World Bank will lend for repairs

The World Bank would offer $1 billion (R10.3bn) in financing to help Angola rebuild infrastructure and develop its agriculture, an official at the lender said on Monday. Oil exports have helped Angola’s economy grow rapidly since its civil war ended in 2002, but it must still repair infrastructure and expand other sectors of the economy. “We can make available $1bn, fundamentally to finance infrastructure and agriculture,” Gregor Binkert, the World Bank’s country director for Angola and five other African nations, said. “There is much need and the government has quite a coherent programme, so the World Bank will support it financially.” – Reuters


Kwacha slides to record low

Zambia’s kwacha retreated to a record low against the dollar yesterday. It has fallen more than any other currency this month, as lower copper prices and a tax dispute with mines have curbed foreign-exchange supply. The currency fell as much as 2.3 percent to 7.035 kwachas to the dollar and was trading at 6.9610 at 2.03pm in Lusaka. That extended losses for this month to 9.4 percent. The Zambia Revenue Authority withheld over $500 million (R5.1 billion) in VAT repayments to mines, saying they did not comply with rules requiring import certificates from the countries to which they shipped copper. The dispute was close to being resolved, the Chamber of Mines said on Friday. – Bloomberg


Rio Tinto joins iron ore project

Rio Tinto has agreed to financial terms with the government of Guinea for a potential $20 billion (R206bn) iron ore mine, port and rail project that may start by the end of this decade. The accord would underpin talks with new investors for the rail and port component of developing the Simandou resource, Rio Tinto and its project partners, Aluminum Corporation of China, International Finance Corporation and the government of Guinea, said in a joint statement on Monday. Simandou is the world’s largest untapped iron ore resource and Rio Tinto estimates the mine could produce 100 million tons of iron ore a year. The project could double Guinea’s current gross domestic product and add 45 000 jobs in the country, the statement said. – Bloomberg