will be its first in Africa. “We are looking to build stronger relationships with investors on the ground, maybe even find a few startups to invest in.” 500 Startups has invested in 1,700-plus companies. The tour is a way for startups, investors, and executives to learn about high-growth tech markets.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Companies expanding in Africa are helping drive the need for more warehouse space. There is a dire shortage of warehouse facilities, says global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. Scarcity of quality warehouses in Nairobi presents opportunities for investors and developers, and the largest development bank in the world is taking notice. U.S.-based IFC and the U.K.’s CDC finance group are investing up to $35 million in Nairobi warehouse development. Logistics is an often overlooked part of economic development, the CDC said.
Dana Sanchez, 8:04 am
MTN’s shares are down 35 percent since October 2015, when Africa’s largest mobile service provider reported a $5.2B fine by Nigerian regulators over unregistered sim cards. That could make MTN cheap enough to be considered for a takeover, Times Live reports. MTN had other problems in the last two years including foreign exchange losses and bad investments. Investing heavily in South Africa, MTN grew revenue and subscribers, but it would be difficult for an international operator to convince its shareholders to back a bid, given the challenges MTN faces, an analyst said.
Born In Caribbean, Educated In Boston, Startup In Nairobi: All Roads Led To Africa’s Mobile RevolutionBy Dana Sanchez, 9:15 pm
In the MIT lab, Kenfield Griffith thought he was going to solve the world’s problems. Then he arrived in Kenya and stood in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. “I looked around and said to myself that even if I was Bill Gates, I wouldn’t know what to do,” he said. Griffith put his faith in mobile phones, and prevailed. In 2016, his Nairobi startup, mSurvey, closed its seed funding round led by investments from Safaricom, Silicon Valley’s Cross Culture Ventures, and a Caribbean angels group backed by Richard Branson.
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