18 Oktober 2021 | Geschäft

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

Glencore opens talks with Chad

Glencore and a consortium of banks have started talks with Chad over the restructuring of the country's more than US$1 billion commercial debt, according to a letter from the company to the International Monetary Fund seen on Saturday.

Chad had in January officially requested a debt restructuring, the first country to do so under a common framework agreed last year by China and other Group of 20 members with the help of the Paris Club of major creditor countries.

Chad's state creditors and the IMF agreed on a restructuring but insist Chad must reach comparable terms with other bilateral and private creditors.

Glencore said in the letter that, together with the group of lenders which includes 16 institutions, it was engaging with Chad and their respective advisors in a "constructive and good faith manner" following a request for talks from the country.

"The lender group has held initial meetings with Rothschild & Cie, Chad's financial advisors, and subsequently with the official creditor committee for Chad in the past week to exchange views on Chad's request," the Oct. 15 letter said.

The letter also said boutique advisory firm Newstate Partners had been appointed as financial advisors to Glencore, a Swiss-based miner and trader, and the consortium. -Nampa/Reuters

Ethiopian Airlines partners with SA's Airlink

Ethiopian Airlines has entered an agreement to share flight routes with regional South African carrier Airlink, as the continent's biggest airline expands its reach.

Ethiopian Airlines has entered into a series of partnerships with continental and global carriers. The latest agreement lets travellers buy one ticket to fly across each airline's routes, connecting smaller South African towns with Ethiopian's global reach.

"In our continuous commitment and endeavour to expand our service beyond our extensive network in Africa, we are happy to enhance our cooperation and add Airlink to our list of growing partners," ET Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement on Thursday.

"As South Africa represents the continent's largest market implementation of this interline agreement will create ease of access" for travellers to South African regional airports, he added.

Johannesburg-based Airlink is South Africa's main air service between smaller towns and larger airport hubs.

National carrier South African Airways (SAA) recently emerged from a 17-month business rescue and resumed a handful of domestic and regional services last month. -Nampa/AFP

SA’s Transnet declares force majeure

South Africa’s monopoly port operator Transnet late Friday declared a force majeure at its Richards Bay Bulk Terminal, it said in a statement, following a fire that broke out at the port on Wednesday.

Richards Bay Bulk Terminal, Africa’s largest coal export facility, is located off the Richards Bay port - one of seven commercial ports that Transnet operates along South Africa’s coastline.

Transnet did not say whether or to what extent exports of commodities such as coal, steel and other minerals would be impacted.

“The terminal is engaging with its affected customers and is in the process of putting the necessary contingencies in place as some routes are operational,” the state-owned company said in a statement issued on Friday night.

Transnet had said on Thursday the company was investigating a second fire within a week at the port which affected the conveyor system and disrupted some operations.

“The cause of the fire is still unknown and a preliminary investigation is currently underway. Expert assessors and investigators are onsite establishing the extent of the damage,” it said. -Nampa/Reuters

Exxon begins phone campaign

Exxon Mobil Corp managers on Friday began calling workers locked out of the company's Beaumont, Texas, refinery to push for approval of a contract proposal to be voted on early next week, a United Steelworkers (USW) union official said.

In addition to an appeal to ratify the contract offer, which the union has urged workers to reject, the managers offered information about a decertification petition that may lead to a vote to remove the USW from representing the workers, said Bryan Gross, a representative of the international union.

"The company locked us out six months ago," Gross said. "They haven't asked about anybody and now they are reaching out and saying, 'Trust us.'"

An Exxon spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The 650 workers locked out on May 1 at the 369 024 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery and lubricant-oil plant are scheduled to vote on Tuesday on Exxon's contract offer.

The company said in a message posted on Facebook on Friday that once the offer is ratified "the company will work with the union to establish a return-to-work agreement and return USW-represented employees to the site, ending the lockout."-Nampa/Reuters

Atlantia signs deal to close dispute

Italian infrastructure group Atlantia said on Friday a deal had been reached with the Italian transport ministry to close a dispute over a fatal bridge collapse.

The settlement paves the way for the closing of a sale of Atlantia's stake in its motorway unit Autostrade per l'Italia to a consortium led by state-lender CDP.

A road bridge operated by Autostrade collapsed in the northern city of Genoa on Aug. 14, 2018, killing 43 people and triggering a legal battle.

In a statement, Atlantia confirmed it would pay 3.4 billion euros to settle the motorway contract dispute.

Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, also said it had been told it would not have to launch a bid on Autostrade Meridionali as a result of the settlement deal. -Nampa/Reuters

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