NEWS: 7.30.2021

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July 30, 2021

Global Shipping Companies’ Plans for Kenyan Ports

Two of the world’s largest container shipping companies are redesigning their network to enhance their services to serve two Kenyan commercial ports and offer more flexibility to customer supply chains. A Danish international container shipping company, Maersk Line, and the third largest shipping company, CMA CGM have announced a number of changes to serve Mombasa and Lamu ports. Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, stated that it is enhancing the service it offers from Mombasa to North Europe, specifically Felixstowe and Rotterdam, by providing a single transhipment product via Salalah.

Crackdown on Isabel Dos Santos Begins to Bite

Angolan oil company Sonangol says it will take control of Isabel dos Santos’s 6% indirect stake in Portuguese oil company Galp Energia SGPS SA, after a court ruled in favor of the state-owned firm in a legal battle against Africa’s once-richest woman. The International Court of Arbitration, under the auspices of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, determined on July 23 that the transfer in 2006 of an indirect stake in Galp to a company controlled by Dos Santos from Sonangol was “contaminated by illegality” and should be considered “null and void”.

Rural Africa to Increase Connectivity via Investment

A consortium of investors led by African private equity fund manager Metier has plugged USD 36 million into Africa Mobile Networks, a mobile network infrastructure builder. The consortium investing in Africa Mobile Networks include United Kingdom development finance institution CDC Group, KfW Group subsidiary Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Proparco, and the equity business of Mauritius Commercial Bank.

Moroccan FMCG Sector Continues to Thrive

Africa-focused private equity firm Mediterrania Capital Partners has invested in one of the largest, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers in Morocco. Mediterrania Capital Partners, which focuses its investments on North and Sub-Saharan African mid-cap companies and small and medium sized enterprises, has invested in Dislog Industries via its MC III fund. Africa-focused European law firm ASAFO & CO, as well as Spanish law firm Cuatrecasas and United Kingdom Big Four professional services firm Deloitte advised Mediterrania Capital Partners on the transaction.

Nigeria Bans Sale of Foreign Exchange to Currency Traders

The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has ended the sales of foreign exchange (forex) to bureau de change operators, saying the parallel market has become a conduit for illicit forex flows, as well as graft. According to Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, the step was taken because some operators have become greedy in their chase for higher profits and their demand for foreign currency is placing pressure on the naira and the nation's reserves. "The central bank will only supply dollars through commercial lenders from now on. The central bank will deal ruthlessly with banks allowing illegal forex dealers to use their platforms and will report the defaulting international organizations to their regulators," the governor said.

New Loan Agreement Unlocks Financing for Ethiopian MSMEs

Lack of access to finance is often cited as one of the key constraints hindering the growth of MSMEs in Ethiopia. Bank of Abyssinia signed a loan agreement with four private commercial microfinance institutions (MFIs) - Dynamic, Harbu, Metemamen and Nisir that will create Moveable Loan Collateral opportunities, and unlock access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Ethiopia. The agreement, worth ETB 600 million, is facilitated through the BRIDGES Programme, which is part of the Mastercard Foundation's Young Africa Works strategy in Ethiopia, and is being implemented in partnership with First Consult.

Kenya to Pay Chinese Firm Billions for Uncomplete JKIA Greenfield Job

Kenya has opened compensation talks with a Chinese firm whose contract to build the second terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was cancelled amid fears that a standoff could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of shillings. The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) board has approved negotiations with China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (Catic)—which wants Sh22 billion for termination of its contract. These talks mark a reversal from Kenya’s earlier position that the Chinese firm should refund Sh4 billion downpayment for the project that never took off.

EVENTS – 7.29.2021

Absa East Africa Markets Update & H2 Macro Outlook and Forecasts.” Invest Africa. Webinar. 5 August 2021.

The Nest Investment Pitches Featuring Zumi and Africa Foresight Group.” Invest Africa. Online. 19 August 2021.