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  • --Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The Toronto Stock Exchange- based index groups together the world's top gold producers, including No.1 Barrick Gold Corp, which is up 20.5 percent this year in U.S. dollar terms, and No.2 Newmont Mining Corp, which has gained 40 percent. The No.3 producer, Johannesburg- listed AngloGold Ashanti, is up 32 percent since the start of...

  • But Reuters polls of more than 250 economists across Europe and North America show only modest upgrades to growth forecasts and a reluctance to relinquish a depressed inflation view, despite the rush of rate cuts and central bank cash that most respondents believe is far from over. Germany's DAX index has rallied more than 20 percent since the start of the year...

  • JOHANNESBURG, April 19- When he heard angry screams and the hammering of hatchets on the door of his shack last week, Malawian Folias Sakai thought he was about to become the eighth person to be killed in anti-immigrant attacks that have swept South Africa this month. Instead Sakai managed to escape the mob by scrambling over the metal rooftop of his shack in a...

  • CAPE TOWN, April 18- Production at the 172,000 barrels per day Sapref refinery, South Africa's largest and co-owned by BP and Shell, is normal following a pipeline fire that was extinguished on Saturday morning, a spokeswoman said. "The refinery is still online and production has not been impacted," Cindy Govender said in response to questions.

  • *South Africa faces 6th straight day of power cuts. *S.Africa seeks future World Bank funding for Eskom. JOHANNESBURG, April 17- South Africa appointed veteran public service expert Brian Molefe as acting CEO of its struggling power utility firm Eskom on Friday in an attempt to help keep the lights on in Africa's most advanced economy.

  • JOHANNESBURG, April 16- South African investment house Brait SE is to pay $1 billion for a controlling stake in gym group Virgin Active, Brait said on Thursday, seeking to tap the growing health-conscious middle classes particularly in Africa and Asia. The fitness chain, jointly owned by the Virgin Group of entrepreneur Richard Branson and buyout firm CVC...

  • The fitness chain, jointly owned by the Virgin Group of entrepreneur Richard Branson and buyout firm CVC Capital Partners, has 267 gyms across nine countries including South Africa, home to the largest number of Virgin Active clubs, Thailand and Britain. Brait has proposed to take an 80 percent stake in Virgin Active for 682 million pounds, valuing the gym chain...

  • Zimbabwe takes tobacco road to agriculture recovery Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 3:52 AM ET

    HARARE, April 15- Fifteen years after Zimbabwe's agriculture sector collapsed in the face of President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms, its tobacco industry is again booming, with black farmers funded by private firms producing a near record crop. Production of tobacco, increasingly sold at a premium to China, was up 235 percent last year compared...

  • ABUJA, April 15- Oil firms keen to know how Nigeria's president elect Muhammadu Buhari plans to tax them could be waiting a long time as he makes ending corruption and reforming the opaque national oil company his most urgent sector priorities. Four party sources from Buhari's All Progressives Congress told Reuters the issue of fiscal terms, seen as crucial by...

  • South Africa names bidders for 1,000 MW of green power Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 | 10:42 AM ET

    JOHANNESBURG, April 14- South Africa has named preferred bidders for the fourth round of a series of renewable energy projects, that will add about 1,000 megawatts of power to its ailing grid, industry insiders said on Tuesday. "We have been awarded the 140 MW Roggerveld wind farm and the 4.7 MW Kruisvallei hydro farm," said Gabriele Maraschin, development manager...

  • *Istanbul aims to be top-10 financial hub. *Equity market has not kept pace with economic growth. ISTANBUL, April 12- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan dreams of transforming Istanbul into a financial hub that can rival Dubai or Singapore, but first he needs to win over would-be investors like Ali Bahcuvan.

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 21 Thursday, 9 Apr 2015 | 8:01 PM ET

    SARASOTA, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker speaks on the economic outlook before an event co-sponsored by the Global Interdependence Center and the Financial Planning Association of the Suncoast- 1245 GMT. BLOOMINGTON, United States- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks...

  • By Rahul Karunakar and Hari Kishan. March 31- Uncertainty surrounding the timing of the U.S. Chinese and most European stocks have led the way with a stellar run, buoyed by stimulus from the People's Bank of China and the European Central Bank.

  • JOHANNESBURG, March 27- South African utility Eskom fired 1,000 workers at a power plant on Friday and its chief executive failed to overturn his suspension, worsening the turmoil at the company. Africa's most advanced economy is suffering its most severe power shortage since 2008 as state-owned Eskom struggles to keep the lights on. "The application is struck...

  • DIARY-Emerging Markets Economic Events to April 6 Monday, 23 Mar 2015 | 8:02 PM ET

    MAKATI CITY, Philippines- Asian Development Bank to release Asian Development Outlook Report 2015- 0130 GMT. MANILA- Philippines Investment Forum 2015. Philippines President Benigno S Aquino III, Philippines Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Philippines Central Bank Amando M Tetangco Jr are the key speakers. PRAGUE- Czech Republic Finance Minister...

  • WASHINGTON/ MIAMI, March 23- The December breakthrough that upended a half-century of U.S.- Cuba enmity has been portrayed as the fruit of 18 months of secret diplomacy. President Barack Obama and veteran Cuba specialists to forge the historic rapprochement. In a May 2008 speech to the conservative Cuban-American National Foundation in Miami, Obama set out a...

  • Battered Africa gold valuations to spur mines sales Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 8:07 AM ET

    JOHANNESBURG/ LONDON, March 19- Some of the lowest valuations in decades and rising pressure on Africa's gold producers to restructure or perish are likely to spur a wave of acquisitions in a sector attracting a growing number of potential buyers. Gold producers are now being forced to shape up to stay afloat and their focus has switched to cutting costs and...

  • *South32 net debt at $674 mln, well below forecasts. *Net assets $12.95 bln, based on book value. MELBOURNE/ LONDON, March 17- BHP Billiton said a proposed $13 billion spinoff of South32 would give the world's biggest miner a strong chance to ride out tough conditions in commodity markets and was a more attractive option than an asset sale.

  • *South32 net debt at $674 mln, well below forecasts. MELBOURNE, March 17- BHP Billiton has put far less debt than expected into its $13 billion South32 spin-off, positioning the company formed from its unloved assets to weather tough markets and still pay a dividend. Named for the line of latitude linking its two main centers, Australia and South Africa, South32 had...

  • MELBOURNE, March 17- BHP Billiton has positioned its South32 spin-off for future growth, tipping in much less debt than expected to the new company made up of BHP's unloved assets when it lists in May. In the longer term, BHP would be better placed to achieve "substantial productivity gains beyond the $4 billion per annum already targeted" by the end of 2016/ 17, Chief...