UPDATE 1-African Markets - Factors to watch on April 26

Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:25am EDT

(Adds Kenyan Treasury bill auction)	
    NAIROBI, April 26 (Reuters) - The following company announcements, scheduled economic
indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on
Thursday.	
    - - - - -	
 EVENTS:
 *THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - The U.N. war crimes court trying Charles Taylor for
 atrocities in Sierra Leone to deliver its verdict on whether the Liberian
 ex-president is guilty of crimes against humanity by supporting and directing
 rebels who pillaged, raped and murdered during the Sierra Leone civil war.
                                
 *ANGOLA - Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee holds its monthly meeting and
 decides on the benchmark interest rate. At its meeting in March, the bank left its
 benchmark interest rate unchanged at 10.25 percent 
 *KENYA - Central Bank of Kenya auctions 91-day treasury bills worth 2 billion
 shillings.
 *KENYA - Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)          and Equity Bank           due to
 release their first quarter 2012 earnings results. Equity Bank posted a 73 percent
 rise in first-quarter pretax 2011 profits to 2.9 billion shillings, while KCB's
 jumped 32 percent to 2.5 billion shillings in the same period. 
 *MAURITIUS - The central Bank of Mauritius to auction 400 million rupees' worth of
 273-day Treasury bills.
 *ZAMBIA - Zambia central Statistical Office due to release April inflation data.
 Zambia's inflation quickened to 6.4 percent in March from February's 6.0 percent.
     Bank of Zambia will also auction 91-day, 182-day, 273-day and 364-day Treasury
 bills.
 *ZIMBABWE - Zambia's President Michael Sata starts a three-day state visit to
 Zimbabwe.
 
 GLOBAL MARKETS
 Asian shares rose on Thursday, retaining positive momentum as the Federal Reserve
 reassured markets that it will keep its very accommodative stance to support
 growth, while optimism grew over strong quarterly corporate earnings.
                
 
 WORLD OIL PRICES
 Brent crude slipped below $119 a barrel on Thursday, as easing concerns of a
 disruption in Iranian oil exports and high U.S. crude stocks dampened optimism over
 a recovery in the U.S economy.                
 
 SUDAN, SOUTH SUDAN CONFLICT
 South Sudan freed prisoners of war on Wednesday as clashes appeared to abate
 between north and south, after cross-border fighting that threatened to tip into
 all-out war.                  
 
 EMERGING MARKETS
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 AFRICA STOCKS
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 AFRICA FIXED INCOME
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 SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
 The rand firmed as much as 0.5 percent to a fresh three-week high against the
 dollar on Wednesday and was on track for its second straight daily gain as positive
 sentiment on world markets kept high-yield assets in favour.                
     Also, stocks edged up on Wednesday in thin trade with resource firms including
 platinum producer Lonmin          leading the charge on expectations demand may
 pick up in China.                 
 
 NIGERIA MARKETS
 The Nigerian naira          firmed against the U.S dollar on both the interbank
 market and official window on Wednesday, after a unit of France Total          
 sold about $120 million to some lenders, boosting dollar liquidity.                
 
 NIGERIA ECONOMY
 The size of Nigeria's economy will shoot up by some 40 percent in the second
 quarter this year, placing Africa's second-biggest economy on the list of middle
 income countries and bringing it closer to rival South Africa, a source close to
 the matter said.                                
     Also, Nigeria's consumer inflation rose to 12.1 percent year-on-year in March,
 compared with 11.9 percent year-on-year in February, driven by higher food prices,
 the National Bureau of Statistics said.                
 
 KENYA MARKETS
 The Kenyan shilling        was flat against the dollar on Wednesday on thin
 volumes, and traders said it was costly to hold long greenback positions due to the
 high cost of funding. 
     At close of trade, commercial banks posted the currency at 83.25/35 per dollar,
 unchanged from Tuesday's close, while the Nairobi Securities Exchange's main NSE-20
 Share Index          was barely moved, down 1.8 points or 0.05 percent to 3,579.57
 points.                
 
 KENYA BOND AUCTION
 The yield on a new two-year Kenyan bond            nearly halved, falling to 13.826
 percent in a heavily oversubscribed auction from 22.844 percent last November, the
 country's central bank said on Wednesday.                
 
 KENYA JUDICIARY 
 Four senior Kenyan judges allowed corruption and inefficiency that helped fuel
 lethal post-election violence by people who had lost faith in the legal system, a
 panel trying to clean up the judiciary said on Wednesday.                
 
 GHANA MARKETS
 Banking and energy stocks, buoyed by expectations of strong first quarter earnings,
 lifted Ghana's composite stock index. The benchmark GSE Composite Index         
 rose 8.83 points, or 0.83 percent, to 1,065.57 points for the third straight
 session.                
 
 GHANA EXPLORATION
 Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil          said on Wednesday it agreed to take a
 35 percent working interest in the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points deepwater
 licence offshore Ghana from Hess         through a farm in agreement.
                
 
 GUINEA BISSAU CRISIS
 West African regional bloc ECOWAS plans to send more than 600 troops to
 Guinea-Bissau in coming days to protect institutions and political figures after a
 military coup there, a senior ECOWAS source and another informed official said on
 Wednesday.                
 
 MOZAMBIQUE PETROLEUM EXPLORATION
 Mozambique plans to increase the maximum stake it holds in  future oil blocks to up
 to 40 percent from a current maximum of 25 percent, the head of the national oil
 company said on Wednesday.                
     Also, Norwegian oil and gas producer Statoil          has found a partner to
 take a 25 percent stake in its two Mozambican blocks  where drilling will start
 next year, an official said on Wednesday.                
 
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