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Nigeria stock market records N254bn gain

The domestic equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange maintained its bullish performance on the back of sustained buying interest in DANGCEM (+2.3%), NESTLE (+6.0%) and SEPLAT (+6.1%) as market capitalisation increased by N253.7bn to close at N12.1tn.

Consequently, the All Share Index (ASI) rose 2.1% to 32,462.3 points while Year To Date gain improved to 3.2%.

Activity level also improved as volume and value traded for the day increased by 5.5% and 42.2% to 580.4m units and N8.0bn respectively.

The most traded stocks by volume were DIAMOND (125.8m units), ZENITH (63.2m units) and GUARANTY (57.1m units) while for the most traded stocks by value, GUARANTY (N2.2bn), ZENITH (N1.6bn) and DANGCEM (N1.5bn) were the top stocks.

Across sectors, performance remained bullish with 4 of 5 indices advancing. The Oil and Gas index gained the most, up 4.1% following price appreciation in SEPLAT (+6.2%) and OANDO (+7.1%).

The Consumer Goods and Banking indices trailed, up 4.0% and 1.3% respectively as investors rallied in NESTLE (+6.0%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.3%), UBN (+9.6%), and ETI (+3.2%).

Similarly, the Industrial Goods index advanced, albeit flattish, up 3bps due to gains in DANGCEM (+2.3%) and WAPCO(+4.2%). On the flip side, the Insurance index pared gains, down 0.2% due to profit taking in AIICO (-5.2%) and PRESTIGE (-3.9%).

Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth strengthened to 2.7x from 1.3x recorded the previous session consequent on 38 stocks advancing against 14 that declined. The top gainers for the day were JAIZ (+10.0%), LIVESTOCK (+10.0%) and DANGFLOUR (+10.0%) while REGALINS (-8.0%), UACPROP (-7.9%) and LASACO (-6.1%) led laggards.

Analyst at Afrinvest said: “In recent weeks, we have observed increased inflow into the domestic market despite the political risk. We believe concerns for post-election stability are beginning to moderate thus the increased appetite for cheap assets. Hence we expect the market to record gains in the near-term.”

Solar: Dubai Planning Large-Scale Solar Powered Hydrogen Production

Something you hear frequently if you are a clean tech aficionado is that excess solar and wind power can be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority broke ground in early February on a solar power hydrogen electrolysis facility located in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony, according to a report by Khaleej Times.

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Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO of DEWA, said at the groundbreaking ceremony the project is important to understanding the limits of green hydrogen technology and how it can contribute to the UAE’s vision of clean energy. “This pioneering project is a role model for strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors. It will contribute to developing the green economy concept in the UAE and explore the potential of green hydrogen technology. The hydrogen produced at the facility will be stored and deployed for re-electrification, transportation and other uses.”

Siemens is providing much of the technology that will be used at the demonstration facility. Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens, said the UAE was the perfect location for Siemens to test the technology. One of the primary uses of the hydrogen produced will be to power Dubai’s public transportation system.

“We are aware of the stress that is placed on vehicles in this region due to the high levels of heat; with hydrogen cells, you are not putting as much strain on the vehicle and that improves its longevity,” Kaeser said. “However, this is only the first step and we are eager to explore more ways in which we can adapt the technology to other sectors. The interest from various companies and partners has been immense and we are eager to work with all interested parties.”

“Dewa, Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens are working together to help realize His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s, vision to identify new energy resources and provide sustainable power as part of a balanced approach that prioritizes the environment. Our aim is to make Dubai a model of energy efficiency and safety,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

Expo 2020 Dubai intends to use the hydrogen generated at the facility to transport visitors to the Expo 2020 Dubai and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles. Live data of the green hydrogen electrolysis will be displayed at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Over 450,000 Nigerians trained by ITF in 2 years

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said it has trained over 450,000 Nigerians who are today earning sustainable livelihoods as paid employees, or entrepreneurs, a little over two years since it established a six-year plan tagged; the ‘ITF Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualisation.’

The ITF Director General, Joseph Ntung Ari who made the revelation at a press briefing at Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Secretariat in Jos, stated that the plan which was unveiled in 2016 was divided into quick wins, short, medium and long-term goals and is expected to terminate in 2022.

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Ari said “the overriding objectives of the plan was to accelerate the impartation of technical vocational skills to Nigerians, aggressively address service challenges, tackle infrastructural deficits, expand revenue generation and a gamut of other structures hamstringing the actualisation of the Fund’s mandate.”

He said to ensure its achievement; the ITF had expanded existing skills acquisition programmes and introduced new ones such as the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Training on Wheels, the construction Skills Empowerment Programme, the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for Physically Challenged among others.

The DG however said despite all the efforts, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Report of the 3rd quarter of 2018 revealed that just as the number of the economically active or working age (15-64 years) grew from 110.3 million to 111.1 million, the number of the unemployed equally appreciated from 11.92 million in the first quarter to 13.55 and 15.99 in the second and third quarters.

“This is despite the fact that a Skills Gap Assessment in six priority sectors of the Nigerian economy which was conducted by the ITF in conjunction with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation that was presented to stakeholders in April 2018 showed that although vacancies existed in all sectors surveyed, they were being filled by persons other than Nigerians because of the lack of requisite skills,” he said.

Most amazing places to visit in Africa

With its expansive landscapes and formidable animal life, the world’s second-biggest continent is arguably the best for photographers.
Throw in that sense of being in a place that hasn’t changed for centuries, and sometimes millennia, and you get some of the most inspiring, and inspired, destinations on the planet.
Here are 25 of the most amazing places to see when you travel to Africa:

1. The great migration, Tanzania

A photo won’t capture the thunder of hooves on dirt as more than a million wildebeest and several hundred thousand zebra make their annual migration, but still, this is one for the top of the pile.
The migration is actually a year-round event as the animals move from Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Reserve in January, up through the Serengeti around June and hit Kenya’s Masai Mara around September, before journeying south again.

2. Table Mountain, South Africa

Table Mountain makes Cape Town, one of the world’s best beach cities, also one of the world’s most photogenic.
Cable car rides are available to the top of the mesa, giving great views, fantastic sunrises/sunsets and a great photo. Challenge: Try to limit yourself to 50 pics.

3. Djemaa el Fna, Morocco

The world’s most exciting town square, Djemaa el Fna reminds you you’re in Africa. In the heart of the old city of Marrakech, snake-charmers, henna-painters, storytellers, date-sellers and orange juice vendors set up their stalls in the sleepy heat of the afternoon.
As night falls, the vendors are joined by tribal drummers, ladyboy dancers and mobile restaurateurs selling delicious grilled meats, bread and salad as the smoke rises above their stalls ’til past midnight.

4. Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia

Sossusvlei means “the gathering place of water” but you’ll need to bring your own if you don’t want to dehydrate at this, Namibia’s most outstanding attraction.
The dunes have developed over millions of years, the result of material flowing from the Orange River into the Atlantic, carried north and returned again to land by the surf.
Climbing the dunes yields breathtaking views, including the Deadvlei, a ghostly expanse of dried, white clay punctuated by skeletons of ancient camelthorn trees.

5. Mountain gorillas, Rwanda

A close encounter with the mountain gorillas of the Rwandan rainforest will stay with you for a lifetime. Various operators run tours tracking silverbacks and their troupes in the dense forest.
At an elevation of more than 6,000 feet, the Nyungwe National Park is an isolated region, covering more than 386 square miles across southwest Rwanda. Tourists can meet a vast range of primates and also traverse East Africa’s highest canopy.

6. Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Take a 60 second vacation to Victoria Falls – the world’s largest waterfalls and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, located in Southern Africa.
One of the world’s most majestic water spectacles, Victoria Falls (also called Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “The Cloud That Thunders) — were reportedly first seen by a European when Scotsman David Livingstone journeyed here in 1855.
Since then thousands have enjoyed the spray from the 108-meter high cascade, which was once recorded flowing at 12,800 cubic meters per second — double that of Niagara’s highest flow.

7. Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Namibia’s deserts are so fascinating that another attraction deserves mention in this list.
The Spitzkoppe is a grouping of granite peaks in Namibia’s Namib Desert, with the highest peak hitting nearly 1,800 meters (about 5,900 feet). This place is heaven for climbers, geologists, stargazers and watchers of weaver birds.

8. Sahara Dunes, Morocco

The most user-friendly part of the Sahara is accessible from the northern edge of Morocco. You can trek with Berbers from the town of Zagoura, or camp out in Tazzarine, where runners from all over the world complete the weeklong Marathon des Sables every spring.
The foot of the Merzouga Dunes is the ultimate location for gazing at stars, totally free of light pollution.

9. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The most famous of the structures at Giza, near Cairo, the Pyramid of King Cheops was built around 2650 BC from 2.5 million blocks of limestone. Its sides are oriented exactly to the north, south, east and west.
The Chephren pyramid, built by Cheops’ son, is similar in size and incorporates the entrances to a burial chamber that still contains the large granite sarcophagus of King Chephren.
The pyramid of Mycerinus is smaller than both and all three are surrounded by other smaller pyramids and dozens of tombs.

10. Nyika Plateau National Park, Malawi

Nyika, the largest national park in Malawi, is one of the most unusual in Africa, with a plateau cut by numerous rivers that reach Lake Malawi by way of waterfalls off the eastern edge of the mountains.
The eastern border of the plateau forms the wall of the Great Rift Valley. The great domes of hills have gentle slopes, making Nyika perfect for both trekking and mountain biking as well as Jeep exploration.
Antelope and zebra abound, and the park has one of the highest densities of leopard in Central Africa.

11. Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

It’s said you can hear your own blood flow in this vast area of dried-up salt pans in the Kalahari Desert, a forbidding landscape formed by a huge lake that dried up millennia ago.
But it can transform in an instant during winter, if rains have been good enough to make lush grass sprout, bringing a stampede of wildlife to break the silence, including zebra, wildebeest and flamingos.

12. Draa Valley, Morocco

Between the Atlas Mountains and the dunes of the Sahara lies one of Morocco’s most splendid and rewarding landscapes: the Draa, a mass of date plantations punctuated by kasbahs made of rammed red earth rising against the sky.
Zagora, at the southern end, makes a good base with decent hotels and restaurants. Allow five hours to reach the Draa from Marrakech via a spectacular route across the Atlas Mountains — it’s best not to self-drive.
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13. Sphinx, Egypt

This colossal temple is on the way down to Egypt’s Valley Temple of King Chefren. The body of a lion with a human head is 70 meters long and 20 meters high — as tall as a six-story apartment block.
Although the Sphinx has been thought of as female, many scholars believe the face is that of King Chefren.

14. Mount Mulanje, Malawi

At around 3,000 meters (about 9,850 feet), the Mulanje Massif dwarfs the lush land that surrounds it. It’s split in two by the Fort Lister Gap, a broad pass eroded by the Phalombe and Sombani rivers.
The mountain is distinguished by giant basins of rock and narrow gullies cut by fast-flowing streams. A strenuous trek leads to magnificent viewpoints.
En route, expect to encounter monkeys, hares, voles and a carpet of enchanting wildflowers after the rain. Large numbers of butterflies are another feature.

15. Riding safari, Kenya

The best way to experience Kenya’s zebras? From the back of a horse. Travelers can gallop alongside the stripey beasts in the Masai Mara, covering up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) in a week.

16. Wonders of the Nile, Egypt

A cruise down the Egyptian Nile, ideally on a romantic felucca rather than a crowded tourist boat, reveals relics of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations.
The high point is the Valley of the Kings, with its monumental statues, and the magnificent Kom Ombo Temple, north of Aswan on the east bank.

17. Flamingos, Kenya

Lake Nakuru National Park is home to 1 million resident flamingos, providing one of Kenya’s most unforgettable sights. This lake has become famous for the greatest bird spectacle in the world, with swathes of vibrant pink filling the alkaline lake and the huge sky.

18. Lower Zambezi, Zambia

Canoeing safaris in the Lower Zambezi offer sightings of hippos, elephants and other animals drinking from the rivers and tributaries around camp.
People who love to fish can also be accommodated at various of the camps and lodges on the banks of the river.

19. Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

The 10-minute helicopter ride across the Bazaruto Archipelago to the Azura Retreats lodge on Benguerra Island is worth it in its own right. The destination is the icing on the cake.
This award-winning boutique hotel set on a remote desert island is set within a Marine National Park, giving the chance to see whales, dolphins and dugong.

20. Nxia Pan National Park, Botswana

The Baines baobabs that sit close to the entrance of Botswana’s Nxai Pan National Park take their name from a series of watercolors by Victorian explorer and artist Thomas Baines. Their fruit apparently tastes a little like sherbet.
The Nxai Pan park is great for viewing the vast, salt-rich pans that characterize the Kalahari and is also known for lion, leopard and cheetah and unusually large herds of giraffe.

21. Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Namibia is the travel gift that keeps on giving. Some 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep and more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) long, this great rift is second only to the United States’ Grand Canyon in size, and during the dry season is characterized by beautiful turquoise pools of seasonally flowing water stretching into the distance.

22. Rhinos at Solio Reserve, Kenya

Located in the valley between the dramatic slopes of Mount Kenya and the rolling peaks of the Aberdare Mountains, Solio Reserve is home to around 250 black and white rhino and considered the best place to see these increasingly rare species.

23. Nyiragongo Volcano, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

A whopping 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide and usually containing a lava lake, Nyiragongo Volcano is one of Africa’s most active volcanoes, with an eruption in 2002 displacing half a million people.

24. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), is Africa’s highest peak — and an item on thousands of bucket lists. It is a “Sky island,” creating a varied and dramatic natural habitat.

Rising through lush rainforests and alpine meadows, climbers finally cross a barren lunar landscape to reach the twin summit, often above the clouds.

25. Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi, one of the largest lakes in the world, was dubbed “Lake of Stars” by Dr. David Livingstone, who trekked here a century and a half ago.
The lake has more tropical fish than any lake in the world — 1,300 species — and the freshwater diving is great.
The biodiversity has been recognized by UNESCO, which has made Lake Malawi National Park, the world’s first freshwater park, a World Heritage Site.
Source: CNN

Top 5 Valentine’s Day Getaways in America

Valentine’s Day is one of the sweetest holidays of the year…both figuratively and literally It’s the second-biggest candy holiday of the year, second only to Easter. And candy sales for Valentine’s Day are approaching $3 billion. America loves this holiday. And Americans love to have fun on this day.  To treat themselves to special foods and flowers and fragrances and feasts. It’s a day – or, at least an evening – that we can all take a deep breath, decompress, and honor a beautiful tradition. And here are five great places to do it…

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#5 – ROANOKE/VIRGINIA’S BLUE RIDGE – From the beautifully-preserved historic buildings in downtown Roanoke – now filled with interesting restaurants and galleries – to the surrounding ethereal beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this region is special on Valentine’s  Day. The views of city and mountains here are memorable, making for a beautiful V-Day to start with. And it only gets better. The region actually offers then great places to propose (and what better time to do it than Valentine’s Day?), among them the Mill Mountain Star, an 85′-tall man-made star of neon tubing that lights up at night, or McAfee Knob, a ledge which juts out over some of the most famous scenery in America. At the base of Mill Mountain is The River and Rail, one of Roanoke’s best-loved restaurants…with good reason. Or you might enjoy a feast (and a room!) at the Hotel Roanoke, an historic local institution with Old South ambience and elegant dining. This region is one of the burgeoning wine centers in America, as well, and a drive down the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway will lead you and your sweetheart to Chateau Morrisette Winery, where the cuisine is just as wonderful as the wines. Also, Big Lick Brewery is holding a Big Lick Valentine’s Beer Dinner, putting a new twist on an old holiday. For another new twist,  you can celebrate at a production of “My Fatal Valentine – Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre,” at Mountain View Center. But, really, anywhere you celebrate Valentine’s Day in Roanoke/Virginia’s Blue Ridge, you’ll be celebrating it amongst beautiful, dream-like scenery.

#4 – LATIGO RANCH, KREMMLING, COLORADO – Situated in the Arapaho National Forest, in the Colorado Rockies, Latigo Ranch offers a different type of Valentine’s Day experience. This is the real McCoy – an authentic, family-owned ranch with 75-mile views reaching out to the Continental Divide, which has been called one of the Top 50 ranches in the world. Here, they celebrate Valentine’s Day Western-style! For example, while the surroundings are Western, the cuisine is gourmet. And on Valentine’s night, you might be served grass-fed ribeye filet, Colorado lamb chops, or Bison Flank Steak Roulade, each surrounded by gourmet sauces and sides and garnishes. Before dinner you may want  to grab a glass of fine wine from the lodge, and watch a spectacular Rocky Mountain sunset with your Valentine from the deck, with frosty views of some of the most beautiful country in North America. Or, you might decide to celebrate the day inside your cabin, with a roaring fire in the hearth and a great bottle of wine. At Latigo Ranch, you can choose an active Valentine’s Day, too, with cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on over 50 miles of sparkling virgin snow trails. So…grab your favorite cowboy or cowgirl and git along, Lil’ Doggie, to Latigo Ranch!

#3 – NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – While Nashville is, of course, the country-music capital of the world, the city has a definite romantic side to it, as well (along with definite culinary, cultural, and historic sides!). A walk down Broadway, especially on a weekend night, is like no other in America; the street is lined with colorful Country honky-tonks, with great music and joyful laughter coming out of every doorway. And Broadway – all of Nashville, in fact – lights up with a special glow on Valentine’s Day. In fact, named Nashville the most romantic city in America. Several of the city’s top hotels are offering romantic packages for Valentine’s weekend, among them the “Be My Valentine” package at Thompson Nashville and “In Love In Nashville” at iconic Union Station, once an historic train terminal and now one of the city’s great hotels. The highly-regarded Adele’s Nashville Restaurant will be among those offering romantic packages for the weekend. You might check out The Bluebird Café’s “An Evening of Romance,” and you should probably also consider a romantic “Valentine’s Evening Cruise” on the General Jackson Showboat. Special events include all types of cooking classes; “Valentine’s Chocolate and Craft Beer” at the  Tennessee Brew Works; “Valentine’s Wine On the  Rails” at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum; and “Cupid’s Crawl,” a Valentine’s Day bar crawl. And, of course, that wonderful music coming from the live bands all along Broadway.

#2 – SUN VALLEY RESORT, SUN VALLEY, IDAHO – When Sun Valley Resort opened its doors in 1936, it became the first destination-resort in America. And within a year or two of that opening, it was hosting Hollywood celebrities like Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Ingrid Bergman, Claudette Colbert, Tyrone Power, Jane Russell, Van Johnson, Ray Milland, industrial titans such as Henry Ford, and kings, queens, prime ministers and Presidents. This place oozes romance, from its world-class facilities and its magnificent mountain surroundings…especially in winter, when the snow gives the town of Sun Valley a warm, intimate glow. You can start off your Valentine’s weekend here with a couples massage in the luxurious spa, with a $50 voucher to help you out. For Valentine’s Day, the resort is offering specials such as the Simply Suite Experience, with a couples massage, glasses of champagne and a sweet treat; or the Couples Suite Retreat Experience, including massages, lunch, and a gift to take back home. Valentine’s weekend will also feature a special five-course dinner and complementary glass of wine at the Roundhouse, at a breathtaking 7,700 feet with views you’ll never forget. Also, Gretchen’s Restaurant will be offering V-Day specials such as Crab Tagliatelle and Chocolate Fondue. And, for the perfect romantic touch, the Opera House will be having a special showing of “Love Actually” on the big day.

#1 – ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO –Albuquerque’s sort of romantic to begin with, with unique terrain, textures and colors you can’t find anywhere else in America. The downtown is a colorful mix of Western and beautifully-preserved Art Deco buildings. There are beautiful – and very unique – hotels such as Andaluz, a local landmark built by Conrad Hilton in 1939, with a lobby and restaurant and private entertainment rooms downstairs that seem more like you’re in Morocco than in New Mexico, and a whimsical mixture of Deco and Retro in the guest rooms upstairs. There’s another hotel, however, that emphasizes that you’re in New Mexico. That would be Nativo Lodge, perhaps America’s most unusual hotel, with Native American artwork displayed in brilliant colors on the walls – not hanging from the walls, but actually painted on the walls! – and ceilings. And, of course, an Albuquerque sunset is magical, with a burnt-orange ball sinking into a horizon behind purple-tinted mountains. Albuquerque being the hot-air balloon capital of the world, it’s appropriate to have a Valentine’s Day fest called the “2019 Friends & Lovers Balloon Rally.” Pueblo Harvest Restaurant celebrates Valentine’s Day with unique dishes with ingredients used by Native-Americans before European contact, and pairs them with special wines in its “Pre-Contact Valentine Wine Pairing Dinner.” Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, by the Rio Grande River, has a special Valentine’s Day package that includes dinner and special wine pairings at the excellent farm-to-table Campo Restaurant, turn-down treats from the Campo bakery, and your choice of couples yoga or a tour of the wonderful farm on the premises. At an intimate venue called Tablao Flamenco, you can pair authentic Spanish cuisine with the color and the passion of the flamenco dancers and musicians for a romantic Valentine’s Day, Spanish-style. And if you’re in the mood for a romantic stroll with your partner, take it in the Nob Hill neighborhood, filled with funky, colorful shops and very cool eateries such as Zacatecas, a colorful swirl of Mexican art and folklore, with amazing specialty drinks and some of the best-tasting Mexican food you’ll ever experience.

Source: World property journal

London is topping the list for commercial real estate investment in the world

London is still the world’s top destination for investment in commercial real estate despite ongoing uncertainty about Brexit, well above both Manhattan and Paris, the next two biggest markets, new research shows.

Some £16.2 billion was invested in central London’s commercial offices in 2018 compared with £14.3 billion in Manhattan, £12.1 billion in Paris and £8.4 billion in Hong Kong, according to the analysis report from international real estate firm Knight Frank.

It also reveals, that while total investment volumes for central London were down slightly on 2017, the average deal size rose to an all-time high of £81.5 million in 2018 and it is predicted that there could be investment of £40 billion this year.

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Greater China remains the largest source of investment in central London real estate, despite new capital restrictions imposed this year, accounting for £3.48 billion in 2018 and 21% of all investment in central London offices last year.

The firm points out that although Greater China remains London’s biggest source of capital, the total volume of investment from the region was down 51% on 2017, when central London saw a record £7.12 billion invested into commercial offices from Chinese investors.

But 2018 saw South Korea significantly increase its investment in central London, with £2.56 billion invested in the capital, an eight fold increase on the £300 million invested in 2017 while investment from the Far East as a whole accounted for 47% or £7.67 billion of all investment in central London offices in 2018.

However, Greater China is still expected to be the biggest potential investor in London this year with £10 billion, or 25% of the total investment projected for 2019.

‘Whilst demand from Greater China has reduced, they were still very active in 2018. The reduction is also partly countered by increases in demand from Singapore and Japan, and interestingly the tracker shows an increase in domestic demand this year. Domestic demand is often the first to react to improvements in occupier market trends,’ he added.

According to William Beardmore-Gray, head of central London at Knight Frank, it is the most attractive city in the world for long term investment as it has proved its ability to adapt to meet the demands of the modern global economy.

‘Big banks like Deutsche, tech giants like Apple and Facebook and life sciences groups like GSK are the heartbeat of our capital. The growth in co-working space is a positive sign of London’s dynamism and the vitality of the creative economy. London’s resilience and reputation as a safe haven for investment, despite Brexit, is remarkable,’ he said.

‘We see further positive transformation in the pipeline, as London is set to become a centre of scientific research and development and will draw capital from new investors unknown to the market before. London’s potential continues to grow, with new sub-markets emerging in Nine Elms, Stratford and White City,’ he explained.

He believes that while leaving the European Union will be difficult, as long as London has fantastic infrastructure and places, great institutions and security, excellence in education and an abundance of talent, property occupiers and investors will continue to flock here from across the globe.

Chad to construct 120MW solar photovoltaic (PV)

The government of Chad has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with – UAE-based AMEA Power to develop a 120MW solar photovoltaic (PV) in the country.

The MoU which was signed  by AMEA’s chairman Hussain Nowais and Chad’s minister of petroleum and energy Mahamat Hamid Koua indicated that the solar project will be  located near N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, the PV park will be installed in two phases and will provide electricity to state-owned utility Societe Nationale d’Électricite (SNE).

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Lack of enough electricity has been a major drawback to Chad’s economy and more so the construction industry. A study conducted by the U.S Agency for international development showed that the Chad’s generation capacity stands at 125MW mostly being diesel and heavy fuel oil which are environmentally unfriendly.

On average, Chads electricity consumption rate stands at 200 million kWh every year. Over 90% of the population is yet to be connected with electricity. Statistically, it has one of the poorest electrification rates across the world. The solar project is set to change the tabs upon completion as its estimated to triple the country’s generation capacity.

Moreover, the government had also signed another agreement with Almaden Emirates Fortune Power LLC, a UAE based company for additional energy projects. The deal will see the development of a solar park with a capacity to generate over 200 MW. NewSolar Invest, Arborescence Capital and engineering group CIEC Monaco have also partnered in a 32MW production project. N’Djamena will be the main beneficiary of the project

Source: Constructionreviewonline



Singapore is helping to build a city in China for up to 500,000 people

Singapore was China’s largest foreign investor in 2018 — and it was for the sixth consecutive year, according to the city state’s trade ministry.

One major investment boost came from the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, a sprawling project that will convert farmlands into a sustainable urban development expected to eventually be home to half a million people.

The project is a 50-50 joint venture between Singapore-government backed, Ascendas-Singbridge and China’s Guangzhou Development District Administrative Committee.

CNBC visited the site which began construction about five years ago and is now has a number of half-built high-rise buildings against a silhouette of cranes. It’s located some 45 minutes by car from the Guangzhou, the third largest city in China, which recently connected its massive rail network to Knowledge City’s new trains.

The first phase of the knowledge city has just been launched. It was built for about 80,000 people living and working across slightly more than two square miles, and in this phase alone, there will be18 schools.

When completed, Knowledge City could eventually cover an area that’s nearly 50 square miles — almost the size of Pittsburgh city in Pennsylvania.

It’s now relocating farmers to high-rise buildings within the area and encouraging new companies to hire and retrain them.

By converting farmlands into a modern city, the governments hope to both create an economic hub for commerce and research while also creating a model that could eventually be applied to rural areas elsewhere in China and beyond, said Nee Pai Chee, vice president Singbridge International.

“Small is beauty,” Nee told CNBC at the Knowledge City visitor center. At a micro-level, Singapore does have its experience of how to manage, maybe, a mid-size or small-size city, so I think we can offer some of our experience to China.”

The project hopes to attract some of Singapore’s tech talent who are eager to tap into a bigger market.

Knowledge City is adding incentives such as subsidies and free office space to attract companies from Singapore and beyond, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies that meet its criteria. The developers are also offering to pay for things like public listing applications and are providing IPO coaching and legal assistance.

But how can this once-rural area and still mostly-vacant city, appeal to young tech talent who tend to flock to skyscraper hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen or Guangzhou?

Nee said he often tells young talents coming to the southern part of China or The Bay Area that they will be “well looked after by us,” as well as Enterprise Singapore — a government-backed agency that hopes to grow Singaporean companies both at home and abroad.

Singapore has a long history of collaboration with China. The Suzhou Industrial Park in 1994 and Tianjin Eco-City in 2008 are both still running.

Source: CNBC

Godwin Obaseki flags off Ihievbe-Ogbe road construction in Edo state

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has flagged off reconstruction of the 16.2km Ihievbe-Ogbe road in Owan East Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

Obaseki who disclosed this during his visit to the area, said  the project would be completed in 15 months while more  projects will be executed in the area.

The 16.2km Ihievbe-Ogbe Road cuts across Ihievbe, Ogbe-Ihievbe, Warrake communities in Owan East LGA and Egeuno community in Etsako West local government.

“I promised to rehabilitate the road during my electioneering campaign in 2016 and I am here to fulfill that promise. We have finished the design of the Afuze-Erah Road and the reconstruction will commence soon. My goal is to connect all communities in Owan,” he said.

On his part, the Commissioner for Infrastructure,  Osahon Amiolemen, explained that the reconstruction of Ihievbe-Ogbe Road was initially captured in 2018 but challenges of under-scoping and funding caused the  delay.

“The road is 16.2km, and will be asphalted and have concrete drains. The road is being constructed to bring hope to the people of this locality.”

Speaking on behalf of the royal father and palace chiefs, the Ogie of Ivbiaro, Salufu Elabor, commended the governor for his developmental projects in the local government area.

The traditional ruler appealed to the governor to assists in constructing Uokha-Ohanmi-Arokho, Afuze-Erah, and Ivbiaro-Warrake roads to reduce the hardship faced by the people.

Pay more attention to potholes-Mustapha Baba Shehuri

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has directed the contractor handling the rehabilitation on the Ninth Mile-Orokam Road in Enugu State to pay more attention on the pothole-riddled sections of the road.

Shehuri spoke while inspecting federal highways projects in Enugu and Anambra states.

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Speaking with the Project Manager of Messrs RCC (Nigeria) Limited, Engr. Harel Vaknin, at the road rehabilitation site, the minister directed that further palliative measures should be provided immediately to ensure that the rough portions of the road were completely rehabilitated to ease the suffering of road users.

While commending the contractor on the pace of work, Shehuri called for more proactive measures before the rainy season set in.

The minister also inspected the ongoing rehabilitation of the outstanding section of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway in Enugu State, where he assured the contractor that funds would be made available when the necessary processes were completed.

He enjoined the contractor to speed up the work in order to deliver the projects on time.

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