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firms hit by latest Mugabe law
Peter Taylor and Sebastien Berger, The Telegraph
March 10, 2008
companies trading in Zimbabwe are reviewing operations in the wake
of a new law demanding foreign businesses surrender majority control
of their interests.
It emerged yesterday
that President Robert Mugabe has signed into law a bill dictating
that all businesses must be 51pc-owned by "indigenous Zimbabweans",
redoubling fears the country's economy, already beset by hyperinflation,
is on the brink of collapse.
Barclays, Standard Chartered,
Shell and Unilever are among companies affected by the new law.
A spokesman for household
products maker Unilever, which has a Zimbabwean factory, said: "Our
general approach is to try and stick with it. In this particular
instance I really don't know what's going to happen".
A Barclays spokesman
said the group was "looking into the potential impact of the
law". Miner Anglo-American is in talks with the Zimbabwean
government about its interests.
The government has attempted
to allay fears of blanket seizure, saying it will work with industries
to set timetables for share transfers to local partners.
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