African Sun Warms to JSE Listing

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange  (ZSE) listed African Sun Limited will seek a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) by the end of the year, CEO Shingi Munyeza said.


He said the secondary listing on JSE was being done to raise capital for the group’s expansion programme.

Munyeza says the group will float 20% of its issued share capital on JSE, Africa’s largest market, to raise funding for planned investments in West Africa, particularly in Ghana.

He announced the group’s plans while presenting the company’s interim financial results.

“We are pursuing a listing on the JSE were 20% of our total issued share capital will be traded. This is quite a hedge for us. We are still talking to the JSE but the listing requirements are not stringent. Hopefully we will list by the end of the year,” said Munyeza.

Munyeza was upbeat in his outlook for Ghana saying current economic stability in the country and increased tourism activity would help buoy his company’s plans.

Apart from Ghana, African Sun is pursuing opportunities in Nigeria and South Africa to tap into the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Munyeza said his group hopes to lift room capacity to 8 500 rooms by 2012 from the current 2 926.

Management hopes this will be achieved by pursuing management contracts in Africa, particularly in Ghana and Nigeria.

Munyeza said 27% of the group’s total revenue came from Ghana.

“That is why we want to pursue this market,” he said. “Ghana will remain an attractive business hub for west Africa due to increased investor confidence and political stability,” he said.

While occupancy levels in Zimbabwe were subdued in the interim period, management says the company managed to put a profit in the bag from its operations.

“The group’s growth strategy and thrust has not changed, and rooms are still expected to increase from the current 2 926 to 8 500 by 2012. The group will continue to adhere to its asset light strategy and pursue management contracts and leases,” the group said in a statement attached to its results.

The group’s hotels in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Botswana are nearing completion while another 14-roomed lodge in Zambia is almost complete, Munyeza said.

Munyeza denied that hotels had planned to charge US$3000 per night for next year’s soccer tournament as reported in the state media a few weeks ago, dismissing the announcement as “mischief”.

African Sun recorded US$14 million revenue. Net profit stood at US$546 840 in the same period while basic earning per share were US8 cents.

BY CHRIS MURONZI