ARM Cement Awaiting Directors’ Approval for South African Plant

ARM Cement Ltd., Kenya’s second-largest maker of the building material, has yet to receive its directors’ approval for a plan to construct a plant in South Africa, Managing Director Pradeep Paunrana said.

“We have not approved any budget or plans at our board yet,” Paunrana said in reponse to questions via text message today.

Mafikeng Cement, in which ARM has a 70 percent stake, plans to build a plant with daily capacity of 3,000 metric tons in the continent’s biggest economy, Nairobi-based Business Daily newspaper reported today, citing Paunrana.

Sub-Saharan African nations from Kenya to Nigeria are investing in the construction of ports, railways and power-generation projects that will help accelerate economic growth. ARM is considering selling Eurobonds to help fund a planned $300 million expansion program that will double cement production within four years, Paurana said on Nov. 7.

Kenya’s per-capita cement consumption has surged 60 percent to 85.7 kilograms (189 pounds) over the past five years, according to Kestrel Capital East Africa Ltd. That compares with 300 kilograms in South Africa and 500 kilograms in Egypt, according to ARM.

Bamburi Cement Ltd., the Kenyan unit of Lafarge SA, is the nation’s biggest producer of the material.

ARM shares declined for a second day, losing 2.8 percent to 87.50 shillings by 11:48 a.m. in Nairobi. About 14,000 shares, or 11 percent of the daily average over the past three months, changed hands.

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