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* South Africa's black township of Soweto is about to receive its first overseas loan.

Soweto -- scene of the 1976 riots that drew worldwide attention to South Africa's segregationist racial policies -- now is considered an acceptable financial risk. Informed sources in South Africa say a $150 million loan should be completed in the next several weeks between Soweto and a group of banks led by Deutsche Bank of West Germany. No US banks are involved.

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The money will be used to upgrade essential services -- sewage, water, and roads. The loan's terms haven't been spelled out, but the South African government is expected to sweeten the deal by subsidizing the interest rate and offering loan guarantees.

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