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Archive for April, 2009

Apr 21 2009

Phosa in demand in London

Published by under More News,Opinion

It took exactly one hour for the Mathews Phosa breakfast talk at the SA Business Club in London on 30 April to be fully booked. I don’t think any other speaker has ever been “more in demand”. Phosa is ANC Treasurer-General and ex-Premier.

He is scheduled to talk on “What the future holds for post-election SA”.

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Apr 21 2009

Investec: One down, one to go

Published by under Companies,More News

Investec Bank can breathe out: The LSE-listed gold mining company Central African Gold (CAG) found the capital it needed to service its debt with the bank. 

The proposed plan to raise about $8 million by placing new shares was approved at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders yesterday. Read the full report here

Before the placement of new shares, Investec Asset Management held 13.5% in CAG and Investec had an outstanding loan capped at $5 million.   

Now only Orsu has Investec by the short & curlies. At the time of writing, Investec and Orsu still haven’t found a way out of the debt repayment impasse.

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Apr 18 2009

Ralph and Johann do it again

Published by under Companies,More News

Ralph Lauren and luxury goods manufacturer Richemont launced a new collection of luxury watches, reported the National Jeweler Network.

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Apr 17 2009

A German take on managing South Africans

Published by under Opinion,Top Stories

The German business daily Handelsblatt published a very interesting take on management “peculiarities” in South Africa and on how managing South African workers differs from managing workers in Germany. The message is not always very positive. In fact… [Read on]

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Apr 16 2009

Distell official supplier of wine to FIFA World Cup

Published by under Companies,More News

World football body FIFA has named Stellenbosch-based drinks group Distell official supplier of wine to the 2010 World Cup, reported Just-drinks.com.

The publication did not mention how much Distell coughed up for the privilege. As part of the deal, Distell will release a limited edition range of Nederburg-branded wines in the UK and other countries already in July this year.  

The range of three single varietals will consist of a Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé and will be available from July to the end of 2010, with a recommended retail price of 6.99 pound sterling (about R93 at today’s astoundingly strong exchange rate).

Sarah Gandy, marketing manager for Distell Europe, said: “As Nederburg is the leading South African wine in so many international markets, and with our intention to build our profile in the UK, it is a great opportunity to work with FIFA as an official supplier and leverage the relationship.”

The FIFA World Cup takes places in South Africa next year, with England on-course to qualify and Scotland and Northern Ireland also in with a chance of making the finals.

The limited edition Nederburg wines will also be distributed in Ireland, Germany, Canada, Sweden, South Africa and selected countries throughout Africa, Asia and South America, Distell said.

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Apr 16 2009

Sasol close to GTL contract in Uzbekistan

Published by under Companies,More News

Sasol, Malaysia’s Petronas and Uzbekneftegaz, the national oil and gas company of Uzbekistan, are close to a government contract to develop a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in gas-rich Uzbekistan, reported SouthAfrica.info last week. 

Here is the complete story

And this is what Industrialinfo.com reported on the same topic:

Negotiations are under way following the signing of a heads of agreement contract between Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) (Kuala Lumpur), Uzbekneftegaz (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and Sasol (NYSE:SSL) for the development of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Uzbekistan.

A memorandum of understanding has also been signed between the three parties covering mutual cooperation in the oil and gas industry in Uzbekistan, which Petronas and Sasol are currently exploring. The talks with the Uzbekistani government are focused on the detailed requirements that will allow plans to proceed with the implementation of the next phase of the project and, according to Petronas, should lead to the setting up of a joint venture company.

The signing of the heads of agreement contract came after the positive outcome of the joint prefeasibility study regarding a 40,000 barrel-per-day (BBL/d) GTL plant based on Sasol’s proprietary technology that would be used to produce high quality transportation fuels from the country’s major domestic natural gas reserves. Sasol’s general manager, Lean Strauss, said that the country had about 60 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and that a typical GTL plant requires on 3 trillion cubic feet of gas per year. The project is expected to move into the full-feasibility study stage within the next six months.

To date, Uzbekistan’s domestic oil production has covered local consumption, but production volumes are falling. Sasol anticipated that the country would soon become a net importer of oil and saw that the country was motivated to produce its own transportation fuel. Enhancing local fuel production will make a significant contribution to the economy of Uzbekistan through foreign direct investment and job creation. 

In addition to pursuing a number of new GTL projects globally, Sasol’s $7 billion Oryx project, a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum, is nearing its production design capacity of 34,000 BBL/d after producing an average of 29,000 BBL/d in February. The Escravos GTL project in Nigeria, which has a production scale about the same as Oryx, is scheduled to begin operation in 2011.

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Apr 14 2009

Naspers quietly invests R1.5 billion in Russia

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

I have a little Easter surprise for Naspers shareholders back home. In fact, it’s a double-pack of surprises – the one positive, the other negative.  [Read on]

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Apr 09 2009

Daimler, GM may be sued for “aiding apartheid”

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

A United States court allowed a group action for damages brought by victims of apartheid against a select group of international companies – among them Daimler, Ford, GM, Barcalys Bank and Rheinmetall – for “supporting the apartheid regime”, the German business daily Handelsblatt reported here today. [Read on]

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