Economy set to grow faster

Mozambique’s economy is poised to see average growth of 8 percent, up from 7.3 percent over the past 10 years, as infrastructure spending and the development of natural gas projects lift activity. This forecast comes from Standard Bank’s chief economist in Mozambique, Fáusio Mussa, who also forecast inflation would stay in single digits. “Continued inflows of foreign investment and increased exports point to the maintenance of a relatively stable exchange rate for the metical against the US dollar, which will keep inflation in single digits, between 5 percent and 6 percent,” he said. “The planned development of natural gas projects in the Rovuma Basin and associated infrastructure spending, together with development of the Nacala corridor for exporting coal from Moatize, will result in Mozambique’s accelerated gross domestic product growth to above-average levels of the past 10 years,” he added. – Staff Reporter


GM plans $12bn growth drive

Vehicle giant General Motors (GM) plans to invest $12 billion (R126bn) in China from this year to 2017 and to build more plants next year as it steps up its presence to compete in the largest vehicle market. GM expects its China sales to expand by between 8 percent and 10 percent this year, in line with the overall growth of the Chinese market, where Europe’s Volkswagen and domestic players such as SAIC Motor vie for more market share. “We are investing wisely and accelerating our vehicle development and manufacturing to keep pace with market demand. In total we are investing $12bn between 2014 and 2017,” Matt Tsien, the president of GM China, said at the Auto China show in Beijing. GM planned to build five more plants in China next year, as part of its efforts to ramp up manufacturing capacity there by 65 percent by 2020, executives said on Sunday. The five plants would be in Wuhan, Chongqing, Jinqiao and Shenyang. Four of those would be vehicle assembly plants, while the fifth would be an engine plant in Shenyang. – Reuters


Zain’s profit grows 7.5%

Zain’s net profit rose 7.5 percent year on year in the first quarter, mainly on the back of returns from new technology investments, the Kuwaiti telecom giant said yesterday. Zain announced a net profit of 55.9 million dinars (R2.08 billion) in the first three months of the year, compared with 52 million dinars in the same period last year. Revenue grew 4.7 percent to $1.1 billion (R11.5bn). – Sapa-AFP


Pfizer ‘wanted AstraZeneca’

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker, had held informal, now-discontinued talks with AstraZeneca about possibly buying its London-based peer, two people familiar with the matter said. They said US-based Pfizer’s approach valued AstraZeneca at over £60 billion (R1.05 trillion). The companies were not currently negotiating, said the sources, who asked not to be identified. One said the talks took place several months ago and there were no plans to resume. – Bloomberg