Investment in SA leaps 400%

first_imgConstruction at Orlando Stadium in Soweto in preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Infrastructure development ahead of the tournament is one driver in the massive rise in mergers and acquisitions activity in the country.Mary AlexanderWith deals worth R82-billion (US$10.4-billion), foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa surged 400% in 2007, up from R18-billion ($2.3-billion) in 2006, according to the Ernst & Young Mergers & Acquisitions Review 2007.Released on Tuesday 11 March, the report reveals that much of this growth was spurred by investment from other emerging economies.“This trend was signified by the largest transaction of the year, the sale of a 20% stake in the Standard Bank group to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China,” says Dave Thayser, director for Ernst & Young transaction advisory services.Approved by 95% of shareholders in December 2007 and valued at R36.5-billion ($4.6-billion), the Chinese bank’s investment is a serial record-breaker. It’s the largest FDI in South Africa, the largest in Africa, and the largest, globally, by a Chinese bank.Not quite at the level of the Commercial Bank of China deal, but by no means small, the other driver of the 400% FDI inflow was the R25-billion ($3.2-billion) acquisition by Bain Capital, a multinational private-equity group, of South Africa’s Edcon. With CNA, Boardmans, Red Square, Jet and other brands under its belt, Edcon is one of South Africa’s leading retail groups.Ernst & Young’s Sean McPhee said international investors looking for higher yields found emerging economies a good bet. “We are encountering more and more foreign private equity groups that find the South African market attractive,” he said.“This stems from the growth our market is experiencing, access to resource-rich Africa, and the opportunities in infrastructure development.”Mergers, acquisitions and empowermentThe record FDI growth is seen as the main factor behind the 51.1% rise in total mergers and acquisitions (M&A) value in South Africa in 2007. Hitting another historic South African record, the year saw the signing of M&A deals worth R514-billion ($65-billion), with the top ten valued at R208.1-billion ($26.3-billion).Ernst & Young attributes much of this growth to black economic empowerment (BEE), which tends to encourage both the dissolution of traditional corporate structures and dynamic M&A deal-making. Empowerment deals jumped 71% in 2007 to R96-billion ($12.1-billion), another record. For every R100-million spent on a merger, some R20-million was spent on BEE.“M&A transactions constitute one of the dimensions of BEE and it consequently has become an important, perhaps crucial, aspect of M&A activity over the past few years,” said Thayser.One reason for the rise in BEE deals was the final publication of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Codes of Good Practice in 2007, which brought much-needed clarity to empowerment activity.Head of BEE at Ernst & Young, Sugan Palanee, said codes required companies to review their plans because they required less emphasis on equity ownership as the first priority. Other aspects of BEE, such as black participation in business and procurement from black business, have become more important.Infrastructure development and 2010Another driver was South Africa’s massive infrastructure development drive ahead of the 2010 Fifa Football World Cup. One of the largest BEE deals of the year, worth R7.6-billion ($961-million), was the sale of a substantial stake in cement company Holcim to the Afrisam BEE consortium. According to the latest Business Monitor International (BMI) infrastructure report, the South African construction industry has seen impressive growth in the last few years, with much potential for future expansion.“The forthcoming 2010 Fifa Football World Cup is expected to provide a tremendous boost to infrastructure development in the country,” said Thayser. “BMI expects the industry to grow at 6.14% during 2008 to 2012.”In 2007 many more construction-sector firms listed on the JSE, South Africa’s stock exchange, than in the previous year.“Once listed, the first thing many companies embark upon is bedding down one or more acquisitions, which are often important for the company to move from being a regional to a national player,” says John Wetton, Director at Ernst & Young “Reasons for consolidation are numerous, but one of the primary drivers of this trend is the increased complexity of the business environment.”Consolidation between existing players also became apparent, as well as deals intended to diversify the interests of existing players. The largest example during 2007 was the decision of the Royal Bafokeng Holdings to buy short term insurance company Mutual and Federal for R8-billion ($1-billion).“The private equity sector continued in 2007 where it left off in 2006,” said Thayser. “In the latter year, we reported that private equity had come of age in South Africa, with a number of major deals having been announced as well as record activity evident in funding.”This rapid growth has also brought with it greater shareholder assertiveness. “The feature of 2007 was a rise in shareholder activism broadly defined, or at least an apparent rise due to an appreciable increase in the volume of the verbal interplay,” said Thayser. “Three deals in 2007 really cemented the extraordinary power of institutional shareholders in SA and their increasing propensity to use this influence.”These deals were the bid by furniture and transport company Steinhoff for furniture retailer JD Group, the bid for Rainbow by conglomerate Remgro and Brait’s private equity bid for Shoprite.Thayser was reasonably confident in South Africa’s M&A prospects for 2008. “Pipelines of listings and private equity transactions remain strong and private local equity companies remain flush with cash,” he said. “Overall, confidence seems high that the South African economy will proceed modestly this year and M&A overall will be down – but not out.”Related articlesSouth Africa’s economyBlack economic empowermentInfrastructure developmentUseful linksErnst & Young South AfricaDepartment of Trade and IndustryIndustrial and Commercial Bank of ChinaStandard BankBain CapitalEdconlast_img read more

Black boxes found in Colombian plane crash

first_imgBAe146 Credit: Keith Newsome Investigators have recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders – the “black boxes’’ – from the wreckage of a Bolivian plane that crashed in Colombia on Monday carrying the Chapecoense football team.The recorders, which will be instrumental in uncovering what went wrong with the plane, are said to be in good condition.Seven  of the 68  passengers  and nine crew on board the plane survived the crash near Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordova International Airport but one survivor subsequently succumbed to injuries to put the death toll at 71. Authorities originally thought there were 81 people on board but four did not board the doomed plane.The dead included soccer players heading to play a final in Colombia and journalists covering the event.The 95-seat Avro RJ-85, registered CP-2933 and owned by Lamia Airlines, was operating  flight LMI-2933 from Sao Paulo Brazil via Santa Cruz in Bolivia to Medellin and was about 30km south-east of the airport in a holding pattern when it crashed in the mountains.An airforce helicopter had to turn back due to low visibility and weather has been bad in the area.Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio that said that it is a “tragedy of huge proportions.,”The Colombian Civil Aviation Authority said that the pilots declared an emergency at 10pm local time saying they had electrical problems.The accident has shocked the football world anda left Brazilians mourning the loss Chapecoense, which had been due to play Atletico Nacional in the finals of Copa Sudamericana 2016 in Medellin.The first division team, from the small city of Chapeco, made it to Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since 1970 and won its way through to the Copa Sudamericana finals last week by defeating one of Argentina’s top clubs San Lorenzo.The finals were suspended.Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordova International Airport is located at an altitude of 2142m amongst mountains.According to Flightradar24 the plane crashed while in the holding pattern at about 16,000ft.The particular Avro RJ85 was built in 1999 and was one of two owned by the small Bolivian airline.last_img read more

PH team asks injured Dolor to stay in camp

first_imgNational Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Fellow Far Eastern University spiker Peter Quiel will occupy Dolor’s spot in the roster that will see action in the Southeast Asian Games on Aug. 19 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur.Team head coach Sammy Acaylar said Dolor’s injury gave the team an even stronger bond in Suwon City as they try to give the Philippines a medal in the SEA Games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsDolor was discharged from Soo Hospital last Friday and was set to leave for Manila the same evening before the team asked him to stay. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Greg Dolor, who broke his finger while training in Korea with the Philippine national team, will stay with the squad until it finishes training camp early next month.The decision was made by the entire national team members led by team captain Johnvic De Guzman, who said in Filipino: “We came here as one team, we leave here as one team.”ADVERTISEMENT Frustrated Alaska ‘has to keep fighting,’ says Compton Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View commentslast_img read more

Valley’s first brush with I-League: we want more, say fans

first_imgSrinagar, Nov 6 (PTI) Football lovers in Kashmir had lots to cheer about on Tuesday when the valley hosted its first ever I-League game and hundreds of fans, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, turned up to root for the local team — Real Kashmir FC. As clouds made way for the sun after four days of overcast weather, the fans descended on the valley’s lone football stadium the Astroturf TRC ground here in the summer capital of the state. Overlooked by snow-capped mountains and fiery Chinar trees, the TRC ground came to life as the match between Real Kashmir FC and Churchill Brothers SC which ended in a 0-0 draw. The opportunity to watch top-level football players along with the enthusiasm to support the home team drew people from the city and other districts of the valley to witness the game. Slowly, every seat in the stadium was filled and many fans were not able to find a spot for themselves. While the crowd welcomed both the teams with a loud applause, the stadium reverberated with slogans favouring the home team. Young and old alike cheered for them and enjoyed every bit of the game. The boisterous home crowd was behind its team on its every move but felt disappointed when the team could not convert the chances into goals. “This match is very exciting for several reasons. First, it is the first time that a match of such a prestigious league is being played here. Second, it is our own team which is playing,” Shabir Ahmad, a football enthusiast, said.advertisement “Then, we are getting a chance to see quality football with players from across the country and even abroad,” he added. Ahmad, however, said he felt disappointed that the team could not score. “They had good chances but could not convert them into goals. We felt a bit disappointed, but overall, they played really well and we had a good game to watch,” he said. Another spectator, Mansoor Bhat, a resident of downtown here, said such matches would build interest in football and would go a long way in popularising the game. “The youth in Kashmir is generally fond of football, but games like this will attract more of them to the sport and I am sure many of them will now think about it seriously,” Bhat said. Real Kashmir FC Striker Danish Farooq also expressed hope that many youth would choose football as their future. “More youth will associate themselves with the game now. I think and I am hopeful that they will now see that there is future in football,” he said at the post-match press conference. Farooq said it was a proud moment for the team to play at home. “We were very excited, but kept our focus though we did not put up a good result, we did well. It was a proud moment for all of us and we will not disappoint our fans the next time,” he said after being declared man of the match. PTI SSB MIJ PM PMlast_img read more

Uttar Pradesh govt fails to complete sweater distribution in schools for second year in a row

first_imgWinters have started but lakhs of students studying in schools under the basic education department are forced to attend classes without wearing sweaters because the state government has once again failed to complete the distribution on time.The figures released by the government show that more than 50 lakh students have still been left out in the cold due to the delay.The UP government promised it would complete distributing sweaters in more than 1.6 lakh schools by October 31. Out of more than 1.57 crore children studying in schools falling under the basic education department, around 38 per cent are still waiting to get sweaters and continue to shiver because of the state government’s unpreparedness and mismanagement.India Today did a reality check at a primary school in Madiyaon area of Lucknow where the distribution of sweaters hasn’t even started.Speaking to India Today, Mohit a student of Class 5 said, “We come in the morning at 8:30 am to school. We haven’t been given sweaters as promised. We are feeling the cold. The school management has also not given any assurance on the distribution so far.”Another student Chandni who studies in Class 4 said, “The winters have already started and we are waiting to get sweaters from the government. No one in the school has got a sweater. We are forced to shiver.”In another school in Madiyaon area, some children have been given sweaters but many still await theirs.Speaking to India Today, Arun a student of Class 8 said, “I was given a sweater four days ago. The distribution of sweaters started in our school on November 16.”advertisementIn Etawah district, only 50 per cent of all students have received sweaters from school authorities.A student studying at a primary school in Luhanna area said, “I am not wearing a sweater because the school authorities have not distributed them. We feel cold and winters have already started.”Kavita Rajput, the primary school’s principal said, “Out of 180 students studying in the school, 80 have got sweaters. We will commence the distribution after receiving the remaining amount from the government.”In Fatehpur district, distribution of sweaters has only been completed among 45 per cent of the beneficiaries.Sonali, a student at a primary school in the district said, “When we come to school in the morning we shiver because of the cold. The teachers have assured us that the distribution will take place soon.”Basic education officer of Fatehpur district Shivendra Pratap Singh said, “Around 45 per cent of the distribution is complete. The progress is being monitored on a daily basis and hopefully the distribution will finish soon.”In Bijnor district, a majority of students have not been given sweaters by the school management. They are wearing old sweaters to protect themselves from the cold.Aman, a student at a primary school said, “The school have not provided us with sweaters yet. Winters have started and we are forced to wear old sweaters to protect ourselves from the chilly air.”Meanwhile the morning scene at Pilibhit district in Uttar Pradesh clearly exposes the insensitivity of the district administration. At Beesalpur block, a sports tournament was organised in which hundreds of students participated without sweaters while the district officers attending the event were seen in their woollens.A student who participated in the event said, “We have come here to participate but winter has started. We are facing problems but the school has not provided us sweaters.”Last year, the state government only managed to complete the distribution by February leaving lakhs of students shiver in the extreme cold conditions.Targeting the state government, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Juhi Singh said, “Last year also the students were shivering and the minister in-charge had put the onus on district magistrates. This year also there has already been a lot of delay. UP CM Yogi Adityanath should focus more on governance because people are ready to teach BJP a lesson in upcoming elections.”Responding to the delay, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “I want to ask why is it the previous government never thought about shivering school children? Last year there was a delay, this year the majority of distribution of sweaters has been done and 100 percent target will be achieved soon. The Yogi Adityanath government is highly sensitive towards improving the quality of education.”Funds not transferred a major reason for delay in sweater distributionAfter failing to get a suitable dealer and negotiating on price, the Uttar Pradesh government decentralised the process to procure and distribute sweaters. The school management committee was assigned the responsibility to purchase and distribute sweaters.advertisementIn most of the schools, the teachers said they have still not received funds to distribute sweaters but due to pressure from the department, they have purchased sweaters from the market out of their own pockets. The teachers in most of the schools have accepted that the delay in the transfer of funds by the government is the biggest obstacle in distributing sweaters. According to the government, the price per sweater should not exceed Rs 200.Not even half of total sweaters distributedAccording to the figures released by the director of the state’s basic education department Sarvendra Vikram Singh, 17 districts have failed to distribute even 50 per cent sweaters till November 19. The lowest distribution has taken place in Siddharth Nagar district where only 19.38 per cent sweaters have been distributed.This is followed by Mathura, Aligarh, Sonbhadra, Lalitpur, Shahjahanpur and Sitapur district where nly 30-35 per cent students have received sweaters till date.The figures given by UP government claims that 63.33 percent students across the state have been given sweaters so far.Also read: UP government considering renaming Allahabad State University: Deputy CMAlso read: Sadhus miffed with PM Modi over delay in Ram temple, serve ultimatumWatch: So Shayari: So this is why CM Yogi is changing city nameslast_img read more