Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, aka “General Dino”

February 4, 2020

Last Friday, 31 January 2020, the Provincial Court of Luanda in Angola issued a preventive seizure over some of the assets of Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, aka “General Dino”, a key member of the “Futungo” or inner circle of former president José Eduardo dos Santos. An official announcement by the Attorney General on action against […]

Identity crisis? LEIs and their role in promoting clarity and compliance

February 4, 2020

The first step in any transaction or compliance process is to identify the entity that is your counterparty. Relying on entity names alone is too ambiguous, particularly when you consider the variables that are generated by similar names, transliterations and simple human error. Similarly, while most company registries have a unique company registration number, each […]

BIG BUSINESS IN UGANDA

January 20, 2020

In 1908, Winston Churchill called Uganda “the pearl of Africa” in his book ‘My African Journey’, after visiting the country in 1907. Located in central-east Africa on the shores of Lake Victoria, Uganda is blessed with abundant resources, incredible biodiversity and varied geography spanning from snow-capped mountains to tropical rainforest. The African Development Bank (AFDB) […]

ANGOLA: TOMORROW’S #1 DIAMOND PRODUCER?

January 7, 2020

Angola is the fifth largest diamond producer in the world and the third biggest in Africa. With diamond reserves estimated at 180 million carats, Angola could be on track to become the top producer and the government is putting plans in place to get there. 1. In a bid to fully reform the country’s diamond […]

Saudi Aramco: where ambition meets clarity – Diligencia’s year in review

December 17, 2019

As I write, financial newspapers are leading with the news that Saudi Aramco has on the second day of public trading briefly achieved a valuation of US$2 trillion. This is the culmination of a two-year story since the IPO announcement first prompted a frenzy of interest from international banks to world leaders, all pitching for […]

SAYARI LABS AND DILIGENCIA ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

December 2, 2019

Sayari Labs – the leading provider of beneficial ownership and financial intelligence in emerging, frontier, and offshore jurisdictions – has recently partnered with Diligencia Group, a specialist information provider, focused on company data within the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Financial institutions, multinational corporations, and providers of risk mitigation services are facing unprecedented pressure as […]

BOTSWANA’S RICH AND POWERFUL

November 25, 2019

The Kalahari Desert, a large semi-arid savannah, covers 70% of Botswana. It is, therefore, no surprise that water is such a valued commodity. In fact, Botswana’s currency is called the Pula which translates to rain in Setswana. Having enjoyed sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest economic growth for much of the last century, this landlocked country has positioned […]

Technology-driven growth takes centre stage in the GCC

November 11, 2019

Digital technologies are disrupting economies globally and the GCC is no exception. According to Mergermarket, there were approximately 40 technology-related M&A transactions in the region between 2015 and 2017, focused on software, internet, telecoms and online commerce. Here we look at 3 Gulf countries and how they compare in their approach to embracing advances in […]

WHO’S WHO IN NIGERIA

October 29, 2019

Each year Forbes ranks the world based on its wealthiest people. In this blog, we take a closer look at the most prosperous people in Nigeria and their business connections. #1: Aliko Dangote, 61 Dangote Industries Ltd (Dangote Group) chairman, Aliko Dangote, has retained his position as the richest man in Nigeria, despite losing almost […]

In the spotlight: Mubadala and its interests in North Africa

October 21, 2019

Abu Dhabi-based global investment firm, Mubadala Investment Company, is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds and invests in more than 50 countries. With assets under management of over US$225bn, Mubadala is a shareholder in many petrochemical companies including Cepsa, OMV, Cosmo Oil, PAK Arab Refining (Parco), Nova Chemicals, Borealis, Oil Search, Dolphin Energy and […]

Running red hot – the global shisha tobacco market

October 1, 2019

While the global tobacco industry is facing the combined challenges of stricter regulations, new entrants from technologies such as vaping, and rapidly changing consumer behaviour, there is one market segment that is experiencing significant growth: shisha. Also known as hookah, argila and narghile, waterpipe smoking is a market expected to be worth over US$25bn by […]

MINING IN THE UAE – A CLEAR OPPORTUNITY

September 17, 2019

Anyone who has lived or worked in the UAE will know how much of what is consumed inside the country is imported.  You might also be surprised to know, in a country that consists largely of desert, that the UAE’s imports also include thousands of tonnes of sand each year from Saudi Arabia to manufacture […]

We’ve relaunched ClarifiedBy.com!

September 5, 2019

For the past three years ClarifiedBy.com has been providing best-in-class data on organisations and shareholders in the Middle East and Africa.  During that time, we have listened to our clients’ feedback and are proud to deliver a redesigned improved platform.    Let’s look through the biggest changes:   Effortless search  Search results now appear in an easy to navigate list.   You can quickly see the […]

We are all storytellers

August 22, 2019

OK so it has taken me a while, but I have finally found the time over the summer to read the excellent ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Hariri – a masterful sweep of human history, mixing anthropology, sociology and good old-fashioned storytelling. But his early section on collective belief systems in particular made me pause for […]

The very model of a modern Arab diplomat: Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Sultan

July 2, 2019

If French is the traditional language of diplomacy, it seems appropriate that Prince Khaled was born in Paris and, we understand, proudly retains his links to the French state. Indeed you might be forgiven for thinking that his appointment as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s eighth ambassador to the United Kingdom in April this year, […]

Sheikh Khalid closes in on Newcastle United

May 30, 2019

The Abu Dhabi ruling family may be set to continue its love affair with the English Premier League, as reports suggest that Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan is in talks to acquire club side Newcastle United. Although the deal is not yet finalised, supporters and rivals are speculating on what this means for the club and […]

The Case for Clarity – the importance of verified company information

February 7, 2019

Those of you investing in the emerging markets of Africa or the Middle East will likely be looking for clarity on some of the mechanisms and levers for growing your commercial interests in these regions– one of which is information on companies you are looking to engage with (suppliers, partners, clients, co-investors), and, by default, […]

It’s the sources, stupid

April 5, 2018

As some of you will have noticed, this year is Diligencia’s tenth anniversary and in Nouri’s post about the early days of the company he set out one of the guiding principles of how we compile our company information, namely only using official sources. The emphasis we place on authentic company information is still absolutely […]

Diligencia 10 years on – Part 2

March 28, 2018

As I look back over the last ten years I am struck by the fact that the MENA region has seen seismic changes.  Quite apart from the political upheavals, notably the so-called Arab Spring, which at times led to a revolving door of the subjects we were asked to research, the following cases have had […]

Diligencia 10 years on – Part 1

March 26, 2018

10 years ago this month, I founded Diligencia.  I had no particular grand strategy at that stage, and certainly no formal business plan that I could have presented to potential investors, even if there were any.  All I had was a firm belief that there was a need and a demand for high quality business […]