Wednesday, October 1, 2014 4:00 pm
Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), with assets worth over $70billion, is exploring further investment opportunities with African conglomerate Dangote Group, the chief executive of the emirate’s fund said on Wednesday.
ICD, which hold stakes in many of Dubai’s top companies including Emirates airline and Emaar Properties, bought a 1.4 percent stake in Dangote Cement last month for $300 million.
“We have been looking at Africa for a long time. We are looking to do more business with Mr. Dangote and we have some things that we are exploring at the moment together,” Mohammed al-Shaibani told an Africa-focussed investment event at the Atlantis The Palm in Dubai.
Shaibani was speaking alongside Aliko Dangote, head of the Dangote Group and Africa’s richest man.
When asked about what sectors ICD would be interested in investing in with Dangote Group, Shaibani said it was focussing on agriculture and infrastructure projects.
Dangote Cement has a market value of around $23 billion. Dangote told Bloomberg on Wednesday that future deals with the ICD, could stretch into billions of dollars.
Dangote said the ICD has also agreed to invest in oil ventures. Dangote is building a $9billion petro-chemical plant in Lagos.
Gulf companies are increasingly looking at Africa as an investment destination, as firms use cash generated by their rich, hydrocarbon-dominated economies to expand into a continent where many countries are experiencing high levels of growth.
This compares with Western nations, where money from Gulf sovereign wealth funds have traditionally been deployed, which are still struggling with anaemic growth rates.
Last month, Qatar National Bank bought in two stages a 23.5 percent stake in pan-Africa lender Ecobank , its second acquisition on the continent in the last two years.
Meanwhile, Emirates Global Aluminium is developing a $5 billion refinery and bauxite mine in Guinea to help it secure the raw materials it needs for its expanded operations in the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai, like many other investors, is eyeing opportunities in Africa that could represent a sizeable return. Earlier this week, Emirates, one of ICD’s crown jewels, announced on Tuesday it is taking over the management of Angola’s national airline, TAAG, in a ten-year deal with the African nation’s government.
Other state-owned companies also used the forum to highlight their intentions. DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has plans to develop a free zone in West African country, Senegal, the company’s Chairman, Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem said.
Bin Sulayem did not elaborate on the companies intentions but said he is “definitely bullish” on Africa. He also said DP World “would go tomorrow” if an opportunity arose in Nigeria.
Tim Clark, Emirates president, meanwhile, told reporters at the forum that the Angolan government had directly approached Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group (for the management deal). Clark also said that Emirates intends to fly to 30 destinations in Africa by the end of the decade. It currently operates to 22 African destinations.
Separately, flydubai announced on Wednesday the launch of flights to Entebe Uganda and Bujumbura in Burundi.
Earlier, Hamad Bu Amim, president and chief executive of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, used his opening address to stress how seriously Dubai sees the African continent. “Future investment opportunities lie in Africa,” he said.
Reported by reuters and Gulfnews.com