Iron ore company Sphere Investments of Australia lists on Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX)
Sphere, in partnership with Mauritania’s iron ore producer, Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM), is 50/50 joint owner of an iron ore pellet project in Mauritania.
They signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Qatar Steel Company in March 2007 to develop the Guelb el Aouj project as part of a new iron and steel consortium.
Alexander Burns, Managing Director of Sphere, said: “Sphere’s listing on the DIFX is significant in that we now have a new financial base that reflects our regional focus and that of our Arab partners in Mauritania and the Gulf.”
Per E. Larsson, Chief Executive of the DIFX, said: “This listing of an Australian company with assets in Africa and business interests in the Middle East underlines the role of the DIFX as a gateway linking its region with the rest of the world. The DIFX is an ideal listing platform for both international and regional issuers, as it provides strong links to international and regional investors.”
Sphere is the 11th company to carry out an equity listing on the DIFX and the fourth from Australia. Its shares are listed on the ASX (Code: SPH) as the primary market with a market capitalisation of US$400 million.
Under the Memorandum, SABIC and Qatar Steel are to acquire 34.9% and 15% respectively of the shares in a new Mauritanian company established to develop the $1.5 billion project, which aims to export seven million tonnes a year of high grade direct reduction (DR) iron ore pellets from 2010 to the Middle East and North Africa to produce steel.
Hamed Ali, Executive Officer of the DIFX, said: “The DIFX has listed companies in many sectors, from gold mining to finance and from pharmaceuticals to sugar. We look forward to expanding our range of listings by sector and geography.”
Investors can easily trade Sphere’s shares on either the DIFX or the ASX through a settlement link created by the share registry Computershare.