News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

South Africa news update, Feb. 26

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm

POLITICS

The Congress of the People (Cope) formally introduced its presidential candidate, Dr Mvume Dandala, to the media at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni on Monday. Read the full article in the Mail & Guardian

MEDIA

Kagiso Media’s headline earnings increased by 20% to R106,3-million, the black-owned and managed media company said on Monday.Read the full story in the Mail & Guardian

MINING

The world’s largest diamond group, De Beers, said its three shareholders have agreed to loan the company $500 million to help it weather the economic downturn, following muted sales in 2008 (Reuters).

AngloGold Ashanti , the world’s No. 3 gold producer, has agreed to sell a mine in South Africa to smaller rival Simmer & Jack Ltd. (Simmers) in a bid to beef up its balance sheet (Reuters).

RETAIL

Africa’s biggest supermarket group Shoprite posted profit at the top end of its forecast as cheaper products helped it win market share, but warned of slower growth as the global crisis bites (Reuters).

DEFENCE

LAND Systems SA yesterday unveiled its new version of SA’s most successful mine-protected vehicle for export. The latest version of the company’s acclaimed RG series of mine-resistant personnel carrier vehicles — the RG31 Mk6E — made its international debut at the IDEX exhibition of modern defence weaponry and technology in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Business Day).

Cape Verde news update, Feb. 26

In Angola, Cape Verde on February 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm

AIR TRAVEL

US-based company Delta Airlines expects to launch its flight path between the United States in Angola, with a stopover in Cape Verde, in September of this year. According to a company announcement, Delta will operate two flights a week to Cape Verde (A Semana), via Sal (Macauhub).

More European charter flights to Cape Verde are expected this summer. Both Tui and JetAir, operating from Dusseldorf and Brussels respectively, are providing flights to Sal and Boavista. Now the Rotterdam based Cabolux travel and transport company, is offering charter flights between Sao Vicente and Rotterdam, home to a vibrant 15.000 strong Capeverdean communtiy.

SECURITY

Crimes against property and people are on the rise in Cape Verde, particularly in the city of Praia, as has been acknowledged by the director of the National Police in his third meeting with the corporation’s command structures (A Semana).

INVESTMENT

Alexandre Fontes is leaving investment and tourism promotion agency Cabo Verde Investimentos (known by the acronym CI), along with the rest of the agency’s administrators, due to differences with Minister of the Economy Fátima Fialho. Sociologist Manuel Pereira Silva has been tapped as the agency’s new president. Read the full story at A Semana

The Cape Verdean government is preparing a vast infrastructure programme capable of attracting, via Morocco, Arab investors to the archipelago, according to Cape Verdean news agency Inforpress (Macauhub).

Angola news update, Feb. 26

In Angola on February 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

AIRLINES

TAP is ahead in the running for a partnership with the Angolan Taag, though the Portuguese Euroatlantic and the South African SAA are competing for the partnership with one of the most strategic and well-equipped African airlines (Macauhub).

ECONOMY

Angola ’s annual inflation rate climbed to 13.28 percent in January as food prices increased, the National Statistics Institute said.

Angola may be forced to devalue the kwanza as the central bank becomes reluctant to drain foreign- exchange reserves to support the currency following the plunge in oil prices, according to Standard Bank (Bloomberg).

SHIPPING

Angola is to export 52 oil cargoes in April, the loading program show, meaning OPEC’s newest member and holder of the group’s rotating presidency, will export one less crude oil cargo in April than in March (Bloomberg).

OIL

Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company, won’t float its shares on the planned Luanda stock exchange and the officials organizing the start up of the bourse may be “rethinking the process,” Manuel Vicente, the company’s chairman, said (Bloomberg).

The country’s Oil Ministry intends to co-operate with German companies in hydrocarbons, since the sector continues growing and needs investors of various origins, ANGOP learnt from minister Botelho de Vasconcelos (Angop).

Brazil news update, Feb. 26

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm

MEAT

Brazil’s JBS , the world’s largest beef producer and owner of JBS-Swift, has abandoned its attempt to take over U.S. meat company National Beef Packing Company LLC, saying it could not work out an agreement with U.S. authorities over terms of the deal (Reuters).

BANKING

Citigroup Inc plans to sell a large chunk of its minority stake in Brazilian credit card company Redecard SA, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter (Reuters).

Itau Unibanco Banco Multiplo SA, the combination of Banco Itau Holding Financeira SA and Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros SA or Unibanco, posted a profit of 7.8 billion reais in 2008 (Bloomberg).

Brazilian investor Luiz Cezar Fernandes, who founded two of the country’s largest investment banks, said on Thursday he is in advanced talks to buy Dresdner Bank’s Brazil operations (Reuters).

MINING

Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas plans to increase investments in 2009 even as it braces for a drop in sales because of the global economic crisis, the company’s chief executive said on Friday (Reuters).

Brazilian miner Vale, the world’s biggest iron ore producer, is expanding its client base among Chinese steel companies, locking in long-term, benchmark supply contracts (Reuters).

INVESTMENT

Portuguese direct investment in Brazil in January saw a year on year drop of 94.7 percent, falling to US$8 million, in line with strong contraction of foreign investments, the Brazilian Central Bank said in Brasilia (Macauhub).

SHIPPING

ArcelorMittal and other European steelmakers began seeking capesize ships to collect iron ore from Brazil for the first time since October, Lloyd’s List reported, citing shipbrokers it didn’t identify. The companies want vessels to load cargoes in March and April (Bloomberg).

SUGAR

Bad weather in India’s sugar-cane growing region will benefit Brazil’s sugar and ethanol industries this year, according to producers (Wall Street Journal).

DEFENCE

Brazil’s plan to build five submarines in cooperation with France may be jeopardized as the global financial crisis undercuts access to credit, Folha de Sao Paulo said, citing unidentified navy officials (Bloomberg).

Millennium Angola invests US 200 million

In Angola on February 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Angolan bank, Millennium Angola plans to invest, over the next three years, over US$200 million in expanding its banking network and improving its services, the chairman of the bank’s board, Armando Vara said Wednesday in Luanda.

Read the full story at Macauhub

Brazil JBS becomes beef giant

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 at 9:18 pm

At the tender age of 18, when other teenagers dream about getting a car, Wesley Batista was handed a meat-packing plant to manage. Some 20 years later, the 38-year-old Brazilian runs the U.S. operations of the world’s largest beef producer, Brazil’s JBS beef group.

Read the full article at Reuters

SA Congress of the People presents candidate

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm

WITH just two months to go before South Africa’s general election, the Congress of the People (COPE), a splinter of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has presented a political unknown, Bishop Mvume Dandala, as its presidential candidate in a bid to attract votes.

Read the full article in The Economist

Namibia’s $1 bln gas project still on

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Namibian power utility NamPower has not revised the price tag for its $1 billion Kudu gas-to-power project despite the credit crisis, Reiner Jagau, general manager of its power systems development told Reuters.

Read the full story at Reuters

Angola eyes new investments in Portugal

In Angola on February 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Low oil prices will not affect producer Angola’s resolve in carrying out multi-billion dollar investments at home and raising stakes in Portuguese firms, the head of state-owned firm Sonangol said on Wednesday.

Read the full article at Reuters

Sao Tome president “still in charge”

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

The president of São Tomé and Príncipe, Fradique de Menezes, spoke out on Tuesday for the first time since a foiled coup attempt nearly two weeks ago and declared that he remains in charge.

Read the full story in News 24

Where will South Africa be in 2025?

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Possibly one of the finest public documents yet published, the 2025 Scenarios paint three states of our nation in 16 years. The first is a business-as-usual nation where the country atrophies and divisions grow, the second is an ideal where we leverage our strengths to end the ravages of apartheid, while the third is a dog-eat-dog world of a privileged elite with a large underclass.

Read the full article in the Mail & Guardian

Ex-Presidents: War on drugs failed

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm

The war on drugs has failed, argue three former Presidents, among which Brazil’s Fernando Henrique Cardoso. And it’s high time to replace an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient drug policies. This is the central message of the report by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy the trio presented to the public recently in Rio de Janeiro.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

Sao Tome close to oil deal with Angola

In Angola on February 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Sao Tome and Principe is close to signing a deal with Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol to help start pumping oil from the tiny African island nation’s coast, a senior government minister said on Friday.

Read the full article at Reuters

South Africa “well positioned” in crisis

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm

While South Africa is relatively well positioned in the current credit crisis, a number of challenges remain as credit demand continues to fall sharply despite falling interest rates, said Ernst & Young on Monday in a report on the impact of the financial crisis.

Read the full story in Business Day

Poll: what are you interested in?

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Panama: Businessman Martinelli for president

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 11:23 pm

The Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela ticket, now dubbed the “Alliance for Change” and supported by the Cambio Democratico, Panameñista, MOLIRENA and Union Patriotica parties, unveiled its election platform.

Read the full article  in the Panama News

Panama Canal too expensive?

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 11:17 pm

The canal’s tolls are too expensive for the trade when the vessels do not have anything to load, say foreign ship owners.

Read the article in the Panama Star 

Angola speeds on with soccer venue

In Angola on February 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

In a year in which Angola’s two main exports — oil and diamonds — have plunged, a scene on the outskirts of the capital city of Luanda defies the notion of scaling back in bad times.

Read the full article in the International Herald Tribune

Rio mayor tries to control chaotic city

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Rio’s mayor has a plan he believes can tame this chaotic city, which is both beloved and loathed for the cacophony of sins that reach their apex during Carnival, which opened Friday.

Read the full article in the International Herald Tribune

Economy fuels Brazil’s ambitions

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — In the years since terrorist attacks refocused U.S. foreign policy on the Middle East, Brazil and Venezuela vied to replace the U.S. as chief broker of Latin American affairs. Today’s plunging oil prices may determine a winner: Brazil.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal