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Morocco Doubles Vehicle Exports to Saudi Arabia

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Port of Casablanca - Shutterstock

Trade exchange between Morocco and Saudi Arabia rose 37.14 percent during the first nine months of 2018 to reach MAD9.64 billion (USD1.01 billion) compared to MAD7.03 billion (USD740 million) the previous year.

This resulted from a 41 percent rise in Saudi exports to Morocco to MAD8.54 billion due to the increase in oil prices.

Meanwhile, Moroccan exports to Saudi Arabia rose around 10.4 percent due to Riyadh’s doubling of passenger vehicles, especially those manufactured in Morocco.

The total value of Moroccan exports to Saudi Arabia reached MAD995 million (USD105 million).

The trade deficit between the two countries reached MAD7.64 billion (USD804 million), rising 46 percent, compared to the same period last year.

In some sectors, Morocco’s exports to the Kingdom saw a sharp rise, such as the vehicle industry, which witnessed an increase of 94 percent and reached MAD163 million (USD17.2 million). 

The vehicle industry ranked second behind the Phosphoric acid exports that totaled MAD460 million (USD48 million) – a rise of 8.5 percent.

Moroccan product exports to the Kingdom witnessed a sharp rise, especially Zellige tiles, flowers, olive oil and dried and citrus fruits.

Furthermore, Saudi exports to Morocco included mainly petroleum products, such as gas oil and fuel, whose value saw an increase of 70 percent due to the rise in oil prices. 

Moroccan purchases of Saudi sulfur also sharply rose 452 percent, reaching MAD865 million (USD91 million).

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Energy firm plans to invest $25 billion in Mozambique gas project

This is the largest foreign direct investment in the history of our country – President Filipe Nyusi

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Energy firm plans to invest $25 billion in Mozambique gas project
Photo credit: Anadarko Mozambique

Mozambique government on Tuesday announced plans by US energy firm, Anadarko, to invest $25 billion in developing offshore gas reserves in Mozambique.

Anadarko is one of the global companies investing billions of dollars to exploit major gas reserves discovered off Mozambique’s northeastern coast.

“This is the largest foreign direct investment in the history of our country,” President Filipe Nyusi said at a ceremony with Anadarko executives.

The liquefied natural gas project Dolphin Tuna foresees an investment of $25 billion, the energy ministry said in a statement.

Annual production on the project is expected to start in 2024 with an estimated output of 12 million tonnes. 

Gigantic gas reserves were discovered at the beginning of the decade off the northern Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.

Estimated at 5,000 billion cubic meters, they would make Mozambique a major exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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Morocco’s sale of 8% stake in Maroc Telecom to inject $920 million into state budget

52.74 million shares, priced at 127 dirhams will be sold as a block order to local institutional investors

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MAROC TELECOM STORE | Maroc Telecom has been sold by the Moroccan government

Morocco says it plans to sell off an 8 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, which will lead to an 8.87 billion dirham boost towards financing the country’s budget. This privatisation programme is aimed at improving state financing according to the Morocco capital market regulator, AMMC.

Another 6 percent stake in the company comprising of 52.74 million shares, priced at 127 dirhams will be sold as a block order to local institutional investors such as retirement funds, insurance companies and banks on June 17, according to the prospectus.

Related: Digital colonialism: The price Africa pays for cheap internet

The remaining 2 percent will be sold on the Casablanca stock exchange in a public offering at a share price of 125 dirhams starting on June 26 and closing on July 5 2019.

The 2 percent stake also includes 2.9 million shares, representing 0.3% of Maroc Telecom’s capital, to be sold to the company’s employees at a share price of 117.7 dirhams, the prospectus showed.

The sale will cut the state’s stake in the company to 22% from the current 30%. Maroc Telecom is listed on both the Casablanca stock exchange and the Euronext exchange in Paris.

Related: Formula One in talks to make African comeback

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Ethiopian Airlines rejects ‘pilot error’ claim by US politician

The 737 MAX 8 is currently grounded worldwide after the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

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CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam

A US politician who blamed pilot error for contributing to the deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max flown by Ethiopian Airlines was “seriously misinformed”, the carrier’s boss has said.

Republican Sam Graves told a House of Representatives hearing last month that “facts” in investigations after crashes in both Ethiopia and Indonesia “reveal pilot error as a factor in these tragically fatal accidents”. 

He also said “pilots trained in the United States would have successfully handled the situation” in both incidents.

But in a BBC interview aired Monday, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam said criticisms of his crew’s actions were “seriously misinformed”, and that Graves did not “have the facts in his hands”.

“People who’ve made those comments should ask themselves, ‘Why on earth have they grounded 380 airplanes over the world?’ The facts speak for themselves,” he said. 

The 737 MAX 8 is currently grounded worldwide after the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which killed all 157 people onboard and drew scrutiny to the new Boeing model’s anti-stall system.

Pilots were already worried about the safety of the model following the October 2018 crash in Indonesia of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 that killed 189 people.

Boeing is working to submit a modified version of the aircraft’s software and hopes to get the approval of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its counterparts throughout the world.

But aviation regulators meeting last month were unable to determine when the popular jet might again be allowed to fly, causing costly headaches for airlines worldwide.

Revelations of close ties between Boeing and the FAA in testing the MAX led to a crisis of confidence among the public and airline pilots, as well as some of the other agencies that regulate civil aviation.

“We have work to do to win and regain the trust of the public,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg conceded at the Paris Air Show on Sunday.

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