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Carlyle launches sub-Saharan Africa fund as investor interest grows

Carlyle this week became one of the first major private equity players to launch a dedicated sub-Saharan Africa fund, underscoring the growing investor interest in the continent's growing middle class. The US-listed alternative investment manager has raised $698 million (505 million euros) -- almost $200 million above its initial target -- from both African and international investors wanting to profit from the region's expanding pool of consumers with extra cash to spend.

Europe's mergers and acquisitions market heats up

Europe's mergers and acquisitions market is rebounding after years in the doldrums, as improving market sentiment is prompting companies to spend piles of cash built up during the financial crisis. A flurry of new deals have been announced in the past month alone, including Numericable's purchase of Vivendi's SFR mobile phone unit in France, the merger of Swiss cement group Holcim and French rival Lafarge and the tie-up of Sopra and Steria to create a new French technology services giant.

Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges

(This story from April 18 corrects the number of counts the judge called "inconsistent" from four to two in 3rd, 16th and 17th paragraphs) By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, on Friday lost a bid to dismiss some of the insider trading charges leveled against him last year. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled that the indictment adequately alleged the essential elements of the crimes charged.

Questions on bubble as tech momentum fades

After the tech euphoria of 2013, the fast-moving sector has hit a speed bump. The wobbly action of 2014 is still an open question: is this a correction, bear market or a bubble like the catastrophic dot-com boom and bust of 1999-2000? By some measures, segments of the tech sector look to be over the top, even after recent slumps. "There are some astronomical valuations out there," says Roger Kay, an analyst who follows tech companies at Endpoint Technologies.

Japan Inc resilient in face of sales tax rise: Reuters poll

By James Topham TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese companies have weathered the first days of a rise in the country's consumption tax, with sales resilient and pricing power little damaged, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, in an early sign the tax hike will not derail the economy. This good news for "Abenomics" bolsters the Bank of Japan's view that it does not need to ease policy further to cushion the impact from the tax, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government raised on April 1 to help curb the nation's mountain of public debt.

U.S.-based stock funds post $3.6 billion outflows over week: Lipper

By Sam Forgione NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $3.6 billion out of stock funds in the week ended April 16 on fears that a selloff in technology and biotech shares could signal a steeper drop in U.S. stocks, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday. The outflows from stock funds marked the biggest since February. Outflows of $3.8 billion from stock exchange-traded funds accounted for the net outflows, while stock mutual funds attracted $241 million in inflows.

Partner, two traders leave energy hedge fund Sasco: sources

By Barani Krishnan (Reuters) - The chief investment officer and two natural gas traders at Sasco Energy Partners have left the Connecticut-based energy fund, sources said on Thursday, the latest departures from a firm that has struggled to make a profit. Joe Howley, who joined Sasco around a year ago as CIO and partner to the firm's founding member Tom Purdy, left earlier this month along with portfolio manager Brian Lisoski and trader Garth Camp, the sources who were familiar with the moves told Reuters.

Apache CEO, Vermont activist build alliance on climate issues

By Ross Kerber NEW YORK (Reuters) - Steve Farris runs a $33 billion Texas oil and gas company and turns, for advice, to a bearded Vermont environmentalist. As other energy firms battled climate change and anti-pollution activists in recent years, the Apache Corp chief executive instead built an alliance with Steven Heim, managing director of Boston Common Asset Management, one of the better-known socially responsible investment firms.

Ex-Goldman director Gupta starts prison term on June 17

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> director Rajat Gupta is expected to begin his two-year prison term on June 17 for insider trading. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan directed Gupta to surrender by 2:00 p.m. EDT on that date to start serving his sentence, according to an order issued on Thursday.

Career risk makes the world go round: James Saft

By James Saft (Reuters) - Fund and pension investors who are watching their biotech and social media stakes melt before their eyes may well feel they've had their pockets picked by self-serving investment managers. But actually they are also helping to fund, if only as an unintended side-effect, useful innovation which might not otherwise happen. The lesson here: career risk makes the world go round.
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