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Africa

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  • ACCRA, Feb 26- Ghana and the International Monetary Fund reached agreement on Thursday on a three-year funding deal they hope will restore fiscal stability to an economy hailed until recently as an African star. For years Ghana's economy grew at around 8 percent on the back of gold, cocoa and oil exports and it was rated one of the most attractive countries in...

  • BEIJING— China imposed a one-year ban on ivory imports that took immediate effect Thursday amid criticism that its citizens' huge appetite for ivory has fueled poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants. China is the world's largest importer of smuggled tusks, although Beijing has campaigned against illegal ivory. After China acquired a...

  • *Angola oil output dropped 3 percent in 2014. LUANDA, Feb 26- Angola plans to increase its oil production by 20 percent by next year after suffering a "very difficult" 2014 as costs soared, prices slumped and technical problems hit output, the state oil company Sonangol said. Oil output from Africa's second largest exporter and a supplier to China averaged 1.67...

  • Feb 26- Google Inc has combined its two European regional divisions as it seeks to meet the challenges of tougher regulation across the continent, a source close to the company said on Thursday. In response, Google has argued that for Europe to remain competitive in global markets, it needs to form a single digital market instead of relying on national...

  • *RBS to cut investment bank assets by over 60 pct. *Howard Davies confirmed as chairman. LONDON, Feb 26- Royal Bank of Scotland will drastically shrink its investment banking operations, pulling out of 25 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and allowing the state-controlled lender to refocus on local lending in Britain.

  • Feb 25- Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it began production of the 2015 Ford Edge at its Oakville Assembly plant in Canada for export to more than 100 countries. The Ford Edge will be exported to Asia, Africa and the Middle East from North America and South America. The company said it invested C $700 million to retool and expand the plant in Oakville, Ontario.

  • NEW YORK— Book publishers for Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly say they stand behind his work despite questions that have been raised about his reporting. O'Reilly's series of books about the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ have sold millions of copies and been turned into successful movies for the National Geographic channel.

  • LONDON, Feb 25- Standard Bank Plc said on Wednesday its co-head of commodities, Jim Coupland, is leaving after two decades, during which he built one of the world's biggest metals banks. His departure comes at a challenging time for Standard Bank as it seeks to recoup millions of dollars in losses from a metal financing scandal in China's Qingdao port that rocked...

  • CAPE TOWN, Feb 25- South Africa will increase income tax rates for the first time in 20 years, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said in a gloomy budget speech on Wednesday, as he cut growth forecasts for an economy beset by chronic power shortages. Nene also widened budget deficit estimates for Africa's most developed economy and said the government would have to...

  • ABU DHABI, Feb 25- Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, a unit of United Technologies Corp, expects to sell around 400 helicopters in the Middle East over the next five to ten years, roughly as many as it has delivered to the region to date, its regional head said on Wednesday. "Expansion of the existing fleet of 400 will be in a proportional manner, and modernisation is going to drive...

  • Overfishing driving slavery on Thailand's seafood boats Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | 5:19 AM ET

    SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand— Urine pools under a bed where an emaciated Burmese man lies wearing only a T-shirt and a diaper. He is just one of countless hidden casualties from the fishing industry in Thailand, the world's third-largest seafood exporter. The group estimates that up to half of all fish labeled a "product of Thailand" is sourced from outside its borders—...

  • LONDON, Feb 24- Non-Chinese aluminium production was unchanged in January, according to the latest figures from the International Aluminium Institute. A combination of lower London Metal Exchange basis price and softer physical premiums, particularly in Europe, has seen the all-in price slide back to just above $2,100 per tonne from over $2,450 as recently...

  • Kuwait's Zain seeks to repatriate $280 mln from Sudan Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 | 9:24 AM ET

    KUWAIT, Feb 24- Kuwait and Sudan are in talks to help telecom operator Zain repatriate $280 million worth of Sudanese pounds, the company's chairman said on Tuesday. Zain, which operates in about eight countries in the Middle East and Africa including Sudan and Iraq, has long faced difficulties changing revenue earned in Sudanese pounds into other currencies.

  • Feb 24- Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that its active advertisers rose to 2 million, a 33 percent increase from the 1.5 million it had in July 2014. Facebook does not break out the actual number of small business advertisers versus big brands, but they tend to spend on average $5 to $50 a day. Sandberg said that the fastest areas of growth of small business advertising...

  • *Russia may review tax on wheat exports in March. MOSCOW/ KIEV, Feb 24- Officials in both Russia and Ukraine are considering tougher trade protections to keep food prices from spiraling as their currencies collapse, with Moscow taking more aggressive steps than Kiev to control exports. The Russian rouble has lost nearly half its value and the Ukrainian hryvnia...

  • LONDON, Feb 24- Non-Chinese aluminum production was unchanged in January, according to the latest figures from the International Aluminum Institute. A combination of lower London Metal Exchange basis price and softer physical premiums, particularly in Europe, has seen the all-in price slide back to just above $2,100 per tonne from over $2,450 as recently as...

  • Heavy security prevents opposition protests in Algiers Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 | 7:59 AM ET

    ALGIERS, Algeria— Hundreds of Algerian police officers sealed off avenues in the capital on Tuesday to prevent an opposition demonstration against plans to drill for shale gas in the south of the country. A few dozen opposition activists were able to briefly demonstrate near the rally site in Algiers chanting "Algeria Free and Democratic" before being...

  • Somalia extremists urge attacks on US shopping malls Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 8:03 AM ET

    JOHANNESBURG— A video purported to be by Somalia's al-Qaida- linked rebel group al-Shabab urged Muslims to attack shopping malls in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other Western countries. The threat by the al-Qaida affiliate came in the final minutes of a more than hourlong video released Saturday in which the extremists also warned Kenya of more attacks like the...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Feb 23- South Africa's Harmony Gold must feel cursed by its Kusasalethu mine, where a fire on Sunday has delivered a fresh blow to the company's efforts to boost earnings. More than half of their book is not making money and Kusasalethu is the main culprit, "said Daniel Sacks, portfolio manager at Investec. The deep level operation west of Johannesburg...

  • *Fire started 2.3 km underground at 0800 GMT. JOHANNESBURG, Feb 22- South Africa's Harmony Gold said on Sunday all 486 miners who were trapped underground following a fire had been rescued. South Africa's gold mines are the deepest in the world and were ranked as some of the most dangerous during the apartheid era.