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Foreign investors pump N86bn into Dangote Cement

Dangote Industries Limited sold 2.3 per cent stake in Dangote Cement Plc to foreign investors on Tuesday in a stock market deal valued at N86.1bn ($236m).

Africa’s biggest cement maker has been selling small stakes to increase its free float, which is well below the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s required level.Reuters, on Tuesday, quoted a spokesman for the NSE as saying that 416 million shares of Dangote Cement were sold at N210 each in six off-market deals negotiated between Stanbic IBTC and Meristem Stockbrokers.The price was below Dangote Cement’s closing price on Monday of N223.75. Shares in the company, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, jumped after news of the share sale, closing up 7.3 per cent at N240, valuing the company at N4.09tn ($11.2bn).

A spokesman for the cement maker told Reuters that the deal was between Dangote Industries Limited and some foreign investors, whom he did not identify.The transaction increases Dangote Cement’s free float to 10.4 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters’ calculations, still well below a stock market requirement of 20 per cent.It is the biggest company on the NSE, accounting for a third of the bourse’s total market capitalisation, and when it listed in 2010 the bourse waived its free float requirement because it wanted to encourage more companies to list.It gave Dangote 18 months to reach the 20 per cent level, but a banking source said the company had still yet to meet its minimum float requirement as local investors disliked its high valuation and foreign investors had been deterred by a currency crisis in Nigeria.

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In 2013, Dangote Industries sold 1.5 per cent of its 95 per cent stake in Dangote Cement to South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation for $289.3m.Subsequently, it sold 1.4 per cent stake to Sovereign Fund Investment Corp of Dubai for $300m in 2014.Last week Dangote Cement reported a 24.6 per cent rise in half-year pre-tax profit to N155.58bn.

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