Archive for June 2011

Petroceltic hoping to expand portfolio in Algeria   Leave a comment

17/06/2011: OIL AND gas explorer Petroceltic hopes to add to its portfolio of licences over the next year. The company told shareholders at its annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday that it was continuing to explore opportunities to expand its existing portfolio in Algeria and Italy.

Speaking after the meeting, chief executive Brian O’Cathain said the company was looking at areas such as the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East.

The company also held an extraordinary general meeting at which shareholders approved a plan to raise a further $60 million through a placing of 350 million new shares.

The company recently agreed the sale to Italian operator Enel of a 18.4 per cent stake in its Isarene licence area in Algeria, which Petroceltic believes holds considerable quantities of natural gas. Yesterday it said it was likely to seek more partners to fund further development of the project in the future.

Its agm statement pointed out that it had raised $178 million in 2010 and 2011.

Mr O’Cathain told shareholders yesterday that the company had no further plans to raise more money, and pointed out that it had the cash it needed to fund its planned activities.

Petroceltic has another gas prospect at Ain Tsila, which is also in Algeria, as well as a number of properties in Italy.

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Posted June 17, 2011 by newworldconsulting in Uncategorized

Algeria steps up trade with Tunisia   Leave a comment

13/06/2011 : Algeria and Tunisia are boosting economic co-operation, to the benefit of both countries’ economies.

A large number of Tunisian businesses took part in the six-day 44th International Fair of Algiers (FIA), which wrapped up on Monday (June 6th).

The annual expo draws hundreds of Arab, African and European manufacturers in textile, printing, construction, steel and other industries.

Tunisian businessman El Khoumri El Hadi stressed in a statement to APS that his involvement in the FIA had enabled him to improve his business relations with his Algerian counterparts and to exhibit the agribusiness products from his factory.

“It was when I first attended in 2005 that I met my first Algerian customers, who have since become real partners and friends,” El Hadi said.

The Algerian National Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Trade (ALGEX) and CEPEX (the Tunisian Centre for the Promotion of Exports) signed a co-operation agreement on June 5th.

The decision to amend the agreements was the result of discussions between the Algerian Trade Minister Mustapha Benbada and his Tunisian counterpart Mehdi Houas on May 26th. Benbada promised that the revisions to the agreements in question would “breathe new life” into trade between the two countries. Negotiations on the details began May 29th, when Houas came to Algiers to negotiate revisions to the preferential partnership agreement between the two countries.

Houas announced on May 30th that the changes were complete, and that they were “more favourable” than those between Tunisia and the European Union (EU).

It is hoped that trade between the two countries will reach the $1 billion mark. Currently, trade is at $700 million, up from 200 million in 2001. At the end of Interim Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi’s visit to Algeria, it was announced that Algeria would donate $100 million to Tunisia “to help it through the transitional phase”.

In addition to that financial assistance, Algeria also made available an interest-free loan of $50 million, and another $40 million loan at 1% interest, repayable over 15 years, with a five-year grace period. The show of solidarity has, according to the Tunisian official, helped “to establish even closer ties with Algeria”.

Tunisia’s economy has struggled recently. Forecasts for growth in the current year were reduced from 5.5% to 1.5%. Houas said that due to persistent instability Tunisia’s economy has lost $4 billion in recent months. Meanwhile, tourism has decreased by 40%, compounding Tunisia’s unemployment problem.

The two ministers also talked about smuggling, which has increased in light of the region’s poor growth and security. In this regard, Benbada said on May 26th that it “intended to step up border checks”.

Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia referred to smuggling in a press conference on May 30th, stating that “the Algerian government has received requests from Libyan operators to buy food and medicines”; the response was “positive”, but Algeria has requested UN help to ensure that only basic commodities leave the country and that they are sold to legitimate buyers.

Abed Salim, an economist and professor at the University of Algiers, said in a statement to Magharebia that “the opportunities for a partnership between Tunisia and Algeria are huge. These opportunities are bolstered by the political will which has been reiterated by the authorities in both countries.” This could take the form of simplified procedures for successful Maghreb economic integration.

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Posted June 13, 2011 by newworldconsulting in Uncategorized

Petroceltic still on the track of North African oil   Leave a comment

8/06/2011 : Stock markets are easily rattled. The slightest whiff of uncertainty can trigger sharp share price fluctuations. Take the onset of the so-called Arab Spring of protests earlier this year. The first signs of turmoil kicked off concern around a number of companies that operate in the Middle East and North Africa. Sector was no bar. The Jordanian pharma group Hikma Pharmaceuticals and the gold producer Centamin Egypt, to name just two, saw their share prices wobble in late January and over much of February as protests spread from Tunisia to the wider region.

Petroceltic was also caught up in the sell-off. The oil and gas prospector saw its share price go from above 15p in the middle of January to around 10p at the beginning of March. And although it is notoriously difficult to pin the precise cause of share price falls, the fact the company is active in North Africa was, as analysts highlighted at the time, more than merely coincidental.

Until very recently, the group was active in both Tunisia and Algeria, and although a dry well prompted it to move out of the former before the Ben Ali regime was toppled, market jitters proved potent enough to drive the share price lower. Not that the turmoil has resulted in putting Petroceltic off the region. Far from it, for the group is open to revisiting Tunisia. Meanwhile, the company, which also has some interests in Italy, has made inroads in Algeria, where earlier this month it announced a farm out agreement on its Isarene permit.

The deal will see European energy major ENEL buy around 18 per cent of the Isarene production sharing contract, which includes the Ain Tsila gas discovery onshore Algeria. Petroceltic followed that up with news of a placing to raise around $60m (£36.4m), giving it the muscle to advance its drilling and appraisal plans in the country. The money will also fund drilling plans, its Rovasenda prospect in Italy, and other ventures.

The farm out was welcomed in the City, with Mirabaud labelling it an “excellent deal” for Petroceltic. “In addition to gaining the funding benefits from the farm in, covering both back costs and the current, expanded campaign, the company has also picked up a first rate strategic partner,” Mirabaud said.

“ENEL is one of Europe’s largest utility companies, and a major buyer of Algerian gas, as partner in both the Medgaz and Galsi trans-Mediterranean pipelines. As such, it brings clout in dealing with Algerian authorities, and expertise in European gas marketing. This should enable the partners to progress field appraisal and development, and monetise the value of the giant Ain Tsila gas discovery.”

And what of the shares, which remain below the January peaks? Well, total net asset value on Mirabaud’s estimates stands at more than 27p per share, leaving ample room for upside gains.

Ebiquity eyes social media

Facebook and Twitter boast millions of users – and millions of opportunities for companies to plug their products and gauge market trends. No surprise then, that market research firms have been rushing to burnish their social media credentials.

It is the same rationale that drove Ebiquity, the Alternative Investment Market-listed media insight and analytics business, to shell out up to £10m to buy Echo Research earlier this month.

The deal will allow Ebiquity to offer its clients data and advice on social media. The target is well established in the digital world, with analysts at Edison Investment Research highlighting its roster of blue-chip clients, including Shell, HSBC and Pfizer.

Moreover, it’s no upstart. The business has been around for more than two decades, and won numerous awards for its digital nous. Digging deeper into the numbers, Edison analysts reckon that the deal is likely to prove earnings accretive in the first full year of the acquisition.

“During the year to 31 March 2011, Echo achieved turnover of £5m and normalised operating profits of £500,000,” they said, pointing out that, as with past deals, Ebiquity has identified synergies between its own business and its buy. “This, together with cross-selling opportunities for Ebiquity’s existing clients should enable Echo to be earnings accretive in the first year of ownership and beyond.”

Numis was also positive, and upgraded its forecasts in response to the deal. From pre-tax profits of £6.5m with earnings per share of 6.8p per share before the deal, the broker now estimates £7.4m in profits with 7.4p in earnings for 2012.

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Posted June 13, 2011 by newworldconsulting in Uncategorized

Morocco : Tanger Med, model of public-private partnership success at Mediterranean, European level, vice president of EIB   2 comments

31/05/2011: Casablanca – The Tanger Med port is model of public-private partnership success at the Mediterranean and European level, vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Philippe de Fontaine Vive, said on Monday in Casablanca.

Morocco achieved major developments on matters of public-private partnership (PPP), he affirmed at a press conference on the sidelines of the ninth conference of FEMIP (facility for Euro-Mediterranean investment and partnership) themed “addressing the infrastructure challenge in the Mediterranean: the potential of public-private partnerships.”

The EIB’s official reiterated the Bank’s commitment to contribute to development programs launched by the Kingdom, stressing the importance of this conference which is held at a time when over 300 billion euros is needed by 2030 to modernize infrastructure in the Mediterranean region.

He emphasized the importance that the EU and the G8 give to the Mediterranean zone which boasts tremendous potentialities.

Morocco, which has a PPP experience in several areas, supports changing conventional ways for financing development projects, Economy Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said at the joint press conference attended also by Tunisian finance minister Jelloul Ayed.

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Posted June 7, 2011 by newworldconsulting in Uncategorized

Regional workshop on”Promotion of Cluster Approach in Three Maghreb Countries”   Leave a comment

7/06/2011 : TUNIS (TAP) – “Promotion of Cluster Approach in Three Maghreb Countries : Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco,” is the theme of a regional workshop inaugurated, on Monday in Tunis to develop a regional-dimension economy.

The four-day meeting is organised by the French Development Agency (AFD), in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), with the participation of contractors and Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan experts.

The Cluster approach or local productive systems designates, according to UNIDO a sector-based and geographic concentration of enterprises having similar or complementary activities. It encourages the decision-makers to launch integrated projects thanks to network systems.

This approach helps reduce cost (infrastructure), improve circulation of information, favour production of knowledge and raise partnership opportunities. The competitiveness poles are examples of enterprise concentration, training centers and research units functioning in synergy around innovative projects.

During the workshop, report on the public policy in matters of promoting clusters in the three participating countries Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco and the initiatives identified in this field are presented.


Posted June 7, 2011 by newworldconsulting in Uncategorized

First Algerian-made cars by 2014   Leave a comment

6/06/2011 : ALGIERS- The first cars made in Algeria will see the light of day by the year 2014, announced Thursday CEO of the National Industrial Vehicles Company (SNVI) Mokhtar Chahboub.

“The first Algerian-made car will be produced by 2014, or maybe earlier,” Chahboub told the National Radio.

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Transport: US businessmen urged to invest in Algeria


ALGIERS- Minister of Transport Amar Tou on Monday expressed to US businessmen in Algiers “his support to their move for promotion of Algerian-US cooperation in the transportation field,” a ministry’s statement said. At a meeting with the US trade and investment mission to Algiers, the minister outlines “the numerous investment opportunities” in Algeria, especially under the five-year plan 2010-2014.

Tou mentioned the huge project for railways development, emphasizing the electrification planned for the whole railway network (4,000 km in operation and 6,000 km under construction).

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A U.S Trade mission visits Algiers for investment opportunities in various sectors


Algiers- A U.S.Trade and Investment mission of thirty businessmen visits Algeria on Saturday for a week of search for permanent investment opportunities in various areas of the Algerian market.

The U.S economic mission’s visit is organized by the Algerian Embassy in Washnigton DC and the US-Algerian Business Council .It consists of American companies operating in sectors of irrigation, construction, housing, energy, technologies of information and communication, food industries and technological services for protection.

Heads of largest American companies in various economic sectors visited Algiers on Saturday for a week of meetings and discussions with officials of the Algerian economic sector.

Head of the U.S-Algerian Business Council, Mr. Ismail Shikhoun said that meetings with the Ministries of Industry, Information and Communication Technologies, Water Resources, Housing, Energy and Transport, have been programmed in order to discuss investment opportunities in these sectors and to make proposals to the Algerian government.

The US economic mission’s program includes bilateral meetings in Algiers and Oran with Algerian businessmen in both public and private sectors and with officials of economic bodies such as the National Agency for Investment Development, Algiers and Oran Chambers of Commerce and Industry. A forum on investment opportunities will be held as well.

Previously in 2010, U.S Trade and Investment Mission visited Algeria three times. However, exchanges remain dominated by hydrocarbons, pushing the public authorities of both countries to seek for diversity by encouraging this type of economic missions.

Value of exchanges between Algerian and USA reached $16b in 2010, including $7.13b from Algerian exports to the United States and more than $1.2b of imports.


Algeria is the most attracting country of investments and money transfer in Africa: UN report


Algeria is one of the most African nations in terms of attracting direct investments and money transfer by immigrants in 2011, a UN report finds.

Algeria and other five African countries (Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia) attracted more than 75 percent of the total immigration fund transfers to the continent, said a report from the UN’s economic commission for Africa and the African Union.

“If the African continent generally benefited from direct foreign investments incomes, the problem is the issue of privileges distribution between the source economy and the receiver economy.”

The report called on African nations to “adopt a selective conception when accepting direct foreign investments to reach balance between direct foreign investments increase and sustainable national development.”

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Transport minister considers port project in country’s centre


ALGIERS- Transport Minister Amar Tou on Thursday said the building of a new port was under examination to relieve pressure on the ports of Bejaia, Tenes and Algiers.

The minister mentioned the project while answering an MPs’ question, at the People’s National Assembly (lower house of Parliament), about the possibility to transform the Port of Algiers into a marina due to the increase in commercial activity there. The new facility project is to be carried out between Bejaia and Tenes, Tou said.


Posted June 7, 2011 by newworldconsulting in Uncategorized

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