Company news in brief

26 March 2019 | Business

Naspers to list internet business on Euronext

South Africa's Naspers expects to float its e-commerce ventures on Euronext in Amsterdam in the second half of the year, its chief executive said yesterday.

"There's still a lot of work to do before we can make this thing a reality. We're only looking to do this in the second half of 2019," Bob van Dijk told a conference call.

The new entity, which will have a secondary listing in Johannesburg, will house stakes from some of the biggest internet brands in emerging markets including Russia's biggest social networking site mail.ru, Indian online travel firm MakeMyTrip and Brazilian food delivery firm iFood.

The new company is expected to be owned 75% by Naspers and have a free float of 25%. Naspers did not give financial details of the deal.

As part of efforts to create shareholder value, Naspers has already spun out and separately listed its de facto African pay-TV monopoly Multichoice, which is valued at around R50 billion.

Founded more than 100 years ago in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Naspers has transformed itself from a newspaper publisher into a R1.5 trillion media and internet giant. But it owes all of that valuation to its one-third stake in Tencent. – Nampa/Reuters

Ethiopian Airlines commits to Boeing ties

Ethiopian Airlines said yesterday it would keep close ties with US planemaker Boeing even though questions remained about its 737 MAX 8 model, after a crash shortly after take off this month killed 157 people.

CEO Tewolde Gebremariam also promised to work closely with an investigation into the March 10 incident, after reports that the probe was under strain because the Ethiopian authorities were not sharing information with international partners.

Boeing's 737 MAX fleet has been grounded worldwide, wiping US$28 billion off the company's market value and throwing doubt over advance orders of the plane, worth more than US$500 billion.

Tewolde said both pilots of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines plane had been fully trained "beyond" the requirements of Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The airline's Aviation Academy annually trains more than 2 000 pilots, flight attendants, maintenance workers and other employees for Ethiopian Airlines and other African carriers, he said. – Nampa/Reuters

Louis Dreyfus 2018 profits rise

Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company reported higher annual profits as it managed to capitalise on trading opportunities created by a US-Chinese trade dispute, giving a boost to its oilseed business.

Group net profit reached US$355 million in 2018, up 12% from a year ago, while segment operating results increased to US$1.33 billion from US$1.06 billion.

LDC posted record soybean export volumes from Brazil as theSouth American country increased flows to China during the Asian country's trade row with Washington, the company said.

The group's full-year profit rise reversed a sharp fall in the first half and was in keeping with comments made by McIntosh in late September when he said that year-to-date results had "significantly improved".

LDC, often known as Dreyfus, is the “D” of the so-called “ABCD” quartet of global agricultural merchants alongside Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill that each handle tens of millions of tonnes of crops every year.

Sinopec reports drop in quarterly profit

Sinopec Corp, Asia's top refiner, posted its smallest quarterly net profit since at least the third quarter of 2016 after its oil trading unit Unipec registered one of China's largest derivatives trading losses in nearly a decade.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, said its fourth-quarter net profit plunged 76% from a year ago to only 3.1 billion yuan (US$461.57 million). Its revenues increased 33% to 818 billion yuan during the same period, according to Reuters calculations.

Sinopec said Unipec posted a net loss of 4.02 billion yuan last year. Unipec lost 4.65 billion yuan on crude oil hedging in the fourth quarter.

The strong growth in 2018 was mainly due to higher sales prices and volume of refined products and chemicals, the company said in a filing to Shanghai Stock Exchange on Sunday.

The company issued a dividend of 0.26 yuan per share.

Uber to buy Mideast rival Careem

Uber is set to buy its Middle Eastern rival Careem for US$3.1 billion, financial news agency Bloomberg reported Sunday.

The deal, expected to be announced today, will see Uber pay US$1.4 billion in cash and the rest in notes convertible to Uber shares, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

It comes as Uber prepares for its initial public offering - expected next month - which could, according to some estimates, see the rideshare giant's value increase to US$100 billion.

Dubai-based Careem boast more than a million drivers and 30 million users across 90 cities. – Nampa/Reuters