Archive for the 'Sudan' Category

Sudan’s Khartoum Stock Exchange launches electronic trading system

Sudan’s Khartoum Stock Exchange inaugurated its electronic trading system on 24 March. The system is funded by the African Development Bank as part of its $34.8 million Public Financial and Macroeconomic Management (PFM) project. The bank says in a press release: “The e-trading system will be instrumental in promoting rapid development of the Khartoum Stock Exchange Market, which is a central element in the country’s financial market.”

According to a report on Sudan News Agency, Dr. Azhari Al-Tayib Al-Faki Director-General of KSE, said the launch was for the second phase of the trading system, financed by a $400,000 AfDB grant to cover system development and capacity building. He says it will reactive the market operations and allow remote access. He adds the update is by a company called FMH International and adds that it did a first phase of the project in 2012.

Abdul Kamara, Resident Representative of the AfDB in Sudan, said electronic trade is increasingly important. He stressed that the Bank’s support emanates from the considerable advantages of trading electronically, which reduces the risk associated with physical cash transactions, lowers transaction costs and saves time. He also noted the potential of e-trading to improve transparency, flow of information and enhance domestic resource mobilization, such as Sukuk bonds on which Sudan heavily depends on for financing infrastructure and service delivery. He assured the government of the Bank’s continued assistance in the area of public financial management and enhancing accountability in the use of public resources.

The market was previously open for 1 hour a day Sunday to Thursday. The KSE has 66 listed companies, including 25 banks, 8 insurance companies and 11 investment and development companies. The primary market was launched in 1994 and In 2012 a total of $113m worth of shares were issued. There was also primary market issues for each Government Musharaka Certificates (Shahama), Government Investment Funds (Sukuks) and investment fund sukuks, bringing the total value of primary market issues in 2012 to $1.08 billion.

Other parts of the PFM project aim to create a “platform for establishing electronic public financial systems, which will ultimately form basis for the transition of electronic governance and administration of public resources. Other complementary systems that are being developed by the PFM include an Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS). This will integrate Sudan’s public financial management systems with other systems in line ministries, through a customized IT infrastructure that will enhance electronic transactions, information flow and interaction across ministries,” according to the AfDB press release.

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Private equity firms invest $79 mn in telecoms towers

Leading international private equity firms are investing $79 million to build and acquire mobile phone towers in sub-Saharan Africa. Investec Asset Management (www.investecassetmanagement.com), the International Finance Corporation (www.ifc.org, a member of the World Bank Group), and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (www.fmo.nl) are taking equity in IHS Nigeria Plc (www.ihsnigeria.net) which says it is the largest provider of telecommunications infrastructure in West Africa.
IHS is reported to have more than 2,700 towers under its management and is still expanding its ownership and leasing operations throughout Africa. It has subsidiaries in Ghana, Sudan and Tanzania and employs 800 people, according to the website and is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. IHS Executive Director, Issam Darwish, said in a report on the website that the fund would enhance telecommunications services in the country by breaking current barriers in the sector. Investec made the money available via its African private equity funds. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.
According to the report, Darwish said: “IHS is dedicated to partnering with operators and investors across the African continent and is thrilled to add the IFC, FMO and Investec Asset Management’s private equity fund to our shareholder base. Since 2001, the company’s core strategy has been to serve the growing needs of the telecommunications operators in Africa and enhance the quality of the network performance.
“The investors understand the unique needs of the growing telecoms sector and the changing competitive landscape. The additional financing package also includes up to $115 million of IFC-led senior debt, mezzanine and syndicated loans, which will allow us to continue our leadership role in providing managed and co-location services to mobile operators and users in Africa.”
Darwish said IHS intended to bring down costs, expand coverage, accelerate technology rollouts and improve the quality of service for subscribers in Africa.
Last October, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had called for more investments in the telecoms sector as Nigeria sought to become Africa’s telecommunications hub.
Yvonne Bakkum, Director Private Equity, FMO, reportedly said: “Access to telecommunications continues to be essential for the economic and social development of Africa. IHS increases the efficiency and quality of existing networks and helps operators accelerate network expansion into rural areas. FMO is proud to contribute to this through our investment in IHS, alongside Investec and IFC.”
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. Andrew Gunther, Senior Manager, IFC Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Africa and Latin America, said: “Broadening access to affordable mobile telecommunications services remains a crucial part of development across Africa. IHS’ track record of improving quality while reducing costs will continue to provide savings that benefit all constituents of telecommunications in Africa.
“With this investment, IFC is helping improve quality of service, expand network coverage, reduce deployment, operating and usage costs – while accelerating the innovation that governments and operators can deliver throughout Africa.”
Investec Asset Management is one of the largest third-party investors on the African continent. It was established in 1991 and has grown into an international business managing approximately $80 billion (end Sept 2010). Mark Jennings, Investment Principal, Investec Asset Management: “IHS has a 10-year track record of profitable growth, is led by an energetic and experienced management team which includes the founders of the business, and is poised for substantial further growth which the new funding will assist. We are pleased to be associated with this dynamic business and team.”
In October 2009, the IFC invested $100 million into Helios Towers Nigeria Ltd. (www.heliostowers.com), set up by Helios Investment Partners as reported on this blog. HTN builds and maintains a network of telecommunications towers and leases space to providers of wireless telecommunications services.

Citadel Capital announces cement deals in Sudan and Egypt

Leading African private equity house Citadel Capital (www.citadelcapital.com) has this week announced 2 cement deals. Citadel was recently named “African Business of the Year” at a gala awards ceremony organized by “African Business” magazine. It is based in Cairo and listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (ticker CCAP.CA). It has been expanding into Africa and, according to a press release, has US$ 8.3 billion in investments covering 15 industries and spanning 14 countries.
On 15 July Citadel announced that ASEC Engineering and Management, a portfolio company of its investment platform company ASEC Holding, has signed a 3-year renewable contract to provide technical management services to Alsalam Cement Production Company (ACPC) to manage a cement plant near Atbara, Sudan.
The Atbara plant produces clinker, which is then ground with gypsum to make cement. The plant has a production capacity of approximately 2,000 tons of clinker per day. ASEC Engineering will receive a fixed fee for every ton of clinker produced in return for a guaranteed minimum annual production and a pledge to reduce the plant’s consumption of electrical power and fuel. ACPC was established in 2003 and is owned by the Ahmad Osman Abdulsalam Group. The plant near Atbara is currently ACPC’s sole operation, although it is in initial planning stages for the construction of a second plant.
According to a press release ASEC Engineering Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Galal Yakout says: “We look forward to developing a strategy that optimizes the efficiency of Alsalam’s production process.”
ASEC Engineering has long provided market-leading management and consultancy services in Egypt, where in 2009 the company managed 7 plants with a total production capacity of about 15 million tons per annum (MTPA), or more than 30% of total cement production capacity in the country. In 2010, the company has already delivered 3 major cement plant consultancy projects. In addition to its expansion into Sudan, ASEC Engineering played a vital role in the turnaround of the Zahana cement plant in Algeria and is currently exploring opportunities in other regional markets.
In related news, ASEC Engineering will also be responsible for the technical management of ASEC Cement’s nearby Takamol plant, which is in advanced stages of operational testing. Scheduled to open later this month, the plant will have a production capacity of 1.45 MTPA of clinker and 1.6 MTPA of cement, reducing Sudan’s national cement deficit of 3 MTPA by more than half.
Another subsidiary of ASEC Holding, called ASEC for Manufacturing and Industrial Projects (ARESCO), announced on 12 July that it has signed a US$ 130 million contract to construct a new cement plant for the Building Materials Industry Company (BMIC) in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut. ARESCO is a turnkey contractor serving the cement, energy, petrochemicals, petroleum and general industrial sectors. According to the prss release, ARESCO has “state-of-the-art engineering, steel fabrication and construction units that fabricate quality products including boilers, cement mills, preheaters, tanks, condensers and pressure vessels. With over 4,000 employees, ARESCO is a rapidly growing business that has undertaken turnkey projects in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Sudan, Algeria and Libya.”
ARESCO is to provide all the civil, electrical and mechanical works for the 1.5 MTPA cement plant, which is projected to be complete in 22 months. The company will also carry out all steel fabrication as well as testing and commissioning for BMIC on a turnkey lump sum basis.
Tarek Salah, a Managing Director at Citadel Capital, says in the press release: “The integration of ARESCO’s in-house design and manufacturing capabilities — which include its own workshops and fleet of cranes — have made the company a strong competitor in both the cement and general industrial sectors.”
Citadel Capital is also a lead investor in Rift Valley Railways which holds a 25-year concession to operate the Kenya-Uganda railway.