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Last Trade - 15/10/19

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Market Cap £2.90bn
Enterprise Value £6.42bn
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Position in Universe 232nd / 1856

Africa sees increase in foreign investment, bucking global trend

Thu 13th June, 2019 1:40pm
* FDI inflows to sub-Saharan Africa grew 13% in 2018
    * South Africa was top performer; Nigeria suffered
    * 2019 FDI seen bolstered by new U.S. law, AfCFTA

    By Joe Bavier
    JOHANNESBURG, June 13 (Reuters) - Foreign investment in
sub-Saharan Africa rose 13% last year to $32 billion, bucking a
global downward trend and reversing two years of decline,
according to a United Nations report. 
    Development of new mining and oil projects, a new U.S.
development-finance institution and the ratification of an
agreement to create a continent-wide free-trade area could
further boost foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2019, it said.
    Africa stands in sharp contrast to developed economies,
which saw FDI inflows plunge 27% to their lowest level since
2004, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
wrote in its "World Investment Report".
    Some African countries fared better than others, however.
The Southern Africa region performed the best, taking in FDI of
nearly $4.2 billion, up from -$925 million in 2017. Foreign
investment in South Africa more than doubled to $5.3 billion. 
    President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office last year
pledging to revive the economy, is seeking to attract $100
billion in FDI to Africa's most developed economy by 2023. 
    Though much of the South African jump came from intracompany
loans, new investments included a $750 million Beijing
Automotive Group  BEJINS.UL  plant and a $186 million wind farm
being built by the Irish company Mainstream Renewable Energy. 
    By contrast, inward FDI to Nigeria, a major oil producer,
plunged 43% to $2 billion. Investors were put off by a dispute
between the government and South African telecom giant MTN
 MTNJ.J  over repatriated profits. Banks HSBC  HSBA.L   and UBS
 UBSG.S  both closed representative offices there in 2018. 
    That left Ghana, which is in the midst of an oil and gas
boom and saw inflows of $3 billion, as West Africa's leading
destination for foreign investment. Italy's Eni Group  ENI.MI 
was behind Ghana's largest greenfield investment project.
    Ethiopia remained East Africa's top recipient of FDI at $3.3
billion, despite an 18% drop compared with the year before. 
    Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all saw increases in FDI inflows.
Foreign investment in Uganda jumped 67% to a record $1.3
billion, boosted by the oil and gas development of a consortium
that includes France's Total  TOTF.PA , CNOOC  0883.HK   of
China and London-listed Tullow Oil  TLW.L . 
    The creation of the U.S. International Development Finance
Corp could help support FDI inflows this year. A replacement for
the Overseas Private Investment Corp, it will be have a budget
of $60 million and a mandate to make equity investments. 
    "The ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area
Agreement could also have a positive effect on FDI, especially
in the manufacturing and services sectors," the report said.
    The AfCFTA aims to eliminate tariffs between member states,
creating a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of
more than $2.2 trillion. 

 (Reporting by Joe Bavier, editing by Larry King)
 ((joe.bavier@thomsonreuters.com; +27 664877766; Reuters
Messaging: joe.bavier.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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