Zimbabwe

    A new Zimbabwean law that forces foreign-owned companies to sell a majority stake in their businesses to indigenous people has come into effect. Overseas-owned firms worth more than USD500,000 (332,000 pounds) will have five years to sell a 51 percent stake, upon the threat of jail sentences. Harare-based economist John Robertson told the BBC’s Network Africa program that it was “a very bad idea.” He said it would only deter further badly-needed foreign investment. “The government appears to have no wish at all to make the country attractive to the [overseas] investors,” Robertson said. The new rule - dubbed the indigenization law - is seen as an extension of the government’s seizure of white-owned farms, which started approximately 10 years ago. (BBC)

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