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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 »

New Zealand businessman Grant Biggar owes $3m in New York taxes

A New Zealand man owes US$2 million (NZ$3m) in New York income taxes according to a decision by the New York Tax Appeals Tribunal. In its decision at the end of last year, the tribunal found that New Zealander Grant Biggar had a shortfall of US$2.08m in unpaid income taxes. A long-time resident of New York, Biggar had filed state ... Read More »

Firms in China remain wary despite US trade deal

Washington and Beijing may be ready to sign a preliminary trade agreement, but companies in China are not taking any chances, forging ahead with contingency plans in case the tariff war resumes. As Chinese Vice Premier Liu He travels to Washington to to seal the deal, manufacturers and suppliers told AFP that they fear the agreement could be upended even ... Read More »

Brazil central bank monitoring impact of Iran-US conflict

BRASILIA: Brazil’s central bank chief, Roberto Campos, said that policymakers are monitoring tensions between Iran and the United States to understand how they may affect inflation forecasts, and cited recent sharp swings in commodity prices. He noted oil prices rose in the first day of the conflict, but were again trading below levels seen before the killing in a US ... Read More »

Taiwan and Korea move to expand their tech influence as US-China trade war drags on

With the United States and China still locked in a trade battle, non-Chinese tech companies in Asia are looking to seize on the opportunity and expand their influence in the tech industry. That maneuvering was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show this past week, one of the world’s largest consumer technology trade shows where more than 4,500 companies put ... Read More »

Gold smuggling on the rise as high prices boost appeal in India

NEW DELHI: Illegal inflows have jumped after the Indian government increased import taxes in July and prices surged to record highs in September. Customs officials have arrested people for attempting to smuggle in gold by concealing it in bags, clothes and their rectums. On one flight alone, officials caught 30 passengers trying to smuggle in 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) of ... Read More »

Govt, oil firms cite progress vs fuel smuggling

GOVERNMENT and oil companies have cited progress in curbing smuggling through a fuel marking program as the Department of Finance (DOF) said it has, to date, marked more than a billion liters of fuel. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters last Friday the government has placed special markers in about 1.1 billion liters of fuel. Dominguez added they ... Read More »

Bitcoin in wait-and-see mode as downward trend persists

With bitcoin’s wild price swings subsiding over the past week, investors are now looking ahead to its next potential breakout. Bitcoin’s price has stabilized above its support level of the initial gap created on May 10, potentially marking a bottom for the largest cryptocurrency around $6,500. However, the coin continues to move in the bearish pattern it formed in late ... Read More »

Indonesia, UAE sign business deal worth B690 billion

JAKARTA: Indonesia signed 11 business deals with the United Arab Emirates worth a combined 314.9 trillion rupiah (690 billion baht) covering investment in energy and other sectors, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said via his Twitter account. Widodo witnessed the signing of the deals with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed over the weekend during an official visit to ... Read More »

South Africa’s biggest airports score well in this one key metric

South Africa’s three largest airports overcame considerable upheaval in the local aviation sector in 2019 to remain in the top tiers of global on-time performance with rankings of second, ninth and tenth in their respective categories, according to Airports Company South Africa. The annual Punctuality League tables published by OAG, a global travel data firm, rank several hundred airports and ... Read More »

Man shot dead in zwolle ran drugs and guns; neighbors “relieved”

Neighbors in the Kamperpoort neighborhood of Zwolle painted a grim picture of Henk W., a man found shot and killed there on New Year’s Eve. One resident, Wietze, who knew the victim told RTV Oost he was “not known to be a sweetheart” and that she always suspected something like this would happen to him. Another said it was “a ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 31 Dec to 06 Jan 2020

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Norwegian Air hoping to agree Boeing 737 MAX compensation this year

OSLO: Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) hopes to agree compensation from Boeing (BA.N) by year-end over the grounding of the 737 MAX, the airline’s acting CEO said, as it counts the costs of having 18 of the aircraft grounded since March. “The dialogue (with Boeing) has been ongoing since summer and we hope to come to an understanding before the end of ... Read More »

Korea’s Exports Fall 10.3 Percent in 2019

South Korea’s exports fell 10.3 percent on year in 2019, the first two-digit decline in 10 years. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on Jan. 1 that Korea’s exports in 2019 totaled US$54.41 billion, down 10.3 percent from 2018. As a result, Korea posted a negative growth in exports in three years since 2016. It is the ... Read More »

Huawei to shake up executive ranks in 2020 as Trump curbs bite deeper

Huawei Technologies Co. will overhaul its executive ranks next year after revenue growth slowed further in the latter half of 2019, when US sanctions spooked more customers and suppliers around the globe. China’s biggest technology company recorded an 18-percent rise in sales to 850 billion yuan ($120 billion) this year, down from about 23 percent in the first half and ... Read More »

Brazil fines Facebook $1.6 million in Cambridge Analytica case

Brazil’s government imposed a 6.6 million real ($1.6 million) fine on Facebook Inc. and its local unit for their role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The fine is tied to Facebook’s unlawful sharing of data from its users in Brazil, Brazil’s justice ministry said in a statement posted on its web site on Monday. The investigation began in April 2018. ... Read More »

Bank of Thailand projects 2.8% economic growth for 2020

The Bank of Thailand has announced a 2.8% growth projection for the Thai economy in 2020 thanks to a better performing export sector. Meanwhile the country’s economic performance in November 2019 is still in a slowdown due to declining export figures affected by economic slowdowns among trading partners. The Bank of Thailand’s economic analysis bureau has released updated economic projections ... Read More »

Economist warns of tax hikes for South Africans in 2020

Economist Dawie Roodt says that the state of government’s finances means that further tax increases can be expected in 2020. Roodt noted in an interview with eNCA that the state’s debt is at record levels, meaning “there will be tax hikes”. “The question is which one of the taxes will be increased? I am pretty sure that things like the ... Read More »

Dutch gambling authority fines 10 companies a total of €3.5m this year

The Dutch gambling authority fined companies offering online betting and gambling games in the Netherlands a total of €3.5m this year – more than double the 2018 figure. The rise is due to an increase in the maximum fine to €200,000 and a rise in the number of large companies being penalised, the Kansspelautoriteit said. In total, 10 firms were ... Read More »

Indonesia nabs 2 suspected smugglers of leopard, lion cubs

PEKANBARU, Indonesia: Indonesian police said that they have arrested two men suspected of being part of a ring that poaches and trades in endangered animals and seized from them several lion and leopard cubs and dozens of turtles. One of the suspects, identified only as Yatno, was arrested Saturday in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau province, after picking up suspicious ... Read More »