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Fi Istanbul’s Success Demonstrates Unlimited Market Opportunities in Turkey, the Middle East & North Africa

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Staggering 3,000 Visitors + 150 Exhibiting Brands and Record Re-Booking Volumes for the 2014 Event

Yes, we’ve got a lot to shout about and so we would like to start with a huge thank you to all of our exhibitors who helped to make Food ingredients Istanbul such a great success. As the only dedicated food ingredients event in the region, last week’s highly successful show demonstrates that this region is thriving and thirsty for the very latest ingredients, solutions, innovations and networking opportunities.

We are delighted to announce that Food ingredients Istanbul exceeded all forecasts and expectations with the impressive amount of 3,000 visitors and a 94% rebooking rate. As a launch event, Fi Istanbul welcomed attendees from over 80 different countries, filling all aisles and bustling exhibitor stands.

It is clear that the industry responded well to this launch event. Building on the high growth rates that the food industry is experiencing in this region, Fi Istanbul provided a strong platform for all food and beverage manufacturers to source from over 150 local, regional and international food ingredients suppliers.

The response from the exhibitors was overwhelming! Many claimed to have had one of the best shows ever, with a high quality of visitors, a steady flow of traffic during the 3 days and a good mix of visiting companies, including food manufacturers from dairy, ice cream, confectionary, meat, poultry and many more.

Turkey, for a global company, is a very important market for us to be close to our customers. Food ingredients Istanbul has been a great experience to meet new customers in 3 days and share projects, prototypes, concepts and innovations” Luis Fernandez , Vice-President Global Applications, Tate & Lyle

Natasha Berrow , UBM’s Brand Director, also commented, “Last week’s event really did surpass even our expectations! The positive response to this launch event, the new Fi branding and signage provided the innovative environment that such a growing region deserves.”

She continued “the record re-bookings are further indication that exhibitors see Fi Istanbul as the place to continue to meet their customers and to expand into this booming region. I’d like to express our appreciation for the tremendous and ongoing support of all our customers.”

“We are very impressed by the quality of visitors; quality is more important than quantity. We found a lot of good customers that we’ll probably start new business with” Stella Wu , International Sales Manager, JK Sucralose

Visitor feedback also surpassed all expectations. The great mix of local, regional and international food ingredients suppliers was complimented by many attendees looking to source new ingredients from companies they never heard of.

“I want to know new suppliers and I want to see some different varieties of products that I can use for my customers. This is the first year for this exhibition and it feels like it has being a successful opening and I’m sure it will get greater and bigger in the coming years.” Meleknur Tuzun, Sales Manager, Agrana

Fi Istanbul is a key part of the Food ingredients Global Portfolio strategy to extend the its brand into new regions, offering exhibiting clients a platform to engage with new customers and present their new business growth opportunities. With the key focus on business development, innovation and trade, in a region with one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world, Fi Istanbul proved to be one of the most cost-effective platforms to source new ingredients, grow market share and act as a stepping stone to this vastly and yet close to untouched food industry.

 

About Fi ingredients Global – the trusted route to market since 1986

Food ingredients first launched in Utrecht, The Netherlands in 1986 and its portfolio of live events, publications, extensive database, digital solutions and high-level conferences are now established across the globe to provide regional and a global meeting place for all stakeholders in the food ingredients industry. Over 500,000 people have attended our shows over the years, and billions of Euros of business have been created as a result. With over 25 years of excellence, our events, digital solutions and supporting products deliver a proven route to market with a truly global audience.

About UBM Istanbul

UBM Istanbul was established in April 2012 to connect people and create opportunities for companies wishing to build business between Europe and Asia, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets. Premier brands such as Fi Europe, CPhI, IFSEC, Black Hat, Mother & Baby Show , Jewellery and many others and will become an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 10 industry sectors.

About UBM

UBM plc is a global events-led marketing services and communications company. We help businesses do business, bringing the world’s buyers and sellers together at events and online, as well as producing and distributing specialist content and news. Our 5,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

For more information, go to http://www.ubm.com

SOURCE UBM Live

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IMF Concludes Article IV Mission to Cameroon

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Mr. Mario de Zamaróczy, visited Cameroon during April 29–May 14, 2013 to conduct the 2013 Article IV Consultation. The mission met with Prime Minister Philémon Yang, Minister Secretary General at the Presidency Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Minister of Finance Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning, and Territorial Development Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, several other ministers, the Vice Governor and the National Director of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), other senior officials, and representatives of the private sector, labor unions, civil society organizations, and development partners. The discussions focused on recent economic and financial developments, the 2013 budget, and the economic outlook for 2013 and beyond. At the end of the mission, Mr. de Zamaróczy issued the following statement:

“Recent macroeconomic developments were broadly in line with the projections made at the time of the previous mission in fall 2012. Growth reached 4.4 percent in 2012 (from 4.1 percent in 2011), thanks to a rebound in oil production. Inflation has been moderate, with a 2.4 percent consumer price increase in 2012. Credit to the economy remained subdued and rose by about 2.6 percent.

“Looking ahead, gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to accelerate to about 4.8 percent in 2013 and to rise to 5.5 percent a year in the medium term, fuelled by an expected rise in oil production and projected increases in public investment in infrastructure. However, growth would need to be sustained at a higher level for Cameroon to reach its objective of becoming an upper-middle income country by 2035.

“The discussions between the authorities and the mission focused on efforts to spur reforms and set Cameroon on a higher growth path, while mitigating risks to macroeconomic and financial sector stability. The mission recommended closely monitoring public investment in infrastructure to improve its effectiveness and governance. At the same time, the business climate needs to be improved to promote private sector involvement. The mission was encouraged by steps taken to set up the National Public Debt Committee to oversee the financing strategy of public investment plans.

“The mission recommended better allocation of public spending to help close the financing gap in 2013, and improved public finance management to preserve medium-term sustainability and rebuild fiscal space.

“The mission expressed its concern regarding fuel price subsidies. The mission believes that those subsidies are excessively costly and hard to justify, given that only a small share of these subsidies actually benefits the poor. Consequently, the mission encouraged the authorities to phase out these subsidies and replace them with better-targeted social transfer programs.

“The Cameroonian financial sector is saddled with some smaller-size banks that require prompt resolution. The mission encouraged the authorities to move swiftly in cooperation with the regional supervisor, the Commission Bancaire d’Afrique Centrale (COBAC), to protect depositors while minimizing the fiscal cost. The mission encouraged the authorities to accelerate reforms to improve the lending climate. The mission was heartened by the creation of a credit assessment database that will be available in June.

“The IMF’s Executive Board is expected to examine the report on the 2013 Article IV Consultation with Cameroon in June 2013. The mission would like to thank the authorities for their warm hospitality, excellent cooperation, and constructive dialogue.”

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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PANGOLIN DIAMONDS DISCOVERS ITS FIRST KIMBERLITE IN BOTSWANA

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

About the Tsabong North Project

The Tsabong North Project, located approximately 100 km north of the town of Tsabong in south-western Botswana, is 1,545 km2 in size. It is comprised of anomalous concentrations of kimberlite indicators and has large geo-botanical features. Pangolin has already identified more than 50 drill-ready aeromagnetic targets in the Project area, several of which have surface areas exceeding 20 hectares. Exploration activities in the area are guided in part by the recommendations of a National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report prepared for the Project.

The Tsabong North Project is situated on the Archaean Kaapvaal Craton, immediately north of the diamondiferous Tsabong kimberlite field that hosts the M1 Kimberlite, the largest known diamondiferous kimberlite pipe in the world (www.firestonediamonds.com). Pangolin’s Chairman, Dr. Leon Daniels, was part of the Falconbridge Team that developed the geological model of the 180 hectare M1 Kimberlite that was discovered in 1978. He was also directly involved in the discovery of several new kimberlites in the Tsabong kimberlite field.

Pangolin’s soil sampling has produced highly anomalous concentrations of kimberlite indicators within the Tsabong North Project area. Microprobe analyses of indicator minerals have confirmed the presence of G10 garnets, indicating the presence of a mantle conducive to the crystallization of diamonds. A number of indicators occur, including remnants of kelyphite that indicate close proximity to kimberlite. Enzyme-leach trace element results are consistent with orientation trace element results over known kimberlites near the Project.

About Pangolin Diamonds Corp

Pangolin Diamonds Corp. is building a leading diamond exploration and development company in the heart of Botswana, the world’s leading diamond producing country by value. The Company is the 100% owner of 11 Prospecting Licenses covering 5,307 km2, including the Tsabong North, Jwaneng South, Malatswae and Mmadinare Projects. Pangolin’s management and team leaders have over 90 years of combined diamond exploration experience in southern Africa. This makes the Company the most experienced diamond explorer in Botswana other than De Beers Exploration and Debswana. The Company is equipped for exploration, with two diamond drill rigs and a fully portable one-tonne per hour Dense Media Separation Plant used to prepare samples and make diamond concentrates. Pangolin is well-funded to continue its exploration programs for the next year.

 

·         Kimberlite discovered at Tsabong North Project has a +20 hectare aeromagnetic anomaly associated with it

·         Two additional diamond drill core holes will be completed to intersect a minimum of 100 meters of kimberlite

·         Additional undrilled kimberlite targets in the project area have the same magnetic signature

TORONTO, ONTARIO (May 15, 2013) – Pangolin Diamonds Corp. (TSX-V: PAN) (the “Company” or “Pangolin”) is pleased to announce it has discovered its first kimberlite at its 100% owned Tsabong North Project in Botswana. Core logging identified crater facies sediments and underlying reworked volcaniclastic kimberlite (“RVK”) breccias in drill hole “Magi-01/1”.

Representative rock samples were submitted for independent whole rock analysis to Activation Laboratories Ltd., in Ancaster (Ontario). The results assisted in discriminating between the kimberlite crater facies sediments and the overlying Kalahari Formation. Crater facies sediments are present from a depth of 33.5 meters to 58.8 meters below which RVK breccia occurs to 76.3 meters. The crater facies sediments and RVK breccias intersected are consistent with the equivalent lithological units observed in the core of drill hole M1/50 from the M1 Kimberlite in the Tsabong Kimberlite Field which was drilled in 1981.

Dr Leon Daniels, B.Sc., Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Pangolin, stated: “We are very pleased with Pangolin’s success to date, as we have now graduated from an explorer to a discoverer and are determined to continue on this course.”

The 45 mantle-derived indicator garnets, inclusive of some high pressure garnets previously announced on March 26, 2013, were liberated from a core sample in Magi-01/1 taken at a depth of 22 meters below the surface. A split of the available core will now be processed through a mini-Dense Media Separation Plant to recover any additional kimberlite indicator minerals, such as garnets, and/or macro diamonds from the kimberlite intersected section.

Based on these positive results, two additional diamond drill holes intersecting at least 100 meters of kimberlite will be drilled on the Magi-01 kimberlite for kimberlite indicator mineral and microdiamond recovery. The Company has also elevated additional previously identified kimberlite targets in the project area to targets of high immediate interest with similar magnetic signatures to Magi-01/1.

The photos below compare the various kimberlite crater facies sediments (A1, A2) and RVK breccias (B1, B2) from Pangolin’s core drill hole Magi-01/1 (to the left) versus those from drill hole M1/50 from the M1 Kimberlite Pipe (to the right).

The technical disclosure in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Leon Daniels, Ph.D., Member of AIG, Chairman of the Board of Pangolin, and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 rules.

Source: www.pangolindiamondscorp.com

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SA ECONOMIC GROWTH HIT BY MINING SECTOR

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

Will the Chinese purchase divested mining interests?

South Africa’s economic growth is lagging somewhat behind that of its peers in the developing world. IMF forecasts for 2013 indicate that emerging and developing economies will grow by 5,5% while SA’s GDP is expected to grow between 2,5% and 3%.

Global ranking

Country Name

GDP in Millions of US dollars (2011)

27

South Africa

408,237

39

Nigeria

243,986

60

Angola

104,332

88

Kenya

33,621

105

Zambia

19,206

One of the key reasons for slower growth is SA’s foreign trade structure and reliance on Europe. President Zuma used the opportunity at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year to ensure foreign investors that South Africa is on the right track.

2012 will be remembered for the negative impact of labour unrest and resultant production stoppages in the mining sector. Mining reduced GDP by 0,5% in the first three quarters of the year. This excludes the biggest slump in the sector during the fourth quarter 2012.

Other significant features of the growth slowdown in 2012 were the slowdown in household consumption spending, poor growth in private fixed investment spending and a slump in real export growth.

South African’s inflation rate slowed to a five-month low in January 2013 after the statistics office adjusted the consumer price basket while food and fuel prices eased. In December, the inflation rate fell to 5,4% from 5,7% Statistics South Africa stated.

Government cut the price of fuel by 1,2% in January 2013, as a stronger rand in the previous month helped to curb import costs. Since then, the currency has plunged 4,8% against the dollar and fuel prices are on the rise, with prices increasing in March by a further 8%, adding to pressure on inflation.

South Africa’s strengths

· South Africa is the economic powerhouse of Africa, leading the continent in industrial output and mineral production, generating a large portion of the continent’s electricity.

· The economy of South Africa is the largest in Africa, accounting for 24% of the continent’s GDP in terms of PPP, and is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the world bank.

· The country has abundant natural resources, well developed financial, legal and transport sectors, a stock exchange ranked amongst the top 20 in the world, as well as a modern infrastructure supporting efficient distribution of goods throughout the Southern African region.

South Africa’s weaknesses

· South Africa suffers from a relatively heavy regulation burden when compared to most developed countries.

· Increasing costs for corporates with rising wages.

· Poverty, inequalities sources of social risk mixed with high unemployment and shortage of qualified labour.

Mining

Output in the mining sector remained weak in December with total mining production down by 7,5% y-o-y after falling by a revised 3,8% (previously -4,5%) in November. On a monthly basis production rose by a seasonally adjusted 1,2% compared with 12,0% in November. Non-gold output was down by 5,0% y-o-y, while gold production slumped by 21,2% in December. For the fourth quarter, total mining production fell by a seasonally-adjusted and annualised 4,6% q-o-q as output of most minerals dropped.

For 2012 as a whole, mining volumes fell by 3,1% after contracting by 0,9% in 2011. Mineral sales were down by 15,6% y-o-y in November after falling 13,7% in October. On a monthly basis sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 2,3% in November, but sales were down by a seasonally-adjusted 10,2% in the three months to November after declining by 6,8% in the same period to October. These figures indicate that the mining sector is still reeling from the devastating effects of widespread labour strikes in the third and early fourth quarters.

Prospects for the mining sector remain dim as the industry faces headwinds both on the global and domestic fronts. Globally, commodity prices are not likely to make significant gains as demand conditions remain relatively unfavourable. Locally, tough operating conditions persist. Rapidly rising production costs, mainly energy and labour costs, are likely to compel mining companies to scale back operations or even halt them in some cases.

This will have a negative impact on production, with any improvements coming mainly from a normalisation of output should strike activity ease. These numbers, together with other recent releases, suggest that GDP growth for the fourth quarter was around 2,0%, with overall growth of 2,5% for the year as a whole. Overall economic activity in the sector therefore remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to the weaker rand.

Retail

Annual growth in retail sales slowed to 2,3% in December from 3,6% in the previous month. Over the month, sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 1,0%, causing sales for the last quarter of 2012 to decline by 0,2% following 2,1% growth in the third quarter.

As a whole, 2012 retail sales rose by 4,3%, slightly down from 5,9% in 2011. Consumer spending is likely to moderate during 2013 as weak consumer confidence, heightened worries about job security and high debt, make consumers more cautious about spending on non-essential items. The overall economic outlook remains weak and fragile, while inflation may increase due to the weaker rand.

Manufacturing

Annual growth in manufacturing production slowed to 2,0% in December 2012 from 3,7% in the previous month, versus the consensus forecast of 2,9%. The increase in output was recorded in seven of the ten major categories. Significant contributions came from petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products. Over the month, total production fell by 2,2% on a seasonally adjusted basis following a 2,6% rise in November.

On a quarterly basis, however, production improved by 1,6% in the final quarter of 2012 following two quarters of weaker growth. Both local and international economic conditions are expected to improve only moderately during 2013. A weak Eurozone will continue to hurt the large export-orientated industries.

The recent recovery in infrastructure spending by the public sector will probably support the industries producing capital goods and other inputs for local projects. But the growth rate will be contained by slower capital expenditure by the private sector in response to the bleaker economic environment both locally and internationally.

Therefore, while a moderate recovery in manufacturing production will continue in 2013, no impressive upward momentum is expected. Overall economic activity remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand.

Infrastructure

A new economic plan, the National Development Plan (NDP), is likely to be adopted in 2013 promoting low taxation for businesses and imposing less stringent employment requirements. This a measure that the ANC is pursuing ahead of the 2014 national elections. The NDP will encourage partnerships between government and the private sector, creating opportunities in petrochemical industries, metal-working and refining, as well as development of power stations.

Construction companies are especially likely to benefit from government plans to invest $112-billion from 2013 in the expansion of infrastructure as part of the NDP. Some 18 strategic projects will be launched to expand transport, power and water, medical and educational infrastructure in some of the country’s least developed areas.

Energy companies will also benefit, following the lifting of a moratorium on licences for shale gas development. Meanwhile, there will be significant opportunities, especially for Chinese state-owned enterprises that have recently made high-profile visits to South Africa, to acquire divested assets in the platinum and gold mining sector as large mining houses withdraw from South Africa.

According to government reports, the South African government will have spent R860-billion on new infrastructure projects in South Africa between 2009 and March 2013. In the energy sector, Eskom had put in place 675 kilometers of electricity transmission lines in 2012, to connect fast-growing economic centers and also to bring power to rural areas. More than 200 000 new households were connected to the national electricity grid in 2012. Construction work is also taking place in five cities including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, Durban and Pretoria to integrate different modes of transport.

Business Climate

Due to South Africa’s well-developed and world-class business infrastructure, the country is ranked 35th out of 183 countries in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business 2012 report, an annual survey that measures the time, cost and hassle for businesses to comply with legal and administrative requirements. South Africa was ranked above developed countries such as Spain (44) and Luxembourg (50), as well as major developing economies such as Mexico (53), China (91), Russia (120), India (132) and Brazil (126).

The report found South Africa ranked first for ease of obtaining credit. This was based on depth of information and a reliable legal system.

Foreign trade

SA’s trade deficit narrowed to R 2,7-billion in December from R7,9-billion in November on account of seasonal factors. The trade balance usually records a surplus in December due to a large decline in imports. Exports declined 9,8% over the month. The decrease was mainly driven by declines in the exports of base metals. Vehicles, aircraft and vessels (down R1,1-billion), machinery and electrical appliances (down R0,9-billion) and prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (down 0,8-billion). Imports dropped 15,8% m-o-m.

Declines in the imports of machinery and electrical appliances (down R3,3-billion), original equipment components; (R1,8-billion), products of the chemicals or allied industries (R1,5-billion) and base metals and articles thereof (R1,2-billion) were the main drivers of the drop.

The large trade deficit for 2012 is one of the major reasons for the deterioration in the 2012 current account deficit forecast to 6,2% of GDP from 3,3% in 2011. South Africa’s trade performance will remain weak in the coming months on the back of unfavourable global conditions and domestic supply disruptions. Weak global economic conditions will continue to influence exports and growth domestically.

Skills and education

The need to transform South Africa’s education system has become ever more urgent, especially given the service delivery issues that have plagued the system. While government continues to allocate a significant amount of its budget to education (approximately 20%), it has not been enough to transform the schooling system. Coface expects the government to continue to support this critical sector, but that an opportunistic private sector will take advantage of government inefficiencies.

South Africa’s education levels are quite low compared to other developed and developing nations. South Africa began restructuring its higher education system in 2003 to widen access to tertiary education and reset the priorities of the old apartheid-based system. Smaller universities and technikons (polytechnics) were incorporated into larger institutions to form comprehensive universities.

Debt

The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt in South Africa fell by 9,8% year on year in November 2012 to 35 268, according to data released by Statistics South Africa. The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt decreased by 15,2% in three months ended November 2012 compared with the three months ended November 2011.

The number of civil summonses issued for debt fell 23,9% year-on-year to 70 537. During November, the 35 268 civil judgments for debt amounted to R414,1-million, with the largest contributors being money lent, with R142,5-million. There was a 21,9% decrease in the total number of civil summonses issued for debt in the three months ended November last year compared with the same period in 2011. A 23,9% y-o-y decrease was recorded in November.

South Africa maintains respectable debt-to-GDP ratios, although these grew to 39% of GDP by end-2012, substantially higher than the 34% for emerging and developing economies as a whole. When Fitch downgraded SA earlier this year, it specifically mentioned concerns about SA’s rising debt-to-GDP ratio, given that the ratio is higher than the country’s peers.

South Africa is uniquely exposed to foreign investor sentiment through the deficit on the current account combined with liquid and deep fixed interest markets. SA’s widening deficit on the current account is a specific factor that concerns the rating agencies and is one of the metrics the agencies will use to assess SA’s sovereign risk in the near future. Further downgrades are the risk – potentially driven by foreign investor sentiment about political risks.

Political landscape

Persistent unemployment, inequality and the mixed results of BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) intended to favour access to economic power by the historically disadvantaged populations have led to disappointment and resentment.

Social unrest is increasing. Recent events weakened the ruling coalition which came under fire for its management of these events. Tensions could intensify in the run up to the 2014 presidential elections. South Africa has a well-developed legal system, but government inefficiency, a shortage of skilled labour, criminality and corruption are crippling the business environment. South Africa also has a high and growing youth unemployment, high levels of visible inequality and government corruption so we would keep an eye on the escalating service delivery protest trends.

Labour force

The unemployment rate fell to 24,9% in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 25,5% in the third quarter, mainly reflecting an increase in the number of discouraged work seekers. Over the quarter, a total of 68 000 jobs were lost while the number discouraged work seekers rose by 87 000. The formal non-agricultural sector lost 52 000 jobs over the quarter, while the informal sector, in contrast, employed 8 000 more people. The breakdown shows that the highest number of jobs were lost in the private households category (48 000), followed by the trade and transport sectors, which shed 41 000 and 18 000 jobs respectively.

The agricultural sector led employment creation over the quarter, adding 24 000 jobs. Both local and international economic conditions are expected to improve only moderately during 2013.

Weak confidence and high wage settlement will make firms more cautious to expand capacity and employ more people this year. Government is likely to be the main driver of employment as it rolls out its infrastructure and job creation plans. The unemployment rate will therefore remain high in the short term.

Although the reduction in the unemployment rate is good news, it mainly reflects the large number of discouraged work seekers. Overall economic activity remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand. Coface believes that this will persuade the Monetary Policy Committee to keep policy neutral over an extended period, with interest rates remaining unchanged for most of 2013. A reversal in policy easing is likely only late in the year or even in 2014.


 


Issued by:                                                                              Sha-Izwe/CharlesSmithAssoc

ON BEHALF OF:                                                   Coface

FURTHER INFORMATION:                                  Charles Smith

Tel:          (011) 781-6190

Email: charles@csa.co.za

Web:       www.csa.co.za

Media Contact:

Michele FERREIRA /
SENIOR MANAGER: MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION
TEL. : +27 (11) 208 2551  F.: +27 (11) 208 2651   M.: +27 (83) 326 2268
michele_ferreira@cofaceza.com

 

BUILDING D, DRA MINERALS PARK, INYANGA CLOSE

SUNNINGHILL, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
T. +27 (11) 208 2500 –
www.cofaceza.com

About Coface

The Coface Group, a worldwide leader in credit insurance, offers companies around the globe solutions to protect them against the risk of financial default of their clients, both on the domestic market and for export. In 2012, the Group posted a consolidated turnover of €1.6 billion. 4,400 staff in 66 countries provide a local service worldwide. Each quarter, Coface publishes its assessments of country risk for 158 countries, based on its unique knowledge of companies’ payment behaviour and on the expertise of its 350 underwriters located close to clients and their debtors. In France, Coface manages export public guarantees on behalf of the French state.

Coface is a subsidiary of Natixis. corporate, investment management and specialized financial services arm of Groupe BPCE.. In South Africa, Coface provides credit protection to clients. Coface South Africa is rated AA+ by Global Ratings.

www.cofaceza.com

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Successful infrastructure project bonds require improved regulatory frameworks, says AfDB study

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

TUNIS, Tunisia /African Press Organization (APO)/ African countries need to improve their regulatory frameworks in order to ensure the successful launch of African infrastructure project bonds, says a new report launched by the African Development Bank (http://www.afdb.org).

Read the report: http://j.mp/10RPwzm

Africa is ready for the launch of such infrastructure bonds provided some conditions are met, says the report, titled “Structured Finance – Conditions for infrastructure project bonds in African markets”.

With Africa having now no other option than to tap into its own internal resources, the book “points in the right direction,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, in the foreword. “I hope it will be useful for all Africans who are involved in infrastructure development.”

The report is of the view that domestic capital markets can contribute to funding some of the most important local and regional infrastructure projects. Given the limited ability of local banks to provide long-term funding and the shrinking international assistance, the report encourages project sponsors to turn to domestic institutional investors by issuing infrastructure project bonds.

The legal and regulatory framework for bond issuance exists in many countries which are active issuers of bonds for their own funding needs. However, competition between the sovereign and other issuers is a potential issue in all markets.

Many of the ingredients for infrastructure project bond issuance are present, but more needs to be done to make it attractive for sponsors to tap local markets. From a sponsor’s perspective, issuing an infrastructure project bond must offer the optimal tenor and pricing compared to other options. It is therefore essential that governments do more to reduce local market rates and lengthen the yield curve.

According to the report, a crucial barrier in African markets is the enabling environment for infrastructure. The regulatory and tariff framework in many sectors is incomplete. Many countries have established public-private partnership (PPP) laws and institutions, but often they lack the resources and capacity to prepare bankable projects for the market. As important, there is often a lack of advocacy and political support for driving concessions and PPP projects through government, and too few are coming to market, although it remains early days in many countries.

There is a crucial role for governments in promoting infrastructure project bonds. Governments can play a greater role in supporting stable economic conditions, developing local capital markets and strengthening institutions. Those actions will encourage all issuers to come to market, particularly corporations for whom bond issuance has been limited to date. Promoting reform and corporatization of utilities and parastatals, including professional management and a clear regulatory environment, are preconditions for such entities to issue in the local bond markets – an important landmark in the development of local capital markets and the emergence of infrastructure project bonds.

“The African Development Bank can play various roles in that regard,” said Cedric Mbeng Mezui, the report’s lead author. “It can provide technical assistance in infrastructure, capital markets and domestic issuance, and work with intermediaries. For specific projects, it can use instruments such as the partial credit guarantee as well as any new tailored instruments, to enhance bond issuance and catalyze the market. Direct funding for projects in early-stage preparation and through debt and equity investments at financial close will help promote the overall market. Finally, the AfDB can play a role in unblocking the political bottlenecks that obstruct projects from being developed and implemented,” he added.

For Moono Mupotola, Regional Integration Manager, AfDB, “the book was prepared with a number of objectives in mind: firstly, to highlight the opportunity for project bonds; secondly, to elaborate on the conditions for efficient capital markets; thirdly, to explain the crucial role of constructive government policies; and finally to highlight lessons learned in other markets that might be useful for Africa.”

The report was launched during the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2013 by Charles Boamah, AfDB Finance Vice-President.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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MTN Foundation hands over 10 houses worth UShs. 135 million in Kiryandongo to beneficiary families that were displaced by the Bududa landslides in 2010

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

Kampala, Uganda – 13th May, 2013

MTN Foundation hands over 10 houses worth UShs. 135 million in Kiryandongo to beneficiary families that were displaced by the Bududa landslides in 2010.

 

About MTN Uganda

Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunications firm in country with more than 7.7 million customers as of 31 December 2012.

Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug; www.youtube.com/mtnug; www.facebook.com/mtnug and www.twitter.com/mtnugandacare.

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN.” As of 31 December 2012, MTN recorded almost 190 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. Visit us at www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com.

 

MTN Foundation has handed over 10 houses to families in Kiryandongo who were displaced by the 2010 Bududa landslides. This is as a result of a pledge that was made by MTN Uganda to contribute towards the construction of houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organisation that focuses on building low cost houses for the under privileged. The 10 low cost houses constructed at a cost of UShs.135 million.

MTN CEO, Mazen Mroue, Minister for Disaster preparedness, Musa Ecweru with one of the families in Kiryandongo

“At MTN Uganda, we realize and understand the importance of continued support towards the communities where we operate. The landslide that displaced the people of Bududa shocked the whole country and the world and deeply touched us at MTN and that’s why we decided to come in and help,” said Mazen Mrouè, CEO MTN Uganda.

On the evening of March 1st, 2010, three entire villages were erased and over 400 people buried alive in one of the worst Bududa landslides. Most of the over 8,000 affected victims, with no homes, destroyed gardens, animals and livelihood were relocated to temporary camps in Bududa.

MTN CEO, Mazen Mroue, Minister for Disaster preparedness, Musa Ecweru, Opening one of the houses donated by MTN

 

To date, 4000 people have been unaccounted for. Eighty nine households (406 individuals) have since been transferred by government to Kiryandongo District where they were allocated 2.5 acres of land. Since then, government has relocated the displaced families to various camps. The government is also initially providing agricultural in-puts, equipment and food items for six months as they prepare to plant their own food.

Mroué thanked the government for its efforts in resettling the affected families. He reiterated that the selection criteria for the beneficiaries of the houses, was set by MTN’s partners, Habitat for Humanity. It was based on consideration of the most vulnerable groups in the camps which included the women and children particularly families with babies and young children that need to be together to be able to cope with issues of hygiene, food and safety.

“Governments all over the world are over whelmed by emergencies like these, and most times, especially in the developing world it is important for partners to answer the call and provide support for the relief efforts. As Uganda’s number one corporate citizen, we believe it’s our obligation to support government efforts in areas like these,” Mroué said.

The partnership between MTN and Habitat for Humanity spans over 10 years. The first houses built through this partnership date back to 1999, with the first homes being in Mbale and Hoima districts. Since then, MTN Uganda has built a total of 237 homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity housing close to 1380 individuals; this is the largest number of homes funded by a corporate company.

The MTN Uganda Foundation is a not-for-profit legal entity that was inaugurated in July 2007 as a vehicle through which MTN Uganda implements its’ Corporate Social Investments (CSI). The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life in communities where MTN Uganda operates in a sustainable way. Over the past five years since its launch, the MTN Foundation has supported a number of initiatives in the areas of Education, Health, Arts and Culture, Environment, Community Development and Low cost housing.

The MTN Uganda Foundation partners with both public and non-profit credible organizations to execute sustainable projects in each of the chosen focus areas. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that the selection and approval of its projects are conducted in a manner that is transparent, systematic, efficient, and effective while promoting its mission.

In 2013 and onwards, the MTN Foundation will focus on three key areas so as to leverage scale to achieve significant development impact. The three sectors will be Education, Health and National Priority Areas.

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. Unveils Plans For New Urban Resort In Rabat, Morocco

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Africa Business

The First Property for The Leader in Luxury Hospitality in The Kingdom’s Capital

About the Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 82 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., the leader in luxury hospitality, has unveiled plans to open its first property in Rabat, the prestigious capital city of the Kingdom of Morocco, bringing the number of hotels currently under development in the brand’s growing North Africa portfolio to three.

The owner of the urban resort is Sienna Investment Group, an investment vehicle established in Morocco.  The architectural and design team of the luxury property consists of Scape Design Associates as the Landscape Designers, and Architects, WATG. Construction is underway, and The Ritz-Carlton expects the resort to open in December 2014.

The urban resort will be situated approximately 10 minutes’ drive from the city center, within the grounds of the most highly esteemed golf course in the Kingdom, The Royal Golf of Dar Es Salam, designed by Robert Trent Jones over 40 years ago.  The golf estate which comprises three courses, frequented by Rabat and Morocco‘s high society, is set within a stunning 440 hectare oak forest, surrounded by an array of flora and breathtaking lakes, and will provide the scenic backdrop to The Ritz-Carlton, Rabat, located near the 10th tee of the main course.

Herve Humler , President and Chief Operating Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company said; “We are delighted to have been chosen by Sienna Investment Group to manage such a unique property, in such a prestigious city in Morocco and North Africa.  The heritage of Rabat, combined with the unique location within a world-class golf estate, will provide an incredibly appealing proposition for the affluent global traveler.”

The city of Rabat is the seat of the Moroccan government and home to the majority of its government agencies, providing the capital with a prominent status.

Sienna Investment Group, the owner, noted the importance of selecting  the right management company; “We selected The Ritz-Carlton to manage this property as it was essential to select a brand with the same caliber of prestige as the city of Rabat itself, and one that is in keeping with the grandeur of The Royal Golf of Dar Es Salam.”

The resort will benefit from 120 guest rooms, 15 one-bedroom and five, two-bedroom villas, expected to appeal to dignitaries and government delegations from around the world.

Further properties currently under construction in North Africa include The Ritz-Carlton, Tunis, Carthage, a resort featuring 129-suites, situated close to the world heritage site of Carthage and Morocco a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Tamuda Bay, an exclusive upscale resort nestled along the unspoiled waters of the Mediterranean, approximately 60 kilometers east of the city of Tangiers, featuring a 98-luxury room hotel with 35 pool villa suites, a beach club and an 18-hole Nicklaus design golf course.

 

SOURCE The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

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ASANTE GOLD CORPORATION: ADVANCE NOTICE POLICY, ROYALTY ACQUISITION UPDATE AND WORKING CAPITAL LOAN AGREEMENT

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Africa Business

 

About Asante Gold Corporation

Asante Gold Corporation (TSX.V:ASE/FRANKFURT:1A9) is a Vancouver based gold exploration and royalty focused company, exploring the Fahiakoba Concession located in the centre of Ghana’s Golden Triangle between Perseus Mining’s 250,000 oz Au per year Edikan mine, and AngloGold Ashanti’s 315,000 oz Au per year Obuasi mine.


Vancouver, British Columbia – May 3, 2013 – Asante Gold Corporation (TSX.V:ASE/ FRANKFURT:1A9) (the “Company”) announces the approval and adoption by its Board of Directors of an Advance Notice Policy (the “Policy”). The purpose of the Policy is to provide shareholders, Directors and management of the Company with a clear framework for nominating directors of the Company. The Company is committed to: (i) facilitating an orderly and efficient annual general or, where the need arises, special meeting, process; (ii) ensuring that all shareholders receive adequate notice and information of the Director nominees; and (iii) allowing shareholders to register an informed vote after having been afforded reasonable time for appropriate deliberation. The Policy is intended to further these objectives.

The Policy includes a provision that requires advance notice to the Company in certain circumstances where nominations of persons for election to the Board of Directors are made by shareholders of the Company. The Policy fixes a deadline by which Director nominations must be submitted to the Company prior to any annual or special meeting of shareholders and sets forth the information that must be included in the notice to the Company. No person will be eligible for election as a Director of the Company unless nominated in accordance with the Policy.

In the case of an annual meeting of shareholders, notice to the Company must be made not less than 30 days and not more than 65 days prior to the date of the annual meeting; provided, however, that, in the event that the annual meeting is to be held on a date that is less than 50 days after the date on which the first public announcement of the date of the annual meeting was made, notice may be made not later than the close of business on the 10th day following such public announcement.

In the case of a special meeting of shareholders called for the purpose of electing Directors (whether or not called for other purposes), notice to the Company must be made not later than the close of business on the 15th day following the day on which the first public announcement of the date of the special meeting was made.

The full text of the Policy is available under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and on the Company’s website (www.asantegold.com) or upon request by contacting the Company’s Corporate Secretary, Janet Horbulyk, at (604)-558-1134.

The Policy is in effect as at the date of this news release. Pursuant to the terms of the Policy, the Company will seek shareholder ratification of the Policy at its next annual general meeting of shareholders (the “Meeting”). If the Policy is not confirmed at the Meeting, the Policy will terminate and be of no further force and effect following the termination of the Meeting.

The Company also announces that it has entered into a loan agreement with Goknet Mining Company Limited (“Goknet”) of Accra, Ghana. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Goknet will loan the Company CDN$200,000 for working capital purposes, payable within 60 days of demand, with interest payable on the unpaid principal at the rate of 5% per annum, calculated yearly. The loan is not convertible into securities of the Company. Goknet is a related party, as Douglas R. MacQuarrie is the CEO of the Company and the Managing Director of Goknet.

Goknet has also informed the Company that its arbitration with PMI Gold Corporation, with respect to PMI’s consent to the assignment of a 1% NSR royalty interest on the Obotan Gold Mine project in Ghana held by Goknet to the Company, is progressing with the full panel of arbitrators now selected. The Goknet/PMI agreement calls for a decision of the majority of the arbitrators to be made within 30 days. Further updates will be issued when and as received.

On behalf of the Board,

“Douglas R. MacQuarrie”

President & CEO

 

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Very Successful bauma 2013 for Doosan Construction Equipment

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Africa Business

The impressive display of products on the Doosan Construction Equipment and Montabert stands at bauma 2013 in Munich, Germany proved to be a strong attraction for machine and attachment buyers from around the world.

Bathed in strong sunshine for much of the week, the Doosan and Montabert stands formed part of a historic show that broke all previous records with more than 530,000 visitors from more than 200 countries worldwide. There were over 3400 exhibitors from 57 countries at the show, again a new record, with the top five exhibitor countries being Germany, Italy, China, USA and Turkey.

Forming part of a massive outside exhibition area of 390,000 m², the 4553 m² Doosan stand was in an excellent position close to the main East and North entrances to the showground. The figures from the organisers show that over 120,000 visitors entered the show via the East entrance and more than 54,000 visitors entered the show via the North entrance where they passed by a large cube advertising Doosan and Bobcat products on the company’s stand. Strong branding for Doosan and Bobcat was also evident on the doors to the East Entrance and on the much-needed train taking excited visitors to different parts of what is the world’s largest trade show.

Many of the visitors to the main display of Doosan Heavy, Bobcat and Portable Power products were treated to a spectacular demonstration of the company’s products held several times a day at the corner of the stand closest to the East entrance. Alongside many new products taking part in the show was the real eye-catcher of a special version of the Bobcat T590 compact tracked loader finished in the striking colours of the Bavaria state flag and coat of arms. Despite being the world’s only T590 loader in this unique colour scheme, the machine is now being offered for sale by a local dealer, who reports that the level of interest will ensure that this special tracked loader will stay in Bavaria for good.

On the nearby 320 m² Montabert stand, visitors could see the very latest in breaker, demolition attachment and lubricant products from the company.

Franz Beckmann, Regional Director, Germany and Switzerland for Doosan Construction Equipment, said: “bauma is the biggest construction machinery show in the world. The number of visitors to our stand exceeded all predictions and we welcomed a huge number of our existing customers and many new prospective customers who were coming to see us at the show for the first time. Highlights of the week were the first two sales in Germany of our largest 70 tonne DX700LC crawler excavator, but over the week, we sold more machines at bauma 2013 than ever before and have set yet another record.”

As well as the large numbers of visitors from Germany, the level of international visitors was confirmed by Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of organiser Messe München, who said the proportion of international visitors to the show was higher than ever: “Good business has been done here. With over 200,000 visitors from outside Germany, the number of international attendees was higher than ever before. The response this year has simply been outstanding.”

The ‘Top Ten’ countries of origin among the visitors were: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Russian Federation, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden and Poland. Indonesia, bauma’s partner country this year, was also strongly represented, with a high-ranking political delegation and around 800 visitors.

Nancy De Sy, Corporate and Public Communication Manager for Doosan Construction Equipment, said: “I can only reiterate what the data says – all results have been well above expectations and we received very large numbers of visitors from day one. We not only had our German, but most of our international sales network present all week to welcome our dealers and customers from around EMEA. As the rendezvous for the industry worldwide, for Doosan, Bobcat and Montabert, bauma is a given!”

The next bauma takes place from 11-17 April 2016 in Munich.

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ICANN To Open Istanbul Hub, Covering Africa

Posted on 29 April 2013 by Africa Business

Infrastructure, growing technology sector, proximity to Africa, Middle-East and Europe make Istanbul ideal location

About ICANN: ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN (http://www.icann.org) coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: http://www.icann.org.


ISTANBUL, Turkey, April 29, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé today announced the organization will open its first hub office in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé

 

ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Chehadé with Binali Yıldırım, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs, and Communications

 

The announcement marks a significant moment in the evolution of ICANN (http://www.icann.org) as it prepares to spread its operational functions across three global headquarters – Los Angeles (current location), Istanbul and Singapore.

“ICANN is becoming increasingly international in terms of our outlook, policies and the makeup of our staff. Now our global hub strategy will take our internationalism to an improved operational level,” said Chehadé. “These hub offices will become part of the core fabric of ICANN.”

The Istanbul hub office will be led by David Olive, ICANN’s Vice President for Policy Development. A number of current ICANN staff will relocate to Istanbul over the coming months and local staff also will be hired.

“We looked closely at a number of possible global locations,” said Fadi Chehadé. “We chose Istanbul because of the quality of its infrastructure, growing ICT sector, business-friendly environment and its close cultural and geographic proximity to Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.”

“ICANN provides efficient and considered management of the Internet’s Domain Name System, and today marks the latest step in the organization’s journey of extending its global influence,” said Binali Yıldırım, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs, and Communications. “The ICANN European HUB is being established in Istanbul to act as an epicenter that will help shape Internet policy to deliver a more connected community across Europe, Middle East and Africa.”

ICANN currently is overseeing the implementation of more than 1,400 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), representing one of the biggest changes to the Internet since its inception. The first wave of these domains will come online in the coming months. As a result of this massive expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS), ICANN too is expanding as it continues its mission to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet.

 

SOURCE

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

 

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