‘Solution soon’ in uranium talks

Areva had made an “important step” in negotiations with the Niger government on new contracts to mine uranium, Luc Oursel, the chief executive of the nuclear group, said on Friday. Niger, the fourth-largest uranium producer, is trying to extract more royalties from the French group, which said this would make its business unprofitable. “We have made an important step forward in the search for a common solution,” Oursel said after a meeting with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou. “It’s a limited time before we reach a definitive solution.” He did not give a timeframe. – Reuters


Annual inflation remains at 6%

Tanzania’s year-on-year inflation was 6 percent last month, unchanged from January, the statistics office said on Saturday. “The monthly headline inflation rate for the month of February 2014 has increased at a lower speed of 1.4 percent compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in January 2014,” the National Bureau of Statistics said. Analysts expect the inflation rate to rise because of higher energy and fuel costs, making it unlikely the government will achieve its 5 percent inflation target by June. – Reuters


Political unrest slows growth

Egypt’s economy was likely to grow less this year than the government’s target of at least 3 percent because of political turmoil, Planning and International Co-operation Minister Ashraf el-Arabi said yesterday. He “hopes” that gross domestic product growth would exceed 2 percent in the fiscal year that ends in June. The average estimate in a survey of 16 economists is for 2.8 percent growth in 2014. Finance Minister Hany Kadry said this month that the economy grew 1.4 percent in the second quarter of the fiscal year. El-Arabi’s forecast was “a factor of lower-than-expected investment growth due to instability and security issues”, said Mona Mansour, the chief economist at investment bank CI Capital. “It all depends on the ability of the government to implement changes that encourage investments.” – Bloomberg