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Dem. Rep. of Congo: Prime Minister halts Gecamines' asset sales before cabinet change - NGO's advocate for a new transparent tender process

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29 October 2013

Congo Prime Minister Halts Asset Sales before Cabinet Change [Dem. Rep. of Congo]

Author: Michael J. Kavanagh, Bloomberg

Democratic Republic of Congo Prime Minister...forbade sales of state assets and the signing of new contracts while the country awaits a cabinet reorganization...During the transition, there is a "prohibition on the sale, transfer, or disposal of state assets", it said. The order applies to all state-owned companies, while officials are also forbidden from concluding new financial engagements and procurement contracts...Gecamines...is facing pressure from advocacy groups including Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel after announcing it may sell its shares in Glencore Xstrata Plc-controlled Kamoto Copper Corp...Publish What You Pay...and a group of Congolese non-governmental organizations monitoring the mining industry called for Gecamines to undertake a new tender process if it decides to sell the stake in KCC...the groups also question Gecamines’ plan to create an offshore company to separate its profitable joint venture stakes from its nearly $1 billion debt...The groups "fear that this subsidiary will only serve to launder funds that could be embezzled by Gecamines’ officials since it will be difficult for Congolese authorities to control the subsidiary"...

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7 October 2013

Gecamines of Congo Studies Selling Stake in Glencore Mine [Dem. Rep. of Congo]

Author: Michael J. Kavanagh, Bloomberg

Gecamines...may sell its 20 percent stake in Glencore Xstrata Plc (GLEN)’s Kamoto Copper Co. to raise money for other projects, said Chairman Albert Yuma. "We’ve been in discussions with 14 groups who’ve gone through a tender and the process is ongoing,"Yuma said...Glencore’s Katanga Mining Ltd. (KAT), which owns 75 percent of KCC, would have right of first refusal of any sale, he said...Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group is among the 14 bidders for Gecamines’ stake, Yuma said...To make the company more attractive to investors, Gecamines is spinning off its minority stakes in joint ventures and creating a new offshore company, Yuma said...Renaissance Capital, the Russian investment bank controlled by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is advising Gecamines on the plan, Yuma said...Gecamines’ other partners include Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) and Australia’s Tiger Resources Ltd. (TGS)...[Refers to Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC)].

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