Cape Verde air carrier, tourism and real estate seek Chinese investment

17 January 2011

Macau, China, 17 Jan – Cape Verdean companies in the transport sector, such as airline TACV, as well as in the tourism and real estate sectors are seeking investment from Chinese partners, via Forum Macau, to fund their expansion.

In the case of TACV – Cabo Verde Airlines, the phased investment, to be negotiated by the two sides is also promoted with the support of Cabo Verde Investimentos and the Cape Verdean embassy in Beijing.

According to information provided by Forum Macau, to which Macauhub had access, the aim is to set up a partnership, although it has yet to be decided on which partner will keep a majority stake.

“Cape Verde is an open economy and is essentially based on the services sector, and air transport is an integral part of the country’s development strategy, as it sits at the crossroads of large continents, making the archipelago a competitive place for development of a centre for transporting passengers and cargo,” noted the presentation of the project.

The aim of state-owned TACV, “in this first phase, consists of increasing its capital, opening up that capital to private investors, both national and foreign, but with the state keeping 49 percent for the company to remain as a flagship company.”

The requirements of a potential partner are relevant experience in the air transport sector or civil aviation, as well as financial and technical capacity.

Set up in 1958, TACV operates two Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 210 seats each and for regional flights has two ATR-72/500s with 68 seats each and one ATR-42/500 with 42 seats.

Projects in the tourism sector, an area that has seen great expansion on the archipelago in the last few years, are currently seeking Chinese investment, such as Santiago Golf Resort, a project based in Praia, Santiago island, estimated to cost US$600 million.

The chairman of the company is Eugénio Inocêncio, a Cape Verdean businessman, economist, former ambassador and former chairman of Cabo Verde Telecom, along with Portuguese group Sacramento Campos, linked to distribution of building materials, real estate promotion and management and financial sector investor.

On the same island, the Ponta Bicuda project, estimated to cost US$300 million, is also seeking a partner with experience in the sector and “strong technical and financial capacity.”

Editur, one of the biggest real estate promotion companies in the country, is behind the project, led by José António Teixeira, in partnership with Portuguese group Vilas Oceânicas, and national politician and businessman, José Filomeno Monteiro.

A partnership is also the objective of the promoters of the Praia Towers project, estimated to cost US$400 million ad involving local companies Editur and Construr.

It is a complex with two ocean view office blocks that also includes a business hotel, shopping centre, multipurpose conference centre, museum and exhibition rooms.

In November, during the third ministerial conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, the Macau government signed a memorandum of understanding with Cape Verde in the tourism sector with a view to exchange of information and training of staff.

It also included the promotion of partnerships between small and medium-sized companies ad support for the creation of a system of incentives for the promotion of the tourism industry.

Another partnership made public by Forum Macau is that of Hotel Marisol, also on Santiago island.

The company expects investment to total US$12 million, for a partnership in which it has not yet been decided who will hold a majority stake.

The project, resulting from the partnership between Marisol Hotéis, Turim, S.A. and Editur, S.A., includes construction, in the area of the current Hotel Marisol, next to Gamboa Beach (in the city of Praia), of a four star hotel with 98 rooms, restaurants, gym and spa, and shopping centre.

The chairman of the company, Dinis Fonseca, has stakes in several companies linked to the real estate and tourism sectors on several Cape Verdean islands. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH