Business

Foreign Investors Stake N86.1bn on 2.3% of Dangote Cement

In apparent show of confidence, some foreign investors have bought 2.3 per cent stake in Dangote Cement Plc for N86.1 billion ($236 million). The sale involved 416 million shares that was consummated in six off market deals on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday.

This is the third time foreign investors are buying into Dangote Cement,  where Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has a controlling stake.

In 2013, South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) bought 1.5 per cent for   $289.3 million. Similarly, in 2014, Sovereign fund Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD) acquired 1.4 per cent for $300 million.

Although the identity of the new foreign investors who bought 2.3 per cent yesterday could not be ascertained, the news lifted the price of the stock by 7.26  per cent  or N16.25  from N223.75 to N240 per share to record highest price gain in absolute terms.

Reacting to the transaction, a leading stockbroker, Mr. David Adonri, said it is good development for both the company and the Nigerian  economy.

“As you are aware, Dangote Cement is a multinational entity. It  is capable of eliciting global interest. New foreign investment can be viewed from the perspective that the company is performing very well and that the Nigerian economy is providing it with necessary enabling environment,” he said.

Dangote Cement is the largest company on the NSE, accounting for a third of the bourse’s total market capitalisation. The company closed with market capitalisation of N4.089 trillion yesterday.

Dangote Cement  recently reported a   24 per cent growth and  profit before tax for the half year ended June 30, 2017  to N155.58 billion.

The company had recorded a profit after tax of N187 billion in 2016 and paid  a dividend of N8.50 per share. Dangote told shareholders that the company’s  Pan-African diversification has provided cash streams from countries such as Senegal, Cameroon and Zambia, which have provided  them  with essential foreign currency as foreign exchange controls made it difficult for them to obtain dollars for operations.

“Furthermore, we were able to borrow money in these countries’ local currencies, thus reducing our exposure to foreign currency shortages in Nigeria. In addition, we began to generate foreign currency sales from exports of cement from Nigeria to Ghana,” Dangote said.

He   noted that the results of  strategic decisions taken years ago  enabled  Dangote Cement to strengthen its  business and consolidate its  position in  2016   when many others in Nigeria and across the rest of Africa have struggled against economic downturn.

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