20 Mar

Moti Doubles Zimbabwe Investments as Economy Seen Opening Up

Moti Group is preparing to double its investments in Zimbabwe to $500 million after the removal of Robert Mugabe as president in November saw the government adopt a more open approach to foreign companies.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who replaced Mugabe after the military briefly took control, has declared that “Zimbabwe is open for business” and has said he will ease the country’s local ownership rules and re-engage lenders such as the International Monetary Fund.

He is faced with an economy that has halved in size since 2000, a cash crisis that limits withdrawals from banks and an inability to pay government workers on time.

In partnership with Sakunda Holdings, a Zimbabwean company whose head Kudakwashe Tagwirei is linked to the ruling party, Johannesburg-based Moti plans to spend $250 million over the next four years in projects ranging from chrome-ore mining to fertilizer, diamond polishing and pharmaceuticals. The group has already invested about $250 million to date, mainly in mining.

The company wants to invest before elections scheduled for later this year after which more investors may come into the country and cause asset prices to rise, Zunaid Moti, the company’s 43-year-old chairman, said in an interview. The plans would make Moti one of the biggest investors in Zimbabwe.

“This is yesterday, that’s tomorrow,” Moti said, as he smoked a cigar in his Johannesburg office and compared mining potential in his home base of South Africa to that of Zimbabwe. “It’s virgin.”

Moti Group has also been approached by private-equity firm Carlyle Group to look at investment opportunities in the southern African country, he said. Carlyle declined to comment.

Moti Group has recently taken on British politician Peter Hain as an adviser to connect the company to “the right people in Europe, and more specifically in the U.K. when needed,” said Moti, who is considering selling as much as 25 percent of his business to selected investors at a later stage.

To read the full article, click here.

23 Jan

African Development Bank to Add $2 Billion to Nigeria Loans

The African Development Bank plans to increase its loans to Nigeria by more than $2 billion next year with investments in energy, infrastructure and agriculture, its President Akinwumi Adesina said.

“The total portfolio we have in Nigeria is $6 billion,” Adesina said in a Jan. 18 interview in Abuja, the capital. “We expect that by the year 2019, we will grow that into a little bit over $8 billion.”

The Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based lender will pump more than $800 million into Nigeria this year, most of which will fund investments in power. Among them is a $250 million support to revamp power-transmission lines and electricity sub-stations as well as fund a $200 million solar power project in Jigawa state in the north, Adesina said.

The $400 million balance from a $1 billion loan for budget support will be disbursed directly to industries identified by the government after projects have been vetted by the bank, he said.

Africa’s most populous country, with more than 180 million people, is recovering from its worst economic slump in 25 years. It will also receive budget support and public financial management assistance from the lender, he said.

Agribusiness Clusters

The AfDB forecast Nigeria’s economy will grow 2.1 percent this year as the output of and the price of oil, its main export, recovers. The country depends on crude exports for two-thirds of government revenue and most of its foreign income.

Brent crude, which compares with Nigeria’s export grades, has gained 26 percent in the past year, helping the recovery. It traded at $69.40 a barrel as of 7:18 a.m. in London.

As Nigeria seeks to reduce its dependence on oil by boosting agricultural production, the AfDB plans to help set up “staple crop processing zones” and create agribusiness clusters across the country to curb harvest losses of as much as 70 percent for some crops, Adesina said.

“These zones will change our rural economy,” he said. “You will be able to create markets for farmers and reduce massive post-harvest losses. You will change the structure of agriculture itself because people will see it as a business as opposed to a subsistence activity.”

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-22/african-development-bank-to-increase-nigeria-loans-by-2-billion