ICL has sold a substantial share – believed to be half of its holding – in its 93%-owned South African subsidiary. The buyer, the Malbak Pty industrial conglomerate, sees the purchase as a way of moving into the computer market. The exact price of the stake has not been disclosed but is believed to be around ?15m. ICL South Africa is ICL’s biggest single overseas subsidiary, accounting for around 80% of ICL Africa and Middle East’s ?84.6m 1986 turnover. 1986. ICL says the new partnership will best meet the present and future interests of ICL users and employees in South Africa, and insists that it is a commercial and not a political decision. More cynically, bearing in mind the sudden trend towards ethical unit trusts and other funds, one London broker said yesterday that the sale would reduce parent STC Plc’s dependence on the South African market and so make its shares more acceptable to institutions that are worried about the political climate in Southern Africa.