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Africa

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  • *Enel plans to build 5 GW of renewable energy in Africa. PARIS, May 22- Italian utility Enel plans huge investments in renewable energy and grids in Africa, where it expects to find the kind of growth it has enjoyed in Latin America. Enel's chief executive officer Francesco Starace told Reuters that in five years Enel expects to have built up to 5,000 megawatts of...

  • Prominent Angolan journalist released Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 12:51 PM ET

    JOHANNESBURG— A prominent Angolan journalist, jailed for his criticism of the government, has been released, a human rights group said on Thursday. The criminal case against Rafael Marques de Morais has been stopped, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights group said. "This is an absolutely stunning turnaround," said Jeffrey Smith, Africa director of the Robert F. Kennedy...

  • NEW DELHI, May 21- India's central bank is working to liberalize its foreign exchange rules to make it easier to do business with Asia's third-largest economy, Deputy Governor H.R. Khan said on Thursday, a step that could support flagging exports. "We have got a positive response from the RBI and it could soon issue directions to banks," said S.C. Ralhan, president of...

  • JOHANNESBURG, May 21- South Africa's biggest private hospital group Mediclinic International reported a sharp slowdown in earnings growth on Thursday as regulations squeezed the profit margin of its Swiss unit. Mediclinic said its Hirslanden unit, the largest private hospital network in Switzerland, was hit by an adjustment of the national outpatient...

  • Congo assesses $6.7 billion contracts with Chinese Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 7:08 AM ET

    KINSHASA, Congo— Congo's government is bringing in outside experts to investigate the long-term impact of some $6.7 billion in contracts with Chinese companies that critics say could exploit the central African nation's mineral riches. To assess the project's impact, officials from the World Bank and the United Nations visited the mines this week.

  • PARIS, May 20- French President Francois Hollande said he was worried about a lack of progress towards a United Nations climate deal in Paris in December and called on the financial sector to "decarbonise" its investment portfolios. Hollande said on Wednesday that only 37 of 196 U.N. member states had so far submitted plans to the United Nations outlining their...

  • Nigeria's outgoing president approves 2015 budget Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 12:51 PM ET

    ABUJA, May 20- Outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the 4.5 trillion naira budget for 2015, which was passed by parliament in late April, the president's spokesman said on Wednesday. The budget is 3.2 percent smaller than last year's as Africa's biggest oil producer is facing a cash crunch following the halving of global crude prices in...

  • NEW YORK— BHP Billiton has agreed to pay $25 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it violated anti-bribery laws by failing to have a proper system in place to prevent the risk of bribery when it paid for trips of 60 government officials to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The SEC said the mining company brought 60 government...

  • According to the SEC, BHP ultimately paid for 60 guests and some spouses and guests to attend, mainly from Africa and Asia. "BHP Billiton recognized that inviting government officials to the Olympics created a heightened risk of violating anti-corruption laws, yet the company failed to implement sufficient internal controls to address that heightened risk,"...

  • EU lawmakers seek ban on "blood metals" in surprise vote Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 9:12 AM ET

    The result is set to paralyse the bill because European Union governments say firms across the 28 EU countries cannot track materials from small mines all the way through commodity exchanges to component manufacturers and the final product. Greens, centre-left and protest lawmakers from the far-left and far-right gained critical mass in the vote to...

  • DUBAI, May 20- An $85 million loan taken out by a Ugandan bank this year points to an emerging trend in international capital markets: the rise of the Gulf as a syndicated loan market for Africa and Asia. Stanbic Bank Uganda originally intended to raise $75 million through the 18- month deal in January, but expanded that because of strong interest from banks wanting...

  • DIARY- Emerging Markets Economic Events to June 1 Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 8:02 PM ET

    ANKARA- Central bank of Turkey to hold monthly monetary policy committee meeting. PRAGUE- International Monetary Fund holds a press conference at the end of its annual mission to the Czech Republic- 1315 GMT. BRASILIA- International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde visits Brazil to participate in a central bank seminar about inflation targeting.

  • UNITED NATIONS— The United Nations is lowering its growth estimate for the global economy this year, saying its previous forecast of 3.1 percent growth in 2015 is now more likely to be 2.8 percent instead. The World Economic Situation and Prospects mid-year report released Tuesday says the dip reflects a worsening in Latin America in particular as the region...

  • ABUJA, May 19- Nigeria's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 13 percent on Tuesday, stressing the need to preserve foreign exchange reserves that have been depleted in recent months to support a weaker naira. At the bank's first policy meeting since the shock election victory of Muhammadu Buhari, who takes office as president on May 29, Governor...

  • Investment to Nigeria down by a third in first quarter Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 11:38 AM ET

    LAGOS, Nigeria— Foreign investment to Nigeria fell by nearly a third with the United States a "key driver" of the decline in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Capital importation to Africa's biggest oil producer totaled $2.67 billion for the opening quarter, the lowest in two years, the bureau...

  • LONDON, May 19- Britain's Vodafone posted a rise in quarterly sales for the first time in nearly three years on Tuesday in the clearest sign yet that Europe's mobile market is edging towards recovery. That follows updates from the likes of Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom which also showed signs of gradual, if slow, improvement in Europe. Vodafone, which has 446...

  • CAXITO, Angola, May 19- After decades of civil war destroyed Angola's fertile farmland and a booming oil industry pushed out all other commerce, Santa Rodrigo wondered how she could ever bring up her five children in the poverty that surrounded them. So the result of an investment in 2005 to irrigate the land where Santa Rodrigo lives- Caxito, around 60 kilometres...

  • --Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The $70 billion buyout of BG Plc by larger rival Royal Dutch Shell is generally viewed by investors and analysts as the first big deal in a likely series of major mergers and acquisitions in the resource sector. Ryan Lance, the chief executive of ConocoPhillips, was adamant that he didn't expect a "big M&A wave any time soon."

  • BERLIN/ FRANKFURT, May 18- Within 40 minutes of Germanwings flight 4 U9525 crashing in the Alps in March French accident investigators from the BEA authority were on the phone to plane tracking website Flightradar24. "BEA called us and we of course passed the information over to them right away," the website operator's chief executive Fredrik Lindahl said.

  • BUJUMBURA, May 16- About a hundred protesters took to the streets of Bujumbura on Saturday against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term, a day after he returned to the capital following a failed coup. The fate of General Godefroid Niyombare, who had announced the president's ouster on Wednesday, was still not clear on Saturday,...