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‘America is ready to invest in Africa’; but what US Companies are Investing in Africa instead of USA?

ASA Gold and Precious Metals Limited was founded as a South African corporation in 1958 (Its original name was American-South African Investment Company, Limited). The Company was the idea of Charles Engelhard,Chairman of Engelhard Industries Inc., which at the time, maintained extensive business interests in the United States and South Africa. The Company was organized to provide primarily Americans a medium to invest in the common shares of companies engaged in the business of mining gold in South Africa. At the time, Americans were prohibited from owning gold bullion and South Africa was the producer of 80 percent of the world’s gold. Unlike today, it was difficult for the average investor to purchase shares traded in Johannesburg. At that time there were approximately 25 South African gold mining companies. 

PRETORIA, South Africa — When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton landed in South Africa this week, she brought along a hefty delegation of executives from some of America’s leading companies — Boeing, Walmart, FedEx, G.E. — and a message: America is ready to invest in Africa.  But these companies need no introduction to the continent, which is home to 7 of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. They are already here. Earlier this year, Walmart finalized a deal worth more than $2 billion to acquire 51 percent of South Africa’s leading retailer, MassMart.  G.E. has signed a deal with the Nigerian government to work together on infrastructure and power projects. Six hundred American companies have invested in South Africa alone.

Who’s Investing In Africa Now? Ericsson, FastJet, PepsiCo, and More
It’s not necessary to wire money to a far-flung African locale to invest in the rise of the African consumer. Here are five companies that are making big bets on the continent and conveniently trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ericsson (ERIC:US)
The Swedish telecom system manufacturer reported a big increase in revenue from Sub-Saharan Africa during the second quarter.
FastJet (RUBI:LN)
East Africa’s Fly540 airline got a shot in the arm last month after being spun off from its corporate parent, Lonrho. The airline, now owned by Rubicon Diversified Investment Holdings, will be rebranded as FastJet and led by a management team hand-picked by the founder of EasyJet (EZJ:LN),
Millicom (MIICF:US)
Ericsson isn’t the only Swedish telecommunications company active in Africa. Wireless operator Millicom reported $84 million worth of capital expenditure on the continent during its second quarter. Much of the investment went toward purchasing additional wireless spectrum in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country where it forecasts strong wireless growth in coming years.
PepsiCo (PEP:US)
The soft drink maker will soon unveil a $28.5 million manufacturing facility in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The plant will employ 300 workers. Pepsi re-entered Kenya in 2010 after a 30-year absence, but it has been importing all of its product from outside the country. The new plant should significantly reduce import costs.
Coca-Cola (KO:US) currently controls 63% of Kenya’s soda market, and it isn’t taking Pepsi’s challenge lightly. It is in the midst of a $59 million expansion that includes a new bottling line. Kenyans’ soft drink consumption remained roughly level between 2009 and 2010 at 8.7 liters per person.
Procter & Gamble (PG:US)
This maker of pretty much everything in your kitchen cupboard and cleaning cabinet recently announced last month that it would build a $250 million plant in Nigeria. The facility will employ 750 people.

Africa-focused airline FastJet has raised US$2.4 mln to help establish its hub network across the continent.
Africa-focused airline FastJet (LON:FJET) has raised US$2.4 mln to help establish its hub network across the continent.
FastJet’s first flight with its new Airbus 319 is scheduled to take off from Dar es Salem in Tanzania this month.
Last week, the company recently unveiled its new branding alongside the launch of the Tanzania operation, which has now has three A319 aircraft.
David Lenigas, the company’s executive chairman, said it is now progressing with establishing the second hub location.
“These additional funds will be deployed in assessing an earlier than expect opportunity open to FastJet to interact with the Southern African market place and progressing with the opening of further operational hubs for the FastJet network across Africa.”
Passenger statistics for Fly540 for October showed a 27% increase in the number carried compared to a year ago at 51,015.The load factor fell to 56.4%.
On a rolling 12-month bases the total number of passengers rose by 61.5% to 638,654.
The Fly540 Tanzania operation ceased on October 12 in preparation for the launch of FastJet. This reduced the Fly540 seats available by about 10,000 per month.  MORE

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