Amazon plans to invest US$ 5 billion in construction of Amazon HQ2
it & BPM i FOOD I HEALTHCARE i TEXTILES i INFRASTRUCTURE i ENGINEERING i tourism
IFC committed US$ 1.7 billion to support the Economic Growth of MENA Region
Mars, Incorporated will acquire VCA Inc. for US$ 9.1 billion
THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION EXECUTIVES
Teva to sell contraceptive brand PARAGARD in US$ 1.1 billion deal
11 - 16 SEPTEMBER 2017
Sinar Mas Cepsa inaugurated its first oleochemical plant in Indonesia, which has meant an investment of 300 million euros in the last 2 years. The plant will produce fatty alcohols from sustainable palm kernel oil, a key ingredient in the manufacture of everyday products such as household cleaning or personal care.
Sinar Mas Cepsa is a joint venture (JV) between Cepsa, an integrated energy company, the world leader in the production of linear alkylbenzene (LAB), a raw material used for the manufacture of biodegradable detergents; and Golden Agri -Resources (GAR), a subsidiary of the Indonesian Sinar Mas Consortium and the world's second-largest vertically integrated palm oil company.
The opening ceremony of the plant in Dumai (Sumatra) was attended by representatives and senior figures of the Indonesian Government, such as the Minister of Industry.
Pedro Miró, CEO of Cepsa, has said that "chemical business is key to our growth strategy. We have a diversified portfolio of products and we are leaders in the areas in which we operate in the chemical industry. Entering the value chain of fatty alcohols is another step in our internationalization plan and, of course, we do it with the best possible partner.
The CEO of Sinar Mas Cepsa, Kung Chee Whan mentioned that "the Dumai plant, the second joint venture factory, takes advantage of Cepsa's technology and know-how in oleochemicals and relies on GAR for the raw material. Having already consolidated our presence in Europe by acquiring a surfactant plant in Germany, we will study both the possibility of new joint projects downstream and the expansion of our capabilities in this part of the world. " Read more...
Sinar Mas Cepsa inaugurates first oleochemical plant in Indonesia
Mars, Incorporated and VCA Inc. announced that they have entered an agreement under which Mars will acquire all of the outstanding shares of VCA for $93 per share, or a total value of approximately $9.1 billion including $1.4 billion in outstanding debt.
VCA joins Mars Petcare, one of the world’s leading pet care providers. Pet care has been an important part of Mars for over 80 years. The transaction reaffirms Mars’ commitment to the pet care industry and the veterinary profession, and once completed will help drive Mars Petcare’s purpose to create A Better World for Pets.
Mars Petcare’s portfolio of Veterinary Services businesses includes BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, BLUEPEARL® and PET PARTNERSTM. Together with VCA, these businesses will provide an unprecedented level of access to high quality veterinary care for pets, from wellness and prevention to primary, emergency and specialty care. Mars Petcare is already an industry leader in pet nutrition with global brands that include ROYAL CANIN®, PEDIGREE® and WHISKAS®. Mars has a growing business in pet DNA testing through the WISDOM PANEL®, and in 2015 also acquired pet technology provider WHISTLE.
“We are thrilled to welcome VCA to the Mars family and to our portfolio of brands and businesses around the world,” said Mars Chief Executive Officer Grant F. Reid. “VCA is a leader across pet health care and the opportunity we see together—for pets, pet owners, veterinarians and other pet care providers —is tremendous. We have great respect for VCA, with whom we share many common values and a strong commitment to pet care. Together, we will be able to provide even greater value, better service and higher quality care to pets and pet owners.” Read more...
Mars, Incorporated will acquire VCA Inc. for
US$ 9.1 billion
Tulip Ltd invest in the UK Farming
Leading food company Tulip Ltd, part of the Danish Crown group, has announced its acquisition of UK pig producer Easey Holdings Ltd
Easey Holdings Ltd is a family-owned pig farming operation consisting of four key divisions - breeding herds (sows), growing herds, a veterinary practice and a livestock transport business. Tulip Ltd has reached an agreement of terms with the current owners of Easey Holdings Ltd and completed the acquisition on Friday 8th September 2017. Tulip is seeking regulatory approval from the Competition & Markets Authority.
This acquisition represents an investment in British farming and also inward commitment to the UK by Tulip Ltd’s parent company Danish Crown - a cooperative owned by 7,600 Danish member farmers - thus further reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to global farming.
Andrew Saunders, Agriculture Director at Tulip Ltd’s farming division, Tulip Agriculture, explained:
“Customer demand is rising for pigmeat produced to high welfare standards supported by strong provenance credentials. This acquisition forms part of Tulip Ltd’s strategic objective to further support the UK pig farming industry, allowing us to more effectively utilise our skills and expertise, capitalising on our industry-leading best practices which have been developed by farmers, vets and other experts within the organisation”. Read more...
Pilgrim's acquires Moy Park for US$ 1.3 billion
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation announced that it has acquired Moy Park, a leading poultry and prepared foods supplier with operations in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, from JBS S.A., in a transaction valuing the equity interest of Moy Park at approximately $1.0 billion , implying an enterprise value of approximately $1.3 billion .
The transaction was unanimously approved by a Special Committee of the Pilgrim's Board of Directors. Comprised entirely of independent equity directors elected to the Board by a vote controlled by the shareholders unaffiliated with JBS S.A., the Special Committee was delegated the full authority of the Pilgrim's Boards of Directors with respect to the transaction.
"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim's to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods," said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's Chief Executive Officer.
"Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint. The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses. We will have new business opportunities through the addition of Moy Park's fully integrated poultry production platform and its strong presence in prepared foods. Moy Park strengthens Pilgrim's' leading portfolio of brands and brings strong value-added innovation capabilities, access to new markets, a best-in-class production platform and strong farmer partner relationships. In addition, Moy Park shares Pilgrim's long-standing commitment to become the best and most respected company in our industry." Read more...
IFC helps LDBI to finance the Liberian SMEs & Agriculture
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an advisory services agreement with the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment to develop scalable and sustainable agrifinance and support small and medium enterprises banking operations.
IFC will provide specialized advisory services to strengthen LBDI’s risk management processes and tools, with a focus on agribusiness and SME lending. The advisory services will improve the bank’s customer value propositions including systems and products while also building the capacity of LBDI’s staff working on agribusiness and SME lending. IFC support will help LBDI to expand its services to these key segments in Liberia and promote more access to finance opportunities in the country.
LBDI, which was originally created by the government of Liberia, is working to promote the creation and expansion of small, medium and large businesses including in key sectors such as agriculture. The bank aims to encourage inclusive economic growth in Liberia by expanding financial services opportunities in the country.
Unilever announced that it has acquired the organic herbal tea business, Pukka Herbs Ltd.
Pukka Herbs Ltd was founded in 2001 by Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole. With 100% certified, organic and ethically sourced ingredients, Pukka’s health and wellness philosophy centres around benefitting people, plants and planet. This represents a clear synergy with Unilever’s own sustainable living plan.
The pioneering British brand has a turnover of over £30m and growth of around 30%. It is also growing rapidly across Europe and the US. According to Euromonitor 2016, Pukka is the fastest growing organic tea company in the world. The herbal, fruit and green tea market is currently worth €1.6bn* which trends suggest will become even more prominent globally in the future.
“Both of us believe in business being a force for good in society. Tim and Sebastian have cultivated Pukka into a successful business without compromising their ingredients or their ideals. The acquisition strengthens our tea business, addressing a gap in our portfolio. Pukka is a premium player in the natural, organic, health and wellness segment which is fast-growing, attractive and scalable. We look forward to bringing Pukka to even more consumers.” Read more...
Centene Corporation will acquire Fidelis Care for US$ 3.75 billion
Centene Corporation, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement under which Fidelis Care will become Centene's health plan in New York State. Under the terms of the agreement, Centene will acquire substantially all of the assets of Fidelis Care for $3.75 billion, subject to certain adjustments.
The addition of Fidelis Care will expand Centene's national leadership in government sponsored healthcare with a leadership position in New York, the country's second largest managed care state by membership. With the addition of New York, Centene will have a leadership position in the country's four largest managed care states by membership – California, Florida, New York and Texas. Fidelis Care is a not-for-profit corporation that is a diversified leader in government programs, serving over 1.6 million members as of June 30, 2017, with total revenue of $4.8 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2017.
Fidelis Care is a leading health plan driven by a culture of excellence and discipline, offering quality, affordable health insurance coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life through Medicaid, Qualified Health Plans, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, as well as Medicare Advantage, Dual Advantage and Managed Long Term Care. Fidelis Care has an efficient operating platform, a history of profitable operations and a strong balance sheet. It is a successfully diversified business spanning state-sponsored programs, senior programs and exchange products with a statewide network of approximately 70,000 providers.
"We believe our over 30 years of experience, our local approach to the provision of healthcare, and our expertise and capabilities in caring for underserved populations will support the next generation of leadership in government programs in New York State," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. "Centene's and Fidelis Care's missions are fully aligned in terms of promoting health through high quality, accessible care and services for all and advocating for health policy that accords true dignity and respect for all people, especially the underserved. Through this transaction we can further enhance the well-being of Fidelis Care's members and continue to build linkages and systems for the coordination of care and services among healthcare, behavioral and social services while doing so at an appropriate level of cost. We look forward to partnering with the state of New York's healthcare professionals as we continue to deliver on our mission of transforming the health of the community, one person at a time." Read more...
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., announced it has entered into a definitive agreement under which CooperSurgical will acquire PARAGARD a product within its global Women’s Health business, in a $1.1 billion cash transaction. PARAGARD had revenues of approximately $168 million for the trailing twelve month period ending June 30, 2017. This transaction includes Teva’s manufacturing facility in Buffalo, NY, which produces PARAGARD® exclusively.
Teva continues to actively pursue additional divestiture opportunities, including the sale of the remaining assets of its global Women's Healthbusiness, as well as its Oncology and Pain businesses in Europe. Teva continues to expect to generate at least $2 billion in total proceeds from the sale of these businesses, as well as additional asset sales to be executed by year end 2017.
“CooperSurgical’s commitment to women's health, fertility and diagnostics, will help to assure that patients in the U.S. continue to benefit from access to PARAGARD®,” stated Dr. Yitzhak Peterburg, Interim CEO. “This is an important step towards completing the divestments we have promised our stakeholders. Teva will use the proceeds from the sale to repay term loan debt under its Senior Credit Facility.”
With the divestiture of PARAGARD®, and planned divestiture of other global Women’s Health products and the Oncology and Pain business in Europe, Teva is reinforcing its strategic focus on CNS and Respiratory as its core global therapeutic areas of focus within Global Specialty Medicines. In these areas Teva maintains a strong pipeline and portfolio globally, and will continue to invest in creating long term value. Read more...
Teva to sell contraceptive brand PARAGARD in US$ 1.1 billion deal
ADB invests US$ 60 million in OrbiMed Asia Healthcare Fund
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved an equity investment of up to $60 million to OrbiMed Asia Partners III, LP (OAP III) to further improve quality and coverage of healthcare companies in Asia and the Pacific. OAP III is managed by OrbiMed Advisors LLC (“OrbiMed”).
“High-quality and affordable healthcare is a crucial need for people in Asia and the Pacific, and there is tremendous potential for private investment across the region,” said Janette Hall, ADB’s Director of the Private Sector Investment Funds and Special Initiatives Division.
The $60 million equity investment by ADB to OAP III is a continuation of its strategy to increase private sector investments in healthcare. This investment follows ADB’s similar commitment in 2014 to the $325 million OrbiMed Asia Partners II, LP Fund.
OAP III, a closed-end private equity fund, will target investments in 15 to 20 healthcare companies operating in the People’s Republic of China and India. A smaller portion of the fund will target companies in Southeast Asia. Investment sizes will typically range from $10 million to $75 million per company. Healthcare companies targeted for investment will have a focus on improving healthcare affordability, access, or quality to address large unmet medical needs. Read more...
Dealmed Medical Supplies, New York City's largest independent supplier of medical equipment, supplies, drugs, vaccines, and specialty medical products and services, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Vantage Medical Supplies, a major distributor of medical and surgical equipment based in Holtsville, New York.
Vantage, which specializes in supplying new and emerging medical practices, will operate under the Dealmed name as of Sept. 15, 2017. This agreement will increase Dealmed's distribution base to nearly 5,000 regional customers, making it the largest independent medical supplier in the tri-state market. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"Joining forces with Vantage means providing an even greater range of supplies to more medical practices throughout New York City and the tri-state region and throughout the U.S.," said Michael Einhorn, President of Dealmed. "We are confident in this new partnership, as it will strengthen our service to customers as well as to our growing network of manufacturers who value working with an independent company." Read more...
Dealmed to Acquire Vantage Medical Supplies
DIAsource ImmunoAssays acquired the assets of Viro-Immun Diagnostics GmbH
DIAsource ImmunoAssays SA, a Belgian-based company specialized in the development, sale and distribution of clinical diagnostic products, has acquired the assets of Viro-Immun Diagnostics GmbH, a German company specialized in the development and manufacture of laboratory diagnostic kits for the medical diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases.
With this transaction, DIAsource acquires the Viro-Immun brand and all ELISA and IFA products, as well as its complete inventory and infrastructure.
The company and brand Viro-Immun has a strong reputation for its comprehensive portfolio of high-quality assays in infectious and autoimmune diseases, and especially the ToRCH panel with parameters such as toxoplasma, rubella and herpes.
That acquisition fits with DIAsource's strategy to act as a consolidator in its core business of manual kits and open automation. With this acquisition, DIAsource strengthens and extends its existing portfolio of first-class endocrinology and vitamin D products.
For Biovendor, an international company based in Brno, Czech Republic, this acquisition is not only an extension with a large panel of ELISA and RIA tests, antibodies and reagents for clinical diagnosis, but also a direct presence in Belgium, France and Spain, and a global network of more than 100 sales and distribution partners in more than 70 countries, representing yet another step towards internationalization.
EIB supports Amadéite Group, the world leader in Marine Biotechnology
The European Investment Bank (EIB) – the EU bank – and the Amadéite Group have signed a EUR 30m loan agreement in support of the Group’s research and development activities.
The signing ceremony was held at the Breizh Algae Tour 2017 event with the participation of EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and the Amadéite Group’s CEO Hervé Balusson.
“We are pleased to count Amadéite among the more than 90 French biotech companies supported by the EIB Group to date. This loan is of particular importance to our activity in Brittany in favour of the agricultural and marine biotechnology sectors”, Vice-President Fayolle stressed during the signing ceremony. “It will enable us to support the Group in the development of innovative products with a real impact on the health and animal and plant nutrition segments. Fostering innovation is at the heart of our action in support of business and regional competitiveness. It is also a major plank of the Juncker Plan, which is continuing to be ramped up in France, with 89 operations approved by the EIB Group so far.”
This new loan is designed to support the goals of the Amadéite Group’s 2017-2020 RDI programme “Without Antibiotics thanks to Algae”, for which the Group plans overall investment of more than EUR 70m. The loan will be backed an EU guarantee with the aim of facilitating access to finance for innovative firms and attracting other investors.
For Hervé Balusson, “The support of the European Investment Bank represents strong recognition of the technologies developed and mastered by our teams and a show of trust in our future developments. This partnership will enable us to step up our progress in the biotechnology field based on algae and marine proteins. Beyond supporting our project, the renown of the European Investment Bank will have a positive impact for our developments on the international stage, which is essential for a future-oriented midcap company. Read more...
Amazon announced plans to open Amazon HQ2, a second company headquarters in North America. Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community. Amazon is opening the Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposal (“RFP”) now, and local and state government leaders interested in learning more about how they can bring Amazon to their community can visit www.amazon.com/amazonHQ2.
Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010 through 2016 resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy – every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional 1.4 dollars for the city’s economy overall.
With more than 380,000 employees worldwide, Amazon ranks #1 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, #2 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #2 on LinkedIn’s U.S. most desirable companies list. Amazon was also recently included in the Military Times’ Best for Vets list of companies committed to providing opportunities for military veterans.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.” Read more...
Amazon plans to invest US$ 5 billion in construction of Amazon HQ2
Vodafone Germany to invest US$ 2.3 billion
in Fibre Broadband
Vodafone Germany to invest approximately €2 billion of incremental capital expenditure by the end of calendar 2021 in Gigabit ultrafast fibre broadband services, which are expected to deliver around 13.7 million new gigabit connections to German consumers and enterprises.
Giga-Business: targeting 100,000 companies in around 2,000 business parks, both in co-operation with partners such as Deutsche Glasfaser and standalone, an incremental investment of €1.4 - €1.6 billion
Giga-Municipality: partnering with local municipalities to reach around one million rural consumer homes, an incremental investment of €0.2-€0.4 billion
Giga-Cable: accelerating the upgrade of existing cable infrastructure to deliver Gigabit speeds across Vodafone’s 12.6 million cable homes, an incremental investment of €0.2 billion.
A success-based model which meets Vodafone’s disciplined investment criteria, with an attractive estimated IRR of over 20% and a typical payback period of under four years per business park and under six years per municipality.Accretive to mid-term service revenue growth at Vodafone Germany by 1-2 percentage points, with above average incremental EBITDA margins.Cash efficient co-investment approach with partners reduces the annual drag on Group cash flow to €100-200 million in the initial years of the plan (limited impact in FY 17/18). Group capital intensity is expected to remain in the ‘mid-teens’ as a percentage of revenues over the medium-term, excluding ‘Gigabit Investment Plan’ capital expenditure which will be disclosed separately going forwards.
The Gigabit Investment Plan:
Vodafone today announces its intention to invest approximately €2 billion in Gigabit ultrafast fibre broadband services in Germany over the next four years, delivering around 13.7 million Gigabit connections for both consumers and businesses. This investment will allow local enterprises and communities of all sizes to move away from slow copper-based Internet services. Today, 25% of broadband connections are still below 50Mbps, with only 2% of all broadband connections at Gigabit speeds; and the number of enterprise bids that include fibre has doubled since last year. With speeds of up to 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second, this investment will revolutionise the digital experience of homes and businesses across Germany. Read more...
A new study from Juniper Research has found that operator revenues from international mobile data roaming are expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 8%, reaching $31bn in 2022 compared to $21bn in 2017. This is despite a global fall in data revenues by 11% in 2017 – including a 46% decline in West Europe - as a result of operators increasingly offering RLAH (Roam Like at Home) packages around the world.
RLAH enables users to use their monthly voice, data, and messaging allowance while roaming without incurring additional charges.
The new research, Mobile Roaming: Regulations, Opportunities & Emerging Sectors 2017-2022, found that the introduction of unlimited roaming data plans in the US, Europe, and Far East will significantly drive usage by mobile roamers, leading to average data usage exceeding 1GB by the end of 2020.
For further insights download the free whitepaper: The Rise & Fall of the Roaming Empire 2017.
Juniper forecasts that the global average roaming data usage per user per annum will increase from around 500MB in 2017 to almost 1.6GB by 2022.
Silent Data Roamer Opportunity
Silent Roamers exercise caution, or do not use voice and data services at all while roaming, thus are a non-user segment. Juniper’s research found that this behaviour continues to represent a huge challenge to operators both in terms of customer satisfaction and lost revenue. Read more...
Mobile Data roaming revenues to reach
US$ 31 billion By 2022
Most companies have big gaps between AI ambition and execution: BCG
More than three-quarters of business executives expect artificial intelligence (AI) to create competitive advantage or new lines of business for their companies, but only about one in five companies has incorporated artificial intelligence in some offerings or processes today, and only one in 20 companies has extensively incorporated AI into its current offerings or processes. Less than 40% of all companies have an AI strategy in place, and while the largest companies—those with 100,000 employees or more—are the most likely to have an AI strategy, only half do have one.
The yawning gaps between current reality and expectations for the next five years were revealed in a global survey of more than 3,000 business executives, managers, and analysts in 112 countries and 21 industries, the results of which are being released today in a new research report, Reshaping Business with Artificial Intelligence: Closing the Gap Between Ambition and Action, by MIT Sloan Management Review (MITSMR) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The survey also found that despite widely reported speculation about job loss from AI, less than half of survey participants (47%) expect their companies’ workforces to be reduced within the next five years, and almost 80% expect current employees’ skills to be augmented. Only 31% of respondents fear that AI will take away some of the current tasks in their own jobs.
“The gap between ambition and execution is large at most companies,” said Philipp Gerbert, a BCG senior partner and report coauthor. “We also found large gaps between today’s leaders—companies that already understand and have adopted AI—and laggards. Leaders not only have a much deeper appreciation of what’s required to produce AI than laggards, they are also more likely to have senior leadership support and a developed business case for AI initiatives.” Read more...
Organizations deploying Artificial Intelligence
are creating jobs and
Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services, has announced the findings of “Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit”, a study of nearly 1,000 organizations with revenues of more than $500m that are implementing artificial intelligence (AI), either as a pilot or at scale. The research both counters fears that AI will cause massive job losses in the short term, as 83% of firms surveyed say AI has generated new roles in their organizations, and highlights the growth opportunity presented by AI: three-quarters of firms have seen a 10% uplift in sales, directly tied to AI implementation.
The report, which surveyed executives from nine countries and across seven sectors, found that four out of five companies (83%) have created new jobs as a result of AI technology. Specifically, organizations are producing jobs at a senior level, with two in three jobs being created at the grade of a manager or above. Furthermore, among organizations that have implemented AI at scale, more than 3 in 5 (63%) said that AI has not destroyed any jobs in their organization.
Alongside the trend towards job creation at management level, the report provides further evidence that organizations see AI as a means of reducing the time employees spend on routine and administrative tasks to enable them to deliver more value. The majority of respondent organizations (71%) have proactively initiated up-skilling/re-skilling of employees to take advantage of their AI investments. For those who have implemented AI at scale, the vast majority believe that AI will make complex jobs easier (89%) and that intelligent machines will coexist with humans within their businesses (88%). Read more...
Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and next-generation services, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Brilliant Basics, a London-based product design and customer experience (CX) innovator known for its world-class design thinking-led approach and experience in executing global programs. The acquisition is in accordance with the terms set out in the agreement announced by the company on August 3, 2017.
Through this acquisition, Infosys further expands its worldwide connected network of Digital Studios that are focused on fulfilling the needs of global clients for end-to-end Digital Transformation solutions required to meet customer demand for next-generation enhanced customer experiences. The addition of Brilliant Basics extends Infosys’ digital design services network to include Europe and the Middle East, and enhances the company’s expertise across financial services, retail and telco sectors. Read more...
Infosys completes the acquisition of Brilliant Basics
Air Products, announced it has signed an agreement to form a $1.3 billion joint venture (JV) with Lu’An Clean Energy Company, which will significantly expand Air Products’ scope of supply serving Lu’An Mining (Group) Co., Ltd.’s syngas-to-liquids production in Changzhi City, Shanxi Province, China.
Air Products has already invested $300 million to build, own and operate four large air separation units (ASUs) to supply the Changzhi City site. Under the new agreement, Air Products will contribute the ASUs and invest a further $500 million for a 60 percent ownership in the new JV. With this majority position, Air Products will fully consolidate the JV financial results. Lu’An will contribute the gasification and syngas clean-up system, will receive $500 million of cash and will have a 40 percent ownership in the new JV.
The new joint venture, to be called Air Products Lu’an (Changzhi) Co., Ltd., will own and operate the ASUs and gasification and syngas clean-up system. The JV will receive coal, steam and power from Lu’An and will supply syngas to Lu’An under a long-term, onsite contract. Closing is expected as soon as possible, pending initial operational start-up and government and regulatory approvals.
“Extending our strong partnership/relationship with Air Products through this new joint venture enables us to take advantage of world-leading project management and operational expertise to deliver syngas for this landmark energy project,” said Mr. Li Jinping, Chairman of Lu’An. Read more...
Air Products and Lu’An Clean Energy to form US$ 1.3 billion Joint Venture
Boeing and Malaysia Airlines Berhad signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 16 airplanes during a ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington D.C.
The signing was witnessed by Dato' Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed, Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry and in the presence of The Honorable Dato' Sri Muhammad Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia as well as members from the airline and Boeing.
The announcement includes eight 787-9 Dreamliners by converting eight of Malaysia Airlines' existing order of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and eight additional purchase rights of the 737 MAX 8s as well as Boeing's Global Fleet Care service to maintain the national carrier's current and future Boeing airplanes. Once finalized, the deal will be posted to Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website.
"Malaysia Airlines is proud to sign this MOU for the widebody Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and additional 737 MAXs, building on our more than 40 years of partnership with Boeing," said Peter Bellew, managing director and chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines. "New widebody aircraft are a key to making Malaysia Airlines a premium airline offering a five star product again. The extraordinary range of the 787-9 gives an ability to operate to any point in Europe and some USA destinations in the future from Kuala Lumpur. The MOU with Boeing on their Global Fleet Care program will allow the two companies to build a world class MRO for the 737 MAX, 787 and 737NG based on Malaysia's existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur."
The 787 is a family of technologically advanced, super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features and uses 25 percent less fuel and with 20 to 25 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces. The 737 MAX 10 will be the most profitable single-aisle airplane, offering the lowest seat costs ever. The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. Read more...
Boeing and Malaysia Airlines signed a MoU for
ADB provides US$ 1 billion loans to strengthen Indonesia's Energy Sector with over
$1 Billion in Loans
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors approved two loans totaling up to $1.1 billion to strengthen and diversify Indonesia’s energy sector — considered key to promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country.
The first is a $500 million policy-based loan (including $100 million from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund) for the Sustainable and Inclusive Energy Program— Subprogram 2. The second is a $600 million results-based loan to the State Electricity Corporation (PLN), guaranteed by the Republic of Indonesia, which will boost access to sustainable and modern energy services in eastern Indonesia.
Indonesia’s energy sector faces far-reaching and interrelated problems throughout the value chain, from the supply of primary energy to the distribution of electricity, leaving some 23 million people lacking access to power. Energy subsidies over many years have led to underinvestment.
Indonesia also lags many of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the development of its abundant renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind, and biomass. This leaves the electricity industry dependent on coal, which accounted for more than half of energy generation in 2016. Read more...
EIB supports Polish Energy and Science with almost US$ 1.2 billion
At the Economic Forum in Krynica Zdrój the European Investment Bank (EIB) has confirmed its strong commitment to supporting the Polish economy by providing financing totalling almost EUR 1bn for strategic investments in energy and science. In line with its aim of promoting competitive and secure energy, the EIB has provided EUR 250m of financing to Energa for the upgrading and extension of its electricity distribution network in northern and central Poland.
This financing, in the form of innovative hybrid bonds, is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a central element of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe. A further two EIB loans are providing Poland with EUR 730m for research, development and innovation activities in research institutes, universities and enterprises. The latter operations are the first to be supported by InnovFin Science, a facility with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020, its research and innovation programme.
During the signing ceremony held at the Economic Forum in Krynica Zdrój, Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: “Investments constitute one of the pillars of the government’s Responsible Development Strategy. We would like to fully utilize available financing sources both in terms of small and medium enterprises, as well as large-scale government initiatives. For the last year and a half the Ministry of Economic Development has been coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Juncker Plan in Poland and we are very happy to observe and report its effects. Data published by the European Investment Bank shows that Poland ranks 6th among all EU countries in terms of transforming funds from this source into investments. The current contract is third in a series of contracts supporting government investment projects. The total value of the three investments – Energa, Tauron and Przewozy Regionalne – altogether amounts to PLN 5.6bn.” He added: “The EIB remains our main partner among the international financial institutions, so I am very happy to sign two new loan agreements with the Bank, which will provide financing for R&D projects, essential for economic growth. The new loans together with the previous ones granted since 2004 for Polish research, development and innovation projects amount in total to some EUR 7bn. They contribute to advancing the development of almost every scientific discipline: from quantum optics technologies to supramolecular chemistry and 3D holographic imaging.” Read more...
Daimler AG’s Trucks division is investing in the Israeli company StoreDot Ltd
Daimler AG’s Trucks division is investing in the Israeli company StoreDot Ltd. as part of their financing round. A representative from Daimler will be appointed to StoreDot’s Board of Directors. The Tel Aviv-based company founded in 2012 is a nanotechnology materials pioneer and one of the leading companies for electric charging and energy-storage materials.
Complementing the investment, both partners have agreed to a strategic partnership that focuses on the field of fast battery charging. StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology enables charging any electric vehicle within minutes, as quickly as filling a tank of gas. Furthermore, FlashBattery’s high efficiency in recuperation is particularly interesting for commercial vehicles; better usage of braking energy increases the range and requires less frequent charging. This results, together with faster charging times, in higher vehicle usage. Both partners will jointly work on tailor-made, integrated technologies, with the future-generation FUSO eCanter as a possible example of application. The possibility of further joint projects, even beyond the Trucks division, is part of both companies’ future discussions.
Martin Daum, Member of Daimler’s Board of Management with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses: “Electrification of trucks is of top priority at Daimler. Today’s global launch in New York City of the FUSO eCanter, the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck, provides impressive proof of our strive for bringing electric vehicles for everyday use to the market. Fast charging is an important topic especially for fleet owners of all Daimler Trucks brands. Together with StoreDot we will now jointly work on a holistic approach to fast charging.”
Dr. Doron Myersdorf, Co-Founder and CEO of StoreDot: “Having Daimler, a world leader in the automotive field, as a strategic partner is of significant value to StoreDot. It will accelerate the completion of our development process and the introduction of FlashBattery to the market. Together with Daimler teams, we create synergies that optimize the characteristics of our innovative solutions with the requirements of the electric vehicles of the future.” Read more...
Crown Holdings, Inc. to build a new Beverage Can Plant In Valencia, Spain
Crown Holdings, Inc., a leading supplier of packaging products worldwide, announced that it will build a new plant in the Valencia region of Spain to produce aluminum beverage cans. The location of the facility, Parc Sagunt, is approximately 10 miles north of the city of Valencia, and was selected based on its close proximity to key customers as well as the excellent local infrastructure and transportation links.
The Company currently operates two steel beverage can plants in Spain, in Agoncillo and Seville, and will be constructing the new facility to meet the growing demand and preference for aluminum beverage cans in the Iberian region. The plant, which is expected to be operational during the fourth quarter of 2018, will have an initial annual capacity of approximately 900 million units in multiple sizes and will be designed to accommodate further expansion. Initially, the capacity will be utilized to facilitate customers' transitions from steel to aluminum beverage cans and subsequently to support the growing demand for both beer and non-alcoholic beverage cans in the region. Read more..
The acquisition of B&F Design Inc. will strengthen Cyient’s Aerospace and Defense service offerings, by adding Design, Build and Maintain capabilities centered around Tooling and Precision Engineering. This will help Cyient create a unique and differentiated value proposition for its aerospace clients.
Cyient Limited, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, network and operations management services to global industry leaders, through its step down subsidiary Cyient Defense Services Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% equity ownership in B&F Design Inc. Based in New Britain, Connecticut, USA, and founded by Raymond F. Forgione in 1965 as a family business, B&F Design initially offered design services to local manufacturing companies and later expanded the business to include the manufacturing of tools, and has built a reputation for its high-quality design and tooling capability. Today, their area of expertise includes design and manufacturing of precision engine assembly equipment, repair tooling, machining of fixtures and gauges, and engine factory modernization services.
B&F Design employs a team of around 47 people, with a revenue between $8 million to $9 million, with low double-digit EBITDA margins. They also bring-in a strong team of technical and domain experts in Aerospace Tooling along with a common anchor customer, led by Mr. Darius Szczepankowski, who will join as General Manager to run the delivery operations.
With new programs going into manufacturing the demand for precision tooling is significantly increasing. This market is forecasted to increase at a faster rate than that of design. This is Cyient’s sixth acquisition in the last three years as part of its ‘Design-Build-Maintain’ strategy. Cyient holds a strong cash position of $155 million and will continue to look for acquisitions that will enable the company to realize its strategy and the goal of industry-leading growth. Read more...
Cyient signs agreement to acquire B&F Design Inc
AccorHotels has announced that the highly anticipated Sofitel Singapore City Centre will open its doors in October and will be the group’s landmark 800th hotel in Asia Pacific. Nestled amidst historic shop houses and towering skyscrapers, the 223-room luxury hotel is elegantly designed, reflecting Singapore’s rich cultural heritage with undeniable French flair.
“The unveiling of Sofitel Singapore City Centre marks an important milestone for AccorHotels as we continue to strengthen our presence in the region,” says Michael Issenberg, Chairman & CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific. “I am pleased to announce that this flagship hotel is our 800th property in Asia-Pacific and opens at a time when we are focused on strengthening our luxury credentials globally.”
An oasis at the heart of historic Tanjong Pagar, the hotel is strategically situated just 20 minutes from Singapore’s Changi Airport. It will be AccorHotels’ 13th hotel in Singapore and will be shortly followed by a combined 782-room Novotel and Mercure complex which will open on Stevens Road, firmly cementing the group’s position as the largest hotel operator in Singapore.
Sofitel’s commitment to culture and design is brought to life with an outstanding collection of custom-made furniture and artworks including designer uniforms accentuated with floral prints, evoking the strong botanic theme that runs throughout the hotel.
The hotel’s interiors elegantly juxtapose vibrant rose gold accents with striking design features and botanical motifs, inspired by the sublime geometry of a traditional jardin à la française and the rich green spaces of Singapore, also known as the Garden City. Read more..
Sofitel Singapore City Centre opens as AccorHotels’ 800th hotel in Asia Pacific
Home2 Suites by Hilton opens First Hotel in Iowa
Home2 Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton's , All Suites portfolio, announced its newest property, Home2 Suites by Hilton Iowa City/Coralville. Designed for travelers who want to maintain their normal routine, the hotel features 102 suites and a range of value, tech-focused and eco-conscious amenities. Home2 Suites by Hilton Iowa City/Coralville joins a statewide tourism industry which reported a 25 percent increase in tax revenue in the last reported year.*
"Home2 Suites is a true hospitality success story. Opening our first Home2 Suites in Iowa is an important milestone, and indicative of the brand's growth since 2011 with more than 140 properties in North America." said Adrian Kurre, global head of Home2 Suites. "Home2 Suites offers guests a distinct stay experience with comfortable suites that allow for flexible living, and convenient amenities and services that reflect the brand's eco-conscious culture and unique spin on extended stay."
Located at 740 Coral Ridge Avenue just off Interstate 80, Home2 Suites by Hilton Iowa City/Coralville offers guests convenient access to nearby shops and restaurants as well as Kinnick Stadium, University of Iowa and Coral Ridge Mall, which features a multi-screen movie complex. Read more...
Radisson RED opens in
The long-awaited Radisson RED Cape Town opens its doors in the V&A Waterfront’s newly revamped Silo District. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s innovative global hotel and lifestyle brand that appeals to tech-savvy guests with a millennial mindset. Radisson RED’s bold, inspirational design and philosophy is set to shake-up South Africa’s staid and traditional hotel scene.
“Radisson RED is a completely new and different hotel concept. It is bold and alive, and provides an experience like no other,” says Mark Willis, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s Senior Area Vice President for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “Radisson RED boasts a forward-thinking design and offers a new experience fueled by personal interaction and personal choice. Radisson RED guests are not defined by a certain age – they are united by an appreciation for unique but intelligent design, energetic social spaces, technology that makes their lives easier, and a customizable, personal experience.”
“For the City of Cape Town, developments such as this represent so much more,” says Dale Simpson, the hotel’s General Manager (also known as the ‘Curator’), who is in charge of bringing the brand’s bold experience to life by leading a staff of creative, expressive and service-driven people. He says that the opening of Africa’s very first Radisson RED will not only continue to drive local and international guests to the city, but will also serve to boost economic development through the creation of various job opportunities for locals in the newly revamped, trendy district. Read more...
The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the most dynamic hotel groups worldwide and a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, is proud to announce the signing of the first Radisson RED in Riga, Latvia, in collaboration with the Astor Group. The hotel will be located on Elizabates iela, in the heart of the city. The 220 room Radisson RED Riga is expected to open its doors by 2020.
Radisson RED is Carlson Rezidor’s new lifestyle select brand, for the millennial mindset travellers. The brand is inspired by art, fashion and music. Radisson RED boasts a forward-thinking focus on enhancing every aspect of a guest’s visit – including design and detail, personal interaction, individual choice and recognition of the increasingly important role that technology plays in facilitating the best of everyday life.
“We are delighted to be bringing Radisson RED to Riga, and to continue our successful relationship with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group,” adds Jizhaku Rubanenko, from Astor Group. “The brand fits well into our own hotel portfolio, and will bring a new, modern and exciting hotel concept to the city of Riga. It has a wonderful central location, close to all the key business and tourist sites – no doubt, it will quickly become a landmark hotel for us and the city.” Read more
Radisson RED to arrive in Riga, Latvia
Home2 Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton's All Suites portfolio, announced its newest property, Home2 Suites by Hilton Columbus Dublin. Designed for travelers who want to maintain their normal routine, the hotel features 126 suites and a range of value, tech-focused and eco-conscious amenities.
"With the numerous business and leisure opportunities that Greater Columbus provides, there is a growing demand for extended-stay accommodations that also can cater to shorter stays, from vacationing families to relocating professionals," said Jodie Hutchins, general manager. "Home2 Suites by Hilton Columbus Dublin offers spacious suites and convenient, comfortable amenities that allow our guests to create their own 'home away from home' while traveling."
Owned by Dublin-based Crawford Hoying and operated by award-winning Shaner Hotels, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Columbus Dublin offers all-suite accommodations with fully equipped kitchens and modular furniture, providing guests the flexibility to customize their suite to their style and preference. The hotel also features complimentary Internet, inviting communal spaces and trademark Home2 Suites amenities such as Spin2 Cycle, a combined laundry and fitness area, Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items and the Inspired Table, a complimentary daily breakfast that includes more than 400 potential combinations. Guests can also enjoy an indoor saline pool and two outdoor patio areas. Home2 Suites by Hilton Columbus Dublin is pet-friendly.
Located at 5000 Upper Metro Place, Home2 Suites by Hilton Columbus Dublin offers guests convenient access to historic Dublin, downtown Columbus, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, Muirfield Village Golf Club and the new Bridge Park development. Read more...
Home2 Suites by Hilton Columbus Dublin Opens
GE signs Partnership Agreement with HPE for Digital Solutions across Middle East, Africa & Turkey
GE, signed a strategic partnership agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise that will bring GE Digital’s breakthrough digital industrial solutions at scale to the Middle East, Africa & Turkey. The three-year agreement with HPE, is the first collaboration of this scale and scope in the region, and will focus primarily on cyber security solutions in Operational Technology, with the potential to move into other digital solution in the future.
One of the first solutions this partnership will focus on is OpShield from GE Digital. OpShield was created specifically to protect critical infrastructure, drawing on years of embedded device testing and assessments of hundreds of industrial facilities. The solution reduces risk of cyber-related unplanned downtime; improves asset protection from cyber-related damage; helps safeguard protected health information (PHI); reduces risk of damage to reputation and intellectual property theft due to cyber incidents; and increases customers’ confidence to connect and optimize assets.
To enable this outreach, the HPE Partner Ready Program (recognized as the industry’s number one partner program in EMEA) will ensure that more than 340 HPE specialists and Channel Partner technical and sales resources will be trained and certified on GE Digital solutions to deliver the solution on HPE storage and server infrastructure. In addition, HPE’s own security capabilities for information technology infrastructure will complement the solutions provided by GE for the operational technology environment. Read more...
Alibaba & Mexico signs MoU to promote Mexican products through E-Commerce in China
In a ceremony at Alibaba Group's headquarters, Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) designed to promote Mexican products and assist companies seeking to tap into the dynamic Chinese economy through e-commerce. Alibaba Group President Mike Evans and Undersecretary of Industry and Commerce of the Ministry of Economy of Mexico José Rogelio Garza were the signatories of the MoU.
Under this agreement, Alibaba will work closely with the Ministry of Economy of Mexico to help Mexican Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) expand into international markets, in particular China, starting with a tailored program for them to benefit from the company’s B2B trading platform, Alibaba.com. Alibaba, together with its ecosystem partners, will also share expertise in logistics and payment platforms in order to enhance the cross-border e-commerce capabilities of Mexican SMEs and to attract Chinese tourists to Mexico.
Alibaba will also share with Mexican SMEs international best practices related to digital transformation and e-commerce trends. Specialized training will focus on key areas including e-commerce, digital payments, logistics and analytics that drive consumer insight, product innovation and rural development in China. This is an effort to create a more inclusive world by helping SMEs and entrepreneurs to better reap the benefits of globalization by leveraging e-commerce and learning from Alibaba’s experience in China.
“Alibaba is one of the world’s largest technology companies with a sophisticated e-commerce ecosystem and a remarkable reach of more than 500 million active annual consumers globally,” said President Peña Nieto.
Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications services provider, and SK Telecom, Korea’s largest telecommunications company and a world leader in building cutting edge networks, announced a strategic partnership under which, Airtel will leverage SK Telecom’s expertise to build the most advanced telecom network in India.
The partnership will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to dramatically improve network experience, leveraging advanced digital tools including machine learning, big data and building customized tools to improve network planning based on every customer’s device experience. The capacity to identify, monitor and deliver improvements to the network experience on an individual device basis will be a first in India, helped by SK Telecom’s global leadership in this area.
The two companies will also collaborate on an on-going basis to evolve standards for 5G, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Software-defined Networking (SDN) and Internet of Things (IoT), and jointly work towards building an enabling ecosystem for the introduction of these technologies in the Indian context.
“Strong partnerships have been a hallmark of Airtel’s growth journey and we are proud to have always looked ahead to bring the latest technology to India. With SK Telecom’s clear and undisputed leadership in technology, this is one partnership that will decisively change the game in India and put the country at par with the most advanced broadband nations in the world.” added Sunil Bharti Mittal.
Airtel partnership with South Korea’s SK Telecom to build 5G network for India
OpenText, a global leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), announced that it has completed the closing of the previously announced acquisition of Guidance Software, the makers of EnCase, the gold standard in forensic security, that includes digital discovery solutions and endpoint information security.
“Information security, forensics and discovery are critical components as companies compete in the digital economy,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText CEO and CTO. “The acquisition of Guidance Software underscores our commitment to the digital enterprise and broadens the OpenText Discovery portfolio through industry leading digital investigation, forensic security, and data risk management solutions. We are pleased to welcome Guidance customers, partners, and employees to OpenText today.”
Terms of the Acquisition
The previously announced tender offer expired at 12:00 midnight, Eastern time, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 (the “Expiration Time”), and was not extended. The depositary for the tender offer advised OpenText and Galileo Acquisition Sub Inc. that immediately prior to the expiration of the tender offer there were validly tendered and not withdrawn (and excluding any shares tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures that have not yet been “received” (as defined in Section 251(h)(6)(f) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”)), a total of 25,275,699 shares of Guidance’s common stock.
The validly tendered shares, together with the shares owned by Galileo Acquisition Sub Inc., OpenText and controlled affiliates, represent approximately 76.7% of the shares of Guidance’s common stock outstanding immediately prior to the Expiration Time. In addition, notices of guaranteed delivery have been delivered with respect to 539,639 shares of Guidance’s common stock. Galileo Acquisition Sub Inc. accepted for payment all shares tendered in the tender offer and will pay for all such tendered shares as soon as practicable in accordance with the terms of the offer. Read more...
Lenzing Opens New Application Innovation Center in Hong Kong
The Lenzing Group is setting a further milestone in intensifying its cooperation with the partners along the value chain by its opening of a new Application Innovation Center (AIC) in Hong Kong. New applications for Lenzing fibers will be developed and tested at the new facility, among them applications for recent innovations like the Refibra™ branded lyocell fiber and the EcoVero™ branded viscose fiber.
“With this new center Lenzing is further implementing its corporate strategy sCore TEN. One of the cornerstones of this strategy is enhancing the level of customer intimacy. The proximity to important Asian customers and partners along the value chain creates a new dimension in our service offering”, says Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer of the Lenzing Group. “We can react more quickly to current trends and handle a broad spectrum of aspects on location relating to the application with our full range of fibers as well as unique fiber blends in collaboration with our supply chain partners. Herewith we can develop highly aesthetic, emotional and functional products around the world”, van de Kerkhof adds.
“This new Application Innovation Center is an integral part of our global technology network, from our R&D department and fiber processing laboratory in Lenzing to our fiber testing facility in Indonesia”, states Heiko Arnold, Chief Technology Officer of the Lenzing Group. Accordingly, Lenzing is underlining its global innovation leadership. “Lenzing’s research and development expenditures amounting to EUR 46.4 mn in the last financial year are among the highest within the peer-group internationally. The bottom line is that these investments benefit our customers, because they can optimally differentiate themselves from the competition by using innovative Lenzing products”, Arnold adds. Read more...
IFC committed US$ 1.7 billion to support the Economic Growth of MENA Region
During fiscal year 2017, which ended June 30, IFC provided over $1.7 billion including mobilization in financing, an increase of around 30 percent compared with the previous year. In fiscal year 2016, IFC committed $1.3 billion in MENA, including $331 million in mobilization.
IFC’s focus was on creating new markets, supporting power and renewable energy projects, and fostering entrepreneurs, including those who run high-potential technology start-ups. IFC also worked to increase economic opportunities in countries like Lebanon and Jordan hosting large refugee populations.
“MENA is a region full of potential,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “But long-standing problems like power shortages, youth unemployment, and restricted access to finance continue to hold back economic growth. To overcome these hurdles, countries need to support the development of their private sectors, which are a potentially bountiful source of jobs and innovation.”
As part of a bold new strategy to support MENA start-ups, IFC invested over $11 million in two Egyptian start-up accelerators, Algebra Ventures and Flat6Labs. IFC also supported Network International, a leading provider of payment solutions, to expand the payment infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa.
IFC also made its first green bond investment in MENA, committing 100 million euro in a bond issuance by Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), the first such issuance in foreign currency in Morocco. The aim is to help create a sustainable financing mechanism for banks to support long-term investments in green assets. Read more...
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, stepped up its investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) last fiscal year, committing $1.7 billion to support the region’s private sector, boost innovation, drive economic growth, and create jobs.
The announcement was made by Soukeyna Kane, World Bank Country Director for Chad, Mali, Niger and Guinea, and Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s Vice President of New Business, at the Development Partners Round Table held in Paris, September 7-8, 2017.
The purpose of the Round Table was to raise the resources needed to meet the additional financing requirement for the 2017-2021 NDP and obtain the Technical and Financial Partners’ support for and commitment to the plan’s implementation arrangements. The Chadian authorities managed to raise a total of $20 billion at the Round Table, including nearly $14 billion from the private sector.
“The country needs to address the challenges raised by the drop in oil prices, prevailing insecurity in the sub-region, the influx of refugees, climate instability, and the need to meet growing humanitarian needs,” said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa. “In periods of crisis, it is just as important to maintain economic and fiscal stability as it is to protect the most vulnerable populations. The concern, therefore, today is to put in place the conditions for sustainable, inclusive growth driven by the private sector.”
“IFC and the private sector have an important role to play in Chad, a country that offers real opportunities, especially in agriculture, livestock production, minerals and oil. IFC will work with the other World Bank Group institutions and development partners to create opportunities and support inclusive growth in Chad,” said Tsitsiragos. Read more...
World Bank pledges
US$ 1.1 billion to help Chad implement its NDP
The World Bank Group has pledged $1.1 billion, over the next three years to help Chad implement its National Development Plan (NDP). This budget includes $1 billion of support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank fund for the world’s poorest countries, and $100 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank.
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