Company news in brief

18 October 2019 | Sakenuus
Zim cancels deal with Transnet JV

Zimbabwe has cancelled a deal struck with South African logistics group Transnet and its partner to recapitalise state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), citing a failure to meet timelines and funding issues, a government official said.

The joint venture of Transnet and Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG), a consortium of Zimbabwean investors living abroad, won the bid to recapitalise the financially struggling NRZ with US$400 million in August 2017.

Nick Mangwana, permanent secretary in the information ministry, said the consortium had missed several timelines to provide proof of funding. Mangwana also said differences had emerged between the consortium partners, which led to DIDG presenting a funding structure that excluded Transnet.

DIDG chairperson Donovan Chimhanda told Reuters that the group had not been informed of the government's decision. Transnet was not immediately available to comment.

NRZ was one of the single largest employers in Zimbabwe, but its fortunes waned after an economic crisis between 2000-2008 that nearly halved the Southern Africa country's economy. – Nampa/Reuters

Standard Chartered: Tanzania must pay

Tanzania has been ordered by a World Bank arbitration court to pay US$185 million to the Hong Kong subsidiary of Standard Chartered for breaching an energy contract.

The court's ruling, which was released on Tuesday, adds to pressure on the East African nation, which faces at least two other multi-million claims from international investors.

The case stems from a legal battle between the Tanzanian government and privately-owned independent power producer IPTL, which led to the dismissal of several cabinet ministers in 2014.

The award by the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes is less than the US$352.5 million sought by Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong, which was not immediately available for comment.

The government of Tanzania denied any responsibility and said it was not planning to pay the damages. – Nampa/Reuters

BHP to decide on potash project

BHP Group Ltd, the world's biggest miner, said yesterday it will make a final investment decision on its long-delayed US$17 billion Jansen potash project in Canada around February 2021.

Investors have been awaiting a decision by BHP on whether to go ahead with project, which would be its most significant investment in years, and which it hopes will provide another pillar of long-term growth.

In its September production report, BHP said project planning and work to finalise a port solution was continuing and the US$5 billion-plus Stage 1 will be presented to the board for an investment decision by February 2021.

BHP, which has already spent $2.7 billion on Jansen, said in May it expects excess supply capacity of the crop nutrient to be used up by the middle of the next decade, while the Jansen project would create a "high-margin, long-life" mine.

Potash is a potassium-rich salt mainly used in fertiliser to improve the quality and yield of agricultural production. – Nampa/Reuters

Fiat Chrysler faces US penalty

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Wednesday said it faces a US$79 million US civil penalty for failing to meet 2017 fuel economy requirements, as regulators reported more automakers were falling short of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions standards.

The Italian-American automaker said the payment is not expected to have a material impact on its business.

Of 18 major carmakers in the United States, 13 including Fiat Chrysler, failed to comply with fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for the 2017 model year without using credits, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The agency said its review of model year 2017 vehicles showed "automakers falling further behind current standards."

In its report, NHTSA said Fiat Chrysler - which reiterated plans Wednesday to spend US$10 billion through 2022 to develop more than 30 hybrid and electric vehicles - had failed to meet the 2017 minimum "domestic passenger car" requirements. – Nampa/Reuters

AC Milan suffers record losses

Troubled former Italian footballing giants AC Milan have suffered record losses, according to reports in Italy on Wednesday.

Gazzetta Dello Sport claimed that in the year to June 30, 2019, losses rose by 16% to 146 million euro (US$162 million) compared to 126 million euro for the same period the previous year.

Gazzetta said the figures were far worse than the predicted loss of 90 million euro.

US hedge fund Elliott took over the debt-ridden seven-time European champions from Chinese businessman Li Yonghong in July 2018.

The club's absence from European football has had an impact on merchandising and sponsors, with income from sponsors slipping by 6.7 million euro and ticket sales down by 1.2 million euro. – Nampa/AFP

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