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LUSAKA (AFP) — Zambia has ended negotiations with South Africa’s largest bank to finance a 1.2 billion dollar (762 million euro) oil import deal after disagreements, state radio reported Thursday.

Zambia’s energy ministry permanent secretary, Peter Mumba, told the state-run Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation that his government failed to reach a deal with South Africa’s Standard Bank. The bank had been selected to finance crude oil imports from Kuwait.

“The government is not happy with some of the conditions the bank had proposed,” Mumba was quoted as saying by the radio.

He declined to disclose what these conditions were.

Early this year, Zambia awarded a contract to a Kuwaiti firm, the Independent Petroleum Group (IPG), to supply crude oil to Zambia and the South African bank won the tender to provide financing for the deal.

Zambia will look for other financial institutions to replace The Standard Bank, picked after a competitive tender process, he said.

The Standard Bank, South Africa’s largest banking group, has about 1,000 branches and is present in about 40 countries in Africa and major financial centres of Europe, North America and Asia.

Copyright © 2008 AFP

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