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Zambia Bourse to Resume Jan. 2 as It Readies for Kwacha Rebasing

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Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Lusaka Stock Exchange will suspend trading Dec. 24 as it prepares for the currency re-basing in Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, which comes into effect in the new year.

Trading will resume Jan. 2 with the rebased share prices, the bourse said in an e-mailed statement. Trades made today will settle on Dec. 28, it said.

“All orders in the market after Dec. 21, 2012 will be purged from the order books and re-instructed in the rebased currency,” the exchange said.

The currency re-basing, which removes three zeros from the kwacha, comes into effect Jan. 1, the Bank of Zambia said Aug. 22. The government is undertaking the exercise in a bid to simplify commerce and reduce costs through the reintroduction of coins, which last longer than banknotes.

The kwacha weakened 0.4 percent to 5,218 per dollar at 10.02 a.m. in Lusaka.

The Lusaka Stock Exchange’s All Share Index has retreated 11 percent this year, making it sub-Saharan Africa’s worst performer in the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Hill in Lusaka at mhill58@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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