African Markets – Factors to watch on March 14

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(Reuters) – The following company announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on Wednesday.

EVENTS:

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
The International Criminal Court rules on Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, who is accused of conscripting, training and arming hundreds of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 1998-2003 conflict. This is the first ruling by the ICC since it was set up in The Hague as the world’s first war crimes court.

GHANA
Ghana due to release inflation data for February.

KENYA
Central Bank of Kenya auctions 182-day Treasury bills worth 3 billion shillings.

KENYA
Energy Regulatory Commission issues its fuel monthly price review. Fuel prices have a significant impact on the country’s inflation.

MAURITIUS
Bank of Mauritius to auction 1.5 billion rupees of a reopened 5.5 pct three-year Treasury note

KENYA
Nation Media Group releases its full year earning results.

GLOBAL MARKETS
The dollar jumped against the euro and the yen on Tuesday after comments by the Federal Reserve drove down expectations that it would further ease monetary policy, and U.S. stocks notched multi-year highs on optimism on the economy and after JPMorgan raised its dividend.

WORLD OIL PRICES
Brent crude eased towards $126 on Wednesday as expectations for a build in U.S. crude inventories offset improving economic sentiment in the world’s top oil consumer.

SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
South African stocks bounced back on Tuesday led by resource stocks such as Lonmin and African Rainbow Minerals as platinum rallied for a fifth day in a row and following encouraging confidence data from Germany.

And the rand was steady in its recent range on Tuesday, with investors awaiting comments from U.S. Federal Reserve at 1815 GMT, especially on any fresh monetary stimulus measures which could pump more cash into the global economy and buoy emerging markets.

NIGERIA MARKETS
The Nigerian Stock Exchange said on Tuesday share purchases by foreign investors leapt 80 percent to 512 billion naira ($3.23 bln) last year, despite an overall fall in the main stock index in the same period.

NIGERIA ECONOMY
Nigeria’s economy grew at a faster rate in the fourth quarter last year than the previous three months because of a stronger performance in the non-oil sector, particularly telecoms, data showed on Tuesday.

NIGERIA ZENITH BANK
Nigeria’s Zenith Bank expects to grow its loan book by 20 percent to almost 1 trillion naira ($6 billion) this year as it targets the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

NIGERIA SECURITY
At least seven people were killed in separate attacks by suspected Islamist militants targeting security patrols in northern Nigeria on Tuesday, police said.

KENYA MARKETS
The Kenyan shilling held steady at a near 13-month high on Tuesday, supported by high lending rates and reduced dollar demand, while shares fell as investors booked profits after a three-week-long rally. At close of trade, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 82.20/40 against the dollar, barely changed from 82.15/35 Monday’s close. The Nairobi Securities Exchange’s main NSE-20 Share Index fell 1.22 percent to close at 3,358.60 points.

KENYA STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya reversed loss-making positions in its trading book during the second-half of last year to secure a 7 percent increase in pretax profit to 8.3 billion shillings ($100.67 million), it said on Tuesday.

KENYA ATHI RIVER MINING
Kenyan cement maker Athi River Mining expects sales and profit to grow 30 percent this year provided it can resolve a dispute with the national environmental agency which has ordered it to shut down a clinker plant.

TANZANIA ECONOMY
Tanzania’s economy is projected to expand by 6.5 to 7 percent in 2012-13, up from about 6.3 percent in 2011, with its deficit cut to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

GHANA COCOA
Ghana’s cocoa production this season will rival last year’s record 1 million-tonne crop due to improved weather and farming techniques, the West African country’s cocoa regulator told Reuters on Tuesday.

IVORY COAST POLITICS
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara kept a promise to a key ally on Tuesday by naming his new prime minister, Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, from the ranks of the PDCI party – the only major change in his newly announced government.

ZAMBIA ECONOMY
Economic growth in Zambia is expected to pick up this year to reflect strong growth in copper production and non-maize agriculture, the International Monetary fund (IMF) said on Tuesday. ZIMBABWE MINING Impala Platinum, the world’s second-biggest platinum producer, has bowed to Zimbabwe’s pressure to surrender a 51 percent stake in its Zimplats unit to local black investors, the company announced on Tuesday.

ANGOLA SONANGOL
Angola’s Sonangol is in talks to buy a direct stake in Portugal’s Galp Energia, which holds interests in four oil blocks and a gas export project offshore Angola, a senior executive from the state-run African oil company said.