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Dubai builds West Africa ties with $300m Dangote Cement stake

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IMAGE: Dangote Cement plc »


Dubai is building a minority stake in Nigeria’s largest cement manufacturer as the Gulf state deploys its finances to develop its role as an investment gateway into sub-Saharan Africa.

The emirate’s state holding company is diversifying its portfolio by investing $300 million into the West African market through a minority stake in Dangote Cement, which has a market capitalisation of about $23 billion.

Sovereign fund Investment Corp. of Dubai (ICD) bought a 1.4 percent stake in Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s biggest company by market capitalisation, for $300 million, a Dangote spokesman said on Monday. Dangote Cement spokesman Carl Franklin confirmed the sale, but provided no further details.

STOCKBROKERSin Lagos told Reuters 243 million shares of Dangote Cement were transferred to ICD, which holds stakes in some of the emirate’s top companies, at N200 each, a 12 percent premium to Dangote Cement’s price of around N223 on Monday.

Dangote Cement, the largest firm on Nigeria’sSTOCK MARKET and which controls two-thirds of the cement market, plans to expand production capacity from about 35 million tons a year to more than 60 million tons a year by 2018, as it grows domestically and across 12 other African countries.

ICD, which controls Dubai’s corporate crown jewels such as Emirates Airline and developer Emaar, is increasingly turning its attention to global investments after helping support the emirate through the aftermath of the 2008 real estate crash and subsequent recession.

Dubai’s property market has recovered – and is now threatening to overheat – as the emirate economy booms as a haven from regional unrest.

ICD’s debut investment is the latest of a string of acquisitions by state-owned groups and sovereign wealth funds in sub-Saharan Africa after years of shunning the region.

Earlier this year, Temasek of Singapore bought a stake in an energy company in Nigeria, months after it acquired a stake in a gas field in Tanzania.

Beijing’s China Investment Corporation in 2011 paid nearly $250 million to take a 25 percent stake in Shanduka Group, a South African conglomerate founded by politician-cum-businessman Cyril Ramaphosa.

The African Development Bank forecasts that the continent will see record foreign inflows of more than $80 billion this year. Portfolio flows, which include equity and bond investments, are expected to rise to nearly $25 billion, surpassing a peak set in 2006.

Article Credit: Businessdayonline

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Dubai     Dangote Cement     Sovereign Fund Investment Corp     Carl Franklin