December 2008


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LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s tax revenues will be hit badly in 2009 unless copper prices rebound, the country’s revenue authority (ZAR) was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

In April, the government introduced a windfall tax at 25 percent and profit variable tax at 15 percent above eight percent earnings, hoping to raise $415 million additional revenue in 2008 from the copper mines, but these efforts were dashed with plummeting copper prices.

ZAR’s Commissioner General Chriticles Mwansa told state media that tax collections in 2009 would be hit badly if the trend continues.

“Windfall tax completely falls off and profit tax will reduce because it is collected on profits. The only hope is pay as you earn (personal income tax). If the mines employ more people, then we can collect more (personal income) tax in 2009,” Mwansa told the state-run ZNBC radio.

The government also raised mineral royalty to 3 percent from 0.6 percent and corporate tax to 30 percent from 25 percent, but still could not reach its $415 million target.

Zambia’s cathode copper output rose marginally to 429,180 tonnes between January and October 2008 from 423,639 tonnes in the same period, the Bank of Zambia said, while exports during the period rose to 461,162 tonnes from 404,939 tonnes in 2007.

Copper mining is Zambia’s economic lifeblood and the copper mines are a major employer in this southern African country of 12 million people.

The central bank said that cobalt production declined to 3,659 tonnes for the 10 months to October from 4,044 tonnes in the same period of last year, which analysts attribute to the halting of operations at the country’s largest cobalt producer, Chambishi Metals Plc, in October.

Zambia exported 3,622 tonnes of cobalt during the review period compared with 3,941 tonnes in 2007, the data showed.

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  revolving_globe

Zambian Chronicle is…

 

Wishing You All A Prosperous 2009

 

Happy New Year!!!

 

Live Long & Prosper

 

Thanks A Trillion

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by Luisa Kroll
Provided by
Ambani.jpg
© Kamal Narang/Business Line/The Hindu
Anil Ambani

Dozens of the world’s wealthiest lost billions in recent months, but these 10 distinguish themselves for some of the biggest flops.

It was a dreadful year for the world’s wealthiest as markets and currencies around the world tumbled.

More than 300 of the 1,125 billionaires we tallied on our annual list last March have since lost at least $1 billion; several dozen lost more than $5 billion. The 10 richest from our 2008 rankings dropped some $150 billion of wealth, dragged down by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, estranged brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani and property baron K.P. Singh, who together dropped $100 billion. America’s 25 biggest billionaire losers of 2008 lost a combined $167 billion.

More from Forbes.com:In Pictures: Billionaire Blowups, 2008 In Pictures: America’s 25 Biggest Billionaire Losers

In Pictures: The Biggest CEO Firings of 2008

But even in such an awful year, the stories of a few billionaires and now former billionaires stand out as particularly dreadful.

Take David Ross, one of the U.K.’s most successful entrepreneurs. Earlier this month, Ross notified four public companies in which he was a major shareholder and director that he had borrowed against his shares to fund real estate investments that had soured. He will likely have to sell some of those stakes to pay off his debts. So far he has resigned from three of the four boards and stepped down from his post as an Olympics adviser. His fortune, which we estimated at $1.4 billion in March, is now worth about $150 million.

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, former chairman and a large shareholder in Landsbanki, Iceland’s second largest bank, saw the firm seized in October as the worst of the credit crisis tore through the island nation. The failure wiped out his $1.1 billion fortune. He has since had to put his holding company, Hansa, into voluntary liquidation and is selling his U.K. soccer team, West Ham.

Russians were some of the biggest losers in the past year. Vladimir Lisin’s Novolipetsk Iron and Steel is down three-fourths since its June peak. Dmitry Rybolovlev’s fertilizer company, Uralkali, has fallen 90% since it peaked around the same time.

But those losses pale compared with the troubles facing Oleg Deripaska. In March he was the world’s ninth richest person and Russia’s richest man, with a fortune we estimated to be worth $28 billion. Since then Deripaska has been forced to sell shares in Canadian carmaker Magna International and German construction firm Hotchief, and had to borrow $4.5 billion from a state-controlled bank to hold on to his stake in Norilsk Nickel. He will likely sell off additional assets to avoid losing even more of his fortune, now estimated at $10 billion. Or less.

The biggest loser of all was Anil Ambani. Touted on the cover of our 2008 billionaires issue for having added $24 billion to his fortune in one year, Ambani has dropped $30 billion since then. But don’t worry too much. His Reliance Entertainment is investing $500 million in a new studio venture with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks. Plus, he remains quite wealthy, worth $12 billion That’s something many others can’t claim.

 

In Pictures: Billionaire Blowups, 2008

1. Anil Ambani

March net worth: $42 billion
Current net worth: $12 billion

Deripaska.jpg
© AP Photo
Oleg Deripaska

The biggest billionaire gainer last March is now the year’s biggest loser. Ambani lost $30 billion in the past nine months, more than anyone in the world. Stock of his telecom company dropped after his estranged brother helped scuttle a deal with African telecom MTN. It’s quite an achievement in a year in which three of his fellow countrymen–estranged brother Mukesh, steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and Indian KP Singh, all of whom ranked earlier among the world’s 10 richest–lost more than $20 billion apiece.

2. Oleg Deripaska

March net worth: $28 billion
Current net worth: less than $10 billion

Former metals trader survived Russia’s gangster wars but may not withstand collapsing markets and heavy debts of at least $14 billion. Russia’s one-time richest man recently received a $4.5 billion loan from a state-controlled bank in order to keep his 25% stake in Norilsk Nickel, which faced a margin call by Western banks from which he had borrowed. Other margin calls forced him to divest a $1.5 billion stake in Canadian carmaker Magna International and a $500 million stake in German construction company Hotchief. He’s also selling stake in insurance company Inogsstrakh.

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3. Anurag Dikshit

March net worth: $1.6 billion
Current net worth: $1 billion

Dikshit designed the software for PartyGaming’s successful PartyPoker game, which allowed live gambling over the Web. He left the company and sold a chunk of shares in 2006, the year the U.S. government banned gaming. He recently pleaded guilty to violating U.S. gaming laws and agreed to forfeit $300 million. He could face up to two years in jail but apparently won’t be sentenced until 2010. He has already paid $100 million of his fine and will pay the rest in two installments next year.

Gudmundsson.jpg
© Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images
Bjorgflur Gudmundsson

4. Bjorgflur Gudmundsson

March net worth: $1.1 billion
Current net worth: zero

The October collapse and government seizure of Iceland’s second largest bank wiped out the $1.1 billion fortune of Gudmundsson, the bank’s chairman and biggest shareholder, along with his son Thor. His holding company, Hansa, has since gone into voluntary liquidation and is looking for a buyer for its U.K. soccer team, West Ham. It’s not the first time he’s run into trouble. A former shipping executive, he was charged with fraud and embezzlement in relation to the firm’s 1985 collapse, and was eventually found guilty on five minor counts and sentenced to 12 months’ probation.

5. Luis Portillo

March net worth: $1.2 billion
Current net worth: $15 million

Spain’s short-lived real estate gold rush left one of its most visible speculators holding a nearly empty bag. Portillo–who acquired real estate firm Inmocaral three years ago, then led the takeover of the larger Inmobiliaria Colonial in 2006–personally borrowed a reported $1.4 billion from more than a dozen banks during boom times, using his stock as collateral. He resigned as chairman in December 2007 and then tried to sell his stake to a Dubai fund earlier this year. When the deal fell through, he had to sell most of shares to pay debts.

Click here for the full list of the Billionaire Blowups of 2008.

Additional reporting by Tatiana Serafin, Russell Flannery, Naazneen Karmali and Cristina von Zeppelin

Copyrighted, Forbes.com. All rights reserved.

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By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Lumwana Mining Company (LMC) said on Tuesday it has received the permission to proceed with its $200 million Zambia uranium project, but the decision to begin construction of processing facilities will be taken in January.

Managing Director Harry Michael said the environmental impact assessment report had been endorsed by the authorities, paving the way for the construction of processing facilities and also allowing the firm to seek separate licences for mining, storage and transportation of uranium.

Michael said the board of Lumwana’s owner, Australia’s Equinox Minerals, would take a decision in January on whether to proceed with the project on the back of a difficult global economic climate.

“We have received approval from the environmental council of Zambia (ECZ), but we are still evaluating whether to proceed with the project. We should reach a decision in the first or second week of January,” Michael told Reuters.

Lumwana would process 1.0 million tonnes of uranium to produce around 800 tonnes of yellow cake per year, he said.

“About $200 million is required for initial start up of the project and we do not have the money in the backyard of Lumwana. So we will evaluate the potential of the project, look at the liquidity in view of the financial crunch,” Michael said.

Michael said mining of uranium and stockpiling which started a few months ago would continue even if the Equinox board decided to defer the project.

“We will not lose the opportunity even if we defer the project and the only thing we may do is to wait for the right conditions,” he said.

The project would employ 300 people during the peak of production. The LCM has previously said a $6 million uranium feasibility study at the Lumwana mine showed the existence of high grade uranium.

Zambia is Africa’s largest copper producer and foreign firms including Zambezi Resources Ltd, African Eagle Resources Plc and Lithic Metals and Energy Ltd, have also discovered huge uranium deposits in the mineral-rich southern African country.

In October, Zambia enacted a law for mining, storage and export of uranium which bars the diversion of the mineral for use in making nuclear weapons or devices.

The law, which covers the prospecting, mining and milling of uranium ores and other radioactive minerals ores, gives all powers to the mines minister to issue licences for mining and exports of uranium as a safeguard to ensure it is exported to the right consumers.

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Zambia’s state telephone utility will spend about $105 million to lay a fibre optic network and to lift its mobile subscription to one million customers by June 2008, its managing director said.

Simon Tembo said Cell-Z, a subsidiary of the state-owned Zamtel Ltd., hoped to increase its mobile subscriber base from the current 300 000, and had signed contracts with ZTE China to expand the GSM network, and to improve rural telecommunications.

Another Chinese firm Huwaei had been awarded a contract to install a fibre optic network throughout the southern African nation’s nine provinces.

“This is being done in this financial year (ending in March 2008), we have already signed contracts for the national optic fibre, for the GSM, the rural and metropolitan fibre optic backbone,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Tembo said the national optic fibre network would cost $48 million while $25 million would be spent on expansion of the Cell-Z network, the country’s third-largest mobile telephone provider.

“Rural infrastructure has been obsolete for sometime now and we are going to do rural telecommunications development on which we are spending $23 million,” he added.

Tembo said Zamtel had also spent $3,5 million on a fibre optic network for the capital Lusaka.

“For the national optic fibre, installation starts in January … we intend to do everything and finish before 2009. Most of the expansion for the GSM will be finished by June 2008.”

Zamtel had borrowed funds from local and foreign lenders.

“Operators will benefit from high speed backbone network in that it will facilitate cost-effective interconnection between business houses,” he said.

Zambia’s leading mobile telephone firm is Celtel, owned by Kuwaiti-based Zain Group, followed by MTN-Zambia, a unit of South Africa’s MTN. Zamtel employs 2 880 workers.


Copyright Creamer Media (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.

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By Shapi Shacinda
LUSAKA, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Zambia has asked foreign mining firms to use profits they made when copper prices were high to keep working in the downturn, its central bank chief said on Monday after Luanshya Copper Mine (LCM) suspended operations.
Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Caleb Fundanga expressed optimism that copper prices would soon rebound but said the developments at LCM were a threat to the country’s copper industry.
LCM shut down its Chambishi Metals Plc unit, the country’s largest cobalt producer, and the Baluba copper mine soon after suspending the $354 million Mulyashi copper project, which had been due to start producing 60,000 tonnes of copper in 2010.
It cited operational difficulties arising from the global credit crunch as reasons for the decision.
“The fact that there has been a low copper demand and prices have seen a downward trend is a development with lots of implications. However, (mining firms) must be able to weather the storm, it’s a bit too early to leave (and) it’s not too good to leave in a rush,” Fundanga told Reuters.
World copper prices have dropped by almost two-thirds from the July all-time high of $8,940 a tonne.
“The normal thing is to rely a little bit on their reserves, business is all about risk and you cannot be a good businessman if you threaten to pull out in times of trouble,” he said.
Industry analysts say most copper mines, the southern African country’s economic lifeblood, have also slowed down expansions and upgrades following the global financial crisis.
The crisis has hit the industry on the back of low copper demand and declining prices. There are fears some investors may consider pulling out of the country.
Fundanga said Zambia remained optimistic the global economy would stabilise soon and demand for copper would begin to rise to give relief to the industry, which earns Zambia 63 percent of its foreign exchange.
“In 2002, Anglo American pulled out of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) citing low copper prices, but soon after prices rose and this is likely to happen again,” Fundanga said.
Fundanga said the other way Zambia would mitigate the effects of falling copper demand and prices was by diversifying its economy to other sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing of copper products.
“We (will) diversify into manufacturing of copper cables and other products,” he said. (Reporting By Shapi Shacinda, editing by Anthony Barker)

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Why is that jetliner for British Airways parked ov’r yonder when all other flights from the same region go to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow? One would ask … It is being fumigated, Another would respond. Fumigated!!! Why?? The Other would inquire. Because it just landed from Zambia, Another would answer.

British Airliner at London Heathrow Airport

British Airliner at London Heathrow Airport - All Other Arriving Passenger Go Throw Terminal 5 Except Those Arriving From Lusaka

So all flights from Zambia have to be sent to that concourse? One would ask further. Yeep!!! Another would answer. I don’t get it … The Other would say. Well, sorry that you guys don’t seem to get it, Another would say. These jetliners coming from Zambia stink to high heavens and we are just trying to be hygienic around here.

 

Dog on it, you mean Zambians stink and are not hygienic? I have seen some dressed in the best not only in Zambia but also around the world. One would prod. Nope!!! Ain’t got nothing to do with the way they dress, Another would counter.

 

You got to work in the cargo bay to understand what I am talking about, Another would retort. You see, when that plane lands, it carries with it as cargo some of the most stinking staunches, from Kapenta, Chapatwa, Insefu, Ingulube all dried just to mention a few, Another continues.

 

Why can’t we ban them from carrying such things? One would probe. I guess we make some much money from charging excess luggage fees that we just wink an eye, The Other would add. I am glad you are finally getting it, Another would say.

 

So what we do is collect their money but humiliate them when they land in London because we have to ferry them in buses to the other concourse for connecting flights. Besides, have you been to Lusaka? Another would continue …

 

Nope!!! One and The Other would respond almost in unison. Well, their airport looks like you are landing in the former Soviet Union, Another would answer. But we don’t care because we make so much money on this route compared to others that we actually fly there four times a week … besides the fact that it is the same place where you have sporadic cholera outbreaks; we got to be more vigilant …

 

… it is embarrassing to say the least how the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise are being treated upon arrival in London, but much of the blame has to be carried by us. In one of our weekly memos entitled Success Corner: Do You Have A Perception Problem? You Can Get A Hang On It …  we wrote the following …

 

We can not control what others think about us entirely but we can certainly circumvent their perceptions of us. Each one of us needs to make sure that the perception of others towards us is positive because people respond based on their perception of what they anticipate would be our reactions to circumstances.

 

To be successful in any enterprise one needs to have the ability to read people and tailor antitheses to what he/she perceives to be the most logical derivative reaction(s) from the said subjects.”

 

In our case the Brits look at our airport, our customs clearing facilities and our concourse at Lusaka International Airport and because these infra-structures are such a sorry sight in the modern world we are treated with impunity when in their presence.

 

“Without the ability to control peoples’ perceptions one is at a loss for advancement in any endeavor be it family, enterprise and otherwise. Most people fail miserably in life and business not because of lack of expertise but because they do not have the ability to circumvent others’ perception(s) of themselves.”

 

I guarantee you, if Lusaka International Airport had the same structures as Washington’s Dulles International, New York’s JFK International, or Johannesburg International, we would not be treated the way we are right now.

 

Because we portray poverty at our departing airport we are treated with it at the point(s) of entry. We have to control that perception by the way we carry ourselves. We need a complete overhaul at Lusaka International Airport.

Our Passengers In London Are Sent To Part Of Heathrow Similar To Lusaka International Airport, Ferried By Bus To The Main Concourse ...

Our Passengers In London Are Sent To Part Of Heathrow Similar To Lusaka International Airport, Ferried By Bus To The Main Concourse ...

We need to create an environment similar to other premier world capitals. When a world class traveler lands in Lusaka, he/she wouldn’t have a sense of arriving at a provincial capital let alone a nation’s capital.

 

Now don’t you tell me we have no money!!! The Auditor General’s report for 2007 alone revealed government had squandered K14 trillion, O yes, trillions of Kwacha as in “thanks a trillion”. Do you know how far that would go in setting up an entirely new airport similar to at least London Gatwick?

 

That kind of money can create a total facelift for Lusaka International Airport and we would no longer have the same look as the former Soviet Union airports. If the current government has no idea on God’s earth how and where to find that money let them ask …

 

No one is going to find the money for us, we have the money already – we just have to move it around. No one is going to build an airport for us; we have to build it ourselves. No one is going to fund our own household needs we need to do that ourselves.

 

The more we do things that would give us a facelift that the world would see, the more respect we get from the world. The more we take care of our own business the more people would want to do business with us.

 

The more we improve ourselves and change the way others think about us the more others see us in a different light. We can’t say this enough, perception, perception, perception. Perception is everything.

 

Ed Louis Cole used to say, “… if you want to pull the crowds, set yourself ablaze.” It is time the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise set themselves ablaze and built a world-class international gateway at Lusaka International Airport …

Artist's impression of the new terminal five at Heathrow Airport. The terminal opened in April 2008 with the second phase due to open in 2011. Total Cost £4.2bn ...

Artist's impression of the new terminal five at Heathrow Airport. The terminal opened in April 2008 with the second phase due to open in 2011. Total Cost £4.2bn ...

Folks, we are dead serious about this. If the Zambian government doesn’t know how to get this done, let them consult us … our business consulting team will provide a project proposal for them, including all schematics, financing plans, cost recovery plans as well as operational plans, for a fee.

 

Of course the Brits like to do things in extremes sometimes we know that, they were our colonial masters, but much of what needs to be done is right below own noses.

 

And of course we can achieve anything we set our minds to … we are Zambians for crying out aloud, let’s change the way we are treated by improving where we come from.

 

Seriously, the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise deserve a better Lusaka International Airport and it is government’s duty to build or facilitate building one, come 2009.

 

Compliments of the Season, Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle 

 

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