AEV 6.67% 1.4¢ avenira limited

another deal over night

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    Markets continue to heat up

    Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Orascom Construction Industries,
    Egypt's biggest publicly traded builder, agreed to buy the
    fertilizer making unit of Abraaj Capital Ltd. for $1.59 billion
    to tap booming demand for agricultural chemicals.
    Orascom will pay cash and shares and will also assume $1.1
    billion of debt, the Cairo-based company said in a statement
    today. The cash element of the deal is $874.5 million and
    Orascom said it plans to issue 12.77 million new shares.
    The construction company plans to buy more fertilizer
    assets as consumers in emerging markets including China add more
    protein to their diets, Chief Executive Officer Nassef Sawiris
    said today. The company said in December that it's considering
    buying fertilizer, sanitation and transport businesses with
    proceeds from the $12.9 billion sale of its cement unit to
    Paris-based Lafarge SA, the world's biggest cement maker.
    ``Fertilizer prices are very high in the global market.
    This is a positive development for Orascom,'' said Nemat
    Choucri, an analyst at HC Securities & Investment Co. in Cairo
    who is reviewing his ``accumulate'' rating on the stock. ``It's
    a reasonable price.''
    Orascom advanced as much as 49.24 Egyptian pounds, or 8.2
    percent, to 649.5 pounds, the biggest gain since Jan. 22, 2006,
    and the highest price since March 17, 1999. The stock was trading
    at 641 pounds as of 3:49 p.m. in Cairo. That gives the company a
    market value of 129.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($23.6 billion).

    Spending Power

    Fertilizer makers, seed producers and other agricultural
    companies are receiving rising orders from a global surge in
    grain prices that is giving farmers more money to spend on
    yield-boosting crop nutrients. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan
    Inc., the world's largest maker of crop nutrients, expects food
    demand from a growing middle class in China and India to buoy
    grain prices for years, Chief Executive Officer William Doyle
    said Feb. 19.
    Potash's fourth-quarter profit more than doubled to a
    record $376.8 million because of higher prices and increased
    shipments, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said Jan.
    24. Kassel, Germany-based K+S AG, Europe's largest potash
    producer, had its share price target raised twice in February by
    C.A. Cheuvreux on the likelihood that price increases will
    ``We're very bullish on the fertilizer business and we're a
    strong believer in the agricultural growth story,'' Sawiris said
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