Tuesday, June 25, 2013

COOPERAZIONE ITALIA ANGOLA | Eni vende al Brasile il gas prodotto in Angola

Eni & C hanno iniziato a vendere il gas prodotto in Angola dalla joint venture Angola Lng, partnership che vede il Cane a sei zampe tra gli azionisti col 13,6% assieme ai padroni di casa di Sonangol (22,8%), Chevron (36,4%), Bp (13,6%) e Total (13,6%). Il primo cargo, con un carico di 160 mila metri cubi di gas, è partito in questi giorni alla volta del Brasile, diretto agli impianti di Petrobras. Secondo il ceo di Angola Lng, Artur Pereira, il debutto della jv è avvenuto in un momento in cui il mercato del gas naturale liquefatto offre buone prospettive.

La partnership, secondo fonti di mercato, ha un orizzonte temporale garantito di almeno 30 anni, con una media di 5,2 milioni di tonnellate annue di gas. L'Angola è uno dei Paesi di riferimento per Eni ed è tra i maggiori produttori di petrolio dell'Africa. Nel corso dell'anno gli avvii e l'entrata a regime dei giacimenti angolani (assieme a quelli russi ed egiziani) hanno compensato i declini di produzioni mature. In particolare, nel blocco offshore 15/06 (Eni 35%) il gruppo sta sviluppando il giacimento di Vandumbu con un potenziale produttivo di oltre 5 mila di barili di petrolio al giorno.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ANGOLA 2013 | University Students Invited to Research in Bicuar Game Reserve

Lubango — The administrator of the Bicuar National Park, in southern Huila province, César Santos, Saturday in Luanda, invited university students from the 6th academic region to conduct research in the reserve, in order to elevate their academic and scientific knowledge.

Speaking to ANGOP, in Luanda, said César Santos said it is relevant that students, mainly those in the specialties of Biology, Geography and Environment, conduct research in the Bicuar National Park, as it is a rich area in terms of scientific resources.

Cesar Santos said that the administration of the Bicuar National Park is open to any such a request, adding research can enrich the students' levels and help develop the reserves and ensure the discovery of new species of animal and flora.

The administrator stated that the park went through a few problems with the research and location of some species that disappeared during the armed conflict, a situation he said students might help resolve.

On the other hand, Cesar Santos said that under a programme of assistance to the natural reserve, the Government has invested about three billion Kwanzas, used in the rehabilitation of the administrative building, in the park and research.

"We managed to implement the programme of putting salt in main sites where the animals feed and drink water, and this is causing a return of some species, such as the red buffalo, red antelope and others," stressed he administrator.

Regarding the situation of poaching, the official said it is has not reached worrying proportions, as the place has been reinforced with 150 guards, administrative workers, transportation and communication equipment.

With a land area of 7,900 square meters, Bicuar National Park was created in 1938 and is the home to such species as elephants, red antelope, hyenas, lions and others.

ASIA ECONOMY NOW | Small cities play growing role in film market

LUANDA - Movie goers line up to purchase tickets at a theater in Wuhan, Hubei province. China accounted for 8percent of the global film market with annual box-office receipts of $2.7 billion last year, according tofigures from the Motion Picture Association of America. Provided to China Daily

1,000 digital movie theaters with 3,000 screens in county-level sites

Movie ticket sales have gone crazy in the city of Panjin.

Compared with two years ago, in one of the fourth-tier city's "cineplexes" there are now nearlyas many tickets being sold in a month as there were in a whole year.

Annual box-office revenues in the city — in the southwest of Northeast China's Liaoning province — surged to 25.6 million yuan ($4.17 million) in 2012 from 2.65 million yuan the yearearlier, a year-on-year growth of 867 percent, according to statistics from EntGroup Consulting, a Beijing-based entertainment industry consultancy.

In April alone, the city's CJ CGV cineplex, owned by a South Korean theater operator, sold twomillion yuan's worth of tickets to 50,000 customers, said Guo Jinsheng, the manager of thetheater, which opened in January.

"And that performance is growing month-on-month," added Guo.

Small cities play growing role in film market

Panjin is now one of the fastest-growing third- and fourth-tier cities in terms ofbox-office receipts, and others cities enjoying similar growth include Langfangin Hebei province, and Yueyang in Hunan province.

Ticket sales are also gaining momentum in small cities in a countrythat is now the world's second-largest film market.

After the United States, China accounted for 8 percent of the globalfilm market with annual box-office receipts of $2.7 billion last year,according to figures released in March by the Motion PictureAssociation of America.

By May 12, China's total box-office revenues for the year exceeded8.1 billion yuan, up 39 percent.

Via|China Daily

THE BIGGEST | Gold rises on weaker Chinese economic data

CHICAGO -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange roseslightly on weaker-than- expected Chinese economic data Monday. 

The most active gold contract for August delivery rose $3, or 0.22 percent, to settle at $1,386per ounce.

Chinese government released a series of economic data over the weekend: China's producerprice index fell 2.9 percent in May from a year earlier, quicker than a 2.6 percent decline inApril year on year; total social financing dropped by about a third to 1.19 trillion yuan ($194billion=) in May from April; total property investment in China in the first five months of this yearrose 20.6 percent to 2.68 trillion yuan, compared with a 21.1 percent rise in the first fourmonths; fixed-asset investment in non-rural areas rose 20.4 percent in the January-May periodyear on year, slower than the 20.6 percent increase recorded in the January-April period;value-added industrial output in China rose 9.2 percent in May year on year, slowing slightlyfrom a 9.3 percent increase in April; and exports rose 1 percent in May from a year earlier,much slower than April's increase of 14.7 percent. Disappointing Chinese economic figureswere nevertheless positive to gold prices.

Gold market is still waiting for directions, which will hinge heavily on when the US FederalReserve will scale down its bond- purchase program.

Though the underlying physical demand for gold remains strong, gold prices have registered a17-percent decline so far this year.

Monday, June 10, 2013

WORLD CUP 2014 | Fees stay same for Uganda-Angola

Fans will pay the same as they did for Uganda against Liberia when Angola come to town for another World Cup weekend this Saturday.

Many will welcome the news as it had been feared that Fufa would ride on Uganda’s 1-0 victory over Liberia at the weekend to rake more money from increased rates.

“The entry charges remain the same (UGX 12,000 and 33,000) and tickets will go on market Wednesday morning from the same selling points used last week,” reads in part a statement released by Fufa publicist Rogers Milindwa on Monday.

“Fufa extends gratitude to the fans for showing up in bigger numbers (about 25,000 in a 42,202 seater) at Namboole last Saturday.

“We believe, the results would perhaps not have been the same without their presence and support.”

Uganda are second in Group J on five points, one behind Senegal. The Cranes must beat Angola and Senegal away to progress to the final round of the 2014 World Cup qualification.

Elsewhere, the Liberian national team will stay in Kampala till Wednesday, according to Mulindwa, although, no further explanation was given to that effect.

However, match officials of the game between Uganda and Liberia have all returned home.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

WORLD WAR 2013 | Large US force arrives in Jordan for deployment at Syria border amid Syria’s Qusayr victory

U.S. Marines landing in the Jordanian port of Aqaba

A large U.S. military force has reportedly arrived at a port in the south of Jordan, ready to be deployed at the country’s border with neighboring Syria.

The Israeli military intelligence website DEBKAfile has reported that 1,000 U.S troops from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force arrived at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba on Tuesday and made their way to the north of the country under heavy Jordanian military escort.

According to DEBKAfile, Washington imposed a blackout on the arrival of the rapid-response force as the Pentagon only reported the sending of a Patriot missile battery and F-16 warplanes to Jordan for a military drill.

On Monday, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command based in Tampa, Florida, Lieutenant Colonel T.G. Taylor, confirmed that Patriot missile launchers and F-16 fighter jets “were approved for deployment to Jordan”.

The U.S. has sent numerous ground troops to Jordan over the past few months, mainly for operating a training camp for militants fighting against the Syrian government.

The recent deployment of U.S. troops to Jordan’s border with Syria comes amid rising concerns over U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to appoint Susan Rice, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as his next national security adviser.

According to Antiwar, with Rice taking the reins of the national security machinery of the White House, the U.S. will keep “a keen eye on military intervention in Syria”.

U.S. Senator John McCain, who met with several leaders of the foreign-backed militants in Syria last week, urged Obama on Sunday for a military intervention in Syria as he acknowledged that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has the upper hand in the Syrian conflict.

The developments come as Syrian government forces on Wednesday regained full control of the strategic city of Qusayr after three weeks of fighting with the foreign-backed militants.

Damascus has repeatedly said that the crisis in Syria is being engineered from outside the country. On May 18, President Assad said militants from 29 different countries were fighting against his government in different parts of the country.

Last week, the FBI confirmed the death of a 33-year-old American woman who had been fighting along with foreign-backed militants in Syria against the Syrian government.

Syrian TV showed a black VW Golf car, belonging to the American female militant, identified as Nicole Lynn, along with three other foreign militants including a British man, from which several Kalashnikovs were retrieved.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

QUSAYR BATTLE | Syrian Government Regains Key Border Town

BEIRUT—Syrian government forces pushed rebels out of a strategic town after two weeks of grueling battles, marking the biggest rebel stronghold to be taken by the government during the Syrian war.

The battle for Qusayr, described by both rebels and the regime as strategic territory, came to symbolize transnational sectarian struggle after Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese Shiite group, sent hundreds of fighters to battle alongside government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Assad and his closest supporters belong to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

ASIA NOW 2013 | Singapore “to Become New Switzerland”, as the biggest offshore wealth center

Singapore | The power of ASIA 2013
Singapore | The power of ASIA 2013

LUANDA - Wealth managers are stepping up their search for staff to expand in Asia as Singapore starts to overtake Switzerland as the world’s top private banking hub.

Singapore will overtake Switzerland as the biggest offshore wealth center in terms of assets under management by 2020, according to research firm WealthInsight.

A separate survey of advisers by PwC said Singapore would leapfrog Switzerland this year in terms of reputation. A broader survey by adviser Z/Yen in March named Hong Kong and Singapore as two of the world’s top four financial centers behind London and New York. Singapore was tipped for the top more frequently than any other city.

The business case for wealth management in Asia is clear: Singapore had the highest percentage of millionaire households in the world at the end of 2011, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group, and Hong Kong had the highest number of billionaires relative to the size of its population. While private wealth in the Asia-Pacific region ex-Japan increased by 10.7% to $23.7 trillion in 2011, private wealth declined in North America and Western Europe.

Advisers say Singapore’s low tax rate, stable currency, efficient corporate registration and clearly defined regulation have become more attractive than Switzerland.

Sebastian Dovey, managing partner of advisory firm Scorpio Partnership, said: “Whichever year you want to choose, Singapore is on a trajectory to get to the top.”

Chris Wheeler, senior analyst at Mediobanca Securities, said: “If you want to be anywhere in the international wealth advisory business, you need to be in Singapore.”

For advisers based in Switzerland, the move’s not a cheap one.

Mr. Dovey said the war for talent in Asia and real estate costs made Singapore one of the world’s most expensive places to set up a wealth advisory business. The ratio between costs and income in Europe averaged 73%: “But the ratio is 10 percentage points higher in Singapore,” he said.

An executive at a large wealth advisory firm said he knew of advisers “working at a loss in the hope of getting market share”.

Even so, BNP Paribas Wealth Management plans to add 200 private bankers in Asia over the next three to five years, the firm told Financial News, MoneyBeat’s sister journal. Rory Tapner, chief executive of private bank Coutts, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.LN -2.09%, said he wanted to double his client-facing staff in Asia in the next two or three years.

Swiss bank Julius Baer calls Asia its “second home market” after buying Merrill Lynch’s international wealth business. Chief executive Boris Collardi has said the deal doubles Julius Baer’s market share in north and south-east Asia and told a Chinese newspaper that the firm would more than double its staff in Asia by 2015.

First-quarter results from banks with large wealth businesses have illustrated how capital investment in Asia can pay off. Asia-Pacific flows were up 11% year-on-year at Swiss bankUBS UBSN.VX -2.28%, representing a third of the bank’s Sfr15bn ($16.05bn) in net new wealth assets. Inflows from clients in Europe were lower at just Sfr 1.1bn.

At Credit Suisse CSGN.VX -2.37%, assets under management for wealth clients in Asia were up 21% year-on-year, the strongest growth of any region.

And  banks on both sides of the Atlantic are pruning their wealth-management businesses: Morgan Stanley MS -1.26% last month sold its European arm to Credit Suisse, while Lloyds Banking Group LLOY.LN -0.88% is said to be considering selling some international wealth operations.

By Sarah Krouse and Mike Foster | Wsj

SEX NOW | Experts Respond to Douglas Throat Cancer Comments

Actor Michael Douglas's comments about throat cancer have thrown a spotlight on risks from HPV, a virus spread through sexual contact. Experts say HPV is a growing cause of certain types of oral cancer. (Photo/Video: AP)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

PEACE & MONEY | Hydropower megaproject to dam River Congo - The $9-billion first phase

Africa's greatest river is about to be tamed. The River Congo is set to succumb to a series of giant hydroelectric dams with twice the generating capacity of the world's most powerful hydro-plant, the Three Gorges in China.

Last weekend, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Africa announced a treaty to develop a giant hydroelectric project at Inga Falls, just downstream of the DRC's capital Kinshasa. The $9-billion first phase, with a capacity of 4800 megawatts (MW), will generate more power than Egypt's Aswan High Dam, currently Africa's largest-capacity hydropower dam.

Construction will start in late 2015. South Africa will take half of the power, with most of the rest earmarked for Congolese copper mines.

But the eventual aim, say the two governments, is to generate more than 40,000 MW by fulfilling the dreams of engineers since colonial times to harness the full power of the world's second largest river, after the Amazon. At Inga Falls, some 42,000 cubic metres of water rush down a series of giant rapids every second. With the right infrastructure, the force of the River Congo could supply electricity to Nigeria, Egypt and even Europe.

Good news, bad news

The project will not require a large reservoir to store the water needed to turn its turbines, because the river flows unceasingly at high volume. This is good news as it means that land will not need to be cleared and flooded.

The bad news, say opponents such as the California-based NGO International Rivers, is that few Congolese will get any electricity, since they are generally far from any power grids. "The majority of Africa's poor will remain without power, at a time when better solutions are available," says Rudo Sanyanga of International Rivers, who instead backs investing in local solar power and small-scale hydro schemes.

The World Bank said in a statement that the project would "catalyse large-scale benefits to improve access to infrastructure services" in Africa.

RISCO PRIVATIZAÕES EM ANGOLA | BPC e BCI, não estão a venda, afirma Henda Inglês

BPC - Banco de Poupança e Crédito

Luanda - O banco de poupança e crédito “BPC” e o banco de comércio e indústria “BCI”, não estão a venda, os dois bancos públicos vão continuar sob titularidade do estado, divulgou.

Em entrevista, o Presidente do conselho de administração do ISEP, instituto do sector empresarial público, Henda Inglês, deixou claro que não existe nenhuma decisão para a privatização do BPC e do BCI.

“Em princípio não há, ainda, nenhuma decisão relativamente a privatização destas duas instituições.

O que posso dizer é o seguinte: a decisão de privatizações tem de ter em conta os objectivos e o contexto” enfatizou.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Angola’s economy outlook 2013 | Economic growth projected to reach 8.2%

Angola’s economy rebounded strongly after experiencing slow growth due to oil and financial crises. Economic growth is expected to reach 8.2% in 2013, and 7.8% in 2014, driven by the expansion in the oil and gas sector and a public expenditure programme designed to encourage economic diversification.

The government has embarked on ambitious reforms to improve governance but the business environment remains challenging in terms of institutions and infrastructure settings. Nonetheless, the creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) will help insulate the economy from volatile oil prices.

The country has made significant strides in a variety of human development indicators, including poverty, health and education but still ranks low in the Human Development Index (HDI) at 148th place out of 187 countries surveyed and continues to provide only a rudimentary social safety net in the form of fuel and utility subsidies.



The Angolan economy rebounded strongly after several years of low growth attributable to the lingering effects of the global financial crisis. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an estimated rate of 7.9% in 2012 (up from 3.9% in 2011) on account of the strong performance of the energy, transportation and construction sectors. The outlook for 2013 and 2014 remains positive, with economic growth projected to reach 8.2% and 7.8%, respectively. This will be driven by a combination of continued expansion in the oil and gas sector and a public expenditure programme designed to encourage economic diversification.

The implementation of the 2009-12 Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) helped the country to regain macroeconomic stability, achieve an improved fiscal position, more comfortable level of international reserves, a stable exchange rate, and lower inflation. Furthermore, large domestic arrears were settled, and progress was made in strengthening fiscal transparency and accountability. However, the country continues to face massive developmental policy challenges, including the reduction of the dependency on oil, the diversification of the economy, the rebuilding of the economic and social infrastructure, the improvement of the institutional capacity, governance, public financial management systems, human development and living conditions of the population. These factors are constraining the pace of diversification of the economy and preventing small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development and job creation. Unemployment remains significant at about 25%, and the incidence of poverty remains high at 36.6% of the population.

Much of the country’s growth over the past decade can be directly attributed to the exploration of natural resources. Oil still accounts for nearly 80% of government revenue, 90% of exports and 47% of the country’s GDP. This makes the economy heavily dependent on oil revenues and vulnerable to oil price shocks. In an attempt to further diversify the economy, a 5 billion US dollars (USD) Sovereign Wealth Fund (Fundo Soberano de Angola) was created in October 2012. The fund was endorsed by the IMF, which had long advocated such an instrument to help insulate the economy from volatile oil prices. Nonetheless, the main challenge rests on the government’s ability to ensure transparency, accountability and equitable distribution of the country’s natural resource earnings. Moreover, as Angola continues to access non-concessional financing to meet its development needs and expands the exploration of its natural resources, the government will need to guarantee the preservation of the country’s debt sustainability, while ensuring greater transparency and accountability in the management of oil revenues.

Figure 1: Real GDP growth 2013 (South)

Real GDP growth (%)Southern Africa - Real GDP growth (%)Africa - Real GDP growth (%)20042005200620072008200920102011201220132014-5%0%5%10%15%20%25%Real GDP Growth (%)

Table 1: Macroeconomic indicators 2013

  2011 2012 2013 2014
Real GDP growth 3.9 7.9 8.2 7.8
Real GDP per capita growth 1.1 5.2 5.5 5.1
CPI inflation 13.5 10.3 8.7 9.3
Budget balance % GDP 10.2 7.8 4.8 3.5
Current account % GDP 9.6 8.2 8.1 7.6

Sunday, June 2, 2013

ANGELINA JOLIE | Senza seno, dopo la mastectomia, ecco il quadro provocazione

Angelina Jolie senza seno: il quadro provocazione

Il gesto dell'attrice Angelina Jolie, che ha deciso di farsi asportare entrambi i seni per prevenire il cancro, ha ispirato l'artista svedese Johan Andersson che ha deciso di dedicarle un dipinto che la ritrae nuda, senza seno. Celebre per aver dipinto il volto di Amy Winehouse dopo la sua scomparsa, Andersson è il più giovane artista esposto alla National Portrait Gallery di Londra. "Quando avevo 15 anni mia madre ha avuto una grave forma di cancro al seno", ha spiegato Andersson al New York Daily News, chiarendo tuttavia che "è stata abbastanza fortunata da non dover sottoporsi a mastectomia. "La recente notizia su Angelina ha generato in me un'ansia che mi ha spinto a dipingere questo ritratto", ha aggiunto. Il ricavato della vendita dell'opera, valutata circa 22.000 dollari, andrà a un'organizzazione benefica, la Falling Whistles, impegnata nel portare la pace in Congo