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Saudi Arabia: Saudi considering lifting export curbs on cement, steel
Nov 29 Saudi Arabia is considering lifting partial export bans on cement and steel to relieve oversupply in the local market, economic news website al-Eqtisadiah quoted a customs department official as saying on Sunday.

Saudi government bodies are studying whether to ease restrictions on cement and steel exports after local production doubled, exceeding the storage capacity of the kingdom s largest companies, customs department spokesman Essa al-Essa told Eqtisadiah without giving any timeframe for the decision.

Steel stocks have risen above 1.8 million tonnes, causing some factories to cut production by 50 percent and shut some smelters entirely, said the report, citing the chairman of the National Committee for the Steel Industry.

The Saudi government originally imposed a ban on cement exports in 2008 to push prices down and accommodate demand from large government-funded infrastructure projects, although some companies were allowed to export at prices lower than those in the local market. Steel exports have been similarly restricted.

New activity in the Saudi construction sector has slowed in recent months as a slump in oil prices has pushed the government to cut spending on non-essential projects; the industry may slow further if, as economists expect, more austerity measures are imposed next year.

UAECEMENT.COM - Dec,01 ,2015

Turkmenistan: Turkmenistan produces over 3 million tons of cement
Turkmenistan has produced around 3.3 million tons of cement since early 2015, said the message from the country s government.

“The country has established its own cement industry meeting the demands of the domestic market in large-scale construction,” said the message. “Rich raw material resources for cement production open up export opportunities for the country as well.”

A plant with the capacity of 1.4 million tons of cement per year was put into operation by Turkish Polimeks in Turkmenistan s Lebap province, said the message.

The plant produces portland cement, oil-well cement required for the oil and gas industry, and sulfate-resistant cement used in hydraulic units.

Polimeks also put into operation a similar plant in Turkmenistan s west - in the Balkan province. Such large enterprises operate in the Ahal province as well.

To cover the demand, the country has opened 35 specialized outlets for selling cement at single price – 175 Turkmen manats per ton, said the government message.

The official exchange rate has remained at 3.5 manats/$1 in Turkmenistan since January 2015.

UAECEMENT.COM - Dec,01 ,2015

Italy s antitrust body opens probe into alleged cement price fixing
Italy: Italy s antitrust authority has opened an investigation into four cement companies for alleged price fixing and, with the tax police, has searched the offices of the companies, according to Reuters. The companies under investigation are Buzzi Unicem, Cementir Italia, Industria Cementi Giovanni Rossi and Holcim Italia.

"The case concerns the possibility of an agreement to coordinate cement sales price increases," said the authority in a statement.

Holcim Italia, part of LafargeHolcim, confirmed the inspections. It said that the company had always acted according to the law and has policies and procedures in place that are designed to ensure compliance with principles and rules of fair competition prohibiting anti-competitive behaviour and the abuse of a dominant market position. Buzzi said that it is confident that it will be able to demonstrate during the investigation that it had always acted in compliance with competition law.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,29 ,2015

Cemex reports 2016 plans
Colombia: Cemex s Colombian business has reported its plans for 2016. The company currently constructs housing in the country, which complements its primary activity of cement production. It has constructed 6000 houses in Colombia to date and now plans to double its income in this segment with the construction of 15,000 additional houses in the near future.

Cemex has also set-up a network of hardware stores called Construrama, of which there are now 220. The company noted the challenge in managing its distribution chain as it now sells more than 4000 products to a variety of clients. The company also plans growth for its concrete, infrastructure, housing and market development divisions in public sector projects and structuring. According to Cemex, the company has formed an alliance with the national government and administrations of municipalities, departments, associations and public institutions to achieve this goal.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,29 ,2015

Uzbekistan to increase cement production to 7.9Mt in 2015
Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan plans to increase cement production from 7.5Mt/yr in 2014 to 7.9Mt/yr in 2015. Production is expected to reach 8.9Mt/yr by 2019. Within a programme of measures on structural reforms, modernisation and diversification of cement plants will take place in 2015 – 2019. Kyzylkumcement will invest US$30.7m to update equipment, while Bekabadcement will invest US$5.5m to modernise its milling technology.
UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,26 ,2015

Yamama Cement & ThyssenKrupp sign $1.12bn contract
Saudi Arabia s Yamama Cement Company has signed a $1.12bn (SAR4.2bn) contract with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions to build a new cement plant.

The new plant will have a daily production capacity of 20,000 tonnes of clinker, or nodules ground to make cement, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Located 100 kilometres outside of Riyadh, the plant will be built over a period of 39 months.

The source of funding and start date for the project will be announced at a later date, the company said.

Yamama Cement currently produces six million tonnes of clinker and 6.3million tonnes of comment, according to Reuters data.
UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,26 ,2015

Breedon Aggregates buys Hope Construction Materials for Euro480m
UK: Breedon Aggregates plans to acquire Hope Construction Materials for Euro480m. In a statement, Breedon said that the transaction would create the UK s leading independent producer of cement, concrete and aggregates.

Hope has 160 operational sites, including a cement works in Derbyshire, five quarries and 152 concrete plants. In the first six months of 2015, Hope sold 1.6Mt of cement, 4.7Mt of aggregate and 2.3Mm3 of concrete, generating revenue of Euro407m and underlying earnings before interest depreciation and amortisation of Euro52.8m.

The acquisition is conditional upon UK competition authority approval and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016. "This acquisition is well-timed, with UK construction output forecast to expand by around 15% over the next four years and volumes of all our major products expected to grow strongly," said Peter Tom, Breedon Executive Chairman. "We are confident that we will be able to continue delivering significant value for our shareholders in the coming years, with an even stronger platform for growth."

The Chief Executive of Aggregate Industries, part of LafargeHolcim, Pat Ward, will take over as Breedon Chief Executive early in 2016.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,23 ,2015

China Shanshui Cement s top shareholder to fund bond redemption
According to a report by Reuters, China Shanshui Cement s top shareholder, the Tianrui Group, has announced that it will provide funds to the cash-strapped company to redeem a US$500 million global bond. The announcement has raised investor hopes that it may avoid defaulting on them.

China Shanshui is set the hold a general meeting on 1 December to decide on certain changes in the board of directors. The changes could trigger a contractual obligation to redeem the bonds that are otherwise due in 2020.

Tianrui Group is the biggest shareholder in China Shanshui Cement, owning 28.16% of its equity. China Tianrui s Chairman Li Liufa owns 70% of Tianrui Group.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,23 ,2015

Thailand s construction industry is picking up
According to a new report by Timetric s Construction Intelligence Centre (CIC), Thailand s construction industry is picking up with a more optimistic future outlook, after suffering a decline during the economic crisis.

In real terms, the industry s output value recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.23% during the review period (2010–2014). This decline was mainly due to socio-political unease, which affected the country s economic growth and foreign investments. The outlook, however, seems more positive, driven by the stabilising political and economic conditions along with new investments in residential, infrastructure and commercial construction projects, and improvements in investor confidence in the country.

Thailand s construction industry is expected to increase in value from US$17.4 billion in 2014 to US$19.9 billion in 2019 in real terms, at a CAGR of 2.79%. The economic expansion, the country s housing demand and the government investment in public infrastructure are projected to be the main drivers of growth. Moreover, the government s tax incentives aimed to attract investment from foreign companies in agriculture, renewable and alternative energies, information technologies as well as the tourism, sector should boost the construction activities in the coming years.

However, risks associated with the industry s positive outlook are still in place. Economic and structural factors coupled with an absence of modern transport infrastructure and a lack of skilled labour will likely to slow the potential industry growth.

According to the report, residential construction was the largest market in the Thai construction industry during the review period, accounting for 37% of the industry s total value in 2014. According to Timetric s CIC, the country s rising population, urbanisation and positive developments in regional economic conditions will support the market over the forecast period.

Infrastructure construction was the second-largest market, accounting for around 24.6% of the industry s total value in 2014. The market is projected to grow further supported by the government s eight-year national development plan that aims to develop Thailand s infrastructure by 2022. To implement this programme, the government has allocated THB2.4 trillion (US$75.0 billion) to invest in road, rail and port infrastructure.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,23 ,2015

Positive forecast for Swiss construction industry

According to research by Timetric s Construction Intelligence Centre (CIC), the Swiss construction industry is set to expand with a five-year outlook that is improving compared to its review-period performance. Real average annual growth is set to accelerate from 2.0% during the review period (2010-2014) to 2.9% over the forecast period (2015-2019), to reach a value of US$79.4 billion by 2019 in real terms.

The industry s output value grew at a CAGR of 8.3% during the review period, from US$63.6 billion in 2010 to US$68.9 billion in 2014. This expansion was mainly due to improved economic conditions, a low unemployment rate and an increase in exports. Over the next five years, the industry is expected to be supported by public and private sector investment in the manufacturing industry and infrastructure modernisation. Moreover, investments in office, leisure and hospitality buildings will also support this growth.

Residential construction was the largest market in the Swiss construction industry during the last five years, accounting for around 34.0% of the industry s total value in 2014. Timetric expects the market to follow a similar trend over the forecast period, and to remain the largest in the construction industry, driven by population growth, an increase in the number of net immigrants, and a low unemployment rate. Rising urbanisation rate, low interest rates and positive regional economic conditions will also provide support for the market.

Commercial construction was the second-largest market in the industry during the review period, and accounted for 19.6% of the industry s total value in 2014. The market growth was fuelled by increased investment in the office, leisure and hospitality buildings categories. Over the forecast period, Switzerland s commercial construction will be supported by the rising tourist arrivals and the extension of the 3.8% value-added tax (VAT) rate for the hotel industry until 2017.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,17 ,2015

Shanshui shareholder says it will help repay debt
China Shanshui Cement Group may have a saviour in the form of its largest shareholder, Tianrui Group Co., according to a report from Bloomberg. Tianrui Group Co. has been pushing for changes to the Shanshui board and has said that if its motion passes at the EGM scheduled for 25 November, it would help fix the company s debt problems. Yesterday, China Shanshui Cement failed to pay RMB2 billion of onshore notes, having announced earlier in the week that its shareholder problems were creating difficulties in securing financing that ultimately led it to file a winding up petition with the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

Bloomberg reports that Tianrui may not have the capability to offer financial assistance. Much will depend on investors and the lengths they go to to ensure they get their money back.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,17 ,2015

Morocco: Anouar Invest To Launch Cement Plant in Laayoune
Moroccan Holding Group Anouar Invest announced the construction of a cement factory in Laayoune as part of the new southern provinces development projects in infrastructure and housing.The factory will seek to meet the high demand for cement, an essential product for construction, the group explained in a communiqué.

With an investment package reaching MAD 300 million, CIMSUD (Ciement Sud) will begin operations by July 2017, producing 500,000 tons of cement per year.

The plant will be located in the area of Foum El Oued (Laayoune). CIMSUD will create 75,000 employment days in its operation phase and 170 jobs in its exploitation phase.

The group has also started construction of a cement entity in the Settat region with a budget of MAD 3 billion. It will produce 2.2 million tons of cement annually and will be in operation late 2018.

Founded in 1994, Anouar Invest SA has grown from a regional food distributor to one of the largest agribusiness players in Morocco. The group primarily processes and distributes staple foods, but it is also involved in real estate development.

Anouar s strategy focuses on consolidating its market position in agribusiness, preparing for future domestic market growth and gradually expanding to high potential markets in West Africa.

The group s consolidated sales reached MAD 7 billion in 2014. It employs 3,500 people in more than 20 subsidiaries.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,14 ,2015

Indonesia: Cement sales increase in Indonesia
Indonesia Investments reports that cement sales were up by more than 10% in October 2015. Figures from the Indonesian Cement Association show a 10.7% y/y increase – up to 6.4 million t – thanks to government investment in infrastructure. Government capital spending in 3Q15 was double what was spent in 1Q15, at US$3.76 billion, and there is more to spend, with reports indicating some 70% of the capital budget remains unspent.

Citing information provided by the Indonesian Cement Association, Indonesia Investments reports that projects such as the Trans-Sumatra highway, contributed to a 17% rise in cement sales on Sumatra in October, have benefited cement sales across the country, with the exception of Kalimantan where sales contracted.

Bulk sales exceeded bagged in September and October, indicating that cement is being used for bigger projects. A further increase in sales is expected in the last quarter of the year, while total sales are expected to come in at 63 million t for 2015, a 5% increase y/y. Cement production capacity currently stands at 78 million t.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,14 ,2015

Pakistan: First quarter results : Bestway Cement posts Rs 3.2 billion profit
Bestway Cement Limited board of directors (BoD) announced financial results for the first quarter, from July to September, of 2015.

Bestway s turnover on a consolidated basis jumped by 38% from Rs 6.8 billion to Rs 9.4 billion. This was largely due to acquisition of Pakcem Limited, increase in domestic demand and stable retention prices during the quarter. Gross margin of Rs 3.7 billion grew by more than 50% over the same period last year.

Profit before tax for the quarter amounted to Rs 3.2 billion, showing an increase of 28% as compared to Rs 2.5 billion during the quarter that ended September 30, 2014. The company s consolidated profit after tax also registered a growth of 34% to reach Rs 2.3 billion in the quarter against Rs 1.7 billion from the corresponding period of FY14-15.

On a consolidated basis, domestic sales volume increased by 48% from 814,610 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes, while exports saw a decline of 4% from 197,824 tonnes to 189,208 tonnes in the quarter. Overall, cement dispatches increased by 38% during the reporting period to 1.4 million tonnes from 1.0 million tonnes. Despite fierce competition, Bestway was able to maintain its market share in the north zone and retained its position as the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan and India.

Earnings per share for Bestway Cement stood at Rs 3.88 against Rs 2.94 from the corresponding period. The company announced an interim dividend of Rs 2.5 per share keeping in view its excellent performance.

During the quarter, Bestway Cement further reduced its reliance on the national grid by taking energy-saving initiatives and launched a 12MW waste heat recovery power plants at its Pakcem Kallar Kahar operations. The implementation of the project, which is expected to cost $15 million, would not only support in alleviating the country s power crisis to a certain extent, but also reduce cost of production whilst generating clean, affordable energy.

Bestway brands are synonymous with quality in international markets and the company continues to explore all opportunities for expanding its presence in regional and international markets. The company brought innovation to new heights by introducing Sulphate Resistant Cement (SRC) to its product portfolio, which is gradually being launched in domestic markets.

With a total cement capacity of over 8 million tonnes per annum, Bestway continues to be the leader and a pioneer in the cement industry focused on reducing environmental impact and contributing to the country s power generation.
UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,14 ,2015

Egypt: Alexandria Cement Company loses EGP 116m in 9 months
The Alexandria Portland Cement Company revealed that in the past nine months, the company recorded net losses worth EGP 116m, in an official statement to the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) on Sunday.

The aforementioned amount is compared to the EGP 71m in profits that were registered in the same period the year before.

In the first half (H1) of the current year, the company also recorded losses worth EGP 67.7m, unlike in H1 of 2014 where the company’s profits stood at EGP 38.5m.

Alexandria Portland Cement is a public company that has been listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) since 1995. The company produces and trades all types of cement, as well as other construction materials.

UAECEMENT.COM - Nov ,09 ,2015

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