Cape Verde to privatize further 25 percent of tobacco company Sociedade de Tabacos

4 July 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 04 July – The government of Cape Verde said it would privatize a further 25 percent of tobacco company Sociedade Cabo-verdiana de Tabacos (SCT), by floating it on the local stock exchange. The stock is the most traded on the archipelago.

According to the Cape Verde stock exchange 60,000 shares in SCT will be floated this week at a unit price of 6,335 Cape Verdean escudos (US$73.49).

The float of around 22 percent of SCT’s capital, together with Banco Comercial do Atlantico, in December last year, was one of the measures taken by the government to re-launch the country’s stock market and give it a prominent role within the region.

At the time demand for shares in SCT was double the number of available shares, which was seen as a sign of boosted activity in the market.

The company recently distributed the country’s largest ever dividend of 577 escudos (US$6.69) per share, totaling 138.6 million escudos (US$1.61 million), or 95 percent of last year’s results.

SCT’s increased share price since that time has contributed to increased trading on the Cape Verdean market, which at the beginning of June posted a record of 12.2 million Cape Verdean escudos (US$142,300) in one session.

On Monday the stock exchange also said the privatization of part of state fuel (Enacol) and pharmaceutical (Emprofac) companies was being concluded.

“With the creation of the Cape Verde stock exchange, without affecting the participation of the foreign strategic partner, it has become a priority to boost the participation of Cape Verdeans in privatized companies,” it said.

The authorities have also published new legislation to make financial operations more flexible and encourage private companies to float their shares. (macauhub)