News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Angola news update, August 29th

In Angola on August 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

INVESTMENT

The private investment project called “SLN – Fábrica de Cimento e Clinker de Benguela”, approved by the Cabinet Council, is estimated at Usd 240 million. The promoters of the project are SLN-International, SGPS S.A (Portuguese company), Tecnoimóvel Limitada (Angolan company) and the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) Social Security Provident Fund (ANGOP).

The Angolan government is to invest 2.0 billion US dollars by 2012 in Soyo district in northern Zaire Province, in order to relaunch local industries based on liquefied natural gas and other petrochemicals (ANGOP).

TELECOM

The mobile-phone operator Unitel will later this year link the provinces of Luanda, Huambo, Huíla and Benguela through fibre optic cable . The company’s manager, who was speaking at the end of a meeting with Huambo governor, Albino Malungo, said that it is a nation-wide project, estimated at USD 100 million (ANGOP).

POWER

The manager for international products of Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, Sérgio Kraenzer, said that the country may be able to supply 5,319 megawatts of electrical power by 2016.  The country counts currently on distribution of 967 megawatts, a low capacity to cover all national territory (ANGOP).

PORTS

At least two new commercial ports will be constructed in Angola from 2009 to 2013, with the purpose of improving harbour services, particularly in the process of unloading, customs and clearance of containers and goods (ANGOP).

CONSTRUCTION

Depa Ltd., the interiors contractor for the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, won a 9.2 million-dirham ($2.5 million) contract to fit out the Talatona Convention Centre Hotel in Luanda, Angola (Bloomberg).

OIL

State owned oil company Sonangol is among those selected by the Iraqi government as potential bidders for exploitation of Iraqi oilfields (Bloomberg).

Panama’s economy rises slightly

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Panama’s economic activity rose 0.31 percent in June from the same month a year ago, lifting hopes the Central American nation may return to a growth trend, the government said (Reuters).

Cape Verde news update, August 29th

In Angola, Cape Verde on August 30, 2009 at 12:46 pm

PORTS

Work on the modernization and expansion of the dock at Porto Novo sea port on the island of Santo Antão is slated to begin in the first trimester of 2010, according to an announcement made Friday by Franklin Spencer, administrative council president of port management company Enapor (A Semana).

BANKING

The Bank of China hopes to enter the Cape Verdean market by the end of this year, through cooperation accords with banks in Cape Verde (A Semana).

Cape Verdean commercial bank Caixa Económica de Cabo Verde has quadrupled its social capital from 348 million to 1.392 billion escudos. With the approval of this increase, Caixa Económica is now Cape Verde’s largest bank in terms of social capital (A Semana).

BUSINESS

Internationally-renowned Portuguese computer and information security company VisionWare is going to open a delegation in the city of Praia. Brussels and Cape Verde will be the headquarters of the brand’s representations in Europe and Portuguese-speaking Africa, respectively (A Semana).

TOURISM

A total of 35,287 tourists visited the island of Boa Vista in the first six months of 2009, according to data from the Boa Vista border services. So far this summer between 6,500 and 7,000 tourists are thought to have come to the island, but the data provided indicates only those visitors arriving at Rabil International Airport directly from other countries (A Semana).

Angolan opportunities for SA aviation business

In Angola on August 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

President Jacob Zuma’s recent visit to Angola has gone a long way to smoothing the way for the businesses that formed part of his delegation, particularly in the aviation sector. For the aviation industry Angola is seen as a vital market but has until now been difficult to reach.

Read the report at BusinessDay

The story behind Brazil’s new airline Azul

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2009 at 9:17 am

Azul’s founder and CEO David Neeleman thinks Brazil is just as good a place to do business as America.

Read the full story at The Economist

A Princess of the Portuguese language

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Clarice Lispector, the “princess of the Portuguese language” and perhaps the first Latin American writer to be identified as a practitioner of magic realism, is one of the more obscure geniuses of modern letters.

Read the comments on a new biography in The Economist

Presidential politics in Brazil

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Lula’s plan to apoint Dilma Rousseff as his successor has started to go awry amid the splintering of the Workers’ Party.

Read the analysis in The Economist

Brazil news update, August 24th

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm

MERGERS & TALKS

Itau Unibanco, Brazil’s biggest private sector bank by assets, agreed on Monday to merge its automobile and residential insurance business with local insurer Porto Seguro (Reuters).

Brenco, a Brazilian ethanol producer backed by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and AOL founder Steve Case, is in talks with three separate groups to sell a stake in a bid to raise cash and restructure its debt, Valor Economico newspaper said (Reuters).

Braskem, Latin America’s largest petrochemical company, said it was in talks with controlling shareholders of rival Quattor to spot opportunities for a strategic alliance (Reuters).

OIL

The governor of Rio de Janeiro state, where most of Brazil’s oil production is located, said he opposed changes to regulations that would reduce the state’s tax revenue, a newspaper reported on Sunday, days before the country’s revamped oil rules are unveiled (Reuters).

State-run oil giant Petrobras said it found light crude in reserves situated off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Unemployment in Brazil unexpectedly fell in July and was down for a fourth straight month, the latest sign that a recovery in Latin America’s largest economy is gaining traction (Reuters).

ELECTIONS

Brazil’s former environment minister, Marina Silva, said on Wednesday she is leaving the ruling Workers’ Party, paving the way for an expected presidential run in the October 2010 election (Reuters).

Brazil will hold a presidential election in October 2010 to choose the successor to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is barred by law from seeking a third consecutive term. Parties will formally nominate their candidates late this year. Here are some frequently asked questions about the race.

Pro-business candidates likely will dominate the race to take over from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with his handpicked successor and the governor of the nation’s richest state ahead of emerging leftist rivals (Reuters).

MINING

Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista will show in the next two months whether the eight-month rally that made his company the priciest of the world’s biggest energy stocks is justified  (Bloomberg).

Angola news update, August 22nd

In Angola on August 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

PORTS

The waiting period for ships to unload, at the port of Luanda, has fallen from 80 to 10 days after the introduction of new operating rules, Angola’s Transport Minister, Augusto Tomás said in Luanda (Macauhub).

The investment plan for the modernisation of the general cargo terminal at the port of Luanda for the next five years, valued at US$52 million, aims to provide the port with greater operating capacity, the general director of Multiterminais said (Macauhub).

ENERGY

The deputy Angolan Energy Minsiter, João Baptista Borges said in Cuito, in Angola’s Bié province, that the government planned to quickly replace the energy potential the country had before its civil war, by 2013 (Macauhub).

CONSTRUCTION

Russia’s Alrosa, one of the world’s biggest mining companies will invest $500 million to build homes, schools and dams in Angola in the next few years, a company official said (Reuters).

ATLANTICO

South Africa is the African country that invested most in the Angolan economy.  South African investment amounts for a total of 3.3 percent, or US$60 million of African investments. The sectors in which most South African investments have been made are manufacturing industry with 37.5 percent of the total, retail with 12.8 percent and construction with 11.4 percent (Macauhub).

Angolan and South African businesses urged an end to visa restrictions they say are damaging economic ties between South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, and one of Africa’s biggest oil producers (Reuters).

INVESTMENTS

Geo-Rumo, a special foundations company of Portugal’s FDO group, said Monday in Braga, northern Portugal, that it had invested 25 million euros in the creation of a subsidiary on Luanda Island in Angola (Macauhub).

Japanese group Sharp Corp plans to set up a factory in Angola, the group’s director for Malaysia, Yukio Sakamoto said at the group’s first seminar in Angola and in Africa, cited by Angolan newspaper Jornal de Angola (Macauhub).

BANKING

Angolan-owned bank, Banco Privado Atlântico – Europa (BPAE), owned by Banco Privado Atlântico (BPA), began operating in Portugal on Monday, in the investment banking sector (Macauhub).

OIL

Angola’s daily crude oil exports are scheduled to rise to the highest this year, signaling that Africa’s second-biggest producer continues to pump more than its OPEC quota (Bloomberg).

BPA bank internationalizing Angola’s economy

In Angola on August 22, 2009 at 11:01 am

The Banco Privado Atlantico – Europa, linked to Angolan oil company Sonangol, is the latest “weapon” in the internationalization of Angola’s economy, establishing itself as promoter of investments and cross ownership between Angolan and foreign companies.

Read the full story at Macauhub

Cape Verde news update, August 22nd

In Cape Verde on August 22, 2009 at 10:43 am

ENERGY

On the 90th anniversary of its presence in Cape Verde, Shell acquired a new ship for the transportation of fuel in the country. The Harpa Doris has a 1,800 m3 capacity and will distribute petroleum, jet fuel and diesel to all of Cape Verde’s islands. The ship was built in Turkey with modern technology and represents an investment of US$ 15 million (A Semana).

The use of renewable energy sources to guarantee one-quarter of Cape Verde’s electricity needs was the solution presented Tuesday in a joint press conference given by the director of the Department of Industry and Energy, Abraão Lopes, and the president of water and electricity utility Electra’s administrative council, Antão Fortes (A Semana).

STOCK EXCHANGE

Construction company Sogei began paying interest on the its first Public Underwriting Offer carried out by the Cape Verde Stock Exchange, in which 1,500,000 future bonds with a nominal value of 1,000 escudos each were sold. The operation earned the company 1,500,000,000 escudos. The interest rate on the first coupon is 6.4%, meaning that Sogei will pay out a total of 48 million escudos (A Semana).

ATLANTICO

The organizers of the 5th Portuguese-Language Business Meeting, which will take place in Fortaleza, Brazil on September 28 and 29, calculate that the volume of trading taking place among the eight participating countries could reach US$ 550 billion (more than € 386 billion) (A Semana).

Russia, Cape Verde investigate Arctic Sea case

In Cape Verde on August 22, 2009 at 10:31 am

Member’s of Russia’s Security Council came to Cape Verde in order to investigate the case of the Arctic Sea cargo ship, which went missing for some two weeks in the Atlantic Ocean. As soon as the Russian warship that rescued the Arctic Sea’s 15 crew members some 300 miles from Cape Verde earlier this week entered Palmeira sea port on the island of Sal, Russian Security Council agents and the Russian ambassador to Praia, Alexandre Karpuchin, questioned the ship’s crew and its eight suspected hijackers.

Read the full report at A Semana

South Africa signs oil deal with Angola

In Angola on August 21, 2009 at 10:42 am

South African President Jacob Zuma signed on Thursday an oil agreement with his Angolan counterpart during a visit aimed at strengthening economic ties with the oil-rich country.

Read the whole story at the Mail & Guardian

Earlier Angolan president Dos Santos said Angola needed more qualified labour from SA to help rebuild infrastructure destroyed by Angola’s 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002, and to tap into its oil and mining industry.

“We want to create a strategic partnership between our two countries,” Dos Santos said in a speech to his cabinet and 11 South African ministers as he sat next to Zuma. Zuma is accompanied by a delegation of more than 150 South African businessmen. Pretoria billed the trip as the biggest business delegation to take part in a state visit abroad since 1994.

For more on this story see BusinessDay

Worst over for South Africa’s recession

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2009 at 10:32 am

South Africa was rather slow to feel the impact of the global economic downturn. As other countries start to report their emergence from recession, its recovery is likely to lag behind the rest of the world, too.

Read the full analysis in The Economist

Zuma’s Angola visit to focus on trade

In Angola on August 18, 2009 at 9:37 pm

South African President Jacob Zuma travels to Angola on Wednesday in a bid to strengthen ties between the continent’s biggest economy and one of its top oil producers.

Read the report at the Mail & Guardian

Brazil news update, August 17th

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm

MEAT

Brazil’s top leather exporter and second-largest beef exporter, Bertin, said it has signed a pact with environmental campaigner Greenpeace to refuse purchases of cattle reared in recently-deforested parts of the Amazon (Reuters).

Cattle ranching has become the biggest environmental challenge for Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, which has launched a “cattle moratorium” to combat Amazon destruction, the state’s governor said (Reuters).

SECURITY

Colombia would like to increase its military ties with Brazil and other South American countries, President Alvaro Uribe said in the face of criticism over an pending security pact with Washington (Reuters).

OIL

Brazil’s overhaul of oil laws will not change the distribution of revenues among states, a cabinet minister said, a change of position that could ease passage of the measures in Congress (Reuters).

A Brazilian government proposal for exploiting recent deep-water oil discoveries calls for direct state control and is expected to give a key role to oil company Petrobras. The new plan follows the discovery off Brazil’s coast of giant pools of oil. They are among the largest petroleum finds in recent years, and could make Brazil into a significant energy exporter (Bloomberg).

ELECTIONS

Brazil’s central bank chief stoked speculation he may run for governor of Goias state next year when he joined President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at a ribbon-cutting event there (Reuters).

The expected ruling party candidate in Brazil’s 2010 presidential election has been drawn into a scandal by an accusation that she tried to stop a probe into the finances of the Senate chief’s family (Reuters).

BANKING

Banco do Brasil, Brazil’s largest state-run bank by assets, said early its second-quarter profit surged 43 percent on increased lending and after it sold a stake in credit card processing company VisaNet (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s economy is showing signs of recovering in the second semester, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said (Reuters).

BUSINESS

PepsiCo Inc said it plans to buy Amacoco, Brazil’s largest maker of packaged coconut water drinks, as it expands its presence in South America’s largest nation (Reuters).

A rebound by the Brazilian auto industry this year has been so swift and so widespread that auto makers are now planning new hires and expanded output. That’s a stark contrast from much of the rest of the world, where the industry continues to retrench. Not long ago, Brazil’s auto makers were also cutting back production and eliminating jobs in the face of an uncertain fate for the economy and their sales (Bloomberg).

POWER

Eletrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled power utility, is negotiating the purchase of an electricity generation company in neighboring Peru, Chief Executive Jose Antonio Muniz Lopes said (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Brazil’s government may revive the former telecommunications industry monopoly, which was sold to private investors in the late 1990s, to provide the government with free access to the Internet, daily newspaper Valor Economico said (Reuters).

Angola news update, August 15th

In Angola, Cape Verde on August 15, 2009 at 8:45 am

BUSINESS

South African furniture manufacturer and retailer Coricraft is broadening its horizons with a move into Angola later this year. MD David Jacobson says “Africa holds great appeal” and the company has signed a distribution agreement for Angola which will start towards the year-end. Under the deal, Coricraft will supply product to an Angolan retail agent with a view to developing this market (BusinessDay).

CORRUPTION

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Angolan Foreign Minister Assuncao dos Anjos address a press conference in Luanda, August 9, 2009 -Clinton pressed Angola on Sunday to do more to fight corruption during a two-day visit to the oil-producing country aimed at bolstering ties between the two nations (BusinessDay).

ATLANTIC

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, bringing her democracy and development tour of Africa to oil-rich Angola on Sunday, encouraged the war-ravaged country to continue reforms and pledged to boost trade ties with a major energy producer (News24).

ATLANTICO

Trade between the eight members of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) remains at low levels, says the head of the Council of Portuguese Chambers of Commerce in Brazil, Romulo Alexandre Soares. Soares told the Lusa news agency: “Today these states have trade with the rest of the world valued at around US$ 550 billion, but between them level is around US$ 13 billion or about 2.3% of their total international exchanges.” The official was citing figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (Macauhub).

INVESTMENT

At least sixteen factories will be built in the coming four years, in the northern Zaire Province, under the government programme to re-launch the manufacturing industry, on Thursday announced the local industry, geology and mining department director, Adão Alberto Sofia (ANGOP).

COFFEE

Angola’s coffee production this year is expected to reach 17,000 tons, according to deputy minister of Agriculture, Zacarias Sambeny. Mr Sambeny said the figure represents the Government’s investment in the sector, in an effort to relaunch coffee production in the country. According to the deputy minister, production in 2008 reached six tons, which is far below the 200,000 tons of 1973, when Angola was the third world producer (ANGOP).

ECONOMY

The World Bank has upwardly revised its prediction for a 3% contraction in Angola this year to 0% (Macauhub).

INFRASTRUCTURE

India is to provide US$ 40 million for the building of a railway between the cities of Lubango and Matala in the province of Huila, India’s ambassador to Angola, Ghanashyam Ajjampor Rangaiam has said (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, August 15th

In Cape Verde on August 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

AIRPORTS

Minister of Infrastructures and Transportation Manuel Inocêncio Sousa has affirmed that Airport and Air Security company ASA has had its Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) approved for São Vicente’s international airport. The approval of the PAPI was the final step in the conclusion of the airport’s certification process, and, as such, the airport is now ready to open for international flights (A Semana).

CAPITAL

Praia municipal chamber president Ulisses Correia e Silva has kept his promise to submit the report elaborated following an audit into the administration of his predecessor, Felisberto Vieira, to the Attorney General’s Office, the Court of Accounts and the Ministry of Decentralization, Housing and Territorial Ordering (A Semana).

BUSINESS

The Ministry of the Economy, Growth and Competitiveness is carrying out a study on business opportunities in Cape Verde in partnership with the University of Cape Verde (UniCV). According to State Secretary of the Economy Humberto Brito, the study is aimed at offering potential investors and Cape Verdean entrepreneurs a guiding document to help them identify the sectors in which investments may or may not be profitable (A Semana).

TOURISM

While on the tourism sector on the island of Boa Vista is growing exponentially, on nearby Sal hotel managers are tightening their belts in order to get through the current crisis. Boa Vista is now registering hotel occupation rates between 70% and 95%, dethroning former champion Sal, where the tourism sector is in freefall: the occupation rate in the island’s main hotels has not surpassed 50% during the summer of 2009 (A Semana).

AIR TRAVEL

Cape Verde’s Civil Aeronautics Agency has extended private company Halcyon Airways’ air operations certificate for a two-year period. After detailed and rigorous inspections carried out in the months of June and July, the aeronautics authority deemed the relatively new company fit to have its certificate renewed until July of 2011. A similar inspection to Cape Verde’s national carrier TACV had less positive results (A Semana).

WATER

Portugal will finance the construction of three dams to capture rainwater in Cape Verde in a scheme valued at €100 million. The dams will be built at Salineiro, in the council of Ribeira Grande, at Tabugal in Santa Catarina and at Faveta in Sao Salvador to Mundo – all on Santiago Island, where Cape Verde’s sole existing dam was built at Poilao in 2006 (Macauhub).

Whose side is Brazil on?

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Success at home has given oxygen to the vaulting ambition of Lula’s foreign policy. His Brazil wants to be seen as a great power by setting itself up as the leader of a united Latin America while also seeking new alliances with other rising powers of the global “south”.

Read the opinion of The Economist

Brazil’s foreign policy

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2009 at 8:01 pm

A bold Brazilian attempt to integrate South America has run into difficulty. Critics at home say Brazil should put national interest over leftist ideology.

Read the full analysis in The Economist