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Marriott International continues expansion across Africa with three new deal signings

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Rendering of the Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia Source: Marriott International, Inc

Anticipated new hotels will mark debut in Liberia while strengthening presence in Morocco and Ghana

MARRAKESH, Morocco, February 8, 2019/ — From the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain in Marrakech, Marriott International (www.Marriott.com) announced three new deal signings across North and West Africa, reinforcing the company’s commitment to expanding its presence across the continent. The new deal signings highlight the company’s growth in Morocco and Ghana, while marking its debut in Liberia.

Organised by Bench Events, Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain is a gathering that unites North and West African countries in a bid to develop their economies and support hospitality investment. The forum connects business leaders from international and local markets – driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure, entertainment and hotel development across the region.

“New and established markets across North and West Africa continue to present us with immense opportunities to further enhance and diversify our portfolio in the continent,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Middle East & Africa at Marriott International. “The new deal signings further strengthen our robust development pipeline, which is a result of our long-established presence in Africa and the trust owners have in Marriott International and our compelling portfolio of diverse brands.”

The three new hotel signings announced during the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain are:

The St. Regis Marrakech Resort

Marriott International’s luxury brand portfolio in Morocco is slated to further expand with the signing of The St. Regis Marrakech Resort. The St. Regis Marrakech Resort will be a part of the Assoufid Golf Resort and will include 80 luxuriously-appointed guestrooms and villas, all offering spectacular views of the Atlas Mountains. With leisure facilities such as a spa, pool, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, The St. Regis Marrakech Resort will also feature six distinctive culinary experiences, including two specialty restaurants and the iconic St. Regis Bar inspired by the King Cole Bar at the brand’s flagship in New York. Offering the ideal escape from the city, the resort will be in close proximity to the award-winning, 18-hole Assoufid Golf Club which has established itself as one of the best courses in Africa. Anticipated to open in 2024, the resort is owned by Assoufid Properties Development SA and developed by United Real Estate Company (URC), part of the Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) group of companies.

Residence Inn by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport

The company’s footprint in Ghana is expected to further expand with the signing of the Residence Inn by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport, which will mark the debut of the extended-stay brand in the country. Projected to open in 2023, the 12-story hotel will consist of 160 spacious suites with separate living, working and sleeping zones, all equipped with fully functional kitchens. Other facilities in the hotel will include three food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop bar, a health and leisure club and a boardroom. The hotel will be strategically located in the Airport Residential Area of Accra and less than 1.5 kilometres from the Kotoka International Airport. A franchised property, the hotel will be managed by Yamusah Hotels Management Company Limited, the owner and developer of the property.

Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia

The company expects to make its debut in Liberia with the Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia. Anticipated to open in 2020, the hotel will consist of 111 stylishly appointed guestrooms and four food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop bar and lounge and speciality restaurant. The hotel will be in the heart of Monrovia’s central business district and near key governmental and ministerial buildings, diplomatic facilities and the University of Liberia. The hotel will boast Four Points by Sheraton’s approachable design and excellent service and reflect the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travellers. The Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia is a franchised property owned by Sea Suites Hotel LLC and will be managed by Aleph Hospitality.

Strong Growth Momentum across North and West Africa

Marriott International is on track to expand its footprint in Africa to 200 hotels by the end of 2023. The North and West Africa regions play a pivotal role in the company’s overall growth strategy for the continent.

In North AfricaMarriott International currently has 30 hotels and over 10,000 rooms in its portfolio and with a robust pipeline in place, the company expects to grow its hotel portfolio by 60 percent by the end of 2023. Presently home to nine Marriott International brands, the company expects to introduce six new brands in North Africa – including St. Regis, W Hotels, Autograph Collection, Residence Inn by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments. The company anticipates the opening of four new properties across North Africa in 2019, including the debut of The Ritz-Carlton Rabat which will mark the company’s first luxury property in Morocco. Other planned openings include the launch of the St. Regis brand in Egypt with The St. Regis Cairo, the Four Points by Sheraton Setif in Algeria and the Marrakech Marriott Hotel in Morocco.

In West Africa, the company expects to grow its current footprint by 75 per cent with the addition of nine new hotels and more than 1,800 rooms by the end of 2023. Currently operating 12 properties across Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Guinea, Marriott International plans to enter Benin and Ivory Coast as a part of its development pipeline. In 2019, the company is on-track to open the Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene, its ninth property in Nigeria, and the Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport in Ghana.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

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Economy

EU’s Tusk to meet UK PM May on Brexit in Egypt on Sunday – official

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President of the European Council Donald Tusk listens at a news conference during the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn – REUTERS

BRUSSELS – 22 February 2019: European Union leaders will not clinch a deal on Brexit during a summit with their Arab peers in Egypt scheduled for Sunday and Monday, an EU official said on Friday.

“There will be no deal in the desert,” the official said when asked about chances of a Brexit breakthrough during the EU summit with the League of Arab States in Sharm el-Sheikh on Feb.24-25.

However, the source said European Council President Donald Tusk would hold a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the summit on Sunday at 1630 local time in Egypt.

– EGYPT TODAY

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Nigeria floors JPMorgan Chase over $875m Malabu oil money

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A High Court in London headed by Justice Andrew Burrows has granted Nigeria’s plea to allow it proceed with the trial of JPMorgan Chase.

The bank is alleged to have enabled the misappropriation of state funds totalling $875 million over the Oil Prospecting License, OPL 245.

Mr Salihu Isah, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) revealed this in Abuja on Friday in a press statement.

Isah disclosed that JPMorgan Chase, a US bank had failed to halt the prosecution brought against it by the Federal Government.

He said Justice Burrows in a 26-page verdict on Thursday stated that Nigeria had “reasonable grounds” for bringing a claim to the commercial division of the High Court, meaning it could now proceed to trial.

“The judge averred that, the bank, which is the defendant, failed to establish that the claimant(FG) had no real prospect of success.

” He said the bank ought to suspect the payments were fraudulent and therefore had a duty to protect the Federal Republic of Nigeria until its concerns were cleared up.

“That duty of care entails that the bank could not simply follow the mandate of abiding by the instructions given by the claimant because the bank’s duty of care, as its core, was to protect the claimant against being defrauded by not paying out unless and until it was ‘off inquiry”, the Judge insisted.

Isah also said that at a hearing this month, JPMorgan Chase had argued that the case should be dismissed as it had received sufficient approvals from Nigerian authorities.

This, he said was before allowing the transfer of funds from a government account to those controlled by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr Dan Etete.

“The payments, after a 2011 settlement, aimed to end several years of battle over the ownership of a lucrative but controversial oil licence that has ensnared Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in corruption investigations in Milan, Italy.

“The licence for the c block was shuffled back and forth between Shell and Malabu Oil & Gas, a Nigerian oil company controlled by Etete and which was first awarded development rights in 1998 when he was also in charge of petroleum resources.”

Isah further revealed that Nigeria had filed a separate $1.1 billion legal claim against Shell and Eni to recover sums lost to corruption and the unlawful activity of the two energy majors.

On its part, Shell and Eni have said their deal with the Federal Government was legal and that the payment was made to the government and they had no part to play in what happened to the money afterwards.

-NAN (The Jakarta Post)
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Stock markets

Jumia, Konga list billion dollars IPOs

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NSE

Jumia and Konga, two major players in the e-Commerce, are creating visible excitement with eye-catching listing of their shares on the international market.

Jumia is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in New York this year which will reportedly see the business valued at $1.5 billion.

Elsewhere, Konga, Nigeria’s biggest Omni- channel e-Commerce group, is also reportedly set for a major listing on either the London Stock Exchange or New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by the last quarter of 2020.

Konga Group is set for an initial public offering that will see the e-Commerce giant valued at about $3.2 billion, further shoring up the potential of the industry in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest market.

Investigations reveal that Mark Jessey, a prominent stock analyst on NYSE had hinted of the strong possibility of Konga IPO before the end of next year.

A move which, according to him, is a much sought-after one by investors, many of whom have followed within the last eight months the huge strides and trajectory of the business which came under new ownership after the exit of previous majority investors, Naspers and AB Kinnevik.

While Jumia’s successful listing could help MTN reduce its debt which unconfirmed reports indicate to have increased to over five billion dollars in June from about $4.1 billion at the end of 2017, Konga’s imminent IPO is one that should see the business excite a horde of potential investors, going by the current standing of the company.

Commenting on the likely listing of Konga, Chris Uwaje, Africa chair for IEEE World Internet of Things (WIoT), noted that the company has added huge value to the e-commerce landscape which should see its value gross over $3.5 billion.

“Within the last seven months, I am aware that the new owners of Konga have repositioned the company strategically and upped the overall value of the business.

Konga could claim to be unarguably the most structured e-Commerce company in Africa, with huge infrastructure and technology back-bone which is rare in Africa and which is the strength of global players such as Amazon and Alibaba.

“In valuing Konga, you must consider its strategic 360 degrees Omni-channel strategy, their Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed mini bank – KongaPay which I am sure cannot be valued anything less than $750 million and best in Africa digital logistics division known as Kxpress with a nationwide network.

“I know Konga is likely the only company that does about 90 per cent of her long haul and last mile deliveries in the continent,’’ Uwaje said.

Source: NAN

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