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Zimbabwe firms hit by latest Mugabe law
Peter Taylor and Sebastien Berger, The Telegraph
March 10, 2008

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/money/2008/03/10/cnzim110.xml

International 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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