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Archive for May, 2009

May 25 2009

Naspers partner eyes Facebook stake

Published by under Companies,More News

Digital Sky Technologies (DST), Naspers’ partner in Mail.ru, Russia’s 3rd biggest internet company (measured by revenue), may buy a stake in social network portal Facebook, reported Wall Street Journal and Reuters.

DST and Naspers holds 53.2% and 42.8% respectively in Mail.ru. Dmitri Grishin, CEO of Mail.ru, holds 3.5% in the company, which generated revenue of $56 million in 2007, with an EBITDA margin of 64%.

According to Reuters DST wanted to invest $200 million in an unknown number of preference shares and another $150 million in ordinary shares. Apparently, DST valued Facebook at around $10 billion. Facebook didn’t respond to the rumours.

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May 20 2009

China wins Botswana power plant contract

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Botswana has awarded a $970 million contract to build a new coal-fired power plant to a Chinese company.

The contract for the 1,200 MW plant was awarded to China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC). Known as the Morupule B Power Plant, the pithead power plant will be funded jointly by the owner of a number of coal mines in Botswana (I don’t know who that is yet) and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the national power company of Botswana.

In the first stage four 150-MW circulating, coal-fired units with direct air-cooling will be built. In turn, CNEEC awarded the engineering contract to Central Southern China Electric Power Design Institute (CSEPDI), a subsidiary of China Power Engineering Consulting Corporation (Beijing).

Earlier CNEEC had signed the general contract with BPC at the headquarters of BPC. The total value of the contract is $970 million. The project is the first power project and also the largest general contract project developed by Chinese enterprises in Botswana to date.

CSEPDI is a leading power engineering institute in China. So far this year CSEPDI has signed over 20 contractsfor foreign projects. 

Source: IndustrialInfo.com 

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May 20 2009

About “half-South Africans” Musk and Federer

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

In my (slightly biased) view, the most important news item in today’s Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) was the 10% stake taken by Daimler in California-based electric car company Tesla, founded and managed by the ex-South African Elon Musk. [Read on]

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May 17 2009

Cosatu/Vodacom: The wake-up call

Published by under More News,Opinion

Cosatu’s attempt to stop the Vodacom listing (read here), is the clearest sign yet that there has, in fact, been a “jump to the left” under the Zuma government.

This is no “once-off act” by Cosatu; no act without context. No, this is the new, confident, Zuma-backed Cosatu flexing its muscles. And this is a taste of things to come.

I welcome the Vodacom/Cosatu debacle for two reasons: At long last the SA media, economists and community at large will now wake up to what the SA economy has on its hands – a very dangerous situation for the economic welfare of the community at large. 

Let the fun begin. First up, will be a drop in the rand. Then, well. We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe, a stand-off between Trevor Manuel and Cosatu? And Trevor’s resignation. Not impossible at all.

This was the wake-up call….the first good thing about the Vodacom/Cosatu debacle. The other good thing about it: The debacle might force Jacob Zuma to show his hand much sooner than many might have expected, ie. show whether he is going to be a president for all in SA, or only a section of the community.

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May 15 2009

A cynical take on SAB’s efforts to look green

Published by under Companies,More News

I’ve written before about the shocking fact that five liters of water go into making one liter of beer.

Well, that’s the average for breweries around the world today. Thankfully, our own South African Breweries (SAB), the world’s second biggest brewer, averages a little below the 5-liter mark.

And it’s quite active in this area, doing whatever it can to further lower its water-use. That’s why I was very impressed when I first saw SAB was cooperating with the WWF to develop “water-neutral breweries”. Look here.

That was until I read the article and noticed the SAB/WWF project was more about “SAB securing its own interests” than about “SAB doing something good for the environment”. (Unless you think brewing beer is doing something good for the community and the environment. In fact, it reminds me of what that famous French lady once said: “No more bread? Well, let them eat cake.”)

For example, trees are to be chopped down on Table Mountain, to secure the water supply to the SAB brewery in Newlands.  

Would the better water conservation programme here not be to close the brewery down? Read the article and let me know whether I’m a bit “over-cynical” and/or “over-sceptical”. After all, the WWF has been around a while – it won’t allow itself to be taken for a ride. Or would it?

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May 15 2009

UK-based Logicalis of growing importance to Datatec

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SA-based Datatec earns an ever bigger part of its profits outside the borders of the country.  

In the year to 28 February 2009, its UK-based subsidiary Logicalis (staff of 1,500 and offices in Germany, the US and South America) contributed 43% of the $126 million Datatec banked in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). 

Logicalis is a Cisco Gold partner and focuses on data centre solutions, unified communications and managed services.

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May 15 2009

Adi Badenhorst praised in London

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The London International Wine Fair is underway (yes, in London) and a few very interesting tit-bits have already emerged concerning South African wines and especially ex-Rustenburg winemaker Adi Badenhorst. 

Check out what UK wine blogger Jamie Goode had to say. Also check out the comments below the post. And then click here for more about Adi’s current project.

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May 15 2009

Naspers a buy, reckons MarketMonkey

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

On 20 March I reported about the fantastic 2008 results of Tencent (look here), a Chinese internet company in which Naspers holds just over 36%. In the first quarter of 2009 Tencent impressed yet again.   [Read on]

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