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Sime Darby Slows Liberia Operations Due to Ebola Virus

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to say company slowing production and attribution in second paragraph.)

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Sime Darby Bhd, the world’s biggest listed palm oil producer, said it’s slowing production in Liberia because of the Ebola virus.

The Kuala Lumpur-based company, which operates the West African nation’s largest oil-palm plantation, will continue paying its 3,000 workers, spokesman David Kolleh said in an e-mail today.

The current outbreak of the viral disease has infected 1,848 people and killed 1,013 as of Aug. 9, according to the World Health Organization’s latest data. While historically Ebola has a 90 percent mortality rate, in the current outbreak about 40 percent of patients have survived.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, said on Aug. 8 expansion of its iron-ore mine in Liberia has been disrupted after contractors halted work because of Ebola.

Palm oil is the world’s most-used edible oil.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elise Zoker in Johannesburg at ezoker@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Andres R. Martinez, Robin Stringer

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