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Asia Pacific to outperform other regions in 2020 for real estate investment

According to the real estate consultancy, foreign investments into Asia Pacific are at a decade-high, making up 35 per cent of total volumes, mostly driven by private equity funds and large-scale transactions. “Over the next two years, we expect global real estate transaction volumes to stay elevated and Asia Pacific to outperform Europe and the Americas with an outsized portion ... Read More »

The massive debt problem facing middle class South Africans in 2020

South Africa’s middle class is facing a massive debt problem, and the lack of end-of-year bonuses and wage stagnation means that many people are borrowing to pay for necessities such as food and transport. Speaking to the Sunday Times,Paul Slot from the Debt Counselling Association said that 10 million people in South Africa have bad debt — meaning they have ... Read More »

Cocaine Found Hidden In 40 Barrels Of Fruit Pulp At Rotterdam Port

Customs officers intercepted a large amount of cocaine during a check at the port of Rotterdam on Monday. The drugs were hidden in around 40 barrels of frozen fruit pulp, the Public Prosecutor said. The container with the drugs came from Brazil. The cocaine was removed and destroyed. The HARC team, a joint venture of Customs, FIOD, Seaport Police, and ... Read More »

Iraq Repays more than $20bn in Foreign Debt

Iraq has paid back more than $20 billion in foreign debt, the head of the parliamentary finance committee Haitham Al-Jubouri has said. “Iraq’s foreign debt amounted to more than $50 billion. More than $20 billion was paid back over the last period,” Al-Jubouri told the Iraqi news agency. According to the official, Iraq still owes $27 billion to foreign countries, ... Read More »

A major shipping change is coming, and so are higher fuel prices

A DEFINING moment in the history of the oil-refining and shipping industries is at hand. In fewer than two weeks, thousands of ships the world over will be forced to use fuel containing less sulfur in order to comply with global rules set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Those who don’t could face penalties and even imprisonment. Ports ... Read More »

Industrial exports rise by 8.7 per cent in ten months

AMMAN: The value of the country’s industrial exports during the first 10 months of 2019 posted an 8.7 per cent increase as it reached JD4.933 billion, compared to the figure recorded at the end of the same period last year, according to a report by the Jordan Chamber of Industry, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, said. Leather and textiles exports ... Read More »

Italy to cut 2020 GDP growth target to around 0.6% – sources

ROME: Italy will cut its target for economic growth next year to around 0.6%, three sources close to the matter as the government prepares its 2020 budget to be presented to parliament later this month. The previous target, issued in April, envisaged growth of 0.8%. Growth this year is now seen at just 0.1%, compared with an April projection of ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 24 Dec to 30 Dec 2019

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Individual consumption at 83% of EU average

Portugal in 2018 had levels of consumption and of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita below the European Union average, ranked around the midpoint in the table of 28 EU member states. With regard to Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) – the measure seen as best adapted to describe households’ material welfare – Portugal’s was in 2018 at 83 percent of ... Read More »

Hungarian competition watchdog slaps EUR 5.5m fine on Telenor Hungary

The Hungarian competition watchdog GVH imposed a 5.45-million-euro (6-million-U.S.-dollar) fine on mobile provider Telenor Hungary for misleading commercial practices, GVH said in a statement. “Telenor Hungary Ltd. had committed an infringement for over a year by failing to inform its customers in its advertisements promoting mobile devices for free or at a reduced price that if they chose to obtain ... Read More »

Oman’s share index closes marginally lower

MSM30 index closed at 3,950.89 down 0.05 per cent. The Sharia index closed down by 0.67 per cent at 543.86. Al Hassan Engineering, up 4.76 per cent, was the top gainer. OIFC, down 4.50 per cent, was the top loser. Bank Muscat was the most active in terms of the number of shares traded as well as in terms of ... Read More »

Qatar Airways celebrates anniversary of flights to Gothenburg

Doha: Qatar Airways celebrated its first anniversary of launching direct flights from Doha to Gothenburg, marking the airline’s second gateway into Sweden after the capital, Stockholm. Qatar Airways’ first flight to Gothenburg arrived on December 12 last year, and since that date, the national carrier has been operating a daily trip to the city on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which ... Read More »

Amir of Kuwait receives Oapec oil ministers, Al Kaabi

H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, received the Oapec oil ministers in the presence of H E Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and the head of Qatar’s delegation to the Organisation’s ministerial meeting. The meeting with His Highness came on the sidelines of Oapec’s 103rd ... Read More »

India, Afghanistan and Iran Hold Talks on Chabahar Port

Officials from India, Afghanistan and Iran held their second meeting of the Follow-up Committee between the three nations on the Iranian Chabahar Agreement, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. “The second meeting of the Follow-up Committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran at the level of Joint Secretary/ Director General was ... Read More »

161 US representatives call for Taiwan trade agreement

TAIPEI: A letter addressing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and signed by 161 U.S. House of Representatives has called for the country to start negotiating for a bilateral trade deal with Taiwan. “We believe an agreement with Taiwan would expand markets for American goods, including agricultural products, by addressing existing market access issues, and could serve as a high bar ... Read More »

Is Bitcoin still a good investment?

Booms and busts, this is what investing in Bitcoin is all about. The most popular cryptocurrency continues to shake out investors. However, Bitcoin is not dead. And it looks like it won’t be anytime soon. But many investors wonder whether the price has already reached its zenith? Is Bitcoin still a good investment? Let’s find out! A short history of ... Read More »

Russia, Ukraine, EU agree ‘in principle’ on new gas deal: EU official

Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission, after hours-long talks on Thursday, agreed in principle on a new gas deal starting after Jan 1, 2020, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic told a briefing. Ukraine is a key transit route for Russian piped gas exports to Europe. The current deal between the two post-Soviet countries expires at the end of the ... Read More »

Việt Nam to promote shrimp exports to EU next year

HÀ NỘI The EU is a potential market for Việt Nam’s shrimp industry next year because it is the largest shrimp market in the world, while the shrimp production of this bloc has not met its demand, according to domestic seafood experts. If the domestic shrimp industry takes advantage of preferential tariff and implements rules of origin under the EU-Vietnam ... Read More »

Germany says new rule requiring receipts fights tax fraud

BERLIN: Germany’s finance minister is defending a new rule taking effect Jan. 1 that will require shops to provide a receipt for every purchase, a change that critics fear will result in vast amounts of paper being wasted. The rule aims to combat the evasion of value-added taxes but some environmental activists worry they will produce piles of unwanted receipts, ... Read More »

Brussels business property market registers record year

2019 was a record year for the business property market in Brussels, business property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) reveals. The business occupancy rate is at its highest level since 2007 and availability is at a historically low level in the “central business district (CBD),” among others. The vacancy rate is estimated to be 7.2% (compared to 7.8% last year), ... Read More »