Monday, June 29, 2015

Diamonds of Angola

The Portuguese arrived around 1475 at the coast of what today is Angola. They played a pivotal role in the Atlantic slave trade: until 1830 well over a million Angolan people were exported as slaves, mainly to Brazil, but also to the Caribbean and North America.
Modern diamond mining began around 1912, when gems were discovered in a stream in the Lunda region in the northeast. In 1917 Diamang was granted the concession for diamond mining and prospecting, which it held until independence. Control over the company was obtained by the government in 1977. In 1979 a general law on mining activities was enacted that gave the state the exclusive right to prospect for and exploit minerals.
Angola is the world's fourth-largest diamond producing country by value and sixth by volume. Angola’s diamond industry is emerging from a long period of difficulty as a result of a civil war that ended in 2002.

The country’s production volume has remained relatively stable at 8 million carats per year since 2006.
Angola has extensive diamond reserves estimated at 180 million carats, mostly in the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul in the central and northeastern parts of the country. More than 700 kimberlites have been located. Most are located along a north east - south west trend that extends into neighbouring DRC.
The Catoca diamond mine is the fourth largest in the world. The mine is owned by a consortium of international mining interests, including Endiama (32.8% ownership), Alrosa of Russia (32.8%), Odebrecht of Brazil (16.4%), and the Diamond Finance CY BV Group (16.8%).

In 2012 the mine produced 6.5 million carats.
Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of the Angolan president, is the main beneficiary of the diamond trade in Angola. Isabel dos Santos, popularly known in the world business circles as "Princess", is an Angolan billionaire, investor and the richest woman in Africa.
She is the oldest daughter of Angola's president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos and she debuted on the Forbes 2013 list of the World's Billionaires with a fortune estimated at a minimum of $3 billion. This makes her Angola's first billionaire, 31st richest person in Africa and 736th billionaire in the world.

Forbes magazine recently investigated the partnership set up by Isabel dos Santos, through her husband Sindika Dokolo, and the Angolan state for the acquisition of the Swiss jeweller De Grisogono.
Over the last five years, while production remained fairly steady at the Catoca mine, international mining companies abandoned their operations. That trend is now starting to reverse.

Angola is also known for its significant gold and oil reserves.

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Picasso sells for $179.4 million

'Les femmes d`Alger' is the most expensive oil painting in auction history.
A Picasso oil painting from 1955 smashed the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction when it soared to $179.4 million at Christie's on May 12, 2015.

The record-setting Picasso was last auctioned in 1997, selling for $32m. Bidding started this time at $100m, with deep-pocketed collectors driving the price upward in $1m increments.
The most expensive work of art previously sold at auction had been Francis Bacon's triptych "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," which sold for $142.4 million at Christie's in November 2013.

Another Picasso, "Buste de femme (Femme a la resille)", made $67.4m.
Giacometti's 1947 sculpture, "L'homme au doigt" (Pointing man), set a world record for a sculpture, selling for $141.3 million, in line with the pre-sale estimate of about $130 million.

The previous record of $104.3 million had been held by Giacometti's "L'Homme qui marche I".




Element Financial Corporation - EFN.t

Element Financial Corporation - EFN.t is one of North America’s leading equipment finance companies.

Element operates across North America in four verticals of the equipment finance market – Commercial & Vendor Finance, Aviation Finance, Rail Finance and Fleet Management.

On June 29, 2015 the company released NEWS

Element to Acquire GE Capital’s Fleet Operations in the United States & Mexico and Australia & New Zealand for C$8.6 billion

Sale of GE Capital’s European fleet operations to Arval strengthens the Element-Arval Global Alliance

 Expected ~20% accretion to annual EPS based on fully annualized synergies in the range of US$ 90 million to US$ 95 million
 Related Arval transaction expands and strengthens the Element-Arval Global Alliance in Europe
 Senior credit line increased from US$2.0 billion to US$8.5 billion and extended for a three-year term
 Element’s total assets to increase to C$21 billion

Toronto, Canada – June 29, 2015 – Element Financial Corporation (TSX: EFN) (“Element” or the “Company”), one of North America’s leading fleet management and equipment finance companies, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with GE (NYSE:GE) to acquire GE Capital’s remaining North American fleet management operations in the US and Mexico, as well as GE Capital’s fleet management operations in Australia and New Zealand (the “Transaction) for an all-cash purchase price of C$8.6 billion. Element had previously acquired the Canadian operations of GE Capital’s North American fleet management business in June of 2013."