Friday, 27 February 2009

Matel PC Market

The Moroccan telecom and PC distributor, Matel, saw sales grow 3% last year. Despite this, it managed to translate the modest growth into a 26% increase in first half profit. Unfortunately, the stock market has been unimpressed so far, taking the stock down 31% year to date. That may be due to the tax investigation prior to Matel's merger with PC Market. Hopefully, when that is out of the way the fundamentals will re-assert themselves.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Barclays Botswana issues trading update

We are all getting so used to banks announcing profit warnings that it is refreshing to see one give a revised upside guidance. Barclays Bank Botswana have just released a trading update advising shareholders that they anticipates an increase of more than 50% in profit before tax for the year ended 31 December 2008, compared to profit before tax of BWP295 million for the year ended 31 December 2007.

The results are expected to be released on the 25th of March 2009.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Maroc Telecom profits up 18.5%

Maroc Telecom increased net income by 18.5%, nicely above estimates, on sales up 7.2%. The company forecast that 2009 would see a more modest 3% sales growth. The company (which represents 21% of the Moroccan stock exchange) bucked the global trend of falling prices, rising 4% yesterday and a further 1.7% today.

Monday, 23 February 2009

GCC update

The downturn has hit the region harder than expected but despite declining oil prices we still believe that the GCC will remain grow in 2009. Tighter liquidity will impact the region and budgetary adjustments will have to be made.

The question then becomes, will that growth be adequate to starve off political concerns. In that respect, the GCC countries with greater socioeconomic challenges, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, will come under more scrutiny. The others, like Qatar and the UAE will have to carefully manage reserves.

Friday, 20 February 2009

First bank grows revenue 43%

Amidst all the gloom in the Nigerian finacial sector, First Bank reported a 43% increase in revenue and a third-quarter profit increase of 27 percent.

East African Breweries

East African Breweries posted a small but positive 4.7% increase in earnings on the back of a 12% increase in revenues. Rising raw materials hurt margins. The company, however, overcame a 400% increase in spirits taxes.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Industries Co

Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Industries Co has proved to be one of the more defensive names in our universe. With sales growing 'only' 11%, the stock sold off at the begining of the year but is now back on the recovery track.

Guiness Nigeria

Guiness Nigeria remains a well capitalised company, despite last years special dividend. Increasing cost of sales continues to be offset by an increase in sales, up by 11% year on year. The 2008 results were impacted by the launch of new Malta Guinness bottles and crates, but 2009 has no such extraodinary hit (that is predicatable).

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Governor Chukwuma Soludo

The naira's 20 percent depreciation against the dollar, prompted the central bank governor to make an impromptu visit to London where Silk Invest was invited to a lunch briefing.

According to Governor Chukwuma Soludo currency-trading restrictions imposed last week are "temporary," designed to avoid the central bank running down international reserves.

Policy makers will allow the naira to trade within a band of plus or minus 3 percent, although he repeatedly failed to mention the target level. The idea appeears to have been to let the naira overshoot on the downside so that it could get some positive momentum back behind it.

Eland International Ghana Limited.

The West African country's National Investment Bank (NIB), which is majority owned by the Ghana state, guaranteed promissory notes issued in May 2007 by food trader Eland International Ghana Limited. The notes were due for repayment on Jan. 29, but no payment was made. The head of a state-controlled bank in Ghana has subsequently been charged with causing financial loss to the state. Gyimah had tried to initiate repayment of the $60 million promissory notes, but the payment stalled when documentation relating to the guarantee agreement between Eland and NIB could not be found.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Emaar Properties PJSC loss

Emaar Properties PJSC, the largest real-estate developer in the United Arab Emirates, reported a fourth-quarter loss and put new real-estate projects on hold. The net loss was 1.77 billion dirhams ($481 million) compared with a profit of 1.74 billion dirhams a year earlier. The fell a further 8 percent bringing the decline in 2009 to 19 percent, following an 85 percent last year.

Saudi reshuffle points to more liberal future

The King of Saudi Arabia had a government re-shuffle, dismissing two powerful religious figures, namely the chief of the religious police and an outspoken cleric. Also, he appointed a woman to serve as a deputy cabinet minister, responsible for female education.

The changes are particularly seen as a message to the religious harliners, particularly in the mutwa religeous police force.

The changes included a reconfiguration of the Grand Ulema Commission, an influential body of religious scholars from all branches of Sunni Islam. In the past, the commission had been dominated by clerics from the austere Hanbali school, but now moderates will be represented. There were also changes to the Saudi military establishment.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dubai suffers 25.9% fall in hotel revenue

Dubai suffered a 25.9% revenue drop in December based on revenue per available room. The latest figure shows how rapidly the deceleration is taking place. In November, RevPar also decreased by 15.5 percent.