Finance/Capital


Hello folks

I’m currently coordinating and organizing the event below slated to take place next week in NYC. You are most welcome to attend and show your support. Please visit www.investeac.com for further information. Thank you.

 

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President Kikwete promised that this year’s Leon Sullivan Summit in Tanzania would be of a lifetime. More than 2,000 delegates from 40 countries were expected to arrive for the summit, bringing together African and African-American business and political leaders to Arusha and Zanzibar, Tanzania from June 2-6.

The five day summit which opened yesterday will focus on investment opportunities in Africa, particularly in infrastructure development, tourism and other areas such as energy, manufacturing, housing and capital market.

Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and actor Chris Tucker are some of the prominent business leaders attending the summit. Delegates will get a chance to visit Tanzania’s tourist attractions of Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Zanzibar.

For more information about the conference, please see:

http://www.thesullivansummit.go.tz

http://www.thesullivanfoundation.org/summit/summit8/index.asp

 

 

 

 

The long anticipated flotation of a top Kenyan mobile phone company is expected to proceed today despite calls from some quarters to shelve the plan. Safaricom, billed  as the largest and the most lucrative IPO in East Africa, will be listed on Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) beginning Friday March 28 and close on April 23. The flotation is seen as a major test of investor confidence in Kenya after last December election violence.

The Government of Kenya plans to publicly float 25% (or 10 billion shares) of its 60% stake in the company. The remaining 40% company holdings are held by the British telecoms, Vodafone (VOD.L). Local investors, including citizens from East Africa Community (EAC) nations of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, are allocated 6.5 million shares. Foreign institutional investors are allocated the remaining 3.5 billion shares.

The company expects to raise 50 billion Kenyan shillings ($767 million) from the listing, at 5 shillings per share. Safaricom’s strength in the Kenyan mobile market has increased significantly over the past 5 years to 80% last year from 57% in 2002. At the time of the launch of its popular “M-Pesa” phone-based money transfer service 11 months ago, Safaricom had 5.8 million subscribers, compared with about 9.5 million now.

Allowing East Africans to directly take part in this IPO is seen as a major step in the intergration of the regional capital markets. Investors from the region, outside of Kenya, will have to open an account with the local Central Depository System Corporation (CDSC) at their local broker in order to participate in the IPO. However, the editorial of the Kenyan daily The Nation was less enthusiastic, questioning “Why can’t these foreign citizens buy shares at the market rate?” It appears old mindsets will die-hard and its going to take time to convince some pundits that capital raising should transcend our so-called “boundaries”.

  

The projects to be financed under the recently signed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact agreement have been disclosed.

The agreement with Tanzania, approved last September and signed in Dar es Salaam on February 17, 2008 during Presidents George W. Bush’s historic state visit to the country, is valued at $698.1 million covering a 5 year period. This is the largest Compact ever issued by the United States through its MCC agency. The money will help Tanzania “reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth by increasing household incomes through targeted investments in transportation, energy, and water”.

Most of the money will go to transport projects ($373 million), to energy projects ($206 million), to water projects ($66 million) while $53 will be used for program administration.

The identified projects are:

a) Construction of Mainland Trunk roads:

(i) Tanga-Horohoro (68 km)

(ii) Tunduma-Sumbawanga (224 km)

(iii) Songea-Namtumbo (61 km)

(iv) Peramiho-Mbinga (78 km)

b) Improving of up to 35 km in five rural roads in Pemba Island as part of Zanzibar Rural roads component.

c) Improving aviation and public safety facilities at Mafia Island Airport.

d) Laying a new submarine electric transmission cable from the mainland to Unguja island, Zanzibar, to improve and support the existing cable that is reaching its limits in both capacity and lifespan.

e) Construction of a small hydro-power plant on the Malagarasi river and the extension of a mini-grid system in Kigoma Region.

f) Rehabilitation and extension of electricity distribution system to unserved areas in six regions identified as priority areas.

g) Improving water supply infrastructure in two cities of Dar es Salaam and Morogoro. This will involve expanding the Lower Ruvu water treatment plant capacity from 180 million liters to 270 million liters per day; and improving efficiencies in order to reduce physical leakages and commercial losses (biling, collection and theft) that cause about 60% of Dar es Salaam water to be lost before it reaches customers.

Each county signing a Compact is required to establish an entity to coordinate the implementation of the selected projects. In October of 2007 President Kikwete consequently appointed Bernard Mchomvu, a long serving Permanent Secretary and technocrat, to serve as CEO of Millennium Challenge Account-Tanzania (MCA-T). Tanzania qualified for the Compact after two years of implementing the Threshold Program that was valued at $11.15 million.

According to National Bureau of Statistics, this last August the monthly inflation stood at 7.8%, representing a 1.2% drop since July. At that time, the rate had shot up to a staggering 9.0%. The drop is certainly a welcome development and should improve the current business environment.

 According to Bank of Tanzania, by comparison, the inflation was at 5.5% in August of last year. Generally there has been an upswing in monthly inflation figures since January of 2006 due to rise in global oil prices, drought and the energy crisis that befelled the country at the time. However, many pundits have attributed this July’s rise in inflation as due to new budgetary measures, particularly the introduction of excise duty on fuel. The levy paid by road users was increased from 8 USD cents to 16 USD cents per litre of petrol and diesel. It has been reported that industrialist and transporters have since passed on this cost to consumers, fuelling the inflation. When Zakhia Meghji, Minister of Finance, announced the fuel levy in her last budget speech, she downplayed any inflationary effects it may cause, saying the economy was resilient and pleaded with unscrupulous industrialists not to artificially raise prices.

 Annually, this year’s inflation is also projected to fall below last year’s 6.2% figure to 5.2% (according to Ministry of Finance and JP Morgan emerging market research, June 8, 2007). Next year, the annual inflation is expected to fall further to 4.5%, which is close to the annual levels experienced in 2005 (4.4%) and 2004 (4.1%).

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