Company news in brief

15 November 2017 | Business

Billions in airline revenue blocked across Africa

The global airline industry has US$1.2 billion blocked in nine US dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic US dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies.

The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their US dollar profits in full.

Of the total of US$1.2 billion, Angola has blocked the largest amount, US$500 million, while Sudan has held up US$200 million. Last year Nigeria owed airliners US$600 million but as of October the amount had fallen to US$221 million.

Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are the other African countries. – Nampa/Reuters

Asia beef demand to reach 50% of world market

Beef processor Minerva SA said Asia will become the destination for up to half the world's beef in the next three to four years, up from just under 46% in 2017, amid rising demand in China.

Changing consumer tastes are behind the rise in demand, Minerva COO Iain Anderson Mars said.

The growing appetite comes as supplies of protein like beef soar in South America and other key global producers. – Nampa/Reuters

Dangote sells small stake to foreigners

Nigeria's Dangote Industries Ltd sold a 0.75% stake in Dangote Cement to foreign investors in a one-off stock market deal valued at 27 billion naira (US$85.9 million).

Africa's biggest cement maker has been selling small stakes to increase its free float, which is well below the Nigerian stock exchange's required level.

The transaction increases Dangote Cement's free float to 11.15% according to Thomson Reuters calculations, still well below a stock market requirement of 20%.

Dangote Cement is the biggest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, accounting for a third of total market capitalisation. When it listed in 2010 the bourse waived its free float requirement because it wanted to encourage more firms to list. – Nampa/Reuters

Kenya Airways restructuring nearly done

The financial restructuring of Kenya Airways through a conversion of some debt into equity and the provision of some guarantees by the government will be completed this week, the finance minister said.

Henry Rotich said the government's participation in the deal did not amount to a bail-out, adding that it expected a return once the loss-making carrier is back on its feet. – Nampa/Reuters

PPC gets non-binding bid for controlling stake

South African cement producer PPC said Irish building materials firm CRH is considering an all-cash offer to buy a controlling stake in it.

South Africa's largest cement supplier is also the subject of tie-up approaches from local rival Afrisam and Switzerland's LafargeHolcim.

PPC, which did not disclose the value of the non-binding expression of interest, said it would allow CRH time to conduct due diligence and submit an updated offer next week. – Nampa/Reuters

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