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Tsvangirai Tells Standard Bank He Expects to Win Vote

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April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s told Standard bank Group Ltd. that he expects to win elections in the country later this year, the lender said in a note to clients.

Tsvangirai told analysts at the Johannesburg-based bank that a poll suggested his Movement for Democratic Change would win about 65 percent of the ballot, according to his comments relayed in the note. Elections are likely to take place by Sept. 13, he said.

A 65 percent majority would allow the MDC to direct economic policy towards economic growth rather than the wealth re-distribution implemented by President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party’s through its indigenization program, the Prime Minister said, according to the bank.

Under Zimbabwe’s indigenization law, all foreign and white-owned companies must sell or cede 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans or the state-owned National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board. Companies including Johannesburg-based Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. have ceded stakes in local units to the government.

A second, less likely outcome to the elections would produce no clear winner, Standard Bank reported. Without an outright winner, Zimbabwe’s economic recovery would be slower and “re-engagement” with the international community would take longer, the prime minister said.

Should the election be marred by violence and be declared neither free nor fair, Zimbabwe will return to political instability, Tsvangirai said, according to the bank. He said this was unlikely due to safeguards in a new constitution approved in a referendum in March.

Tsvangirai said he doesn’t expect the country to return to the use of its own currency, scrapped in 2009 after surging inflation, soon. Zimbabwe uses a number of currencies including the dollar and the rand.

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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