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Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Dubai to take $300m stake in Nigeria’s Dangote Cement
Dangote Cement plans to expand production capacity from about 35m tons a year to more than 60m tons a year by 2018
Dubai: Dubai is to take a minority stake in Nigeria’s largest cement manufacturer as it 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 (Dh1.1 billion) into the West African market through a minority stake in Dangote Cement, which has a market capitalisation of about $23bn.
A Dubai official said that Mohammad Al Sheibani, chief executive of the Investment Corporation of Dubai, is expected to sign the deal today with Dangote Group’s founder, Nigeria-based tycoon Aliko Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man with a fortune estimated at $25 billion. “This could lead to more deals in the future,” said the official.
Dangote Cement, the largest firm on Nigeria’s stock 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 60m 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 last month launched a joint investment fund with Export-Import Bank of Korea, the official trade finance agency of South Korea.
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 gasfield in Tanzania.
Beijing’s China Investment Corporation in 2011 paid nearly $250 million to take a 25 per cent 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.
As recently as 2001-03, Africa was registering negative portfolio flows as big investors withdrew their money.