🔒 Boardroom Talk – ANC scratches Russian backs in Mossgas revamp deal, opening route to vast reserves

Alec Hogg’s newsletter for Premium members. Tuesday, 12th December 2023

Late yesterday afternoon the FT reported that the ANC has officially confirmed Russia has the inside track in what the DA’s shadow energy minister James Lorimer has been telling us is the world’s next huge oil and gas province – South Africa.

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Gasprombank, Russia’s third largest financial institution and the channel for its (Western sanctioned) oil and gas sales revenues, is kicking in $200m to revamp Mossgas.

Quid pro quo? The ANC needs money to pull off a miracle in next year’s election. Russia is Putin’s personal fiefdom. His ally, the oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, has been one of the ANC’s biggest funders. With the Russians against them, the DA is going to need every penny of that suggested Roger Jardine-injected R1bn. Maybe more.    

From a broader perspective, the Mossgas revamp is good news. It is the starting gun for eagerly anticipated exploitation of those rich gas fields off the Southern Cape Coast – equally appealing West Coast and inland opportunities shouldn’t be far behind. Deposits so rich even the cadres will struggle to muck them up. We hope.

From the FT: Russia’s inside track on SA gas: Gazprombank funding $200m Mosgas revamp

Another SA-related Premium story also from the FT reminds me of the time I played golf at the Graceland course in Secunda. Only half way through the round did a strange thing occur to me – there wasn’t a single bird to be seen or heard. They knew long ago that Sasol’s Secunda plant is more pollutive than all of Portugal. Yoh….

From the FT: Inside the battle to decarbonise South Africa’s Secunda plant – the world’s dirtiest refinery

Best read story on BizNews right now is only the second this year from open letter writer ‘Carl Lutz’ whose ascerbic keyboard hits all the right spots. Our correspondent’s Niemoller nom de plume was abandoned after a member of the local branch of the family threatened us with fire and brimstone because he was scared of being victimised. That apple clearly fell a long way from Martin’s tree. Here’s the link:

Lutz (ex-Niemoller): Even Cyril the Indecisive trumps SA’s timid Big Business

Why the nom-de-plume, a tribesman asked yesterday. Isn’t the author doing the opposite of what they told us in the last paragraph?

Lutz’s response: “That’s a very good question that I’m happy to answer. I’m not in the least bit scared of the government or the ANC. But the businesses with whom I do business would probably terminate my contracts if they knew who I was. I have three children I need to think about. Until business shows its balls, I’m pretty much stuck. So I write like I do and Alec trusts me enough to make my voice heard. I’m grateful for that.”

Two more points –

1) The last share portfolio webinar of the year is tomorrow at noon. Click here to register. and join me then. We’ll be adding another stock to the Shyft portfolio.

2) As ‘tis the season for giving, why not support democracy and give a great value gift that lasts all year? Click here.  

Sterkte

Alec

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