South Africa eases exchange controls

South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced Tuesday that apartheid-era foreign exchange controls would be eased by scrapping the limits on how much companies can invest abroad.

Before Tuesday, South African companies were allowed to invest a maximum of 2 billion rand ($325 million) in Africa, and 1 billion rand outside the continent in any one transaction.

``It isn't a big bang, but it certainly is a big step forward,'' Manuel told journalists before presenting his mid-term budget to

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