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By Nasreen Seria and Geoffrey Kapembwa

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, cut its forecast for economic growth this year to 6 percent as commodity prices plunged.

While the country’s banks don’t have direct exposure to U.S. sub-prime mortgage debt, the global financial crisis may reduce foreign investment and impact growth forecasts, the finance ministry and central bank said in a joint statement e-mailed today.

The government had forecast growth of 7 percent this year, up from 5.4 percent in 2007. Copper has dropped 58 percent in London in the past six months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Geoffrey Kapembwa in Lusaka via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net. Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at nseria@bloomberg.net

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