Tesco completes China exit with $357 million stake sale By Reuters


© Reuters. A company logo is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Altrincham northern England.

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco (L:) has completed its exit from China with the 275 million pound ($357 million) sale of its joint venture stake to state-run partner China Resources Holdings ( CRH (LON:)).

Having struggled to crack the Chinese market, Tesco established the Gain Land venture with CRH in 2014, combining the British group’s 131 stores in China with its partner’s almost 3,000.

The disposal of its 20% stake allows Tesco to further simplify and focus the business on core operations, it said on Tuesday, adding that the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.

The deal is scheduled to complete on Feb. 28.

Shares in Tesco were up 0.7% at 0816 GMT, extending its gains over the last year to 12.4%.

“This extra 275 million pounds of ‘forgotten value’ should be accretive to most street valuations,” said Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne.

After costly exits from Japan and the United States and the sale of its South Korean business, Tesco signalled in December a further retreat from its once lofty global ambitions by starting a review of its operations in Thailand and Malaysia – its last remaining wholly owned businesses in Asia.

A sale of its operations in Thailand and Malaysia would mean Tesco’s only remaining overseas operations, apart from Ireland, would be its central European division, comprising stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

The Asian exit could be one of the last acts of Tesco CEO Dave Lewis, who will be succeeded by Ken Murphy in October.

Bernstein’s Monteyne expects Tesco to start a 1 billion pound share buyback programme in its 2020-21 financial year.

“With this transaction and the possible sale of Thailand and Malaysia, Tesco’s biggest short-term concern could be how to efficiently return cash to shareholders,” he said.

($1 = 0.7714 pounds)

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Woodside holds on to stake in Senegal oil field as FAR challenge fails By Reuters



(Reuters) – ConocoPhillips’ (N:) sale of a stake in a $4.2 billion Senegal oil and gas project to Woodside Petroleum (AX:) has been cleared by an international tribunal, resolving a long-running challenge by Australian partner FAR Ltd (AX:).

Woodside and FAR said on Friday an International Chamber of Commerce panel had ruled that FAR did not have a pre-emptive right to match the offer for the 35% stake in the Sangomar project that ConocoPhillips sold to Woodside in 2016 for just $350 million.

FAR said it was reviewing the arbitration award. It holds a separate 15% stake in the Sangomar project, which also counts Cairn Energy Plc (L:) as a stakeholder.

FAR’s shares fell as much as 9% to 3.1 cents, their lowest level since the middle of 2013, on the news that it would miss out on the chance to potentially raise its stake in Sangomar for a comparatively low price, or win compensation.

At that level the shares were also well below the 4.25 cents apiece that investors paid in a recent issue of new stock by the company.

The resolution of the case comes just as Woodside and its partners have begun development of the Sangomar project, following final investment decisions in January, with first production expected in 2023.

FAR, which discovered the Sangomar field in the world’s largest oil find of 2014, disputed Woodside’s acquisition of its stake in the acreage, arguing it was not allowed to exercise its right to pre-empt the sale of Conoco’s stake.ConocoPhillips and Woodside, now operator of the project, had maintained that FAR’s challenge was without merit.

“Woodside is committed to working … to progress the Sangomar Field Development, which achieved final investment decision in January 2020,” Woodside said in a statement on the tribunal’s ruling on Friday.

ConocoPhillips had no immediate comment.

Analysts had thought that if FAR won the arbitration, it might get some form of compensation from Conoco or Woodside which would have helped the minnow fund its share of Sangomar development costs.

“While disappointing for FAR, we think it remains in a reasonable position with respect to its forward funding profile albeit this as come at the cost of significant equity value dilution,” RBC analysts said in a note.

The company raised A$157 million ($105 million) in December through the sale of new shares to help cover its $480 million portion of Sangomar development costs. It plans to cover the rest of its costs by taking on debt.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Qatar Airways in talks to buy 49% RwandAir stake, interested in increasing LATAM investment By Reuters


© Reuters. Qatar Airways in talks to buy 49% RwandAir stake, interested in increasing LATAM investment

By Alexander Cornwell

DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar Airways is in talks to buy a 49% stake in Africa’s RwandAir, and is interested in doubling its holding in LATAM Airlines Group (SN:) to 20%, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

A stake in an African airline would widen its reach in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation regions, and potentially help it bypass restrictions imposed on it by some Arab states.

“We are very tough negotiators … we will take our time to negotiate,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Doha.

Qatar Airways already owns stakes in British Airways-parent International Airlines Group (L:), China Southern (SS:), Cathay Pacific (HK:), and LATAM.

It bought some of its stakes in other airlines since once-lucrative markets the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia banned it from its airspace following a regional political dispute.

Qatar Airways has been forced to fly longer routes to avoid the blocked airspace of some of its neighbors.

The ban does not apply to non-Qatari airlines flying to Qatar. RwandAir could potentially carry passengers from Africa over the blocked airspace to the state-owned airline’s Doha hub without any airspace restrictions.

RwandAir could not be immediately reached for comment.

Qatar Airways agreed in December to take a 60% stake in a new airport in Rwanda.

Baker, one of aviation’s most well-know executives, also said the airline could be interested in increasing its holding in LATAM, and working with fellow shareholder Delta Air Lines (NYSE:).

“When the right opportunity comes and at the right price we will look at increasing our investment in LATAM,” he told Reuters.

Qatar Airways, which holds a 10% stake, would be interested in having a stake that is the “same like Delta,” which is 20%, he said.

Delta surprised the industry when it announced in September it was taking a $1.9 billion 20% stake in the South American airline group.

Qatar Airways has historically had a contentious relationship with Delta and other major U.S. carriers, which have accused Gulf airlines of receiving unfair government subsidies, distorting competition and costing Americans jobs. The Gulf carriers have rejected such accusations.

However, Baker said had no ill-feeling towards Delta, and was willing to work with the U.S. airline at its hub in Atlanta.

“We can transfer passengers on each other. We are the only Middle Eastern carrier going into their hub so there is huge opportunity,” he said.

Qatar Airways has also expressed interest in taking a stake in India’s IndiGo and Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc. A transaction with either airline has yet to take place.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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