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Over 80 Kilos Cocaine Found On Dutch Plane In Argentina; Three Dutch Arrested

More than 80 kilograms of cocaine was found on a Martinair Cargo plane in Argentina. Seven men, three of whom are Dutch, were arrested, including the plane’s pilot and some crew members, RTL Nieuws reports. The plane was at the Ezeiza International Airport near Buenos Aires when the drugs were discovered. Local media report that the discovery was made shortly ... Read More »

Taiwan’s Investor Relations platform promotes ethical investing

TAIPEI: 2019 was the year when ESG metrics gained significant attention in Taiwan, culminating with the launch of the world’s first ever, government-sponsored, investor relations platform. To promote a sustainable capital market in Taiwan, Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corporation (TDCC) launched a bilingual IR platform in March 2019 that mainly features ESG evaluations. This provides a new assessment of how ... Read More »

Afghan Government Receives Over $11mn In Revenues from ATRA

The Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) has transferred 878 million Afghanis ($11.3mn) to the special account of the Ministry of Finance to be spent through the national budget. These revenues come from a 2.5% on the net incomes of the telecommunication company sales and will be spent on certain project including ATRA’s development projects. Meanwhile, some lawmakers have expressed concerns ... Read More »

Some banks in northern Lebanon close over angry clients’ demands

Banks in a region of northern Lebanon were closed until further notice the National News Agency (NNA) said, after lenders balked at customer anger over a liquidity crisis. Since September banks have arbitrarily capped the amount of dollars that can be withdrawn or transferred abroad, sparking fury among customers who accuse lenders of holding their money hostage. There is also ... Read More »

Iraq Risks Losing Access to Key Bank Account

The Trump administration has reportedly threatened to block Iraq’s access to its funds in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York if Iraq expels US troops from the country. The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed Iraqi officials as saying that the US State Department warning came after the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of a resolution demanding the removal of ... Read More »

Qatar-Turkey trade reaches QR5.69bn during first nine months of 2019

The Qatar-Turkey bilateral economic cooperation is expected to continue maintaining robust growth in 2020 and beyond. Bilateral trade volume between the two friendly countries during first nine months of 2019 reached QR5.69bn. The trade exchange between Qatar and Turkey witnessed remarkable jump of 85 percent from QR4.88bn ($1.34bn) in 2017 to QR8.74bn ($2.4bn) in 2018, according to data provided by ... Read More »

Middle East tensions could impact markets after strong end to 2019

KUWAIT: Financial markets enjoyed a strong end to 2019 with the US S&P equity index up 3 percent m/m and 10-year treasury yields edging back above 1.9 percent as optimism grew over the outlook for global growth amid mildly encouraging economic data and the agreement of a ‘phase one’ trade deal between the US and China. Some of this optimism ... Read More »

Scattered production and export makes country’s trade weak

Nepal’s trade deficit, which had been consistently rising, had started narrowing down in recent months especially following a rise in export of refined palm oil lately and fall in import of petroleum products. However, the recent decision of the Indian government to ban import of refined palm oil, Nepal’s top export, has raised many eyebrows. Sujan Dhungana of The Himalayan ... Read More »

Port of Salalah joins blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform

Muscat: As part of its digital initiative to enhance customer experience, Port of Salalah recently joined TradeLens, the blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform. TradeLens, which is one of the leading open and neutral supply chain platforms has been developed in a collaboration between Maersk and IBM. The TradeLens ecosystem presently comprises of over 100 diverse organisations including carriers, ports, terminal operators, ... Read More »

Equilor forecasts 3.8% economic growth for 2020

GDP could grow by 3.8% in 2020 and economic growth could slow to 3.5% in 2021, analysts at Equilor Investment said in a forecast on Monday, state news wire MTI reports. Economic growth this year will continue to be driven by domestic consumption, investments and exports, the forecast said. Both investments and export growth are set to slow, it added. ... Read More »

Airport authority plans €1.5-billion overhaul for Madrid’s Barajas

The Spanish airport authority Aena is planning to invest around €1.5 billion in remodeling its Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas facility as part of its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. Recently approved by the Aena board of directors, the operation consists of merging Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and expanding Terminal 4 and its satellite 4S to optimize the overall functionality of the airport ... Read More »

Portugal mandates banks for new 10-year bond sale – lead manager

Portugal will launch a new 10-year benchmark government bond via a syndicate of banks in the near future, market conditions permitting, a lead manager said on Tuesday. The sovereign has mandated Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and Novo Banco to lead manage the sale of the new 10-year Portuguese government bond maturing on 18 October 2030, one ... Read More »

Wages, salaries grow by 3.1% in Sept-Nov

The wages and salaries sum of the whole economy was 3.1 per cent greater in the September to November period than in the corresponding period twelve months earlier, according to Statistics Finland. In November, the wages and salaries sum of the whole economy grew by 2.3 per cent from the year before. One year previously in September to November, the ... Read More »

Greece Appears to Bow to US Pressure, Delays Decision on Chinese 5G Network

Greece has been reluctant to use the Huawei Fifth Generation (5G) telecommunications network, although pilot programs have already taken place in Greek cities. And some analysts now attribute the Greek government’s slow pace in this burgeoning sector to pressure from the United States. The United States has been increasingly concerned in recent years over China’s growing economic power in Greece, ... Read More »

Zhytomyr hotel project aims to transform Ukraine’s regional hospitality industry

December 2019 saw the launch of an ambitious new Ukrainian hospitality sector initiative that aims to shift the focus away from Kyiv and highlight the untapped potential of the country’s regional capitals. The plans for MOI Zhytomyr envisage accommodation for up to 350 guests in a mix of budget and four-star rooms along with long-stay five-star apartments, together with extensive ... Read More »

US-China Trade War Seen as Boosting Vietnam Growth

Vietnam will enjoy the fastest economic growth in Southeast Asia in 2020, according to a new forecast from British multinational investment bank HSBC. Vietnam has been a beneficiary of the China-U.S. trade war, enjoying a boost in services and exports that should drive economic growth to 7% this year, HSBC economist Yun Liu said last week. But she said the ... Read More »

Polish border guards detain two Ukrainians for amber smuggling

Poland’s border guards have detained two Ukrainian citizens who attempted to smuggle a large batch of amber into Poland. More than 103 kilograms of amber worth about EUR 50,000 and 4,000 packs of cigarettes worth EUR 13,000 have been seized, the Ukrainian-language service of Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) wrote on December 14, referring to the Polish Border Guard. Perpetrators, who ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 14 Jan to 20 Jan 2020

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Belgian customs officer suspended for posting ‘hate speech’ on YouTube

A Belgian customs officer was suspended last week after the Federal Public Service Finance department discovered that the individual concerned had a YouTube channel on which he posted anti-Islam, homophobic and conspiratorial videos. The man posted a video back in 2015 in which he called homosexuality an “abomination” and a “perversion,” RTBF explains. In a video posted in 2016, the ... Read More »

Gold price surges amid geopolitical uncertainty

These are golden days for gold, the precious metal whose very name is a synonym for something special and successful. In 2019, its price surged by almost 20% in dollar terms Little surprise then to see gold funds dominating the top performing investment funds of 2019 in the UK, a financial services hotspot. Funds which connected investors with gold mining ... Read More »