Stock exchange suspends Tongaat Hulett listing awaiting financial probe

SOUTH AFRICA – The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has suspended South Africa’s diversified agribusiness firm, Tongaat Hulett’s shares from the bourse as well as the London Stock Exchange, where the company has a secondary listing. In a statement published on the Stock Exchange News Service (Sens) the Tongaat said the board had voluntarily approached the JSE with a request for a suspension of the listing of the company’s securities, reports IOL Business.  This follows a forensic investigation into the company’s assets, operations and other financial information which has prompted the…

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Kenya’s Sony Sugar seeks US$4m to revitalise operations as production declines marginally

KENYA – The Sony Sugar Company, a state–owned sugar milling firm, is seeking US$4 million (KShs400 million) to turn around the company’s fortunes after plunging into financial problems resulting to 45% decline in production. The company’s management has therefore appealed to the Parliament to help it secure the funds from the Treasury that will see the company spring back to life, reports Business Daily. Mwita Nyange, who chairs the finance committee of the company’s board is confident that a turnaround of the miller is possible and challenged the parliament to…

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Nigeria’s edible oil producer Presco reports 25% decline in profits

NIGERIA – Presco Plc, an edible oil processing firm in Nigeria, reported 25% decline in profits for the year ended December 31, 2018 to US$12.03 million (N4.284bn), down from US$16.08 million (N5.726bn) the previous year. According to the company’s audited results, it ended the year with revenues of US$59.94 million (N21.344bn), down from US$62.81million (N22.365bn) in 2017. During the period under review, the palm oil producing firm managed to cut down its cost of sales from US$16.68 million (N5.941bn) to US$13.35 million (N4.753bn), brining gross profit to US$46.59 million (N16.591bn),…

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AfDB approves US$113.42m to facilitate agriculture commercialisation in Africa

AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$113.42 million partial credit guarantee for the development of commercial agriculture projects across the continent. In a statement, AfDB said the funding will be disbursed into various countries through the African Agriculture Impact Investment Limited, a Mauritius-based company. “It will be authorised to operate in various African countries through a special purpose entity that will include two other active portfolios worth €62.5 million,” said the regional bank. The move seeks to catalyse additional financing from international pension funds through an…

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FAO releases US$15m to boost food security in Angola

ANGOLA – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released US$15 million to support the implementation of projects aimed at improving food security in the country. Gherda Barreto Cajina, FAO representative in Angola, said that the funding also seeks to support the Zero Hunger objective under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and for the new international agenda that goes up to the year 2030. FAO has also commenced the implementation of an investment programme dubbed ‘AgrInvest’ in Angola to identify and support investment chains. This was revealed by…

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Tanzania’s NMB to inject US$217.65m into dairy sector to boost production

TANZANIA – The NMB Bank, a commercial bank in Tanzania, has set aside US$217.65 million (Tshs500 billion) to finance milk processing ventures in a bid to boost several milk processing plants in the country. The financial institution said that the funding, which will be available as a credit facility, is also aimed at boosting milk consumption per capita and increasing efforts of creating a ready market for the dairy sector. According to Mboka Mwanitu, NMB’s Research Officer, the move is geared towards assisting milk processing industry in the country adding…

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GrainCorp inks deal to reduce cash flow volatility in grain production

AUSTRALIA – Grain and commodities storage company, GrainCorp has announced that it has signed a 10-year contract to manage the risk associated with the volatility of eastern Australian winter grain production. The deal targets to reduce cash flow and earnings volatility resulting from severe drought in some parts of Australia. “The purpose of the Contract is to smooth GrainCorp’s cash flow and earnings across volatile east coast Australia grain harvests. “As a result, the Contract will have several benefits for GrainCorp and its shareholders including a reduction in cash flow…

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Zimbabwe’s retailer OK reports 196% growth in profits amid tough economy

ZIMBABWE – OK Zimbabwe, the country’s largest retailer, has reported 196% increase in net earnings to US$8.59 million in the year ended March 31, 2019 from US$2.90million posted last year. The retailer’s revenues grew by 37.6% US$139.94 million (RTGS$801,9 million) despite the firm highlighting supply challenges attributed to the harsh operating environment. Commenting on the results, Herbert Nkala, the company’s chairman said; “While the first half of the year was relatively stable, the operating environment became more challenging in the second half of the financial year. “The fiscal and monetary…

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German government injects US$2.25m in Nigeria’s rice production initiative

NIGERIA – The German government, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has provided US$2.25 million for the implementation of the second phase of the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) in Nigeria. Mr Jean-Bernard Lalannehe, The Programme Director of CARI, said that the second phase of the project, dubbed CARI-2, would be implemented in Kebbi, Kaduna and Jigawa states. He said the aim was to help smallholder farmers increase their income and provide their families and the country with high-quality rice, report News Agency of Nigeria. The second…

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Zimbabwe signs US$100m agriculture mechanisation deal to boost sector

ZIMBABWE – The government of Zimbabwe has entered into an agriculture mechanisation deal with Belarus and John Deere, manufacturer of agriculture equipment, valued at US$100 million. Under the agreement, the two will supply agriculture mechanisation equipment aimed at closing the mechanisation gap that is estimated at 543 000 agricultural implements aimed at improving productivity, reports The Herald. This comes as farmers have blamed subdued levels of agricultural production on inefficient and obsolete equipment that they are using. According to Vangelis Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands and Agriculture, the government is…

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