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VENTURES AFRICA – American multinational financial services corporation, Morgan Stanley was among thirty-three companies that flew into Zambia last Thursday to assess investment opportunities in Zambia, a country often overlooked in South-east Africa as an investment haven, but has been made attractive to foreign investors after the government encouraged privatisation and mineral prices increased.
The World Bank had in 2010 named Zambia one of the world’s fastest economically reformed countries. The country had since built on the early success and had continued making policies enticing to investors.
Leading global investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs was also in Zambia to join other global investors in assessing Zambia’s increasing attractiveness to investors.
Top on the list of the global investors was the $2 billion Sentinel Mine located in Kalumbila, 150 kilometres west of Solwezi, capital of the North-Western Province of Zambia, which is under construction.
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman First Quantum Minerals (FQM), Philip Pascall and Clive Newall, FQM President took the investors on an on-the-spot check of the progress of construction.
“This visit by the word’s top analysts and fund managers signals greater investor confidence in Zambia. They have an interest in FQM and the rest of Zambia, and represent investment portfolios running into trillions of dollars,” said Newall in a statement released in Lusaka, Zambia capital city, by FQM Public relations consultant Davis Mulenga.
“The visit will enrich them with knowledge of the fundamentals that Zambia has put in place to attract greater foreign investment.
“Of course the key criteria are stability and predictable fiscal policies,” he added.
Canada-based FQM had in November, 2013 announced it was investing $3 billion in the building of Sentinel Mine.
Newall assured investors Sentinel Mine would be ready for commissioning in the second quarter of 2014, and the government would also be generating massive tax revenue from the new mine, the same way it did from FQM’s Kansanshi Mine, where it has raised $2 billion in the last five years.
Norman McDonald, vice-president of US-based investment management company, Invesco, who was part of the delegation of investors lauded FQM practices in Zambia, observing that they were consistent with balancing the trade-offs between investor interest and responsibility to Zambians.
“We have observed that FQM has done well in balancing investor interest and responsibility to host communities and Zambians
“That is a key driver for investment to flow coupled by a predictable tax regime,” said McDonald.
World’s leading financial management Merrill Lynch, American bank; Citibank, French bank and financial services company; BNP Paribas, and Switzerland-based financial services holding company; Credit Suisse were among the 33 investors.