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Zimbabwe Minister to Probe Anglo, Aquarius, Impala Agreements

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe deals agreed by Aquarius Platinum Ltd., Anglo American Plc and Zimplats Holdings Ltd. to meet state demands they sell assets to locals will be probed, said Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who opposes the policy.

Biti’s Movement for Democratic Change party, sharing power with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front before elections this year, disagrees with the decision to force foreign- or white-owned companies to sell or cede 51 percent of local assets to black citizens or the state.

Deals that may cost the country money need to be approved by parliament, Biti said today in the northwest resort town of Victoria Falls. He has written to the miners to investigate.

Companies such as Innscor Africa Ltd., owned mainly by white Zimbabweans, have also been forced to offload majority stakes under the so-called indigenization law. Zimbabwe has the largest platinum and chrome deposits after South Africa. The nation also has gold, nickel, coal and diamond mines, and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. has agreed a deal with the government.

Most foreign mining companies have complied with the law, Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at blatham@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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