January 2015 African Business News


Stock Market

Record number of African firms join the queues to stock exchanges: 2015 already 'a bumper' year

The continent may have been lower on the agenda than it would have liked at the recently-concluded Davos economic meeting, but African companies are not waiting for external love, with new research showing that firms in the region will this year go public at their fastest rate ever.

Oil and Gas

Nigerian banks suffer in the oil storm

So you thought a six-month break on a desert island looked appealing and spent long hours in silent meditation, reflecting on self-actualisation, harmony and humanity’s ceaseless race to consume the planet.

Private equity firm Phatisa's $246M agriculture fund invests in Kenya's General Plastics

Private equity firm Phatisa's $246M agriculture fund invests in Kenya's General Plastics

Phatisa’s $246 million African Agriculture Fund has invested in General Plastics, a Kenyan manufacturer of packaging products, the private equity firm said on Wednesday.

Top Ten Most Active Stock Markets in Africa 2014

The top 10 most active stock markets in Africa in 2014 (Infographic)

An infographic of the the top 10 most active stock markets in Africa, by average weekly trading volume, in 2014.

Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Nigeria will not delay elections: Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The head of Nigeria’s electoral commission said on Tuesday the country will hold a presidential election as scheduled on Feb. 14, rejecting a call from one of the president’s advisors to delay them.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's Minister of Finance

He was Nigeria's worst Central Bank Governor ever, says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, about Charles Soludo, former Central Bank Governor

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Wednesday took the former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Chukwuma Soludo, to the cleaners over his criticism  of President Goodluck Jonathan’s management of the country’s economy.

The Wheatbaker, Lagos, Nigeria

The top 10 hotels for service in Nigeria: TripAdvisor

The Wheatbaker hotel offers the corporate traveller all the comfort and convenience of a luxury boutique hotel. Lagos’ new premier exclusive hotel, is located in the residential heart of Ikoyi, Nigeria.

Ascent Africa Private Equity Fund

Ascent Africa private equity fund eyes $60 million by mid-2015

Private equity firm Ascent Capital wants to increase its east Africa fund to $60 million by mid-2015 from $50 million it has raised so far and plans to announce completion of its first investment in about two weeks, a partner said on Monday.

Yaya Touré, Midfielder for English club Manchester City and the Ivory Coast national team

Man City's hopes of having Yaya Touré back could depend on drawing of lots at 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)

Manchester City’s hopes of having Yaya Touré back for Saturday evening’s title showdown with Chelsea could depend on the lottery of a drawing of lots should Ivory Coast finish level on points in their Africa Cup of Nations group on Wednesday.

Nigerian Naira (NGN)

Nigeria's banks flex muscles in tussle for control of naira

Wrapping up a monetary policy speech last week, Nigerian central bank governor Godwin Emefiele declared that the naira, which has crumpled to 190 to the dollar with the drop in oil prices, was “appropriately priced”.

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa. In April 2014, Marriott acquired Protea.

It's time to invest in Africa - Here are 3 ways to get started

Don’t underestimate how important Africa has become to the global economy. Across the continent, including Sub-Saharan Africa, business and infrastructure projects are booming, prompting comparisons with China 20 to 30 years ago.

Bright Africa 2014 - A guide to equity investing on the continent - RisCura

Bright Africa 2014 - A guide to equity investing on the continent: RisCura (Report)

Research done on investor attitudes shows that African markets are expected to be a significantly greater recipient of global capital than they have been in the past, and that African fund managers, both listed and private, will have to comply with the expected global standards in order to benefit from this shift.

Facebook

Facebook launches "Facebook Lite" in 8 emerging markets, including Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan & Zimbabwe

Facebook has launched a new simplified version of its mobile app called Facebook Lite, and it’s targeted toward Android users in developing countries.

Netflix

Netflix plans to launch in South Africa in 2016

Netflix said it intends to launch operations in South Africa within the next two years as part of its global expansion strategy.

Julian Roberts, CEO of Old Mutual

Old Mutual Spends Bulk of Africa War Chest on UAP Stake in Kenya

Old Mutual Plc (OML), which earmarked 4.3 billion rand ($374 million) for acquisitions in Africa, increased its stake in Kenya’s UAP Holdings Ltd., meaning that the insurer has now spent more than half of that war chest.

Eskom

South Africa to sell Telkom and Vodacom shares to raise $870M for public power utility Eskom

South Africa’s government is planning to inject USD 870 million into public power utility Eskom, and it may sell its stakes in Telkom and Vodacom to raise the money.

Standard Chartered Plc Diana Layfield, CEO, Standard Chartered Africa

Standard Chartered Sees Africa Future Amid Branch Network Review

Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), the British bank that has operated in Africa for more than 150 years, said the continent remains part of its consumer banking plans even as the lender reviews its global branch network.

Thabo Dloti, CEO of Stanlib. Credit: financialmail.co.za

South Africa's Stanlib seeks property returns abroad as domestic growth slows

A struggling economy is spurring South Africa’s largest real-estate investor to buy the stocks of property companies that are expanding outside the continent’s most developed market.

Steers

South Africa's Famous Brands, owner of Debonairs Pizza and Steers burgers, in partnership talks with Shoprite on Nigeria

Famous Brands Ltd. (FBR), the South African owner of fast-food chains including Debonairs Pizza and Steers burgers, is in talks with supermarket operator Shoprite Holdings Ltd. (SHP) about expanding a partnership to Nigeria and Zambia.

Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Group

Dangote Cement hires ex-Holcim India Head Onne van der Weijde as CEO

Dangote Cement, Africa’s biggest producer of the building material, hired Onne van der Weijde as chief executive officer, its outgoing CEO said.

Private equity

Private equity is an investment opportunity for growing African pension funds: Craig Metherell, Analyst, RisCura

African pension funds with growing asset bases, due to rising incomes, will need to look beyond traditional asset classes to diversify their portfolios. Given private equity’s long-term nature – the typical life cycle of a fund is 8-10 years – the asset class is an obvious choice.

Bob Diamond, former CEO of Barclays and current CEO of Atlas Merchant Capital

Why Barclays former CEO Bob Diamond is doubling down on Africa with his new investment outfit Atlas Merchant Capital

Standing outside the Belvedere Hotel, one of the busiest meeting places here in Davos on a bitter cold Swiss morning, are dozens of the most powerful business leaders waiting to get through security to attend a breakfast event at the 45th annual World Economic Forum.

Yum! Brands

Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell: Africa is where Yum! Brands' growth could come from next

Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), the parent company of fast-food restaurant chains KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, realized massive growth and profits from expanding its KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in China in the last few decades.

Muhammadu Buhari (Left) and Goodluck Jonathan

Buhari vs. Jonathan - Beyond the Election: Chukwuma Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

I need to preface this article with a few clarifications. I have taken a long sabbatical leave from partisan politics, and it is real fun watching the drama from the balcony.

Is the Kenyan media business profitable?

Is Kenya's media industry profitable? (Video)

In the 1990s, Kenya opened up the media space and issued more broadcast licenses. News is big business in Kenya. Newspapers and magazines sell out quickly on Nairobi’s streets.

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya

Kenya's ruling coalition moves to create single party for 2017 general elections

The main political parties in Kenya’s governing Jubilee Alliance are considering plans for a merger, an agreement analysts say may involve rotating power between two of the country’s largest ethnic groups.

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (Right) with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. Photo Credit: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Nigeria: High stakes in key states vote

As partisan, personal and religious rivalries grow, the two main parties are heading towards state elections that will be as closely fought as the presidential vote.

Oke Okaro, Bloomberg's Global Head and GM of Mobile & Connected Devices

Cellphones - Shaping Africa: Oke Okaro, Bloomberg's Global Head and GM of Mobile & Connected Devices (Video)

Oke Okaro, Bloomberg’s Global Head and General Manager of Mobile and Connected Devices, speaks on what mobile expansion means for Africa.

Reni Folawiyo, Founder & CEO of Alara. Credit: style.com

Lagos Rising: Alara Founder and CEO Reni Folawiyo talks to Style.com about her ambitious new store

Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, and growing richer by the day, and bustling Lagos is a city full of moneyed, cosmopolitan fashion consumers. Habit among them has been to travel abroad to do their shopping—London, Paris, and Dubai are regular haunts.

Co-Creation Hub Nigeria (CcHUBNigeria). Credit: pagablog.com

4 reasons Africa is the rising star of the tech world

There are many economic, cultural, political and technological differences across Africa, but the continent is home to one of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies and holds extraordinary promise as an incubator of the next generation of tech talent.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author of the award-winning and best-selling novel "Americanah"

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "Americanah" comes to France

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of Africa’s most feted writers. Her latest novel, “Americanah,” hit French bookstands this month.

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings

Africapitalism - A new framework for a new age: Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings

This week, world leaders from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia are gathered at Davos to discuss a “new global context” – the theme of the World Economic Forum’s 2015 annual meeting.

Oil rig

Cheap Oil and Africa: The Winners, Losers, and In-Betweeners

When OPEC signaled that it would not put the brakes on oil production in late November, crude’s price plunged. The drop has caused particular hardship in some African countries while proving to be a boon in others.

DEMO Africa

DEMO Africa 2015 to be hosted in Lagos for second year in a row

For the second year running, Lagos is going to host 2015 edition of DEMO Africa.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ajay Banga, MasterCard’s president and CEO (left), and Donald Kaberuka, the African Development Bank’s president (right), have announced a significant partnership to boost financial inclusion in Africa. Photo by swiss-image.ch/Michael Buholzer

African Development Bank and MasterCard partner to broaden financial inclusion in Africa

Today, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent.

Nigerian startup Green Energy is heading to Switzerland to win $500,000 at the Seedstars World (SSW) final competition

Nigerian startup Green Energy is heading to Switzerland to win $500,000 at the Seedstars World (SSW) final competition

Green Energy is representing Nigeria at the Seedstars World (SSW) Grand Final in Geneva and will be competing against 35 startups from other emerging markets.

"Queens of Africa" dolls by Taofick Okoya

Barbie Queens of Africa

There are many ways in which racial stereotypes still perpetuate society and steps still have to be taken daily to make sure that the message ‘black is beautiful’ reaches the ears of the children of Africa.

Jumia Nigeria partners with First Bank to introduce FirstBank Naira Credit Card

Jumia Nigeria partners with First Bank to introduce FirstBank Naira Credit Card

For online shoppers in Nigeria, the era of saving up, for what could seem like an eternity, to buy a product may very well be over.

Uber, Nairobi, Kenya

Uber launches in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, the “Green City in the Sun” is East Africa’s economic powerhouse. Locals tear into meat in restaurants squeezed between car parks and casinos, or overlooking the misty green hills that fall into the Great Rift Valley on the edge of the city.

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi on global top 21 intelligent city list

A new ranking by the Intelligent Community Forum has positioned Nairobi as one of the Smart21 intelligent communities in the world for the year 2015.

Private equity returns

South African private equity ten-year returns at 18.5%: SAVCA/RisCura

SAVCA and RisCura have released their joint Private Equity Performance Report, noting that the returns come in marginally below the JSE’s All-Share Index.

AutoZone

Ethos Private Equity acquires South African auto parts retailer AutoZone

Ethos Private Equity Ltd. bought a controlling stake in South African closely held automotive-parts retailer AutoZone, the fourth investment through its 7.9 billion-rand ($682 million) Fund VI.