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Petronas Chemicals to spend $4b for refinery, petrochem plant

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals Bhd., a unit of Malaysia’s state energy company, will spend US$4bil over the next five years to mostly invest in a refinery and petrochemicals complex spearheaded by its parent in Johor state. The company predicts a “tougher” 2016 because of a plunge in crude and an oversupply that’s pushed down product prices, Chief Executive Officer Sazali ... Read More »

Vietnam’s PMI declines in Feb

HANOI: The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of Viet Nam dipped to 50.3 in February, down from 51.5 in January, but remained above the 50.0 no-change mark, according to a Nikkei report released yesterday. February saw a further modest improvement in business conditions in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector, as growth continued in output, new orders and employment. But the respective increases ... Read More »

Kazakhstan sharply reduces exports in 2015

AZERBAIJAN: Exports of goods for the nine months of 2015 decreased by 42.4 percent – to $35.7 billion in Kazakhstan, according to the information published on the website of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. “Decrease in the value of exports was mainly due to a reduction in the supply of mineral commodities by 47.9 percent to $26.4 billion,” the message said. ... Read More »

Customs collects Rs 677b in eight months with 12.5% growth

KARACHI: Pakistan Customs collected Rs677 billion during the first eight months of ongoing financial year of 2015-16 with a growth of 12.5 per cent over the last year’s Rs602 billion it generated during the same period. The official sources said that the duty collection increased 16.5 percent to Rs189.896 billion in corresponding period. Duty collection by south region surged 21.6 ... Read More »

Canadian economy grows 0.8% in fourth quarter: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA: The economy exceeded low expectations to grow at an annual rate of 0.8 per cent in the final three months of 2015, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. A consensus of economists had predicted real GDP for the fourth quarter to produce a flat reading, according to Thomson Reuters. While the latest report on real gross domestic product beat expectations, it ... Read More »

New Zealand earns $2.5 bln from exports

WELLINGTON: New Zealand earned $2.5 billion more from exports than we spent on imports during the year ended December 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today. Total exports of goods and services were $69.3 billion for 2015, while imports totalled $66.9 billion. Total exports rose $1.9 billion from 2014, driven by a $2.3 billion rise in spending by international visitors and ... Read More »

Brazil’s manufacturing extends slump in Feb

BRASÍLIA: Brazil’s manufacturing downturn accelerated in February as higher inflation increased costs across the production chain, a private survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the country’s recession continued to worsen in the first months of 2016. The Purchasing Managers’ Index BRPMIM=ECI compiled by research firm Markit fell to a seasonally adjusted 44.5 in February, a three-month low, from 47.4 in January. ... Read More »

Otto Marine secures chartering contract worth S$96m

SINGAPORE: A wholly-owned subsidiary of offshore chartering group mainboard-listed Otto Marine, has been awarded a chartering contract worth up to A$94.8 million (S$96.1 million) . The vessel under the charter will be a 100-tonne offshore support vessel, and will be used for infield support in the gas field of 40-year life in Australia. The client is an international oil and ... Read More »

Turkish Airlines logs record high net profit in 2015

JEDDAH: Turkish Airlines reported $1.69 billion net profit surpassing $1 billion level for the first time in its history, the company said in the consolidated financial statements reported to Borsa Istanbul. Profit from main operations stood at $895 million with an increase of 32 percent  from the previous year. Turkish Airlines generated sales revenues of $10.522 billion in 2015. Pointing ... Read More »

Japan buys 126,698 tons food wheat via tender

TOKYO: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture bought a total of 126,698 tonnes of food quality wheat from the United States and Canada in a regular tender that closed late on Wednesday. A tender is normally announced on Tuesday and executed on Thursday. The schedule was however changed this week for administrative reasons, an official with the ministry said. Japan, the world’s ... Read More »

Turkey’s plastics industry eyes rebound from 2 years

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s plastics industry, one of Europe’s largest for plastic product manufacturing, has had a difficult two years, as it’s absorbed global economic uncertainty and the spillover from wars and instability in neighboring Syria and Iraq. The country’s industry grew quickly for much of the last decade, averaging 10 percent a year, but since 2014 growth has slowed sharply and ... Read More »

Dalata revenue soars 185% as firm records €28.5m profit

DUBLIN: Revenue at Dalata, Ireland’s largest hotel operator, soared 185pc up to €225.7m last year as the firm reported a pre-tax profit of €28.5m. 2015 was a busy year of acquisitions for the firm, which completed the purchases of Tara Towers in Dublin, the Clarion Hotel in Sligo, and a Dublin city centre site set to become a 181-room Clayton ... Read More »

Over 135 companies participating in Pakistan Auto Show

LAHORE: Over 135 international and local companies are participating in the Pakistan Auto Show, being held at Expo Centre from March 4-6. The Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) is organising the auto show. PAAPAM Chairman Mumshad Ali, in a statement, said that the exhibition is receiving an overwhelming response from the leading automobile manufacturers from around ... Read More »

Japanese automakers set sales records in US

TOKYO:  An energetic market for sports utility vehicles and pickups drove record sales in the U.S. for Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. in February, while Honda Motor Co. notched up double-digit percentage growth in passenger car sales, data showed Tuesday. Drawn by low gas prices and interest rates, U.S. consumers flocked to showrooms to buy light trucks at ... Read More »

South Korea’s industrial output declines in Jan

SEOUL: South Korea’s industrial output dropped even more than estimated in January as a slump in exports and the end of temporary tax benefits weighed down production. Falling production is a risk to the government’s target of achieving 3.1 percent growth this year. Overseas shipments dropped for a 14th straight month in February as the export-dependent economy suffered from weaker ... Read More »

UK Customs seizes £40,000  bootleg booze haul

LONDON: A £40,000 bootleg booze haul linked to a popular Newcastle shop has been smashed by Customs officers. Three men have been spared jail after admitting their involvement in an illegal alcohol ring which led officers to discover thousands of litres of spirits, beer, wine and cider. Kudlip Singh, 34, Sukhwinder Singh, 43, and Abdul Havid, 49, all admitted fraudulent ... Read More »

Thailand CPI falls 0.5% in Feb 2016

BANGKOK: Thailand continued to register negative inflation in February, though the pace of falling consumer prices eased slightly, according to government data released Tuesday. The country’s consumer price index fell 0.5% from a year earlier in February, improving marginally from a 0.53% year- over-year decline in January, the Commerce Ministry said. February headline CPI inched up 0.15% from January. Meanwhile, ... Read More »

KRG, Iran signs education agreement

ERBIL: Kurdistan Region – A five-year education exchange agreement between the Kurdistan Region and the Islamic Republic of Iran was signed on Tuesday, said a Kurdistan Region Government official. A high level Iranian delegation headed by Dr. Salar Amoli, the deputy minister of the higher education of Iran, met with Dr. Yousif Goran, the KRG’s higher education minister on Tuesday ... Read More »

Watch Stanford’s self-driving car hits 120mph

CALIFORNIA: Now you can travel fast in self-driving cars as Watch Stanford’s vehicle has hit 120 mph on the racetrack. Researchers at Stanford University have put several years of work into developing the autonomous car named Shelley in the hope of tapping into the functionality of race car driving, Daily Mail reported. The team says doing this can help to ... Read More »

Three IR officers of BS 19-20 transferred

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue Wednesday transferred/posted three Inland Revenue Service officers of BS 19-20) with immediate effect. According to the notification, the officers who are drawing performance allowance, will continue to draw this allowance on the new place of posting. The officers have been directed to relinquish/assume charge, using online HRMS facility made available to FBR or by using ... Read More »