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Ghana Partners Chinese Company to Build Cocoa Processing Factory

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  • Ghana Partners Chinese Company to Build Cocoa Processing Factory

Ghana, the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa, has partnered China General Technology Holding (Genertec) to build a cocoa processing factory.

The project will be managed by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Genertec in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). While the China International Development Operating Agency will handle the construction using funds provided by the China Development Bank (CDB) and Sino-African Fund.

Joseph Aidoo, the Chief Executive, COCOBOD, stated that the new processing factory will boost the Ghanaian economy and enhance business activities in the Sefwi-Wiawso area, the city where the plant will be located.

Aidoo also noted that the project will open up access to over a billion Chinese market and foster a cordial business relationship between the two nations.

Earlier this year, COCOBOD and Cote d’Ivoire, two of the world’s largest producers, had complained about the poor living condition of Cocoa farmers in villages while capitalist investors keep most of the $100 billion of the current valuation of the industry.

According to experts, only $6 billion goes to cocoa producers, the powerhouse of the whole value chain.

“The fact that the majority of farmers are unable to cater adequately for their family, beyond mere poverty existence, is simply unconscionable. It is startling to learn from the president of the World Cocoa Foundation that only six percent of the total value of chocolate goes to farmers. The percentage may be lower in the case of cosmetics and pharmaceutical end uses,” said Ghana’s Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Processing more cocoa beans locally will help Ghana increase its share of global earnings from cocoa industry through value addition.

Again, while Ghana produces 880,000 tonnes of cocoa annually, only 300,000 tonnes are produced locally. Therefore, if Ghana wants to increase revenue generation more local processing factories are imperative to both job creation and revenue generation.

“It is a matter of taking a bigger part of the global value chain, worth over USD$100 billion annually,” Aidoo said. Through increased processing, Ghana can also protect itself from fluctuations of cocoa prices worldwide.

This is not the first partnership between COCOBOD and Chinese companies as COCOBOD recently signed a $1.3 billion cocoa syndicated loan agreement with Chinese-based companies. A loan that will help COCOBOD purchase cocoa beans from local farmers during the 2019/2020.

Zhou Mingchun, Vice President of Genertec, said: “We regard Ghana as the regional hub.”

“We believe that our portfolio in Ghana is not yet enough, so, basically we are looking forward to expanding our investment here in Ghana and that is why we are here today.”

Without stating the capacity of the new project, COCOBOD said the project will kick off “once the comprehensive feasibility studies are completed.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Uber to Halt Services in Parts of Belgium

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Uber will stop its ride-hailing service in most parts of Belgium tomorrow after a court ruling on Wednesday which extends an order given in 2015, banning its p2p (Peer to Peer) UberPop service to also cover professional drivers who provide its ride-hailing service.

Uber told TechCrunch that it is currently closely examining the details of the ruling, in order to arrive at a decision on whether or not to appeal the decision with the country’s Supreme Court.

This also follows a temporary decision to discontinue Uber’s service in Brussels, a decision which was referred to as “exceptional and unprecedented” by the tech giant. The company said that it was merely taking a step to complain about the lack of reform rules which forbid drivers from using smartphones.

After the ruling by the Brussels appeal court, private hire vehicle drivers have been obstructing a major tunnel in the capital of Belgium.

In a statement made concerning Friday’s impending shutdown, the chief of Uber in the country, Laurent Slitsagain criticized the government for not providing a reform which it has been soliciting for, stating that the decision was made depending on regulations which are now outdated as they were written before smartphones.

The company stated that the government has promised a reform but has failed to deliver said reforms for the last seven years.

According to Bloomberg, the shutdown will not be applicable to a small number of drivers who are licensed in the Flemish region of Belgium, and are therefore still permitted to use the application. Uber confirmed that the Appeal Court ruling only applies to drivers with Brussels licenses.

In another statement, Slits stated that the tech giant is hugely concerned about the 2,000 possessors of LVC licenses (rental car with driver licenses) who according to the country chief will lose their ability to generate earnings.

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Honeywell Flour Mills Refutes Ecobank Winding Up Proceeding Claims, Assures Investors of Total Transparency

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Honeywell Flour Mill Factory - Investors King

Following media reports that Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) is a subject of an ongoing winding up proceedings instituted by Ecobank Nigeria Limited in a suit no: FHC/L/CP/1571/2015, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc has now refuted the publication, insisting there is no winding-up petition against the embattled company.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Yewande Giwa, Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.

It said “It is pertinent to set the record straight that there is no Winding-up Petition currently pending or live against HFMP in any Court in Nigeria. There is also no pending Court Order restraining trading in the shares of HFMP or inhibiting HFMP or its owners from dealing in its assets. HFMP assures its investors, regulators and stakeholders that in all of its engagements with FMN, it received independent legal advice and asserts that the transaction is not in breach of any subsisting Order of Court. The issue as to whether HFMP is indebted to Ecobank is still before the Courts and the final decision remains the exclusive preserve of the Courts. It is also important to state that the Court of Appeal judgement being referred to in the reports did not declare HFMP to be indebted to Ecobank.”

This was in response to a publication titled “Ecobank Warns against Acquisition of Honeywell Flour Mills, Alleges Company Facing Winding Up Proceedings” that claimed Ecobank Nigeria Limited had issued a 7-day ultimatum to Flour Mills to desist from completing the acquisition of 71.69 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on the ground that the company was hugely indebted to Ecobank.

However, Honeywell claimed “The assertions lack merit, were written in bad faith and are a deliberate attempt to undermine a transaction that will result in substantial benefit to the Nigerian economy and entrench the collaboration of two publicly quoted companies. As a responsible corporate citizen, we have entered the transaction with FMN having taken all legal issues into consideration.

“All stakeholders are hereby assured that management of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc will continue to act in the best interests of all concerned and work diligently to preserve value for all its shareholders.

“We expect that from the proposed combination, stakeholders will benefit from the more than 85-year combined track record of FMN and HFMP and their shared goal of making affordable and nutritious food available to Nigeria’s population. The country and its food security agenda will benefit from both companies’ focus on developing Nigeria’s industrial capability, its agricultural value chain and specifically backward integration of the food industry.”

This whole drama started immediately Honeywell Flour Mills and Flour Mills of Nigeria, in a joint statement, announced FMN has agreed to acquire a 71.69 percent stake valued at N80 billion in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. A deal that will automatically make Honeywell Flour Mills Plc Flour Mills of Nigeria’s asset.

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Merger and Acquisition

Flour Mills of Nigeria Acquires First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s 5.06 Percent Stake in Honeywell Flour Mills

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Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading flour mill company, has acquired First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s 5.06 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Umolu, Joseph A.O., Company Secretary/Director, Legal Services.

The acquisition was in addition to the 71.6 percent stake of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) FMN acquired on the same day. Therefore, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc will now hold 76.75 percent equity interest in HFMP.

According to the company, the move will help build a resilient flour mills company that will ensure job continuity, deepen productivity and support national growth.

Commenting on the transaction, Omoboyede Olusanya, Group Managing Director of FMN, said “The proposed transaction is part of our global growth strategy, which is aligned with our vision to not only be an industry leader, but also a national champion for Nigeria in the Food and Agro-allied industries.”

“Given FMN’s parallel negotiations for both stakes culminating in the agreements being signed on the same date, the basis for arriving at key commercial terms including final equity price per share, will be the same. The price payable to FirstBank will be the same with Honeywell Group Limited.”F

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