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Business Africa

  • LUSAKA, Aug 4- China will lend Zambia $282 million to improve the nation's telecommunications infrastructure and increase mobile phone usage over three years, the Chinese ambassador said on Friday. Zambia, Africa's No.2 copper producer, has over 12 million mobile phone service subscribers, equivalent to about 70 percent of the population, according to latest...

  • *New CEO to slow Africa expansion plans, focus on margins. JOHANNESBURG, Aug 4- The new boss of Liberty Holdings Ltd will slow its expansion and focus on higher margin products such as a recently launched pension policy, he said on Friday, as he strives to turn around South Africa's fourth-largest insurer. However, new CEO David Munro, the former head of Standard...

  • LONDON/ CAPE TOWN, Aug 4- Gunvor has offered to help Equatorial Guinea with financing as the Swiss commodity trader looks to edge out rivals bidding for supply from Africa's first deepwater floating liquefied natural gas plant. Gunvor, Vitol and Royal Dutch Shell have been shortlisted for an LNG off-take deal from the $2 billion Fortuna project with a decision...

  • HONG KONG, Aug 4- China plans to further tighten the screws on overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies and borrowing to fund those transactions, and has started closely scrutinizing the commercial aspects of the deals, three people familiar with the move said. China's outbound M&A volumes nearly halved in the first six months of this year to $64.2 billion...

  • FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 SYDNEY- Reserve Bank of Australia publishes monetary policy statement- 0130 GMT. TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 SYDNEY- Assistant Governor at the Reserve Bank of Australia Christopher Kent speaks at The Bloomberg Address, Sydney 2235 GMT. MELBOURNE Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe appears before the House Economics committee- 2330 GMT.

  • ABUJA, Aug 3- Nigeria will legalize currently outlawed mini refineries in the Niger Delta oil hub by the end of the year and supply them with crude at a reasonable price, the presidency said on Thursday, fulfilling demands from community leaders. On Monday, Niger Delta leaders threatened to pull out of peace talks with the government unless their demands were met...

  • ABUJA, Aug 3- Nigeria will legalize illegal mini refineries in the Niger Delta oil hub by the end of the year and supply them with crude at a reasonable price, the presidency said on Thursday, fulfilling a demand from community leaders. On Monday, Niger Delta leaders threatened to pull out of peace talks with the government unless their demands were met by Nov. 1.

  • ASUNCION/ CHICAGO, Aug 3- Weather damage to crops in Paraguay has robbed the international wheat market of more supplies of the high-quality grain needed to make bread and snatched an opportunity for the country to cultivate customers other than its massive neighbor, Brazil. Frost has been so bad that Paraguay may lose as much as half the 430,000 hectares sown...

  • *Nigeria forecasts 2.2 pct growth this year. LAGOS, Aug 3- Nigeria and the International Monetary Fund disagree over how much the economy will grow this year, with the government saying 2.2 percent and the Fund opting for just 0.8 percent. Either would be an improvement on last year, when Nigeria suffered its first recession in more than two decades as low crude...

  • LUSAKA, Aug 3- The Zambian kwacha is expected to firm next week on increasing hard currency inflows, while the Kenyan shilling is likely to remain steady as the central bank intervenes to smooth out price volatility. At 0751 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa's second largest copper producer at 9.0100 per dollar from a close of 8.8100...

  • *H1 profit at 3.9 bln rand vs loss 4.9 bln rand. JOHANNESBURG, Aug 3- MTN Group, Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, on Thursday returned to profit in the first half of the year, helping the company to move on from a turbulent 2016 that highlighted the risks of its emerging markets strategy. It's a very encouraging platform upon which to build our strategy, "said Rob...

  • Aug 3- U.S. cosmetics maker Avon Products Inc, which has been under pressure from activist investor Barington Capital, said Sheri McCoy will step down as chief executive next year, sending the company's shares sliding 9 percent in premarket trading. McCoy's exit caps a turbulent five years for the company, which shrunk to half its size after selling most of its U.S....

  • Aug 3- Cosmetics maker Avon Products Inc, which has been under pressure from activist investor Barington Capital, said on Thursday Sheri McCoy will step down as chief executive in March next year. Barington had been pushing for management changes at the company since 2015, but backed off for a year after Avon signed a deal to sell its U.S. business to...

  • CHICAGO, Aug 3- If you are hovering around retirement age today, you will be closing in on your eighties in the year 2030. The United States is headed toward a severe shortage of caregivers- paid and unpaid- in the decades ahead, according to human resources expert Paul Osterman. A professor of human resources and management at the Massachusetts Institute of...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Aug 3- MTN Group, Africa's biggest mobile phone operator, returned to first-half profit on Thursday, marking a move away from a turbulent 2016 that highlighted the risks of the company's emerging markets strategy. MTN, which operates in more than 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East, said headline earnings came in at 3.9 billion rand, or 212...

  • JOHANNESBURG, Aug 3- Packaging and paper company Mondi Group's half-year underlying profit fell 6 percent after the valuation of its forestry assets in South Africa rose less than the year before and due to the impact of mill maintenance shutdowns, it said on Thursday. Underlying operating profit fell to 497 million euros in the six months through June from 529...

  • LONDON, Aug 2- World trade is growing again which will give a big boost to middle distillates such as diesel used in the high-power engines that move almost all freight. World trade volumes grew by 5 percent in the three months to May compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

  • **BUENOS AIRES- UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond visits Argentina on Wednesday and Thursday for meetings with President Mauricio Macri, Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne and Finance Minister Luis Caputo. PRAGUE- Czech National Bank holds Monetary Policy Meeting followed by Statement and presentation- 1100 GMT. FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 SYDNEY- Reserve Bank of...

  • NEW YORK/ SINGAPORE, Aug 2- Standard Chartered is planning to launch an energy trading business in New York, two sources familiar with the matter said, in what appears to be the first major bank move into the sector in the United States after years of retreat on Wall Street due to cutbacks and stricter regulation. The British bank has hired Matthew Hastings, a former...

  • *STOXX 600, blue chips down 0.5 pct. LONDON, Aug 2- Miners and banks led a sell-off among cyclical sectors weighing on the European market on Wednesday, while semiconductor firms' shares were up. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.