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Close-knit Pacers’ bond gets tested with season on the line

first_imgPerez makes up for poor showing by keeping Jawbreakers’ title bid alive “Nobody thought we’d be in this situation,” Victor Oladipo said, referring to the playoffs. “It’s important for us to stick together now because we’ve seen where it can go, where it can take us and it’s great.”The immediate problem is recent history doesn’t bode well for the underdog Pacers, who trail 3-2 with Game 5 set for Friday in Indianapolis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownCleveland swept Indiana in the first round last year, winning four games by a record low 16 total points. James has won 10 straight close-out games and has never lost a first-round series. Indiana, meanwhile, is trying to reach the conference semifinals for the first time since 2014.But the Pacers don’t care about stats, projections or conventional wisdom — as they’ve proven repeatedly this season. LATEST STORIES “That team does not quit,” James said, moments after his buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Cleveland a 98-95 win to salvage a win Wednesday after Pacers wiped out a 12-point second half to deficit to tie the score in the final minute.Playing hard until the final buzzer has become the norm for these Pacers.And they’re savoring every precious second, too.Nate McMillan recently called this one of the most enjoyable seasons he’s had as a head coach because he knows what he’ll get every day — energy from Oladipo and Lance Stephenson, steadiness from Darren Collison and Corey Joseph, leadership from Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic and an eagerness to develop from Myles Turner and other young players.With each player embracing their role, the Pacers have formed a cohesive bond.Six players actually approached Pritchard before the trade deadline and pleaded with the GM not to make any moves because they wanted to close out this season together. Pritchard said it a first for him, and kept the team intact.“It kind of is like a college team bond,” said Young, one of the six players who approached Pritchard. “Typically you have a lot of NBA teams that don’t bond as well as you do in college when you’re living with each other and you’re around each other all the time. You know in the NBA, you spend time with your family, things like that.“This team we all hang out together, we go to dinner together on the road. We do everything together.”The difference has shown.After enduring an early and sometimes uneven learning curve early this season, the Pacers finally got in sync in early January and played better than anyone, perhaps even McMillan or Pritchard could have anticipated. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Following last summer’s Paul George trade, Indiana seemed bound for the draft lottery. Instead, general manager Kevin Pritchard cobbled together a rare combination of proven, often overlooked veterans, emerging stars, good shooters and willing defenders.It turned out to be a perfect fit.Indiana won 48 games, six more than it did with George last season, and is a win away from forcing the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs into a decisive seventh game.Cleveland has learned one lesson the hard way: The fifth-seeded Pacers won’t go away. They won 12 times after facing double-digit deficits and eight times after trailing by 15 or more during the regular season.So perhaps it should come as no surprise Indiana has erased double-digit deficits in four straight game and wound up taking the lead or having a chance to win late in all four in this series.ADVERTISEMENT Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jeff Green (32) is pushed away from Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in Indianapolis, Sunday, April 22, 2018. Stephenson was charged with a foul. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 104-100. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers have been winning together, losing together and fighting together all season.Now they need to demonstrate their resilience once more as they try to save their season by rebounding from an emotional loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.ADVERTISEMENT Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flamescenter_img ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ From Jan. 6 through the end of the regular season, they went 29-15 and allowed 101.3 points per game and didn’t lose more than two in a row.They moved up three spots in the Eastern Conference postseason pecking order and headed into their latest round against James having won three of the four regular-season matchups. The Pacers even routed the Cavs on their home court in Game 1.Since then, though, the series has been all-out slugfest and James has gotten the knockout blow in three times.Now, with their season on the line, the Pacers need to provide a unified front one more time Friday night just to keep this season alive.They’re ready.“Sure, we’ve still got something to prove. No one believes we can beat Cleveland,” Bogdanovic said. “It’s about trust in what we’ve got in each other.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident MOST READ Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ View commentslast_img read more

Travel advisory issued for Alaska Highway

first_img– Advertisement – A travel advisory has been issued for the Alaska Highway from Sikanni Chief to the Yukon Border.According to Public Works and Government Services Canada, resident’s shouldn’t travel unless necessary throughout the entire area from K.M. 256 to K.M. 968 of the Alaska Highway.There are reports of heavy snowfall and slippery sections with poor visibility when meeting vehicles.last_img

College roundup: Shewmake leads CSUN to victory

first_imgShewmake was constantly open inside, scoring 16 points in the first half. UC Davis sophomore Vince Oliver (Loyola High of L.A.), who scored 30 points in a victory over CSUN last month, didn’t start Wednesday despite leading the team in minutes played. He scored 28 points – 19 in the second half – in 30minutes to lead the Aggies (4-19). -Gerry Gittelson BASEBALL CSUN 10, Fresno State 3: Left fielder Daniel Limbrick drove in three runs and shortstop Jonathan Sakurai had three hits and drove in a run in the Matadors’ victory. Pitchers Davin Tate and Billy Ott combined to allow six hits for CSUN (7-4). In a game that ended late Tuesday, CSUN lost to the Bulldogs 8-4. Catcher John Parham and designated hitter Kris Kasarjian each drove in two runs for the Matadors. WOMEN’S TENNIS CSUN 5, CS Fullerton 2: Kanykey Koichumanova, Canna Furuta, Kasia Krasinska and Sonya Kumar won singles matches to lead the Matadors (2-2 overall, 1-1 Big West) to the victory over the visiting Titans. WOMEN’S GOLF Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge: Freshman Misun Cho shot a final-round 2-under 69 to claim the individual title and help Pepperdine win at Palos Verdes Golf Club. Jayvie Agojo tied for second individually for the Waves. Pepperdine posted a third-round score of 4-over 288 and finished the 54-hole event with an 882 total and registered a nine-shot victory over Arizona State (891). Florida (901) placed third, while Oklahoma State (904) was fourth and Arizona (907) fifth. USC finished in a tie for sixth with TexasA&M (908). Trojans freshman Belen Mozo tied for eighth individually, along with UCLA senior Hannah Jun. The Bruins finished in 10th with a score of 921. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Four days earlier, Shewmake scored 24 points in a loss to Cal State Fullerton. His scoring average has risen from 5.7 to 7.4 points per game after his past two performances. “It’s been tough the last three years, and I’ve been up and down this year,” Shewmake said. “Lately, I’ve kind of gone from a role player to the go-to guy. I’m big, I’m 6-10 but I kind of lost focus. Now I’m doing what I need to do because it’s come down to the last few games of my senior year.” Shewmake made 10 of 16 shots – including 2of 2 3-pointers – with 10 rebounds, threeassists and two blocks. “I think it’s been tough on him, but Thomas came out with intensity and focus,” coach Bobby Braswell said. “He’s as big as anyone in the gym, and he also finds his teammates.” Jonathan Heard added 21 points for the Matadors. “Thomas has really stepped up and taken control, and we’re right behind him,” Heard said. Northridge (12-13) opened a 15-point lead in the first half, capitalizing on 12 turnovers, as the Matadors finished the half with a 15-2 edge on points off turnovers. center_img For 3 1/2 seasons, Cal State Northridge’s Thomas Shewmake has been plagued by inconsistency – some would call the 6-foot-10 senior an underachiever – but he finally has come into his own. Shewmake set a career scoring mark for the second time in row Wednesday, scoring 25 points in a 91-74 nonconference basketball victory over UC Davis in front of 721 at the Matadome. last_img read more

Pressel impressive at the SBS Open

first_imgTom Wargo opened with a 68, and Hay Haas, Wayne Levi and John Harris shot 69s on the chilly day when temperatures dipped into the low-40s. Mark O’Meara had a 74 in his first Champions Tour round. Jacob’s Creek Open Australia’s Craig Parry shot an 8-under 64 for a share of the second-round lead in Australia. Parry matched countryman Brett Rumford (69) at 9-under 135 on the Kooyonga course in the event sanctioned by the Australasian and Nationwide tours. Indonesian Open Australia’s Andrew Tampion shot a 5-under 66 for a share of the second-round lead with Finland’s Mikko Ilonen in Jakarta. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Morgan Pressel moved a step closer to becoming the youngest player in LPGA Tour history to win a 54-hole event, shooting a 4-under 68 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the season-opening SBS Open in Hawaii. The 18-year-old Pressel was tied with her 2002 Junior Solheim Cup captain, Sherri Steinhauer, and Paula Creamer at 7-under 137. Steinhauer and Creamer shot 70s. “It’s not like I’m protecting a big lead, so I’ve got to go out there and make some birdies,” she said. “I can’t do anything stupid.” It was mostly overcast and breezy at Turtle Bay Resort’s oceanside Palmer Course, keeping players from being too aggressive and making them guess what clubs to hit. Conditions are expected to be even windier Today. Outback Open David Eger shot a 4-under 67 in windy and cold conditions to take a one-stroke lead after the first round Lutz, Fla. Eger, the former PGA Tour and USGA executive who won the last of his two Champions Tour titles in 2005, had six birdies and two bogeys on the TPC Tampa Bay. center_img “We’re out here to win. That’s why I’m out here,” said Pressel, who tied for fifth last year. “I’d love to be holding that trophy tomorrow. It would mean a lot.” She knows exactly what she needs to do to earn her first win in 32 starts. last_img read more

Exclusive –Trust Van Gaal! Former Man United star Sharpe insists Dutchman WILL transform club

first_imgLee Sharpe has urged Manchester United fans not to lose faith in Louis van Gaal.The Dutchman has endured a dismal start to his Old Trafford reign, with United failing to win their opening two Premier League games before being thumped by League One side MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.But Sharpe insists there is no need for panic, as the former Red Devils star has no doubts that Van Gaal will transform the club’s fortunes over time.“It was a bad night obviously [against MK Dons] but in the bigger picture it’s not too bad,” said Sharpe, speaking on The Sports Bar.“It is going to take time. We had Alex Ferguson leaving, then David Moyes coming in and trying to play the way he does, and now Van Gaal.“He has only been there five or six weeks so it’s too early to judge him. A little bit of patience is needed.  It is a long-term approach for Van Gaal and I think you have got to trust him.“He is the right man for the job. He is a strong character, he is not intimidated by big-name players, big signings, the size of the club and the task of the job at hand. I don’t think he is intimated at all, I think he quite enjoys it.“It is just going to take a bit of time to get the team he wants and get them to play the way he wants them to play and to produce the standards he sets.“I don’ think they are a million miles away. They have just not started as everybody thought they would do.”And Sharpe believes the arrival of Angel di Maria will help to lift the club.The Argentina forward completed his record-breaking move to Old Trafford on Monday, and Sharpe claimed: “He is what United are crying out for.“He has high energy, he will score goals and he was the top-assisted player in the top five European leagues last year, so I think he is a great acquisition.“He will excite fans and I think he will give the whole team and the dressing room a lift.”last_img read more

Gone in New York minute

first_imgALDS: Cleveland hands New York its third straight loss in first round. Torre might go. By Ronald Blum THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK – Once Grady Sizemore hit a leadoff home run, it seemed inevitable that the Cleveland Indians were headed to the AL Championship Series while the New York Yankees were braced for a showdown with their boss. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityPaul Byrd and the Indians bullpen closed out New York, 6-4, in Game 4 Monday night, completing the third straight first-round debacle for the Yankees, one that might cost Manager Joe Torre his job. “This team hasn’t had a championship in Cleveland for a long time,” said Kenny Lofton, the Indians’ veteran leader. “This is just an unbelievable feeling to be able just to start this process again.” The Yankees came in streaking, overcoming a 21-29 start to win the AL wild card. But they were done in by poor pitching, an insect invasion and the latest October vanishing act by Alex Rodriguez, whose bat was quiet until a solo home run in the seventh inning. The pesky Indians, who wasted a three-run lead in Game 3, chased Chien-Ming Wang in the second and burst ahead, 4-0. Byrd kept wiggling out of trouble, and Victor Martinez’s two-run single made it 6-1 in the fourth against reliever Mike Mussina. A day after averting a sweep, New York put runners on in every inning except the eighth. But when it counted, its high-octane offense fell flat once again, with late solo homers by Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Bobby Abreu not enough. “I got some big outs with guys on base,” said Byrd, who stranded two runners in the first and three in the second. Cleveland moves on to its first ALCS since 1998, opening Friday night at Boston. The Indians were only 2-5 against the Red Sox this season, but will have aces C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona fully rested for Fenway Park. The Indians, 0-6 against the Yankees during the regular season, are seeking their first World Series title since 1948. The NL Championship Series starts Thursday night with Colorado at Arizona. Bewildered New York opens yet another offseason of turmoil, another October over nearly as soon as it began. All eyes will be on owner George Steinbrenner, who said over the weekend that he didn’t think he’d keep Torre as manager if New York bowed with another early exit. While the Indians celebrated in the infield, A-Rod stood alongside teammates, one leg on the top step of the dugout, the other a step below. Steinbrenner, looking grim, didn’t speak as he left the ballpark. “Hopefully there will be some reconsideration, but the Boss does what he wants,” Johnny Damon said. Torre managed the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five years and reached the playoffs in all 12 of his seasons. Yet, that might not be enough for Steinbrenner, impatient his team of multimillionaires has lost 13 of its last 17 postseason games and gone seven years in a row with no championship. If Torre does depart, Don Mattingly and Joe Girardi are the leading candidates to replace him. A disappointed crowd of 56,315 also might have seen Rodriguez in pinstripes for the final time. A likely MVP during the regular season, A-Rod was largely AWOL in the postseason for the third straight year, striking out with two on in the first and again leading off the third. Rodriguez, who can opt of his record $252 million, 10-year contract next month, did hit a solo homer off Rafael Perez in the seventh – ending a streak of 57 consecutive postseason at-bats without an RBI since 2004. He finished 4-for-15 in the series. It was 87 degrees at game time – the hottest Oct. 8 ever in New York City – and the Indians applied heat right from the start. Wang, battered for eight runs in New York’s opening 12-3 loss, was chased after just three outs – the shortest start of the 27-year-old’s short career. Sizemore homered on the third pitch of the game, hitting a 95 mph fastball with little sink for just his second shot since Aug. 28. Jhonny Peralta lofted a two-RBI single to center. Wang left in the second after another Indians’ run made it 4-0. Cleveland loaded the bases in the second on two singles and a hit batter – the Yankees argued that Kelly Shoppach was fouled off his bunt attempt, but umpires decided it hit a hand. That was it for Wang, whose stats will be besmirched with a 19.06 ERA in this series. Mussina came out of the bullpen to save the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against Boston but couldn’t do it this time. Sizemore grounded into a double play, and Asdrubal Cabrera singled for a 4-0 lead. Byrd came up big. He allowed runners in every inning but pitched out of jams with his assortment of offspeed stuff. The Yankees failed in the clutch, going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving them at 6-for-28 in the series and making for another winter of discontent in the Bronx. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Liverpool transfer report: Lucas Leiva’s Galatasaray move on verge of collapse

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva’s proposed move to Galatasaray has been thrown into doubt, with the club unwilling to pay the Brazilian’s salary demands.The 30-year-old, who is out of contract at Liverpool in the summer, had been touted for a move to the Turkish giants but has demanded his current £3million annual salary be carried over to his new club.However, Galatasaray are unwilling to match his current deal and therefore, the move is now likely to be off.According to reports in Turkey, Galatasaray are now looking at alternatives to Lucas having told the player’s representatives their unwillingness to match his wage demands.Lucas has made 29 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season but a summer move looks inevitable once his contract at Anfield expires.Inter Milan are also said to be interested in bringing the Brazilian to Serie A and may be able to offer him the sort of deal he requires. 1 Lucas Leiva’s Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season last_img read more

DONEGAL LEAGUE POSTPONES START OF LEAGUE IN RECOGNITION OF DONEGAL GAA TEAMS

first_imgIn recognition of the great exploits of the Donegal GAA County Minor and Senior teams the executive committee of the Donegal Junior League have decided to postpone the start of the new League Season by one week.While the Brian Mc Cormick Cup competition will commence as scheduled on Sunday 17th August and continue in the four Areas on Wednesday 20th and Sunday 24th the League programme will not start on Saturday / Sunday, 30th /31st as previously intended.With the County teams involved in both the Minor and Senior All-Ireland semi-finals on Sunday 31st August the committee consulted with players and clubs alike on the matter. And after gaining their views, the widespread feeling was that most people would like to be in a position to support Jim Mc Guinness and Declan Bonner’s teams on what will be a great sporting occasion for the county.As they did for the 2012 All-Ireland Final the Donegal Junior League decided to facilitate anyone wanting to travel to the games or watch them on television. Postponing the start of the League Season was what the executive felt was the most sporting gesture available.“On behalf of the players, managers, coaches, clubs and committee of the Donegal Junior League we wish the two County teams all the best as they strive to reach the All-Ireland Finals,” said a spokesman.  DONEGAL LEAGUE POSTPONES START OF LEAGUE IN RECOGNITION OF DONEGAL GAA TEAMS was last modified: August 12th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:all-irelandDonegal GAADonegal Leaguelast_img read more

Half-time: Newcastle 0 QPR 0

first_imgQPR managed to frustrate their opponents during the first half at St James’ Park.Rangers, with Fabio, Anton Ferdinand and Esteban Granero brought into the starting line-up, have so far spent much of the game soaking up pressure.Numerous clearances from the ever-dependable Ryan Nelsen helped keep Newcastle at bay.And Fabio’s well-timed challenge denied Papiss Cisse as the Magpies striker bore down on goal.QPR: Green, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Fabio, Mbia, Faurlin, Granero, Mackie, Taarabt, Cisse.Subs: Murphy, Diakite, Traore, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Hoilett.Click here for our Newcastle v QPR quiz YTo4OntzOjk6IndpZGdldF9pZCI7czoyMDoid3lzaWphLW5sLTEzNTI0NjE4NjkiO3M6NToibGlzdHMiO2E6MTp7aTowO3M6MToiMyI7fXM6MTA6Imxpc3RzX25hbWUiO2E6MTp7aTozO3M6MjI6Ildlc3QgTG9uZG9uIFNwb3J0IGxpc3QiO31zOjEyOiJhdXRvcmVnaXN0ZXIiO3M6MTc6Im5vdF9hdXRvX3JlZ2lzdGVyIjtzOjEyOiJsYWJlbHN3aXRoaW4iO3M6MTM6ImxhYmVsc193aXRoaW4iO3M6Njoic3VibWl0IjtzOjMzOiJTdWJzY3JpYmUgdG8gb3VyIGRhaWx5IG5ld3NsZXR0ZXIiO3M6Nzoic3VjY2VzcyI7czoyODM6IlRoYW5rIHlvdSEgUGxlYXNlIGNoZWNrIHlvdXIgaW5ib3ggaW4gb3JkZXIgdG8gY29uZmlybSB5b3VyIHN1YnNjcmlwdGlvbi4gSWYgeW91IGRvbid0IHNlZSBhbiBlLW1haWwgZnJvbSB1cywgY2hlY2sgeW91ciBzcGFtIGZvbGRlci4gSWYgeW91IHN0aWxsIGhhdmVuJ3QgcmVjZWl2ZWQgYSBjb25maXJtYXRpb24gbWVzc2FnZSwgcGxlYXNlIGUtbWFpbCBmZWVkYmFja0B3ZXN0bG9uZG9uc3BvcnQuY29tIGFuZCB0ZWxsIHVzIHlvdSB3aXNoIHRvIHN1YnNjcmliZSB0byBvdXIgbmV3c2xldHRlci4iO3M6MTI6ImN1c3RvbWZpZWxkcyI7YToxOntzOjU6ImVtYWlsIjthOjE6e3M6NToibGFiZWwiO3M6NToiRW1haWwiO319fQ== Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SA sets up shop in Africa

first_img16 August 2004Since 1994, South Africa has become one of the biggest and boldest investors in Africa, looking beyond its immediate neighbours for investment potential and expanding its presence beyond the “old economy” of mining, retail and related industries.A recent survey by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) found that, in less than a decade, South Africa has become one of the top 10 investors in many African countries.In 2002, in particular, while international firms shied away, local businesses took on the risks often associated with doing business on the continent – the SAIIA survey ranked South Africa the top investor in the continent for the year, with a total of R3.4-billion in investment deals north of the border.This research is backed up by a 2003 report by online business information firm LiquidAfrica Research, which found that SA was the largest investor in the rest of Africa between 1990 and 2000, with investment averaging around US$1.4-billion annually, totalling around $12.5-billion for the decade – followed by the US with less than $10-billion, and substantially ahead of France, the UK, Germany and other foreign investors.SA firms take more risksBernard de Haldevang, CE of political risk insurers African Trade Insurance Agency, told Business Day that the big reason Western companies stayed away from Africa was heightened perception of risk.“European and North American business people, some of whom do not know the difference between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Congo, are often hugely ignorant about African affairs and open only to hearing bad news from the continent”, De Haldevang said.But return on equity can be as high as 30% – provided companies are prepared to do their homework. Investing in Africa often requires long and complicated due diligence investigations, De Haldevang told Business Day.According to the South Africa Foundation, an association of top South Africa businesses, South African companies have focused on markets that are opening up in the global economy. These include financial services, information communication technologies (ICTs), retail and mining.Beyond ‘old economy’ sectorsRecent research published by the Foundation notes that “Investment in the ‘new economy’ sectors such as ICT and financial services has tended to follow economic liberalisation, whilst investment in the ‘old economy’ of mining, retail and related industries has followed a less predictable path, with investment often despite, rather than because of, the prevailing environment.”Although more difficult to track, the research says service sectors are becoming a bigger part of the South African presence. Besides the financial, ICT, retail and mining services sectors, new service sectors such as those in the oil industry, advertising, franchising and architectural design are gaining a foothold.Beyond SA’s immediate neighboursSouth Africa has also been looking beyond its immediate neighbours for investment potential, and SA business in West Africa – especially Nigeria and Ghana – and East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) has been picking up.South Africans have traditionally found it difficult to do business in Francophone Africa. Language and cultural barriers, and the domination of the Francophone markets by Belgian and French multinationals, have made inroads problematic.According to ThisDay, businesses have also been eyeing North Africa, particularly Morocco, for its investment potential. South African exports to Morocco spiked more than 43% in 2002. Algeria’s increasingly stable political climate and gradual shifts in economic temperament are also expected to produce new potential for exploration.Although cultural challenges also exist in Lusophone countries, the proximity of Mozambique and Angola has forced the hand of local companies seeking profitable prospects closer to home.The Economist Intelligence Unit’s regional director for Africa, Pratibha Thaker, told Business Day recently that South Africa was involved in half of the projects privatised in Mozambique in 2003.State enterprises lead the wayBoth private sector and state-owned companies have made investment headway on the continent. But the South Africa Foundation says state-owned enterprises are a key link for development on the continent, “whether in their own right or as levers for private sector development and investment in other markets in Africa.”Before 1994, only power utility Eskom and rail parastatal Spoornet worked north of the border. Since then, however, cross-border investment activity has increased sharply, with Eskom, Transnet, state ICT group Arivia.kom and Denel all venturing into new markets.Eskom operates in 20 African countries – and has its eye on another 10. Transport parastatal Transnet is Africa’s largest transport logistics company, and together with its subsidiaries has agreements and operations in about 35 African countries. Among Transnet’s better-known subsidiaries are South African Airways (SAA) and rail parastatal Spoornet. It operates 80% of Africa’s total rail infrastructure, while SAA continues to dominate air transport on the continent.The South Africa Foundation research concludes that SA’s economic domination on the continent is neither “predatorial” nor development-orientated. Rather, its expansion is part of global forces at play.“Companies operating in other African markets, more often than not, are basing investment or project decisions on the merits of each case, and more importantly the desire of the host country to attract foreign direct investment into the country”, the foundation says in its report.Some major SA companies in AfricaMTNCellphone operator MTN’s 2.2-million subscribers in Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Swaziland and Nigeria contributed R1.194-billion to its net profit in the 2002 financial year. MTN reported a R4.4-billion profit for 2003, thanks in part to high margins in its African operations.VodacomVodacom, MTN’s main rival in South Africa, had 773 000 customers in Lesotho, Tanzania and the DRC by the end of the 2002 financial year. While Vodacom’s highest growth is in South Africa, it recently reported strong growth in both the DRC and Tanzania.SABMillerIn March 2004, global brewing giant SABMiller, in conjunction with French partner the Castel Group, set up two joint ventures worth $46-million in Algeria and Morocco. In Algeria, SABMiller acquired a 25% direct interest in two Castel carbonated soft drink plants and one brewery, together with a 15.78% stake in a second brewery in which Castel is a majority shareholder. In Morocco, SABMiller acquired a 25% interest in a holding company which has controlling interests in three breweries, a malting plant and a wet depot. Given SABMiller’s existing 20% stake in Castel’s African operations, the new joint ventures are effectively owned 60% by Castel and 40% by SABMiller. “The size of the beer market in Morocco is approximately 1 million hectolitres per annum, with reasonable growth prospects over the next five years”, SABMiller said. “The joint venture commands a 95% market share and has a capacity to brew approximately 1.3 million hectolitres per annum.”. SABMiller is listed on the JSE and the London Stock Exchange.TourvestIn June 2004, tourism group Tourvest detailed plans to positioning itself as a dominant force in Zimbabwe. The group has bought several small companies in the Victoria Falls area – including Adrift, African Sports and Leisure, and other operations which have merged under the Wild Horizons brand – together valued at US$7-million. Tourvest has now increased its stake in elephant safari operation Wild Horizons to 60% of the combined business. Although tourist numbers have declined recently as a result of the instability in Zimbabwe, the company believes the situation is improving and that a turnaround is imminent. The earnings of the acquired businesses are mainly US dollar-based, providing Tourvest with another foreign exchange income stream.Shoprite HoldingsShoprite Holdings is now the largest food retailer in Africa, with 692 stores in 15 countries. Operations outside South Africa contributed R2.6-billion or 10% to the group’s revenue in 2002. In June 2004, less than a year after opening a supermarket in Angola, Shoprite opened a US$8-million store in Kampala, Uganda. Together with another SA retail group, Massmart, Shoprite built the Lugogo shopping centre in which the store was opened. Shoprite and Massmart’s chain retailer, Game, are also expected to be the anchor tenants in two new shopping centres in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria.MassmartIn June 2004, retail group Massmart opened a US$7.5-million Game store in Kampala, Uganda. Massmart operates 55 other stores in eight other African countries, but the Kampala store represents Game’s first ever direct investment in the premises from which it trades. All of the chain’s other African stores operate from leased premises. Together with food retailer Shoprite, Massmart built the Lugogo shopping centre in which the store was opened.Truworths, WoolworthsTruworths and Woolworths regularly feature among the new crop of shopping centres springing up in the continent’s capitals.NuMetroNuMetro cinemas are setting up shop in the Lagos, Nigeria shopping centre which has attracted both Shoprite and Game.Fast foodsSouth African fast food franchises such as Steers, Nandos, Chicken Licken and pizza chain Debonairs are household names in many African capitals.Key trading partnersTrade and investment are closely linked, and large capital investments by South African-based multinationals in African countries have frequently resulted in increased trade flows between South Africa and the investment destinations.Southern African countries remain South Africa’s key trading partners, particularly Zimbabwe (R6.5-billion in 2003) and Mozambique (R5.6-billion), the country’s top two African export destinations.Nigeria is rapidly becoming South Africa’s biggest trading partner in West Africa. The growth of the oil and gas industries along Nigeria’s west coast is expected to boost shipping volumes to the country, as South Africa is increasingly seen as a good supplier of high-quality raw and prepared materials for coastal oil-producing countries on the continent.After Zimbabwe and Mozambique, South Africa’s top export destinations on the continent are Nigeria, Zamiba, Angola, Mauritius, Tanzania and Kenya. Top countries for imports are Nigeria (R2.7-billion in 2003) and Zimbabwe at just under the same amount.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more