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Maghreb Confidential (2009)

  1. 1. Published in English and in French since 1990 Weekly MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL POLITICAL AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE IN N O R T H A F R I C A N°894 Paris, September 24 2009 ALGERIA Sanitation: Sellal Calls on U.S. Firms The Algerian government appears intent on opening up its water purification and sanitation market to wider competition. The market is presently dominated Algeria's "Blue Plan" by three operators, OTV France (Suez group), Passavant Impianti (Italy) and the Between 2010 and 2014 Algeria's water Austrian/Indian concern Wabag. The local authorities believe the three haven’t resources ministry plans to invest USD had to face enough competition from other groups specializing in the treatment 19 billion in developing the sector. Seven contracts for the construction of water pu- of waste water and take too long in completing the projects awarded to them. rification plants and sewer networks are to An example regularly cited by local experts: the constant postponement of the be awarded before the end of this year, at delivery of a station at Bouira to serve over 150,000 people (more than a year be- Ferdjioua (for the city of Ain Beida, 80,000 hind schedule after three successive changes of Algerian partners) in a program inhabitants, USD 25 million); Zeghaia (Oued headed by Passavant. It can be said in the defense of foreign companies, which Endja, 38,000 population, USD 15 million), often use locally-based Chinese civil engineering concerns, that they have to Rouached (19,000 pop., USD 12 million); contend with a lot bureaucracy and a weak banking system. Bougherdaine (7,500 pop., USD 10 million), Ain M'Lila (117,000 pop., USD 30 million), As a result, the Algerian water resources ministry headed by Abdelmalek Sellal Aflou (122,500 pop., USD 35 million) and wants to see newcomers on the market. With that in mind, and also to profit from Biskra (7,500 inhab., USD 10 million). the transfer of more advanced technology, he has approached the U.S. Com- merce Department and has called on American firms to take advantage of major A Key 1st Quarter 2010 In the first quarter of next year, eight other opportunities in the sector in Algeria. To be sure, over USD 350 million worth of invitations to tender are to be issued, in- contracts are to shortly be awarded (see opposite). In July, the person in charge of cluding three major projects that are to be trade at the U.S. embassy in Algiers, Kamal Achab, organized a visit by U.S. green managed directly by the Office National technology companies to Algeria. And in October, six Algerian officials, including de l’Assainissement (ONA, run by Karim aides from the Office National de l’Assainissement will visit Los Angeles, Las Hasni). These are projects for a water treat- Vegas, Orlando and Washington on a tour of clean-up sites organized by the U.S. ment plant and sewer in Bou Ismail (150,000 Trade Development Agency with the firm BCIU. To ease the way for new busi- population, USD 27 million), Beni Mered ness with the Americans, the Algerians even agreed to draft tender documents (350,000 pop., USD 55 million) and Akbou (180,000 pop., USD 30 million). The five oth- in English with American specifications and to receive bids in English. American er competitions involve contracts worth USD firms have four months to respond to calls for bids. Algeria’s new approach seems 106 million and concern the urban areas of to spark worry among local branches of big groups operating on the market : Frenda (75,000 inhabitants), Zighoud Youcef Degremont (a Suez subsidiary) in Algiers and AGBAR/Aquas de Barcelona (also (50,000) and Mohammadia (100,000), Sidi owned by Suez) in Oran. Aissa (90,000) and Khenchela (75,000). RABAT PARIS PARIS RABAT NOUAKCHOTT PARIS Mohammed VI may -, or may not - be Roger Karoutchi was initially ap- Lyes Ben Chedli, a Tunisian lobbyist planning to visit Paris. Is Morocco’s king giving proached about taking over as French working in Paris, is still keeping a close eye on Nicolas Sarkozy the cold shoulder? The palace ambassador to Rabat from Jean-Francois issues related to Mauritania and has been work- in Rabat is still refusing to set a date for the king’s Thibault, according to our sources. But the ing in recent weeks to prepare a visit to France by trip to Paris even though the French foreign post has instead gone to Bruno Joubert, Mauritanian president Mohamed Ould Abdel ministry has been working “with the Moroccan the Africa adviser at the Elysee palace and Aziz. The latter is expected in the French capital authorities” on the question since the end of former head of strategy at DGSE. Karoutchi, in October and will be received for an hour by August. The difficulty in getting the ball rolling an ex- state secretary in charge of relations Nicolas Sarkozy. In June Ben Chedli travelled brings to mind the indefinite postponement of with parliament, preferred to remain in Paris back and forth to Nouakchott with Patrick a visit to France by Algerian president Abdelaziz where he was named France’s permanent Balkany, a close friend of the French president, Bouteflika after his re-election in April. ambassador to OECD this summer. and the mining oligarch Patokh Chodiev.
  2. 2. Business Networks MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL MPC Prokim, a Tunisian concern that forms MOROCCO part of Tarek Cherif’s Alliance group, is making preparations to float on the Tunis stock exchange in 2011. Formed out of a merger between Prokim Delattre Levivier Targets Niger Market and the Manufacture de Produits Chimiques in The Franco-Moroccan group Delattre interested in a refinery in Cameroon and 2007, MPC Prokim specializes in the production of Levivier Maroc (DLM) is focusing its sights opened a branch in Senegal early this year basic plastic goods, glue and gelatine products. particularly on Niger. The company, which to oversee construction of the cement works CFE, a Belgian construction company that is specializes in metal-framed construction, Ciments du Sahel. 45% owned by Vinci, has just opened a Tunisian wants to take part in building a uranium mine DLM works elsewhere on African mar- affiliate. Construction Management Tunisie will at Imouraren in northern Niger for Areva. kets, which accounted for 40% of its sales specialize in technical surveys and the develop- DLM hopes to wind up negotiations for the of EUR 50 million in 2008. The company ment, supervision and management of projects. work by early next year. The logistic side of built an oil rig in Jorf Lasfar for Perenco, CFE already takes part in work on Bizerte Cap 3000, the project is specially problematic as the which operates in Congo-Brazzaville. a project for a marina for yachts headed by Kais mine is located in an area difficult to reach. To DLM is 56% owned by Jean-Claude and Guiga and Moez Ben Zid (MC N°882). ship equipment, DLM hopes that its presence Francoise Bouveur, both personally and in Senegal will work to its advantage. The firm through the Sicea Holding company. The Vae Solis, a Paris-based communications is also in talks with France’s Vergnet, which Moroccan textile firm Softgroup headed and lobbying consultancy, has a new customer: won a EUR 210 million contract to deliver by Mohammed Kabbaj owns a 14.8% Young Mediterranean Leaders, an association 120 windmills to Ethiopia. DLM is equally holding. run by Hakim El Karoui and Jerome Cohen. The founder of Vae Solis, Arnaud Dupui-Casteres, is no stranger to El Karoui. Both served as advisers ALGERIA to former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, and the agency already works for Club XXIe Siecle founded by El Karoui. Elsewhere, the Frigates: Italians Back in the Running consultancy counts Serenus Conseil among its The Italians were thought to have been However, Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi partners. Serenus works in Morocco and Tunis edged out of the race to supply the Alge- decided to take up the matter. In late August, and is supervised by Ali Belhaj, a Moroccan rian Navy with frigates. But that may no after a meeting in Algiers in July between politician (P. 4) longer be the case. Since the beginning Italian defense minister Ignazio La Russa and of the procurement process last year, major general Abdelmalek Guenaizia ended Repsol is in the home stretch for a contract Fincantieri never actually submitted a in stalemate, Berlusconi had a word with to develop the Reggane gas field in Algeria. The bid, and this despite being asked to do Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Spanish company is putting the final touches to so twice by an Algerian committee in Tripoli on the eve of celebrations marking an application it will submit in coming weeks to the summer of 2008. It thus appeared Muammar Kadhafi’s 40 years in office. The Algeria's Agence Nationale de Valorisation des the contest was between BAE Systems Italian premier managed to persuade the Ressources en Hydrocarbures (ALNAFT). On the in Britain (Type 23 frigate), Germany’s Algerian leader, with whom he has friendly strength of the report Repsol hopes to win a green ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS, relations, to allow Fincantieri back into the light to work the field estimated to house 100 with strong lobbying by chancellor An- race. On Sept. 12, an Algerian delegation billion cu.m. Regghane’s gas, with that of Touat gela Merkel early this year), and France’s flew to Genoa to visit the yard where the (GDF Suez), Timimoune (Total) and Hassi Mouina DCNS, with its FREMM multi-role frigates). Italian version of FREMM is being built (it (Statoil) will form part of a new gas hub that is The three yards submitted their bids and has retained the vessel’s multi-role function, currently taking shape in south-east Algeria. GDF are waiting for Algiers to enter into exclu- see P. 4). But Fincantieri still hasn’t put in an Suez has already won ALNAFT’s blessings for the sive negotiations with one of them. official bid. Touat field and Total is waiting for a go-ahead from the authorities for that of Timimoune. Dubai Holding, which is owned by the A Head Falls at Diamal emir of Dubai, Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Serge Gurvil is clearing out his desk. president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and prime is setting up shop on the Moroccan market. Its unit The managing director of the Diamal car minister Ahmed Ouyahia. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts has signed an agree- dealership will shortly be replaced by Pierre Like other automobile importers, CFAO ment to build a luxury hotel complex in Marrakech. Labbe, according to our sources. Labbe is is having to cope with difficult business Work will be carried out by SGTM Immobilier, a highly knowledgeable about the Algerian conditions in Algeria. Additional clauses firm owned by Mohamed and Ahmed Kabbaj. market as he currently heads Bavaria Mo- in the 2009 budget which outlawed The complex is due to open in 2013. tors, importer of BMW and Mini in Algeria household loans (mainly used to buy FLSmith, a Danish firm that builds equip- Bavaria Motors, like Diamal, is an affiliate cars) will combine on Oct. 1 with a ban ment for cement works and quarries, has won a of CFAO from the Pinault Printemps Re- on unloading automobiles in the port of EUR 45 million contract in Libya. It will equip the doute group. The change at top in Diamal Algiers. Starting from that date, the cars Al Burg cement works owned by the Arab Union follows the Algerian media’s publication of will need to be unloaded at Mostaganem Contracting Co., a state-owned concern whose in-house reports at Diamal in which Gurvil (270 km from Algiers), Djen-Djen (250 renovation is being done by India’s SSBIL. made some unkind remarks about Algerian km) or at Ghazaouet (470 km). 2 N°894 Paris, September 24 2009 Every day:
  3. 3. Business Networks MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL TUNISIA Au Wai Kwan (Hong Kong/Tunisia) The financial group Teletrade Dow Jones, set up in Hong Kong by Au Wai Kwan in 1994, has Promotion for El Materi’s Daughter inaugurated an affiliate in Tunisia. It is headed by Amine Sifi, the firm’s Africa and Middle East Up to now development director in the Saidalya, the first pharmaceuticals fair in director. Specializes in foreign exchange opera- Adwya group’s pharmaceutical laborato- the country that was organized by A-Z tions, Teletrade will work in Tunisia as an adviser ries, the youngest daughter of the group’s Communication (run by Riadh Azaiez). to corporations and see to the training of traders. co-founder, Moncef el Materi, has been The next fair will be staged on December Present in 20 countries, Teletrade has put down promoted. Holya El Materi Khemiri has 19-20. roots particularly in Russia and in former Soviet been named boss of Adwya Sante, a new But she is also a member of the As- bloc countries. affiliate that is to specialize in making sociation Dar el Materi (ADEM) that para-pharmaceutical, cosmetic and health offers assistance to people suffering Belhassen Trabelsi (Tunisia). Is food goods. The El Materi family holds a from cancer. All of her family belong to the boss of the Karthago group, Belhassen majority in the Adwya laboratories that the association, including her father; her Trabelsi, planning to transform his audiovisual were inaugurated in 1983. The chief execu- brothers Hafiz and Sakher, son-in-law of production concern Cactus Prod into a televi- tive, Tahar el Materi (uncle of Holya) owns president Zine el Abedine Ben Ali; and sion channel dubbed Elyssa TV? The project has 38.44% while the latter's brother Moncef been under consideration for quite a long time her sister Beya Insaf Annabi. But more holds 34.68%. and could be formally announced on Nov. 7, the distant relatives such as Leila Tritar el anniversary of the current regime’s assumption of Holya first came to public attention Materi, treasurer of the Tunisian Red office,according to our sources. But other sources last December when she presided over Crescent, are also members. close to the question believe the switch is still premature. To be sure, Karthago is pleased with Industrial Zones for Oceor the financial results of Cactus Prod, which pro- duces several programs screened by the public The firm Financiere Oceor has turned be Herve Noyon, general manager of Tunis 7 channel and, as a result, is still hesitating to its hands to fitting out industrial zones in GCE Services & Conseil a l’Immobilier change things as they are now. Whatever the case, Tunisia. An affiliate of the Banque Tuniso- (Caisse d’Epargne group). Amen Bank, an audiovisual concern named Elyssa has been Koweitienne (BTK, 60% owned by Oceor) also a stakeholder in the firm, is to be incorporated by a mysterious Kaouther Saidane and with an initial registered capital of represented by Zied Sdiri. and is located at 61 Avenue de la Liberte, a stone’s EUR 525,000, the firm Mediterraneenne An affiliate of BPCE, which was formed throw from Tunis 7. d’Amenagement Industriel (MEDAI) will out of a merger between France’s Banques shortly begin fitting out a 90 hectare plot Populaires and the Caisse d’Epargne Aref Belkhiria (Tunisia) Tunisian of land near Medjez el Bab in the Beja group in June, Oceor will be represented by businessman Aref Belkhiria, president of area. The zone will be earmarked for major its managing director, Philippe Garsuault, BSB, is beefing up his partnership with the industrial concerns but also for SMEs and a former executive of Banques Populaires. Bordeaux-based firm Westpoint run by Franck industrial services companies. Financiere Ocear remained under the man- de la Riviere. The two firms have set up a joint BTK will be represented on the board agement of Charles Milhaud, although he venture, Westpoint International Co. Ltd., to sell Westpoint’s goods - air conditioners, heat- of the new company by its managing had been dismissed from Caisse d’Epargne ing equipment, household goods, television director, Abdelghaffar Ezzeddine, its risk- in October, 2008, until July of this year. It sets, solar water-heaters - on the African market. management chief, Patrice Mazzei and its now answers directly to Francois Perol, The two groups have worked together since industrial projects director, Asma Chedly. former adviser to French president Nicolas 2000 in a firm named Domotech and headed Also sitting on the board of MEDAI will Sarkozy, who named him boss of BPCE. by Karim Belkhiria. It operates Westpoint’s factory in Tunisia. LIBYA Nadia Lyoussi (Morocco) Following our article: “Anfajet: Moulay Ismail in the Cockpit” on French Eye GECOL’s Treasure Chest Sept. 10, the director of Casa Air Service, Nadia Lyoussi, informs us that the corporate jet market in Morocco has existed since 1976 and the advent of France’s power industry is highly Led by Ubifrance, officials from eight Air Sud, which became Casa Air Service. An affili- interested in major projects of General French groups are to display their wares at the ate of Agricolair (a company specializing in crop- Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL). Corinthia hotel in Tripoli on Nov. 10-11. Areva, dusting founded by her father, Hassan Lyoussi), The latter is said to have USD 8 billion the cable company Nexans and Siemens Casa Air Service operates a Corvette business jet to invest in the period between 2008- France are interested in the transmission which carries ministers, businessmen and even 2012. Initially focussing on developing sector. Siefel (grid connection, dispatching cinema personnel and rushes when films are being infrastructure for high voltage transmis- systems), Sibille Fameca (security equipment shot in Morocco. Casa Air Service plans to buy a sion lines, GECOL is expected to then for technicians working on grids), the Groupe new aircraft (it is hesitating between Bombardier’s concentrate on distribution linked to Cahors (low and medium voltage) and Challenger 601 and Cessna’s Citation Excel) and is major construction and urban renovation Basler Electric International (transformers seeking to form partnerships, particularly for the programs. and regulators) will also be on hand. maintenance of jet aircraft. Every day: N°894 Paris, September 24 2009 3
  4. 4. Ruling Circles MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL PAM'S HEADQUARTERS, RABAT Nicolas Beau (France/Tunisia) Will the The PAM Wins Big in Regions wife of Tunisian president Zine el Abedine Ben Ali, Leila Trabelsi, turn out to be the most intrigu- The Parti Authenticite et Modernite from MNP, was re-elected in Gharb-Chrarda- ing figure to emerge in this autumn’s outpouring (PAM) headed Fouad Ali El Himma has Beni Hssen. In the Oriental region, where the of books in France? On Oct. 1 a book named “La gained key positions in Morocco’s regions. king has launched a EUR 6 billion investment Regente de Carthage-Main Basse sur la Tunisie” is The party of “the king’s friend” has won the program, Ali Belhaj has taken over from to be published. Written by Nicolas Beau and chairmanship of four regions out of eight in Taieb Rhafes. In areas where it didn’t carry Catherine Graciet (chief editor and journalist at which the results of regional elections are the day, PAM emerged as the king-maker, the publication Bakchich), the 180-page book de- known at present. That of Marrakech-Tensift- enabling former agricultural minister Said scribes the “sensational rise” of Tunisia’s first lady in El Haouz went to Hamid Narjiss, the PAM Chbaatou (USFP) to take the Meknes-Tafilalet nine chapters and examines the influence wielded leader’s uncle on his mother’s side and direc- region and Mohamed Chafik Benkirane by her family: “Belhassen Trabelsi, vice king of tor of the Institut National de Recherche (RNI) to win Grand Casablanca. The RNI, for Tunisia”, “Imed Trabelsi, the sailor,” “Sakher El Agronomique. The neighbouring region of its part, retained Guelmim-Smara, where the Materi, the heir apparent.” The book is being put Douakkala-Abda will be headed by Bouchaib Western Sahara native, Omar Bouaida, vice out by the La Decouverte house which already Ammar, a cattle and farming equipment president of the Conseil Royal Consultatif published “Quand le Maroc Sera Islamiste”, penned dealer (Comalim). Mekki Zizi, a defector des Affaires Sahariennes, was re-elected. by the same authors in the past. SOCIALIST PARTY HEADQUARTERS, PARIS Salvatore Teja (Italy/Algeria) Admiral in the Italian Navy, Salvatore Teja shepherded Socialists Back Gafsa Prisoners a delegation from Algeria’s defense ministry that was touring Italy between Sept. 12-19. The Planned long in advance, a meeting be- held in poor conditions (isolation, depriva- Algerian mission was to inspect Fincantieri’s tween the French Socialist Party’s national tion, harassment). The Gafsa case is taking on shipyard near Genoa where Italy’s multi-role secretary for human rights, Pouria Amir- political tones on the eve of the presidential FREMM frigates are being built. It also visited shahi, and the spokesman for the national election on Oct. 25. A candidate, Ahmed Bra- the frigate Caio Duillio near Genoa (see Page committee of support for inhabitants of the him, head of the Mouvement Ettajdid (Re- 2). The Algerians also visited the inter-service mining area of Gafsa, Abderrahmane Hedili, newal) has made it an issue in his campaign. advanced ordnance center (CIMA) at Aulla and the Rome headquarters of Selex Sistemi was held in Paris on Sept. 16. Amirshahi called Mostafa Ben Jaafar, secretary-general of the Integrati, an affiliate of Finmeccanica. In Rome on president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali to re- Forum Democratique pour le Travail et les they were received by the secretary-general at lease 18 people who have been held since a Libertes (FDTL) is also expected to bring it the defense ministry, general Aldo Dinelli, and crackdown in June, 2008, and appealed to the up. Jaafar, who has close ties with France’s by the director general of naval armaments France to put pressure on Tunis. According to Socialist Party - it backed him in the past to (NAVARM), admiral Dino Nascetti. Hedili, who is also a member of the steering get his party declared legal - was to declare committee of the Ligue Tunisienne des himself a candidate at the headquarters of Yasmine Torjeman (Tunisia/France) Droits de l’Homme, the prisoners are being the constitutional council on Sept. 24. The niece of Tunisian film producer Tarak Ben Ammar, Yasmine Torjeman, is reportedly en- countering difficulties in getting papers in France. LIBERAL-DEMOCRAT PARTY, LONDON Her uncle reportedly told immigration minister In a Huff over Arms for Kadhafi Eric Besson about it. Torjeman is the great grand daughter of Wassila Bourguiba. Hardly a day passes without a new revela- increase in the export of sensitive equipment. tion about cooperation between London and From January to March, military exports Farouk Ksentini (Algeria) The president of the Consultative Commission of Human Rights, Tripoli. The liberal legislator Edward Davey to Libya amounted to EUR 10.2 million as Farouk Ksentini, has revived the case of Algerian has launched an assault against prime min- opposed to EUR 10.7 million for all of 2008. prisoners in Libya. According to him, 26 inmates ister Gordon Brown regarding the issue. On The sales in 2009 included artillery calcula- pardoned on Sept. 11 by Muammar Kadhafi were Sept. 20, Davey, who is the Liberal-Democrat's tors, communications equipment (General subjected to torture, and 30 others remain behind secretary for international affairs, denounced Dynamics UK won a contract in 2008 for its bars. Highly sensitive, the question of prisoners the sale of British arms to Tripoli. He says Bowman system), etc. In 2008, the export of was taken in hand by Saif El Islam Kadhafi in May. that 2009 will be a "record year" for such armoured troop carriers for anti-riot police This laid the groundwork for closer security ties be- sales, based on figures from the Foreign & was authorized. The unit which received tween the two countries but Ksentini’s statement Commonwealth Office. They reveal a huge them was trained by a British firm. could well upset the applecart. Subscription MAGHREB CONFIDENTIAL is published weekly in English and in French by the Indigo Publications group Group Publisher: Maurice BOTBOL INDIGO One year, 46 issues Managing Editor: Antoine GL ASER Editor in Chief: Gaëlle ARENSON P U B L I C A T I O N S Editor: Lazare BEULLAC Contact: Powered by Intelligence PDF + Web Editions + Full ISSN: 1624-6136 Copyright 2009 Indigo Publications - Reproduction in any form prohibited. access to online archives 142, rue Montmartre - 75002 Paris Other Newsletters: The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Africa Energy Intelligence, Africa Mining Intelligence, Té l : 0 1 4 4 8 8 2 6 1 0 € 685 / US$ 940 La Lettre du Continent (in French only), La Lettre A (in French only), Intelligence Online. Sample on request. Fa x : 0 1 4 4 8 8 5 7 3 3 4 N°894 Paris, September 24 2009 Every day:
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