The North Africa Journal
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ArcelorMittal Site in Algeria Headed Toward Nationalization
The North Africa Journal | Steel giant ArcelorMittal may be given a lifeline and a gift of sort by the Algerian government. The company is reported to be wanting the Algerian government to acquire an additional 21% stake in its Annaba unit, northeast Algeria for $200 million.
ENI-Saipem Hit by Corruption Scandal on Algeria Business
The North Africa Journal | Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem is embroiled in a corruption scandal in its Algeria operation that forced the resignation of its veteran CEO Pietro Franco Tali. The company’s engineering and construction Chief, Pietro Varone was suspended pending the ongoing investigation. Energy giant ENI, which owns 40% of Saipem announced the resignation of its own CFO Alessandro Bernini.
SNC-Lavalin: Collateral Damage of Dealing with Dictatorships
The North Africa Journal
The North Africa Journal | Damage control and reputational risk are two things the Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin is currently experiencing firsthand. As the company celebrates one hundred years of business, it is facing unprecedented scrutiny related to its dealings with the Gaddafi family of Libya. Key senior executives have already lost their jobs as the company is going through damage control, and construction contracts in other parts of the world are being questioned.
Algeria to Nationalize Orascom Algeria’s Mobile Phone Unit
The North Africa Journal | The Algerian government is slated to take over a majority stake in the mobile phone operator Djezzy. Previously owned by the Egyptian Orascom, then sold to Russia’s Vimpelcom, the company is likely to be 51% under the control of the State of Algeria after a long battle pitting Orascom CEO Naguib Sawiris against Algeria. The news of the takeover was announced by the Algerian postal and technology minister on Saturday, January 8, 2012.
Al Baraka Banking Group Maintains Aggressive Growth Strategy in North Africa despite Uprisings
The year 2010 was not bad at all for Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG). Involved in international Islamic banking, the company is a Bahrain Joint Stock Company listed on Bahrain Bourse and NASDAQ Dubai. It maintains Standard and Poors long term and short-term credit ratings of BBB- stable and A3 respectively. ABG offers retail, corporate and investment banking and treasury services in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Sharia law. The authorized capital of ABG is US$1.5 billion, while total equity amounts to about US$1.8 billion.
Orascom vs. Algeria
[The North Africa Journal] In a lingering conflict that underscores lack of transparency and weak business rules, the case of Orascom Telecom Algerie (OTA), which has raised a great deal of concerns in foreign investor circles, has not been settled yet. It underscores that the rules of engagement when doing business in Algeria are still unclear and that many leaders of foreign companies remain dangerously ignorant of operating conditions and the business environement in the North Africa country.
Business as Usual for Corporate Morocco
There is noticeable decrease in tourism activity across North Africa and Morocco is witnessing a small impact there. Yet, for the broad economy, the Arab revolutions have not fully afftected Morocco. This is largely due to the fact that Morocco is focused on its own economic growth, while remaining solidly tied to the EU. With limited economic relations with the affected countries, it is no surprise that it's business as usual for many Moroccan firms. Below are some reports that analyze the performance of key companies, ending with a full review of the Casablanca Stock Exchange.
Setback for a Pan-Maghreb TV Channel: Nessma TV Likely to Fold
The North Africa Journal
The owners of Nessma TV are facing the nightmare scenario, challenging their belief that North Africa’s Maghreb region needed a common broadcast platform. Largely owned by Tunisian businessman Tarek Ben Ammar, Nessma TV is finding hard to operate in the region.
HSBC in North Africa: Going Where the Money Is
In summer 2008, London-based HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services institutions decided to add Algeria to its list of emerging markets operations. Libya is likely next in line. The decision meant that as of August 2008, the giant bank entered the Algerian market where it launched what it called “a full-service bank.” But is it really a full-service bank with the goal of contributing to economic growth and development or is HSBC focused on international trade operations to enable the flow of money in and out of the country?
HP to Expand in Libyan Market
On November 4th, 2009, US tech giant HP announced its plan to establish new sales and support subsidiaries in Angola and Libya by 2010. By doing so, HP will increase its footprint across Africa to nine subsidiaries (Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tunisia).