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Brazil’s economy expect to contract by 3.40% in 2016

BRASÍLIA: Analysts expect Brazil’s economy to contract by 3.40 percent this year, with inflation hitting 7.62 percent, the Central Bank said Monday. Last week, analysts said they expected Brazil’s economy to contract by 3.33 percent this year and prices to rise by 7.61 percent. The gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation figures come from the Boletin Focus, a weekly Central ... Read More »

Budapest-Belgrade rail upgrade serves no Hungarian interests

BUDAPEST: The Budapest-Belgrade railway development solely serves Chinese interests, the opposition LMP party said, adding that the government is doing everything it can to weaken the project’s profitability by supporting a rival Slovenian rail upgrade. The cabinet is still pursuing the “failed” eastern-opening policy and supporting two rival projects simultaneously, which is “economic madness”, Erzsébet Schmuck, the party’s deputy parliamentary ... Read More »

Spain’s fresh produce exports rise 11.7% in 2015

MADRID: Spain’s fresh produce exports climbed 11.7 per cent for the full year of 2015, according to statistics from the Ministry of Economy and published by Fepex. According to the newly released figures, Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable export value climbed to €11.9bn for the year, while also rising 2.29 per cent in volume to 12.79m tonnes. Vegetables exports came ... Read More »

Turkish investors inject $400 mln into Rwanda

ANKARA: Investments by Turkey in Rwanda total $400 million and over 20 investment projects are already operational, just in the past three years. Rwanda received $3.1 billion in local and foreign investment inflows over the period, with Turkey contributing 13 per cent of that amount. The biggest investment project from Turkey is a $335 million peat energy project by Hakan ... Read More »

Norway to build Europe’s largest onshore wind plant

OSLO: Norwegian state-owned renewables producer Statkraft and Danish turbine maker Vestas announced on Tuesday that they will collaborate on Europe’s largest onshore wind power plant. Statkraft, TrønderEnergi and Nordic Wind Power will invest 11 billion Norwegian kroner ($1.3 billion, €1.6 billion) in six wind farms that are expected to produce 1,000 megawatts by 2020. The wind farms will be built ... Read More »

Amsterdam collects €46.4m in tourist tax revenue

AMSTERDAM: Statistics Netherlands expects that Amsterdam will collect 46.4 million euros in tourist tax over 2016, a 25 percent increase compared to last year. For all municipalities in the Netherlands proceeds from tourist tax are expected to increase by 8.6 percent to 188.6 million euros. With the expected 46.4 million euros in tourist tax, Amsterdam accounts for a quarter of ... Read More »

Japan to increase Pakistan textile exports

TOKYO: Japanese development agencies are working to increase the level of textile imports sourced from Pakistan. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in Yokohama, is presently in discussions with the government of Pakistan about ways in which Japanese overseas development aid might be best put to use to assist this sector – of critical importance to the overall Pakistani economy. ... Read More »

Vodafone Greece service revenues fall 1.3% in Q3

ATHENS: The weak economic climate in Greece led to a further deterioration in Vodafone’s revenue growth in the latest quarter to December. Vodafone Greece saw a 1.3 percent organic decline in service revenue to the equivalent of GBP 139 million, compared to a fall of only 0.3 percent in the previous quarter. Vodafone said the macroeconomic environment is putting increased ... Read More »

Melco Crown revenue hit to $80.9m in Q4

MANILA: Revenue from the Philippine operations of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MCE) surged in the final quarter of 2015, helping offset the impact of a slide in its casinos in Macau. Net revenue at City of Dreams Manila was $80.9 million in the three months to December, compared with $7.6 million a year earlier, Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. (MCP) ... Read More »

PetroVietnam seeks approval to lower tax rates

HANOI: Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) is seeking approval to lower tax rates at the Dung Quat Oil Refinery because of a lack of competitiveness against imported fuels. PetroVietnam has claimed in a report to the Government Office, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade that the refinery, the country’s sole oil processing ... Read More »

Swiss Re posts $4.6bn profit in 2015

GENEVA: Swiss Re said on Tuesday group Chief Executive Michel Lies would retire and be replaced by the head of its reinsurance business on July 1, as it posted a 31 percent rise in 2015 net income. In full-year results, Zurich-based Swiss Re said net profit for 2015 was $4.6 billion, compared with the average estimate of $4.57 billion in ... Read More »

France’s TF1 revenue falls by 3.9% to 604.3 million euros

PARIS: TF1 has reported revenue of 604.3 million euros ($672.3 million) for the fourth quarter of 2015, down 3.9 percent on the comparable period, dragged down by lower ad revenue. Ad revenue for the four free-to-air channels was down by 1.4 percent in Q4, adversely affected by current events in France, which led to a reduction in advertising spend in ... Read More »

India’s gold imports likely to hit in Feb

MUMBAI: India’s gold imports are likely to hit a more than two-year low in February, as rising prices and hopes for a cut in import taxes keep buyers away, industry sources said. While lower purchases by the world’s second-biggest consumer could dent the current rally in global bullion prices, it would mean relief for the Indian government which has been ... Read More »

India’s polished diamond exports -42% in Jan

NEW DELHI: India’s polished diamond exports dived 42 percent year on year to $1.04 billion in January, according to provisional data provided by the nation’s Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council. By volume, polished exports slumped 36 percent to 1.8 million carats. Polished imports fell 47 percent to $197.3 million, leaving net polished exports 40 percent lower at $847.5 million. ... Read More »

Govt meets NCA non-signatories in Thailand

BANGKOK: Union Minister Aung Min led the Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC) at a meeting with ethnic armed organisations that did not sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on February 22. The aim of the government’s peace delegation was to try to persuade non-signatories to sign the NCA. “We will go to Thailand on February 22. ... Read More »

Belarus’ oil import 1.8% increase in 2015

WASHINGTON: In 2015 Belarus imported 1.8% more Russian oil in comparison with 2014, with the total oil import going up to 22.9 million tonnes, BelTA learned from the website of the National Statistics Committee of Belarus. In 2015 Belarus purchased $5,668 million worth of oil or 74.3% of the sum Belarus paid for imported oil in 2014. Prices for imported ... Read More »

OBI Pharma shares fall by daily limit

TAIPEI: Shares of OBI Pharma Inc yesterday fell by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent to close at NT$613, after the company on Sunday released discouraging results on the second and third-phase clinical trials of a new breast cancer drug, OBI-822. OBI-822 remains an effective treatment option and the trial’s less promising than expected outcome stemmed from a number ... Read More »

South Africa’s Imperial Holdings H1 profit rises 6%

JOHANNESBURG: South African logistics company Imperial Holdings Ltd reported a 6 percent increase in half-year profit as lower demand for the vehicles it imports and a weakening currency ate into its earnings at home. The company on Tuesday reported headline earnings per share of 801 cents for the six months ended December, compared with 759 cents a year ago. Headline ... Read More »

Govt to cut spending, just not on infrastructure

JAKARTA: The government is seeking to maintain infrastructure funding at current levels while trimming other sectors’ funding amid a cash-strapped budget in a measure lauded by analysts. Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Monday at the State Palace that the government had to step up efficiency measures when revising the 2016 state budget. The revision will be crucial to ... Read More »

SAMA raises banks maximum allowable loan to deposit ratio

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabia Central Bank (SAMA) has raised banks’ maximum allowable loan-to deposit (LTD) ratio to 90 percent from 85 percent. The increased LTD limit will allow banks to continue expanding credit while limiting price competition for deposits and their need to use expensive long-term borrowing (included in the LTD definition from SAMA), which supports banks’ profit. The actual ... Read More »