Cevital execs jailed for sugar trading
Two key executives at Algeria's largest private group Cevital were sentenced to 10 years in prison on 23 May by an Algiers court for selling subsidised sugar.
As has been the case for the past fifteen years, the annual list of banks approved of by Algiers does not feature any foreign newcomers. The situation, which is down to lack of political will and an uncompetitive business environment, does not look likely to change.
On the sidelines of the Franco-Algerian high-level intergovernmental committee held in Algiers on 9 and 10 October, Medef vice-president Fabrice Le Saché had a long discussion with Kamel Moula, president of the Algerian Economic Renewal Council, CREA.
Algeria's brand new CREA employers' federation has hit the ground running and established itself as a key player in the business community. It is keen to distance itself from the defunct business leaders' forum led by jailed oligarch Ali Haddad, a vestige of the last years of the Bouteflika regime.
Since his election as president in December 2019, Abdelmadjid Tebboune has sought to add fresh young faces to his team, including relative outsiders to the world of politics. But two years on, his office is smaller than ever and he only has a handful of loyal staffers to rely on.
Issad Rebrab's conglomerate has obtained a waiver to ship 462 tonnes of cooking oil to France, despite Algeria's ban on exporting basic foodstuffs. It is taking advantage of the shortage on French shelves, caused by the war in Ukraine, to publicise its products and gain market share.
To satisfy the region's persistent sweet tooth despite the current surge in sugar prices, sugar producers Cosumar, from Morocco, and Algeria's Cevital, have little choice but to keep buying their supplies from Brazil, for which they rely on increasingly dominant heavyweights such as Sao Paulo's Raizen and Copersucar.
Tunisia is being shunned by most major international lenders, but it can still rely on the Islamic Development Bank, which continues to back projects in the country. The institution, whose largest single contributor is Saudi Arabia, intends to push trade development with the rest of the continent.