Welcome to the latest edition of the ABBC Business News Digest.

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Air Algérie suspends flights to Jordan and Lebanon

On 13th April, the State-owned airline Air Algérie announced the temporary suspension of flights to Jordan and Lebanon until further notice. Read more

AAPI to offer over 400 new land plots to investors across Algeria

The Algerian Investment Promotion Agency (AAPI) has announced that starting from next week it plans to offer more than 400 new State-owned plots of land, covering a total area of more than 320 hectares across 25 wilayas, to investors to carry out economic projects. The plots will be made available via the online investor platform. Read more

6,600 investment projects registered by end of March

By the end of March 2024, the Algerian Investment Promotion Agency (AAPI), had recorded 6,600 investment projects worth nearly 3,200bn DZD (24bn USD), according to the Director General of the AAPI, Omar Rekkache. This figure represents the number of projects registered since 1st November 2022, when the agency first began its activities. Read more

Supported Employment Contracts to be reactivated

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has announced that the system of Supported Employment Contracts (CTA) will be reactivated. The mechanism will be applicable to all public and private companies and will target beneficiaries of unemployment benefits with the aim of enabling them to join the workforce, former beneficiaries of the Professional Integration Assistance Mechanism (DAIP) that have not been engaged in any paid activity after the end of the DAIP contract, as well as first-time job seekers graduating from higher education, secondary education or vocational training institutes. Read more

Ministry initiates investigations to curb price hikes on imported goods

The Ministry of Trade and Export Promotion has announced that it has begun carrying out on-site investigations to monitor the price structure of imported products at various importers and wholesalers ‘with a view to curbing the unjustified increase in the price of certain products, notably bananas.’ In this context, the ministry reported ‘that two banana import companies have had their bank domiciliation documents permanently revoked and legal proceedings have been launched against them within the framework of the law on speculation.’ Read more

Constitutional Court lifts parliamentary immunity for seven officials

The Constitutional Court has lifted the parliamentary immunity of a member of the Council of the Nation (upper house of parliament) and six MPs. The decision to remove their immunity was taken during court sessions on 12th and 13th February 2024 and was published in the latest Official Gazette. The individuals affected are:

  • F. B. G., member of the Council of the Nation in Skikda for the Sawt Echaab party, on charges of ‘granting undue privileges with a view to influencing the vote of one or more voters.’
  • B. G., independent MP, on charges of ‘intentionally abusing his position with a view to performing or refraining from performing, in the exercise of his functions, an act in violation of the laws and regulations in effect to obtain undue advantages for another person, as well as manifest negligence causing the loss of public funds.’
  • D. O., independent MP, on charges of ‘damaging a plot of agricultural land of approximately 20 hectares in the Corniche du Chenoua tourist zone (Cherchell) and developing the land into a habitable area by building a residential complex with luxurious villas with swimming pools and sea views, as well as multi-storey hotel buildings.’
  • N. K., independent MP, on charges of ‘non-compliance with town planning documents approved by the competent authority and ‘abuse of office’ as well as ‘defamation.’
  • D. K. MP, on charges of ‘forgery and use of forged administrative documents’ and ‘fraud in two cases.’
  • C.K., MP for the Movement of the Society for Peace (MSP), prosecuted for ‘wilful destruction of property belonging to others’ as well as ‘brawling.’
  • S. A., MP for the National Liberation Front (FLN), on charges of ‘violating regulatory provisions and displaying his photos beyond the locations reserved for this purpose.’ Read more


ENERGY: Project to connect southern electricity grid with national grid to cost 200bn DZD

On 16th April, the Minister of Energy and Mining, Mohamed Arkab announced that the cost of the project to connect the electricity network in the south of the country with the national electricity grid is estimated at 200bn DZD (1.5bn USD). The provisional budget, according to the minister, will be paid entirely in local currency because all the equipment necessary for the network, such as electrical substations, pylons, electrical cables and accessories are manufactured in Algeria. In addition, the entire project will be carried out by public and private Algerian companies. Read more

ENERGY: Sonelgaz partners with General Electric Vernova for GEAT expansion

On 17th April, the State-owned group Sonelgaz signed an agreement with the American group General Electric Vernova, aimed at expanding the current capacities of their joint venture General Electric Algeria Turbines (GEAT) project, notably by producing high and very high voltage substation electrical equipment. Read more

FINANCE: COSOB grants provisional crowdfunding permit to Yinvesti

On 17th April, the Commission for the Organisation and Supervision of Stock Exchange Operations (COSOB) announced that it has granted a provisional permit to the private Algerian company Yinvesti as a Participatory Investment Advisor (CIP) or crowdfunding advisor, for a period of 12 months. The provisional permit will only become effective when the company has made its crowdfunding platform available online with all of the required technical and security conditions, following which the COSOB will issue a final permit enabling the company to act as a CIP advisor. Read more

FISHING: Customs procedures for second-hand fishing vessel imports published in Official Gazette

The customs clearance procedures for importing second-hand large-scale fishing vessels have been published in the Official Gazette. As such, second-hand fishing vessels to be acquired via imports must be built in steel, be less than five years old and have a length equal to or greater than 40 metres. Read more

HEALTHCARE: 240-bed Boumerdès hospital to be completed on 5th July

The Minister of Health, Abdelhak Saihi, has announced that a 240-bed hospital currently under construction in Boumerdès will be completed and come into service on 5th July 2024. Comprising five upper floors in addition to a ground floor, the hospital will have over 10 operating rooms for 13 specialties, which are currently unavailable at hospitals in the wilaya and include neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and oncology, in addition to the usual medical services. According to the minister, the project to build the hospital is ‘very advanced’ and ‘only a few small adjustments remain for it to be completed on 5th July.’ Read more

MEAT: Executive decree imposes profit margin caps on imported red meats

An executive decree capping the profit margins on imported red meats has been published in the Official Gazette. According to the text, the maximum profit margins at import, wholesale and retail distribution stages for imported beef and lamb meat are capped as follows: 4% on each kilogram at import, 5% at wholesale distribution and 8% at retail distribution. Read more

OIL & GAS: Sonatrach and Sweden’s Tethys Oil ink MOU to develop and exploit hydrocarbons

On 16th April, the State-owned group Sonatrach signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swedish company Tethys Oil to establish a partnership to develop and exploit hydrocarbons. This MOU reflects ‘the desire of the two parties to create a partnership to explore, develop and exploit hydrocarbons in two areas of interest, namely El Hadjira II and El Haiad II.’ The purpose of the MOU is also to ‘define the framework of cooperation between the parties with a view to concluding hydrocarbon contracts in identified areas of interest, under the aegis of law n19-13 governing hydrocarbons activities.’ Read more

OIL & GAS: UAE’s TAQA in talks to acquire 40% of Naturgy shares

On 17th April, the Emirati energy group Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) confirmed that it was in discussions with the three main shareholders of the Spanish company Naturgy to purchase more than 40% of shares, which opens the path to a possible total public purchase offer for the group, of which Sonatrach holds 4.1%. Negotiations are underway for the sale of shares by Criteria, which holds 26.7% of the Spanish group and three foreign investment funds, including the CVC private equity fund which holds 20.7%, and the investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP, 20.6%), and the Australian investment fund IFM Global Infrastructure (15%). According to media sources, the Emirati group is looking to pay at least 10bn EUR (10.7bn USD) to acquire 40% of Naturgy’s shares. Read more

RESTAURANT: KFC faces challenges after ‘opening its first restaurant in Algeria’

According to press sources, the first franchised restaurant of the American chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) had its sign removed from the front of the building located in Dely Ibrahim in Algiers. Since its opening on 14th April 2024, multiple sit-ins and protests involving dozens of people have taken place outside the restaurant, with the police being called in to disperse demonstrators. Calls to boycott the brand also circulated via social media networks since the restaurant opened, in support of the Palestinian cause. KFC Algérie has not yet confirmed whether the restaurant will remain opened despite the lack of signage and if other franchised establishments will be opened at a later date as was initially planned. Read more

STEEL: Investigation launched into collapse at El Hadjar steel complex

The Public Prosecutor at the court of El Hadjar (Wilaya of Annaba) has announced that on 14th April 2024 at around 5am, dust extractor no.1 at the materials and agglomerate production unit (PMA) of the El Hadjar steel complex, belonging to the State-owned company Sider, collapsed causing production to come to a halt. The prosecutor has ordered ‘the opening of a preliminary investigation, involving the National Gendarmerie, to clarify the circumstances of the accident and determine responsibilities with a view to taking the appropriate legal measures.’ Read more

TELECOMS: Algérie Télécom boosts internet speeds to celebrate 21st anniversary

Algérie Télécom has announced that it has ‘exceptionally increased’ the internet speeds of its subscribers for a one-month period, starting 11th April, as part of celebrations to mark the group’s 21st anniversary. Read more

TELECOMS: Judicial action taken in Mobilis – Data Mena procurement case

The investigating judge at the National Economic and Financial Penal Centre (Algiers) ordered the provisional detention of three individuals and the placement of four others under judicial supervision for their involvement in a case of ‘suspicious procurement’ between the State-owned telecoms operator Mobilis and the Algerian-Chinese company Data Mena, which is said to have led to ‘enormous squandering of public funds.’ Read more