Sunday, 31 August 2008


Arab stock markets are expected to be volatile in the coming weeks with the advent of the fasting month of Ramadan either on Monday or Tuesday. This year Ramadan begins at the same time as third-quarter results season, mixing news flow with low volumes.

Access to Saudi market

Great news, the Saudi Capital Market Authority has permitted authorized intermediaries to enter into swap agreements with non-resident foreign investors. This now gives us structured access to the Saudi market.

The banking, financial services, petrochemical and telecommunications, are all weel represented in the domestic market.

International Moroccan Fundamentals of Investment conference

The Moroccan Department of Investment recently announced its 5th International Fundamentals of Investment conference, to be held in Rabat on December 13th and 14th 2007, under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed IV.

This year's theme is "Global Moroccan Investors - players in Economic Diplomacy".

NSE trading rules

The Nigerian Stock Exchange announced the removal of the five per cent cap on downward movement of stocks to one per cent, while maximum upward price movement still stands at five per cent. This follow hot on the heals of a similar move by the Pakistan stock market designed to stop its market melting down.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Imperial Holdings

Imperial Holdings, Africa’s biggest transport and logistics firm forecast headline earnings per share from continuing operations will rise betweeb 49%-54%. The company also announced plans to increase its exposure into Zimbabwe. They already have a large fleet of vehicles there and they will increase this the moment 'things improve'.

The Karachi Stock Exchange falls 16% in 7 days

Pakistan's benchmark index has suffered a 16% plunge that has wiped out $36.9 billion of market value since April. The market is now down 42% since April. President Musharraf declared a State of Emergency on Saturday, saying he was acting to curb extremism.

Pakistan has since imposed emergency trading limits. Securities normally trade within 5 percent daily limits. Regulators have banned short-selling, narrowed the limit on declines from 5 percent to 1 per cent and doubled the cap on gains to 10 per cent.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Kenya to move to T+3

About time. Currently takes five days to settle a trade in Kenya. The Nairobi Stock Exchange board has proposed this change and the the settlement period be reduced from 5 to 3 days.

Croatian Tourism (HUP Zagre, Maistra and Istraturist)

Croatian tourism continues to grow. Last year guests went up at the three key providers by 7,5% and number of overnight stays grew by 5,7%.

Maistra and Istraturist are the companies that have added the biggest capacity in past five years.

There is some speculation that Russian investors are interested in buying into the growing business. Maistra looks particularly interesting, recorded a 39% sales growth and 10% increase in average prices. The company plans open its first 'five-star plus' hotel, Monte Mulini, in Istria.

Istraturist is also enjoying a good preseason with 51,3 thousand of overnights (63% growth yoy). Its focus is on luxury villas and camps.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Abu Dhabi Ship Building

With the global slowdown, a question mark hangs over Abu Dhabi Ship Building. Its fiscal second quarter (April-June) net profit rose 174.85 per cent on year to Dh36.57million, bouyed by back orders. These backorders can keep the momentum going for some time but will they be sufficient to stop the company dissappointing? The good news is that it has won new contracts this year and also gets a lot of its business from Navy orders.

Ayrton Drugs

Pharmaceutical company, Ayrton Drugs, continues to be one of the best performing companies in Ghana. With last years profit after tax that increased by 39 percent
from GH¢1,034 million to GH¢1,419 million, this is not surprising. That was achieved on a turnover increase of 20 percent.

The company’s growth is being driven by its flagship brands virol, Panacin, minavita and samalin. We are excited about the growth potential of the pharmaceutical industry. Short term should alse be good thanks government’s efforts to zero rate local pharmaceutical manufactures, which willlead to a reduction in the cost of drugs to customers and also release the working capital.

Kuwait Telecommunications Company

Kuwait Telecommunications Company, owned by the Kuwait government, is selling 50% of its share capital.

The domestic only share sale will end on 18 September 2008. The 250 mn share offer will raise approximately KWD25 mn (USD93 mn) and the shares will trade on the Kuwait Stock Exchange.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Ecobank's USD 2.5bn capital raising begins today.

Well, here we go. A really big deal by African standards. Ecobank's rights offer will be made simultaneously on three stock exchanges, the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the ‘Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières', the regional stock exchange in Abidjan. Approval has been given by the Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine, so the whole of French speaking Africa is behind the bank.

Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and ICMG Securities Limited are joint issuing houses to the offer in Nigeria, while Ecobank Development Corporation and First Africa SA Limited are financial advisers to the offer in all of the three stock exchanges. Plenty of fees for everyone but lt's wait and see if there is stock for those of us who are long term investors in the bank.

Ecobank, also known as ETI, will raise the $2.5bn equity through a 3.76 billion rights issue, being offered at $0.27 apiece at a ratio of five new shares for every nine held.

A further 5.12 billion shares are also being offered to the public at $0.29 each.

This implies a discount of 20 per cent for the rights offer and 12.5 per cent for the public offer to the 30-day volume-weighted average price of the company’s stock across the three stock markets where it trades.

The offer is to strengthen Ecobank accelerated branch oppening plans.
The bank plans consolidate its position as the leading pan-African banking group.

Chief Executive Officer, ETI, Mr. Arnold Ekpe, said in London today that he believed Africa would continue to bouyed by demand for commodities from China and India and that his business would be driven by the consumer side.

Ekpe said Ecobank will open new offices in 22 other strategic countries, particularly in the Central and Southern African sub-regions such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia, among others.

Access Bank Plc

Access Bank delivered triple digit growth across most of its key performance indices. Shareholders fund now stand at N172 billion having grown 508 per cent. The Bank's total assets and contingents continued on the upward trend growing by 194 per cent from N408.7 billion in 2007 to N1.2 trillion in 2008.

The growth in balance sheet is tesiment to its effective deposit mobilisation strategies. The reassuring quality of the results gives some comfort to the Bank's commitment to its strategic goal of becoming one of the top 3 financial services groups in Nigeria by 2012.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

New Vision

Ugandan media company, New Vision, has succesfully raised new money and widened its shareholder base. It's Sh 1,100 discounted rights issue has been over-subscribed by sh1b. The company raised sh29.116b, a 4% over-subscription. In these markets, that is a vote of confidence.

New Vision now has the cash to transform itself into a formidable regional multi-media establishment. Proceeds from the rights issue will go towards the purchase of a high performance printing press, in addition to pre-press upgrades and various radio and television projects.

Dyer & Blair were the transaction advisers and lead sponsoring brokers. They were assisted by African Alliance, MBEA Brokerage and of course Renaissance Capital.

The Government’s shareholding in The New Vision is 53%.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Top ten risks in frontier markets

1. Agricultural price inflation. Biggest component of consumption in frontier markets - could kill growth story.

Frontier market food prices are local and not related to key world foods such as wheat and rice.

2. Make up of capital markets. New FTSE Frontier markets index is 73% in banks. Call that diversification!

As this is a liquid index, makes the case for investing with a hedge fund rather than an ETF.

3. Transfer pricing. If the story is linked to commodities, what is the risk that the profits just get siphoned out by multinational companies.

We have already seen mining reform in Zambia that addressed this issue and this is being used as a blueprint in Tanzania and others.

4. Dependence on aid (makes stupid decisions such as currency stabilisation to manage FX inflows).

Aid providers are starting to realise this issue thanks to the work of the IMF. Aid is now being attatched with conditions such as corruption reduction initiatives.

5. Health of workforce (Aids etc).

Health is a global issue. Private investment tends to focus on the healthy part of the population so this is more of a Public sector problem.

6. Lack of property ownership - and hence free title transfer.

This is acknowledged and is changing.

7. Lack of yield curve (unable to price risk and return)

As investment banks move into frontier markets this issue will be addressed by market forces.

8. Corruption (obviously)

The trend is important and the trend is clearly towards less corruption and for action to be taken when corruption is unearthed.

9. Control of refining and energy prices

Price fixing is never a long term solution and this will change.

10. Lack of generating power (Caused by aid agencies crowding out real investment).

Hopefully, an issue that is being addressed at policy level.

Douala Stock exchange

The Douala stock exchange, which services Cameroon and the CEMAC area, is still experiencing very low volumes. Few shares are being traded and it is very much a a buyer's market. Effectively the exchange lives under the shadow of the country’s poor business reputation and the only company of any interest is a local bottled water producer. Still, the country is enjoying the same dynamics as other frontier markets, operating as it doesin an economic environment which has been improved by an ongoing restructuring of the financial system on the one hand, and a promising business climate resulting from the liberalisation of the market on the other. Hopefully, the exchange which was formed in 2003 will one day get up on its feet.

A word on military coups

Recent political developments in Africa have raised some eyebrows. The Nigerian reschuffle, the death of the Zambian President and the on going saga in Zimbabwe are not the same thing as the history of military coups. That said, some believe differently. Razia Khan, Chief Africa Economist at Standard Chartered Bank, recently warned that the impact of Mauritania's coup could spread wider accross the continent. We reporduce this chart from Reuters as our answer to that. The developments are not good news but the trend is still clearly going in the right direction.

Remittances to Nigeria running at $17.9 billion

One of the best kept secrets in frontier markets is the extent to which local economies are being bouyed by remittances by nationals working abroad. This trend is rising sharply, as people become more mobile.

For example, remittances from Nigerians abroad almost doubled last year, rising to
$17.9 billion from $10.5 billion in 2006 and only $6.5 billion in 2005.

This gives us confidence that high growth rates in frontier countries can continue for some time.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Nestle Plc Nigeria

The 7% increase in profits from Nigerian food and beverages group, Nestle Plc , (half-year to June 30) appear to have disappointed the market despite now starting to go in the right direction. The company, which is frequently compared with Cadbury Nigeria, recenlty announced it planned to boost the production of Cocoa and Soybeans. Still, it just failed to give any good news that would make the bulls who are sitting on the sidelines buy the stock.

Ecobank rights issue

Ecobank announced a $2.5 billion rights issue and public offering fund its expansion. The offer will run simultaneously on bourses in Nigeria, Ghana and the West African regional BRVM in Ivory Coast. Terms are five new shares for every nine held on Aug. 18.

The pricing implies a 20 percent discount to the 30-day volume weighted average on all three exchanges, while the discount for the public offer was 12.5 percent.

Danfonds not to be confused with the trademark 'Danfunds'.

The name 'Danfonds' is not to be confused with the trademark 'Danfunds', belonging to the Danish 'Industrialisation Fund for Developing Countries', and any similarity is unintended.

Nordic Fund Management, Operations and Administration Conference

Kenett Haslund, Danfonds Head of Operations and Trading, had been invited to speak at the Nordic Fund Management, Operations and Administration Conference. This annual event is held in Stockholm 8th - 9th September 2008. Kennett will join the panel on Outsourcing versus in-house Operations. Further details can be obtained at

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

President Mwanawasa

Official notice by the Vice-President of Zambia: President Mwanawasa died today in a Paris hospital after suffering a stroke in June. Our sympathy is extended and our hope that an orderly transition of power will occur.

There will be 7 days of national mourning beginning today and the Vice Presidend has appealed to the public to remain calm in a television address.

The political uncertainty caused by the ill health and subsequent death of the President resulted in the Zambian kwacha weakening. This underlines the robustness of our own hedging approach which is more focused on hedging political risk via currency than shorting individual stocks.

Monday, 18 August 2008

British American Tobacco Uganda

Batu has dropped to Shs1,160 from Shs1,780 at the start of the year.

In March, Batu announced a return to profits, so what's going on? Half year results are due any day now, so we will soon see if the trunaround is still on track. To us it looks like things are on the right track and the decline is market related. After all, Batu is a widely held stock, by Ugandan standards. Batu has about 1,500 retail and institutional shareholders including, Crane Bank, Barclays Uganda Nominees Limited, and National Insurance Corporation.

Standbic Bank Uganda Limited

In a move to provide banking services in accross Uganda and an attempt to set pace for competition, Stanbic Bank has new branch openings and Automated Teller Machines in eastern, northern and central parts of the country. Stanbic Bank is seen as one of the champions of the Uganda market having seen its shares double at IPO on Uganda Securities Exchange about two years ago.

Safaricom falls below IPO level

Safaricom, which rose to a high of KShs8.15 on the first day of trading declined last week to an all time low of KShs4.95, KShs5 cents below the IPO.

It is estimated that Kenyan Banks lent out about KShs48 billion to finance the purchase of Safaricom. Although the shares are now very attractively priced, that means there are still a lot of leveraged and unsophisticated holders of the shares.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Qassim Agricultural Development Company

It does not take a genius to know that agriculture is not a competitive advantage in Saudi Arabia. Just take a look at the graph of Qassim Agricultural Development Company if you need any further proof.

Qassim argues it has ideal conditions for wheat farming and indeed the company did initally flourished albeit due in our opinion to the government's wheat price support programme. Following the phased elimination of the price support programme, the company has not been a happy place to invest.

The company is trying to diversify into date factory and dairy farming. The company has just reported a 15 per cent fall in sales revenue to SR 36.7 million ($9.8 million) and losses of SR 2 million ($5 million). Needless to say, this is not a company we would recommend for a long portfolio.

Africa in Perspective

Excellent picture from an excellent website

Solidere International

SODIC and Solidere International signed an agreement this week to begin their Westown development project in Egypt. Solidere's work on the project will cover 250,000 sqm of SODIC's 1.2 million sqm site, which is located on the Cairo Alexandria Desert Road.

Solidere was established as the Lebanese company for the Development and Reconstruction of Beirut Central District S.A.L. The objectives of the Company, which consists mainly of real estate activities, were originally to focus on just the Beirut Central District. Seems it is now casting its net further afield!

The Arab International Investment & Education Company

The Arab International Investment and Education Company is a unique listed way to get exposure to the growing demand for private universities,educational institutes and academies. With a market cap of USD 168m, the company is one of the top 20 on the stock exchange in Jordan.

The company has investments in, the Applied Science University, Ibn Al Haytham Hospital, Applied Company for Treatment Medications, Applied Science University Oman,
International Company for Medical Investment, Arab International Food Factories and Investment Company, and Ittihad Schools. Quite a selection of good quality establishments. Still with Return On Assets of only 10.5% it is not going to ever be anything more than a defensive stock.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Oman changes working week.

Our risk director, Klaus Just Jeppesen's job has just become more difficult. The Omani banking sector has officially moved to a Friday-Saturday weekend. According to a circular from the Central Bank, the working week will effectively run from Sunday through to Thursday. What that means from a data allignment perspective is not worth commenting upon...

Jordan Investment Trust PLC (Jordinvest)

Jordan Investment Trust PLC (Jordinvest) has just reported an 87% increase in its half year profit, reaching JD3m. Net Asset value rose by 9% reaching JD69.3m. Not bad.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Diamond Bank PBT +112%

The dynamic Nigerian Diamond Bank Plc posted Profit Before Tax growth of 112%. Gross earnings grew 52%

The bank announced a bonus issue, in the proportion of one new Ordinary Share for every ten Ordinary Shares currently held.

The deposit base of the bank achieved a 93% growth, moving from NGN 217.7bn in 2007 to NGN 419.7bn in 2008 while balance sheet size rose to NGN 840.3bn, a growth of 87% over the figure of 2007.

Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Emeka Onwuka believes in building a strong reputation for customer focus, ethical principles, innovative product development and quality service.

The bank has a strong balance sheet, large customer base and solid risk management framework. The IFC have seconded someone to work with the Bank for 2 years to drive the development of products, operational and risk management frameworks.

Seychelles downgraded to 'selective default'.

Something that does not happen much, Standard & Poor's has cut its credit rating on the Republic of Seychelles to selective default! The country has just failed to service a privately placed euro 54.75 million amortising note due 2011.

The ratings agency also lowered its rating on Seychelles $230 million global bond due 2011 to "CCC-" from "CCC". All Seychelles bonds have fallen like rocks! Ouch..

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

New Mauritius Hotels Limited

New Mauritius Hotels Limited owner of eight hotels in the Indian Ocean island nation has seen occupancy decline by 5.6 percent. The decline is due to the closure of two resorts for refurbishment, so we do not think it is a major issue. Closing hotels for refurbishment during slow economic times is probably a good idea. Long term, the company is still on the growth track.

New Mauritius Hotels Limited has acquired 160.8858 hectares of freehold and Les Salines Development Limited, owner of 6.8927 hectares of freehold land and holder of an industrial lease over 5.8121 hectares of 'pas géométriques', for a consideration of Rs 1.6 billion.

The lands are situated at place called Les Salines Pilot in Rivière Noire (see picture). The company intends to undertake an integrated development of high quality and low density, comprising a five-star hotel, a 18-hole golf course of international standard and some 220 luxury villas. Sounds good to us!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Frontier market conference: 6-7 November

Danfonds CEO will be chairing a unique globally focused marcus evans conference profiling investment prospects in the MENA region, sub-Saharan Africa and East and Central Asia organised by Samuel Nordberg, Conference Producer, marcus evans.

Further details can be obtained by contacting Ulrike Eder

11 Connaught Place
W2 2ET

Telephone: +44(0)20 3002 3273
Fax: +44(0)20 3002 3016

Key Speakers
Daniel Broby
CEO, Danfonds

Alisher Ali Djumanov
Managing Partner, Eurasia Capital Management

Slim Feriani
Managing Director, CIO, Progressive Developing Markets Limited

Nick Rouse
Managing Director, Frontier Markets Fund Managers

Klaus Jeppesen
Risk Director, Danfonds

Ayo Salami
Chief Investment Officer, Duet Victoire Africa Index Fund

The macroeconomic outlook on global frontiers will be the key topic. The speakers will analyse the key challenges to investing in frontier markets and how to overcome them. They will review the performance of African frontier markets and determin the benefits of frontier investing from a fund of funds perspective. Hopefully, they will also address the challenges involved in long-term debt infrastructure finance in Africa.

The conference will also analyse the macroeconomic perspective on global frontier markets, examine liquidity challenges in frontier markets, and determine best practice investment strategies for frontier market exposure.

See you there!

MTN Zambia - Private placement

MTN Zambia is looking to widening its shareholder base through a private placement. MTN has spent the last three years rolling out telecom products and services to 80% of the population. It requires the funds to build a switch centre in Kasama which it claism will improve service delivery in Northern and Luapula provinces. A great opportunity!

Qatar Gas Transport Co.

You don't have to just extract oil and gas in the gulf to take advantage of the largest industry in the region. Qatar Gas Transport Company is a good mid-stream player in Qatar that offers a lower risk way tp play this business. It aims to become the world’s largest producer and supplier of liquefied natural gas. It has twenty-five year contracts with state-owned Qatar Petroleum and shipbuilding contracts with South Korean shipyards. With its fleet of 27 vessels and a 43% non-operating equity in 29 vessels (which operates under the name Nakilat) is diversifyed and large enough to benefit from economies of scale.

Saudi Arabia Fertilizer Co.

What do you buy in the desert Kingdom? Well there is always Saudi Arabia Fertilizer Co. (SAFCO), a stock that has really fallen of late. The company has a clear competitive advantage . It a low cost base and has recently added to capacity additions. Still, the forward PE is on 23 times, but that is number based on the concensus of only two analysts who really disagree on its growth prospects!

Monday, 11 August 2008

North Korea

We keep getting asked which frontier markets we are not intending to invest in. Well, one day, even North Korea will be on the target list - but not righ now!
When the dictatorship falls, and it will do, the latent capitalism (see last photo) will make the country flourish as a large pool of cheap labour right next to South Korea, which is in reality now a developed country!

Argentina - concerns grow.

Argentine bond prices plunged more than 6% on Friday. Argentina suffered its worst week since the default of 2002. Although there are hopes that the president will strike a more conciliatory tune after the agricultural sector debacle, this does not look likely.

The market now believes it is only a matter of time until the government are replaced and history shows that such things in Argentina are generally chaotic. The markets are bracing for a default, even though the country's macroeconomic indicators are sound. Looks like Argentina will re-join the frontier market universe.

Anglogold Ashanti

Anglogold Ashanti, which is listed in Ghana as well as other places, is dehedging itself. It has cut hedges by 2.71 million ounces. This makes the company substantially more responsive to the upside in the gold price. Sounds like they are bullish.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Competitive advantage in frontier markets

One of Daniel Broby's ex-Colleagues from Renaissance Capital explained to him why frontier markets, like Russia, have the edge. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300° C.

The Russians used a pencil!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Georgian stock exchange response to fighting

As usual, the stock exchange hardly traded and only between the official hours 13.00pm to 14.15pm despite the heavy fighting in the disputed Caucasian enclave of South Ossetia. AEST was worst hit, falling 27.27%

Total number of trades concluded: 24
Total volume of trades (securities): 31,300
Total value of trades (GEL): 58,335.34

Issue Closing Price** Change
AEST 0.800 -0.30 (-27.27%)
AMB 0.080 0.00 (1.27%)
GEB 18.000 -2.80 (-13.44%)
GTC 1.150 0.05 (4.55%)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

FTSE Frontier 50

The FTSE Frontier 50 launches today. it covers 23 frontier markets. Further regional and country indices for frontier markets will be launched in phases throughout the remainder of 2008 and into 2009.

More oil found in Uganda!

Uganda's petroleum potential continues to look great. Tullow Oil and Heritage jointly announced they have struck vast deposits in Kasamene-I well in Butiaba area, Buliisa district.

Petroleum production and exploration department commissioner, Mr Reuben Kashambuzi described the discovery to Daily Monitor as the best to date. "To encounter such a thick and rich structure with clear separation of oil, gas and water......this is stuff of textbooks, an absolutely wonderful discovery,"

Heritage claims that the Buffalo and Giraffe prospects could have up to more than 500 million barrels of oil between them.

National Salt Co Nigeria (Dangote)

National Salt Co. Nigeria Plc, the country's largest salt maker, and subsidiary of Dangote Industries, reported first-half profit rose 25 percent. Sales are the key driver.

National Salt, or Nascon, is a unit of Dangote Industries Ltd., which also controls Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, the country's only sugar refiner.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Celtel Zambia rebranded to Zain Zambia

Celtel Zambia was rebranded as Zain Zambia under the Zain Group (reported on earlier in this blog) across 14 African nations.

Saudi Arabian British Bank - Strong growth.

The Saudi Arabian British Bank recorded a net profit of SR1.552 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2008 - up 24 per cent. The SABB's strategy of building long-term customer relationships supported by a broad range of financial products and services appears to be delivering the goods.

The strength of SABB's balance sheet has allowed it to respond to the increasing demand for funding within the Saudia Arabia as reflected by the 59.5 per cent growth in our loans and advances book over the last twelve months. This asset growth has more than offset the impact of falling rates. In addition, strong performance from credit cards, trade, mutual fund, treasury and IPO related businesses, together with a modest increase in brokerage income, has delivered well balanced income streams.

Customer deposits are up 36.7 per cent, however Loans and advances to customers of were up 59.5 per cent! The bank's investment portfolio was a bright spot, totaling SR30.1 billion, compared with SR16.4 billion a year ago. Provisions for bad debts are alos going in the right direction. In the first half of 2008 they reduced by SR4 million or 1.8 per cent.

The company also announced the formation of SABB Insurance Services Ltd which will provide comprehensive insurance solutions - A further step toward the bank's goal of becoming a leading provider of financial services in the Kingdom.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Emerging Markets Infrastructure: Just Getting Started

Herewith a quote direct from a report by Morgan Stanley...

"We view this theme, the build-out of the developing world as it closes the infrastructure gap with the developed world, as one of the – if not the – most important themes in global investments, for the coming decade."

HFN Middle East / North Africa (MENA) Average

The new HFN Middle East / North Africa (MENA) Average is a new index comprised of hedge funds in the HFN database that focus their investments on the MENA geographic region and can include countries located in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the last HFN MENA report, the number of funds listed on the HFN database focusing their investments in the region has grown considerably, from 16 funds in the database in August 2007 to a current total of 29 funds.

According to the 2008 Hedge Fund Asset Flows & Trends Report, total estimated assets invested in hedge funds focused on A/ME reached $4.26 billion in Q1 08, continuing a mostly unbroken climb since Q4 04 when assets were $430 million.

Cadbury Nigeria - back from Suspension

The extraordinary saga of one of the worlds best brands being dragged through the mud in Nigeria looks like it is coming to an end. The Nigerian Stock Exchange has now lifted its two week long suspension on Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

The Investment and Securities Tribunal meanwhile upheld the indictment of the company by Administrative Proceeding Committee of Securities and Exchange Commission over financial misstatement amounting to about N5 billion in its 2006 accounts.

The company was given various fines. It was also fined for filing a Rights Circular for an irredeemable convertible loan stock which contained false/misleading statements.

On the positive side, the company has reported that trading in the first half of the year was looking good...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Saudi Arabian stocks decline for seventh straight day

As the Saudi Arabian stock market corrects on the retreat in oil prices, Goldman Sachs have bought out a report saying it's more than possible that Saudi Arabia's weekly revenues from the sale of oil could reach more than $13.5bn a week (assuming oil gets to $200 a barrel).

Friday, 1 August 2008

Namibia Breweries Limited - Best beer in the world

Sure, some people make exagerated claims about their favorite companies and/or beverage. This claim, however, is by a third party. Nambrews’ Windhoek Light was judged to be the finest beer of its kind in the world. The popular Namibian beer was named the Champion beer in its category and awarded a gold medal at the prestigious bi-annual Brewing Industry International Awards (BIIA), held in Germany.

Beck's owns just under 50 per cent of Namibia Breweries Holding, which owns a majority of NBL shares. The rest or the shares are listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange