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Currency and cocoa: Africa's top business news

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STORY: Here are five business stories making headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.

Africa's biggest lender by assets, South Africa's Standard Bank, reported on Friday (August 19) that its interim profits had risen by 30%.

Headline earnings per share were 936.2 cents as the company benefited from a rebound in banking activities following the global health crisis.

Russia's Lukoil has said a decision by its Norwegian partner to delay submission of a development plan for an oilfield off Ghana has no lawful grounds.

Aker Energy, which owns 50% of a deepwater block where the Pecan field is located, announced its intention on Wednesday (August 17), amid concern the project could face sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

Lukoil, which holds 38%, said there are no obstacles as the company and its management are not subject to sanctions.

South African coal miner Exxaro Resources says its diversification into green energy minerals has become more urgent.

As a part of its shift away from coal, the company has plans to acquire assets around key clean energy minerals manganese, copper and bauxite.

But CEO Nombasa Tsengwa said geopolitical tensions, inflation and high borrowing costs had slowed investments into the minerals to support the "much-needed" energy transition.

Some cocoa growing areas in the world's two largest producers need rain quickly, according to a report released by a forecaster on Thursday (August 18).

Climate42 said inland plantations in Ivory Coast and Ghana are experiencing mild stress from a lack of water, and that there could be "dire consequences" for a relevant portion of the main crop.

And finally, Nigeria aims to expand use of its digital currency by attracting users without bank accounts, the country's Central Bank Governor said on Thursday.

Nigeria is targeting eight million users for the eNaira app, which launched in October, but adoption has been slow.

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