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  • 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.

  • *Exxon Mobil front-runner for Mozambique LNG stake-sources. MILAN/ LONDON/ SINGAPORE, April 16- Anadarko Petroleum is considering selling its multi-billion dollar stake in Mozambique's giant gas reserves, with Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum both showing interest, banking and industry sources said. The world's largest oil firm has been expected to follow...

  • *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 17- Buying the catering unit of cash-strapped state airline South African Airways could work for Bidvest Group, its chief executive said on Friday. "We have not looked at the asset but it could make sense for us," Brian Joffe, Bidvest's chief executive officer, told Reuters, referring to Air Chefs. The labor and communist alliance partners in the...

  • *West Africa produces 70 percent of world's cocoa. Other African companies such as Ghana's Golden Tree use local cocoa but import milk powder and sugar. Multinationals such as Nestle mass produce chocolate in South Africa for the continent's consumers and source ingredients globally.

  • The revived momentum for Chinese automakers adds to pressure on General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and other global brands that see China's crowded market as their future at a time when sales growth is slow in the United States and stalled in Europe. Producers including Nissan Motor Co., VW and Mercedes Benz see the market as so important they increasingly are...

  • China auto brands enjoying rebound driven by new models Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 9:36 PM ET

    The revived momentum for Chinese automakers adds to pressure on General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and other global brands that see China's crowded market as their future at a time when sales growth is slow in the United States and stalled in Europe. Producers including Nissan Motor Co., VW and Mercedes Benz see the market as so important they increasingly are...

  • April 16- Philip Morris International Inc's shares are on track for their best day in over six years after the maker of Marlboro cigarettes raised its full-year profit forecast as it sold more cigarettes at higher prices, especially in Europe. Philip Morris's shares rose as much as 8.3 percent on Thursday, their biggest intraday percentage gain since November...

  • 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...

  • NEW YORK— Philip Morris International Inc.' s first-quarter profit fell, pressured by a strong dollar. Philip Morris earned $1.8 billion, or $1.16 per share, for the period ended March 31. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.02 per share.

  • 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...

  • Bible stories and thrillers make Morocco filming choice Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 6:16 AM ET

    But while the arched doorways, balconies and furnishings all say Roman-era Israel, the real-life setting is southern Morocco. Viewers in America and elsewhere in the world may not know it but they have seen a lot of Morocco in the past year. "Morocco has also been Somalia numerous times, including in the 2001 film" Blackhawk Down, "and more recently in the 2013" Captain...

  • LONDON, April 16- Diageo, the world's largest spirits maker, reported slower quarterly trading on Thursday, hurt by tough comparisons in Britain and retailers reducing inventory in Southeast Asia. Diageo shares were down 2.9 percent at 1911 pence by 0837 GMT. Analysts were hoping for signs of improvement in the United States, Diageo's largest profit driver,...

  • 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...

  • More people worldwide are opening bank accounts Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 | 4:01 PM ET

    The number people with an account— either on mobile phones or at bank branches— jumped by 700 million between 2011 and 2014, the World Bank said Wednesday. "It's the first step of getting into the world's financial system," says Asli Demirguc-Kunt, who directs research at the World Bank and co-authored its 2014 Global Findex Survey. Mobile payment accounts are...

  • 4 ways a surging dollar rattles world economies, markets Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 | 11:28 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The U.S. dollar hasn't been on a roll like this since Ronald Reagan sat in the White House and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ruled the box office. Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that the strong dollar is hurting ticket sales in some foreign markets and announced plans to pull back international service, primarily in Japan, Brazil, India, Africa and the Middle...

  • April 15- Delta Air Lines Inc on Wednesday reported first-quarter profit that topped analysts' expectations and said it would reduce international capacity in the fourth quarter where a strong U.S. dollar has weakened demand. While a strong U.S. dollar has dented demand abroad and concerned investors, Delta's unit revenue and capacity guidance painted a...

  • 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...

  • DALLAS— Delta Air Lines plans to reduce international flying later this year as travel demand in some places weakens due to lower oil prices and the strong U.S. dollar. The airline said Wednesday that it will make cuts of up to 20 percent on routes to Japan, India, Brazil, Africa and the Middle East. It will suspend winter flights to Moscow.

  • US to tell certain travelers if on no-fly list Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 | 11:26 AM ET

    The explanations provided to six travelers so far, which were mandated by a federal judge, have been inadequate, the ACLU said. For instance, in a letter to New Jersey resident Amir Meshal, the government's explanation for his inclusion on the list was based on information the FBI obtained from Meshal when he was detained in Africa in 2007, ACLU attorney Hina...