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Wal-Mart ordered to double S.Africa fund to $23 mln

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 9 (Reuters) - A South African court on Tuesday ordered the local unit of Wal-Mart to double a planned fund for small suppliers to $23 million, ending more than a year of legal wrangling over its entry into Africa.

The Competition Appeal Court ruled that Massmart Holdings , which is 51 percent owned by the world's biggest retailer, must spend up to 200 million rand ($23 million) on developing local suppliers over the next five years.

Wal-Mart last year promised to spend 100 million rand on developing small suppliers as a condition of its $2.4 billion deal to buy control of Massmart.

Government and unions had appealed the deal, seeking tougher conditions.

The Cape Town-based Competition Appeal Court dismissed that appeal in March and set up a commission - which included economist Joseph Stiglitz - to study whether the proposed 100 million rand fund over three years was enough.

"Allowing for inflation and an extension of the period by two further years, 200 million (rand) appears to us to be a figure that is sufficient to meet the objectives of the fund," the court said in its ruling on Tuesday.

Shares of Massmart finished up 1.9 percent at 167 rand. ($1 = 8.8828 South African rand)

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

((tiisetso.motsoeneng@thomsonreuters.com)(+27 11 775 3122)(Reuters Messaging: tiisetso.motsoeneng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MASSMART WALMART/

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