Zambia plans sovereign wealth fund to diversify from mining

LUSAKA Thu Jan 9, 2014 7:15am EST

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LUSAKA Jan 9 (Reuters) - Zambia, Africa's leading copper producer, plans to establish a sovereign wealth fund to stimulate investment in strategic non-mining industries, a treasury official said on Thursday.

"We are currently working on the concept which will be presented to cabinet," the ministry of finance's permanent secretary in charge of budget and economic affairs, Felix Nkulukusa, said.

He did not give the size of the fund or say when it would be finalised.

President Michael Sata said on Wednesday that the government planned to introduce an Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) under which the fund would be established.

The IDC would boost the contribution of state-owned companies to national development by placing them under one umbrella holding entity, Sata said.

He said the IDC was a government strategy to enhance domestic capital formation, wealth creation and preservation by focusing on exploiting the country's advantages in natural resources and actively developing industries and enterprises. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by David Dolan)

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