Fortress Breaks through Cement Oligopoly - Ships 100,000 Metric Tons of Cement to Cameroon, Central Africa

Jan 11, 2010, 10:38 ET from Fortress Group LLC

HONG KONG, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Fortress Group, a global sourcing, commodities trading and investment company headquartered in Hong Kong, with operational presence in New York, Dubai, China and several African Countries has embarked on shipping 100,000 metric tons of cement (2 million 50 kg bags) to Cameroon, with the last of eight vessels heading for Cameroon in late December 2009. The cement market in Cameroon has been dominated for years by an Oligopoly. The deal was made possible through a Cameroonian Government funded program under a structured financing arrangement with Standard Chartered Bank as fiscal overseer of Government funds. Fortress worked closely with Standard Chartered and the Government approved importers in executing each transaction in a manner that mitigates financial risks and protects the interests of all parties. To culminate the transaction, in November 2009, Fortress invited the Management of Standard Chartered Bank in Cameroon along with the importer scheduled to receive the first shipment of cement to visit its factory and offices in Asia and to witness firsthand the loading of vessels for onward voyage to Cameroon. Cameroon as well as the CEMAC region as a whole remains a major investment and trading priority for Fortress, and the Company is actively engaged in exploring investment and trading opportunities there, as it is in other parts of Africa.

The World Bank in a recent survey of many African countries estimated that Africa needs over $93 billion dollars invested in order to modernize its infrastructure in a number of critical areas. Notably, Fortress has a long term strategic outlook for Africa and views investing and trading in cement and various commodities extremely critical to Africa's long term development success. Cement industry analysts also estimate that the world's demand for cement will grow at a rate of 4.2% annually through 2012 to 3.5 billion metric tons, driven by strong increases in construction activities in developing countries. By some estimates, Africa alone has an annual demand shortfall of 7 million metric tons, while at the same time the construction industry across Africa is growing. It is in this regard that Fortress seeks to structure trading deals that not only makes sense for its trading partners and local markets, but also ensures quality in all aspects of the entire trading process - quality control in product sourcing, complete transactional and financial due diligence, and excellence in sales execution and product delivery.

For Fortress Group's Africa Trading and Investment Team, the future looks bright, and the Company remains fully committed to working with its local trading and investment partners in exploring new and mutually beneficial market opportunities. Fortress views the Cameroon cement transaction as a model of public-private partnership worth emulating all across Africa in support of development objectives.

Media Contact: Vinod Nain, (New York); +1-516-522-2766,

Media Contact: Nish Patel (Hong Kong); +852-2350-7800,

SOURCE Fortress Group LLC