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Dastgir working on strategy to enhance Pak-Iran trade ties

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan has presided over a meeting to prepare proposals and chalk out a comprehensive strategy for enhancing trade cooperation with Iran in the wake of the visit of the Iranian president to Pakistan. The minister said that Pakistan is interested in holding exhibitions in Iran frequently to showcase the range of exportable Pakistani ... Read More »

SL exports fall 18.7%, imports drop by 8.5% in 2015

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s exports fell 18.7% to US$ 817.5 million in December 2015 from a year earlier while imports fell at a slower 8.5% to US$ 1,644.7 million, Central Bank official data showed. The trade gap widens 4.4% to US$ 827.3 million from a year earlier. On a cumulative basis, the trade deficit during 2015 expanded marginally by 1.7% to ... Read More »

Nawaz, Turkmen leader sign accord to curb money laundering

ISLAMABAD: Leaders of Pakistan and Turkmenistan have signed eight accords on cooperation including an MoU on financial intelligence to curb money laundering and terrorism financing. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was committed to early completion of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, considering it a new chapter in economic collaboration and greater regional integration with Central Asia. In a ... Read More »

Australia’s unemployment rate drops to 5.8%

CANBEERA: Australia’s unemployment rate has unexpectedly dropped to 5.8 per cent, in positive economic news for the Turnbull government ahead of the pre-budget break. The February fall in figures was released today, and follows a rise in the unemployment rate to six per cent in January. However, the number of people employed barely moved – just 300 new jobs were ... Read More »

EU, Israel discuss export of Israeli natural gas

BRUSSELS: The European Union’s envoy to Israel met Wednesday with Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to discuss possible exports of the country’s newly found natural gas to Europe. According to a statement released by the ministry, Steinitz presented EU’s Lars Faaborg-Andersen with the expected timetable for the development of the Leviathan natural gas field, off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Andersen said ... Read More »

EU soft wheat export licences boosted by data correction

OSLO: The European Union granted export licences for 991,000 tonnes of soft wheat this week, but the big weekly volume, the third-largest this season, was partly inflated by a data correction, the European Commission said on Thursday. The correction came after a member country previously declared some export certificates as durum wheat instead of soft wheat, an official said. The ... Read More »

New Zealand shares edge higher on GDP growth

WELLINGTON: New Zealand shares eked out a small gain Thursday, helped by data showing the economy grew at a faster pace than expected at the end of 2015. The NZX-50 index closed up 0.2% at 6573.45, with banks among the major gainers. ANZ (ANZ.NZ) and Westpac (WBC.NZ) added 2.0% and 0.5% to NZ$29.20 and NZ$36.90, respectively. Statistics New Zealand said ... Read More »

Netherlands to ban export of weapons to Saudi Arabia

AMSTERDAM: Netherlands Dutch parliament has already voted against the exportation of armaments to Saudi Arabia as a form of protest for the humanitarian violations committed by the kingdom. The latest development makes the Netherlands the first EU nation to carry out the European Parliament motion in February that calls for a bloc-wide arms embargo against Saudi.  The bill, which was ... Read More »

Brazil iron ore export volumes surge in Jan

BRASÍLIA: The most recent statistics released by Brazil’s Secretary of Foreign Trade (Secex) indicates significant rise in iron ore exports by the country during the month of January 2016. Brazil’s iron ore exports during Jan ’16 totaled 25.037 million tons, up by 7.4% when compared with the same month previous year. The country’s iron ore exports had totaled 23.311 million ... Read More »

HK Customs seizes 14,000 suspected pirated optical discs

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Customs concluded a two-day territory-wide anti-piracy operation yesterday and seized more than 14,000 suspected pirated optical discs worth about $500,000 from three shops during the operation. Customs officers recently suspected that a few shops in Mong Kok and Wan Chai had engaged in the sale of pirated optical discs. After initial investigation, Customs officers of the ... Read More »

South Korea’s steel product imports increase 10.9%

SEOUL: The Korea Iron and Steel Association announced on March 16 that South Korea imported 1.776 million tons of steel products last month, 10.9% more than a year ago. The rate of year-on-year increase was the highest since August 2015, when the imports had increased by 13.8%. The steel product imports rebounded in December last year and edged down 0.1% ... Read More »

Fiscal revenue up 6.3% in Jan-Feb

BEIJING: Driven by a turnaround in property market, China’s fiscal revenue growth improved in the first two months of this year. National fiscal revenue growth grew 6.3 percent year-on-year hitting 2.74 trillion yuan($420 billion), up from 5.8 percent in 2015, the Finance Ministry’s data showed on Wednesday. Central government’s revenue grew 1.6 percent, while regional and local government revenue rose ... Read More »

China’s power use up 4% in February

BEIJING: China’s power consumption rose 4 percent year on year in February, reaching 381 billion kilowatt hours (kwh), the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Wednesday. The pace of growth accelerated from the comparable decline of 6.3 percent for the same month last year. In the first two months of the year, power consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, ... Read More »

Iran, Vietnam to build ICT ties

TEHRAN: Iran and Vietnam have expressed readiness to cooperate on information and communications technologies (ICT). Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi said that the two countries will cooperate in ten different areas of ICT, including electronic governance or e-governance, internet and cyber security, software and electronic commerce, Press TV reported. Vaezi was speaking following a meeting with ... Read More »

Ping An profit up 38% on life insurance, investment returns

BEIJING: Ping An Insurance Group yesterday reported a nearly 40 percent jump in net profit last year on stellar life insurance sales and investment returns. Ping An, Asia’s second-largest insurance company by market value, said its net profit rose 38 percent to 54.2 billion yuan (US$8.3 billion) in 2015, the highest since 2003. Strong life insurance sales and a surge ... Read More »

Sales of forex narrow in February

BEIJING: CHINESE banks continued to see net foreign exchange sales in February, but the volume has kept narrowing in a sign of easing capital outflows. Chinese lenders bought US$93.7 billion worth of foreign currency last month and sold US$127.7 billion, resulting in a net sale of US$33.9 billion, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement yesterday. Although ... Read More »

Thai home buyers struggle as banks get tough in weak economy

BANGKOK: For all Thailand’s efforts to make it easier for low income earners to buy their own home, state employee Nattawut Khampak is braced for another knock back from the same bank that turned down his mortgage application two months ago. Living with his wife, son and parents, plus his brother’s family in an overcrowded, wood and concrete house in ... Read More »

Fiscal spending up 12% in first 2 months

BEIJING: China’s fiscal expenditure rose 12 percent from the same period a year earlier to 2.12 trillion yuan (US$325 billion) in the January-February period as the country continued to shore up a weak economy. The growing spend surpassed the 10 percent growth for the same period in 2015, mainly injecting funds into social security and employment, education and on communities ... Read More »

London, Frankfurt in $30b trading tie-up

LONDON: Deutsche Boerse AG and London Stock Exchange Group Plc agreed to combine in a US$30 billion deal to create a European trading powerhouse able to compete with US rivals encroaching on their turf. But the deal, which marks a third attempt to link the Frankfurt and London exchanges, may prompt a bidding war after New York Stock Exchange owner ... Read More »

India’s pharma exports rise 9% YOY in Feb

NEW DELHI: Exports from India have declined for the 15th consecutive month in February, however, quick estimates show that the export of pharmaceutical commodities has increased by 8.77 percent in February 2016 as compared to the corresponding month in 2015. According to the data released Tuesday by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), the export of drugs and pharmaceuticals commodities stood ... Read More »