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Germany Raises 2020 Growth Forecast Slightly to 1.1%

BERLIN: THE German government modestly raised its economic growth forecast for the country this year to 1.1%. Germany’s economy, Europe’s biggest, has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year’s 0.6% growth was the weakest since 2013. In October, the government predicted growth this year of 1%. “The economy will develop better this year than was expected last year,” Economy ... Read More »

Danske’s EY Auditors Face Disciplinary Action for Failures

Denmark’s business watchdog said it has brought two auditors before a disciplinary board after concluding they violated regulations while reviewing Danske Bank A/S, the lender caught up in Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal. The Danish Business Authority said the auditors’ work on the bank’s 2014 financial statements “was not performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and not sufficiently ... Read More »

Trade Representative of Ukraine commented on the prospect of ACAA talks

Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka commented on the prospect of formal negotiations on the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA). “We are agreeing on the technical task of a preparatory assessment mission, which should assess all elements of technical regulation – technical rules, standardization, conformity assessment procedures, metrology, accreditation and market surveillance,” Kachka wrote. “The ... Read More »

Oil firm bags nearly $4.4 billion in 2019

HÀ NỘI: The Bình Sơn Refining and Petrochemical JSC (BSR), a subsidiary of the Việt Nam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), has reported gross revenue of VNĐ102.82 trillion (nearly US$4.4 billion) last year. According to a consolidated financial report released on Monday, BSR’s after-tax profit hit more than VNĐ2.75 trillion, contributing over VNĐ9.7 billion to the State budget. The firm’s ... Read More »

Consumer morale rises unexpectedly in Germany, France, Italy

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Consumer morale in Germany, France and Italy rose unexpectedly at the start of the year, data showed on Wednesday, suggesting that shoppers are ready to open their wallets and support overall growth in the three biggest economies of the euro zone. The surprisingly solid figures are likely to please European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who has ... Read More »

Norway’s PM to appoint Jan Tore Sanner as finance minister: media

OSLO: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will appoint Conservative lawmaker Jan Tore Sanner as the new finance minister, business daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported on Thursday. Sanner is currently minister of education and integration. The right-wing Progress Party, including Finance Minister Siv Jensen, resigned from the government on Monday over a cabinet decision to help bring a woman suspected of Islamic ... Read More »

Good time to invest in Indonesia: BI lauds country’s economic stability

Indonesia has proven its ability to maintain economic stability and resilience amid global uncertainties, a top central banker has said in front of an international forum in Bali on Wednesday. “Bank Indonesia [BI] Governor Perry Warjiyo believes that now is a good time to invest in Indonesia,” the central bank wrote in a statement on Thursday. “Indonesia was able to ... Read More »

New Portuguese tax could affect thousands of Belgians pensioners

Portugal will introduce a flat tax rate on the income of foreign pensioners, rolling back a generous tax break which drew thousands of Belgians to settle in the country. Foreign pensioners living in Portugal have benefitted from a scheme introduced in 2013 under which they were exempted from paying income taxes for a period of ten years. The tax scheme ... Read More »

NZ stock market’s prospects lift

Law firm Chapman Tripp’s annual review has found a revamp of the the NZX’s rules, fees, and the move to one trading board over the past year have lifted the stock market’s prospects. Corporate partner Rachel Dunne, who sat on a committee reviewing capital markets said the improvements had paid off, despite just two initial public offerings (IPO) in the ... Read More »

Czech gov’t foiled Korean arms smuggling plot, intelligence service says

The Czech intelligence services foiled a North Korean attempt to smuggle arms through the country, the country’s Security Information Service (BIS) and local media reports indicated this week. In a plot reportedly uncovered in 2012 and 2013 and uncovered by Slovakian outlet Deník N, a North Korean diplomat working as an economic attaché in Germany contacted a local businessman asking ... Read More »

Longest smuggling tunnel, larger than 14 football fields, discovered on US-Mexico border

The longest smuggling tunnel has been discovered by the US authorities on the Southwest border, which stretches more than three-quarters of a mile from an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico, to the San Diego area. The tunnel, discovered Wednesday, featured an extensive rail cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance ... Read More »

Massmart warns of almost R1.4bn loss as SA consumers struggle

Walmart-owned retailer Massmart, whose brands include Makro and Game, warned on Thursday it had swung into a loss in its year to end-December, as SA’s consumers cut back on higher-margin durable goods such as kitchenware and electronics. In addition to trading disruptions caused by “aggressive” load-shedding in early December, consumers continued to prioritise spending on non-durables, such as food, the ... Read More »

Over 900 Kilos Of Cocaine Found In Banana Shipment

Customs officers at the port of Vlissingen intercepted 921 kilograms of cocaine. The drugs were hidden in a container of bananas that came from Ecuador, the police said in a statement. The drugs were discovered with a mobile scan. The police seized and destroyed the cocaine. So far no arrests were made. The police are investigating. It’s the second large ... Read More »

Chinese beef importers seek to renegotiate prices for Brazilian shipments: report

Chinese beef importers are seeking to renegotiate prices previously agreed when they closed deals to buy dozens of shipments from Brazil because values are too high, according to a report in the online edition of a local newspaper on Monday. The website of Folha de S.Paulo reported that some Chinese importers are refusing to pay for shipments that already arrived ... Read More »

Toyota makes new $394 million bet on flying taxis

Toyota Motor Co. is investing $394 million (¥43.3 billion) in Joby Aviation, one of a handful of companies working toward the seemingly implausible goal of making electric air taxis that shuttle people over gridlocked highways and city streets. Toyota is the lead investor in Joby’s $590 million Series C funding, alongside Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx and prior backers Intel ... Read More »

Bank cuts Thai 2020 GDP growth outlook to 2.7%

SCB’s Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) has released its latest forecast, indicating that the Thai economy at the end of 2020 will have grown by 2.7 percent, showing a s recovery from just 2.5 percent economic growth in 2019, thanks to a better performing export sector and improved global economy. Earlier this week the World Bank also downgraded Thailand’s economic growth ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 28 Jan to 03 Feb 2020

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Stockmann issues positive profit warning, sending shares over 30% higher

CLASS-B SHARES in Stockmann jumped by more than 30 per cent yesterday after a positive profit warning issued by the iconic department store chain. The Finnish retailer revealed yesterday morning that, based on preliminary data, it expects its adjusted operating profit for last year to exceed earlier forecasts due to the robust fourth-quarter performance of both Stockmann and Lindex. The ... Read More »

Real Estate Prices in Greek Cities Soar in 2019

The real estate market in Greece’s largest cities recorded an impressive increase in the price of sales and rentals in 2019, according to the accumulative data published by Spitogatos, one of the country’s largest real estate websites. The marked uptick in both rental and sales prices made the Greek real estate sector one of the fastest-growing markets in the entire ... Read More »

Banker fined $58 million for smuggling Picasso painting out of Spain

MADRID: An 83-year-old former Spanish bank chairman was fined 52 million euros ($58 million) on Thursday after being convicted of smuggling a Pablo Picasso painting abroad after it was designated a national treasure. Jaime Botin, 83, ex-chairman of Bankinter, was also given an 18-month prison term but he is unlikely to serve it due to his advanced age and his ... Read More »