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Gold imports jump 514% in H1 of fiscal year

KATHMANDU: Gold import jumped Rs11.27 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year, up 514 percent, largely due to control in smuggling. According to the Department of Customs, Nepal imported 3,013 kg of gold during mid-July to mid-January, up from 466 kg during the same period in 2014-15. Gold import bill has increased to Rs11.27 billion in the ... Read More »

Kenya’s personal car imports decline for first time in 4 years

NAIROBI: Kenya’s personal car imports showed a decline for the first time in four years on the depreciation of the shilling and a rise in import costs. “As far as car importations are concerned there are three things that come into play, there are the interest rates, there is the currency and there is the import cost,” said Teddy Yanga, ... Read More »

TomTom 2015 revenue grows by 6% to $1.13bn

THE HAGUE: TomTom, the navigational device and mapping product, saw its 2015 revenue grow to 1.0 billion euros (1.13 billion U.S. dollars), a growth of 6.0 percent compared to 2014, the Dutch company announced on Tuesday. However, the company’s 2015 full year net profit shrank by 19 percent to 18.3 million euros. From a regional perspective, 77 percent of the ... Read More »

Pandora 2015 revenue up 40.2% in 2015

COPENHAGEN: Danish jewellery maker Pandora on Tuesday revealed a 40.2-percent increase in revenue for 2015. Group revenue stood at 16.74 billion Danish kroner (2.52 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015, compared to 11.94 billion kroner in 2014, the company said in its annual financial report. Revenue from concept stores accounted for 62.1 percent of revenue and increased 54.1 percent compared with ... Read More »

Danish wind turbine maker receives record-high orders in 2015

COPENHAGEN: Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas on Tuesday posted strong revenue earnings for 2015 with a record high growth in order intake. In 2015, Vestas’ overall revenue amounted to 8.4 billion euros (around 9.4 billion U.S. dollars), with a 22-percent annual increase, according to the company’s annual financial report released on Tuesday. Its wind turbine order intake reached 8,943 megawatts ... Read More »

Russia to launch regular mail train to China

MOSCOW: Russian Post, the national postal operator of the country, on Tuesday announced that it plans to launch a regular mail train between Moscow and Beijing as part of the efforts to develop Russia’s mail delivery service. “A mail train consisting of 18 special mail cars instead of cars hitched to passenger trains will circulate between Moscow and Beijing,” Dmitry ... Read More »

France narrows 2015 budget gap by 17.6% on falling spending

PARIS: Efforts to trim public expenditure helped France to narrow its budget deficit by 17.6 percent to 70.5 billion euros (79.14 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015, lower than an initial government forecast of 74.4 billion euros, official figures showed Tuesday. The narrowed deficit stemmed from lower spending at 371.8 billion euros, down by 1.56 percent from 2014. As for revenue, ... Read More »

New businesses in Spain rise by 0.5% in 2015

MADRID: The number of new businesses in Spain rose by 0.5 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, according to data published Tuesday by Spain’s Statistical Office (INE). A total of 94,594 businesses were created in 2015, with the regions of Madrid and Catalonia registering the largest numbers at 19,964 and 18,883, respectively, the INE reported. The number of businesses dissolved ... Read More »

Irish consumer sentiment at highest level since 2001

DUBLIN: Irish consumer sentiment climbed to a 15-year high in January, according to survey results published here the other day. The survey, conducted by the KBC Bank Ireland and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), indicated that the overall consumer sentiment index rose to 108.6 last month from 103.9 in December, taking it to its strongest level since February ... Read More »

Tax, effectiveness of fiscal policies to top Singapore Budget 2016: report

SINGAPORE: Improving effectiveness of fiscal policies, enhancing tax treaties and looking for new tax revenue options are among the top subjects of Singapore Budget 2016. The budget will be released by the government in March, according to a report by Ernst & Young (EY), one of the world’s four largest audit firms on Wednesday. Preliminary estimates indicate that Singapore’s economy ... Read More »

China to further cut government funds for public financial relief

BEIJING: China will further cut government funds to reduce financial burden on the public, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The government cut, streamlined and optimized a total of 13 government funds in early February. Moves of such kind will reduce financial burdens worth 26 billion yuan (3.96 billion U.S.dollars) for enterprises and individuals this year. Government funding is ... Read More »

China invests over 2 trln yuan on water projects in past 5 years

BEIJING: China invested more than 2 trillion yuan (about 304 billion U.S. dollars) on water projects in the five years between 2011 and 2015, official data showed. Drinking water safety, flood control, drought relief, agricultural irrigation, and rural hydropower are the areas that have benefited the most from the investment, according to the ministry of water resources. Of the funding, ... Read More »

China becomes world’s third largest insurance market

BEIJING: China became the world’s third largest insurance market in 2015, with insurance premiums surging in the past five years, according to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). With an annual growth rate of 13.4 percent, insurance premiums increased from 1.3 trillion yuan (about 197.9 million U.S. dollars) in 2010 to 2.4 trillion yuan in 2015, CIRC data showed. With ... Read More »

US Customs seizes heroin, meth worth over $1m

DEL RIO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Del Rio International Bridge recently discovered more $1 million worth of suspected narcotics hidden in a vehicle coming from Mexico.Officers seized 43.7 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, worth an estimated $612,349, and 9.8 pounds of alleged heroin. “Experience and training led CBP officers to keep this load of narcotics from reaching ... Read More »

US Customs seizes meth worth $100k at Port

EAGLE PASS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry intercepted a shipment of narcotics as it arrived into the United States from Mexico, seizing over five pounds of methamphetamine.Officers seized a total of 5.22 pounds of methamphetamine worth an estimated $104,500. “CBP officers utilize their expertise, technology, tools, and canine support every day to ... Read More »

US Customs seizes marijuana, weapons

LUKEVILLE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations officers seized more than 90 pounds of marijuana and five weapons in separate incidents here the other day at the Port of Lukeville. Officers referred Nicolas Rodriguez Morales, 39, of Sonoyta, Mexico, for a secondary inspection of his 2006 Buick when he attempted to enter the U.S. After a CBP canine alerted ... Read More »

Moscow airports lose $76m from flight bans

MOSCOW: Financial losses for Moscow’s airports from Russia’s ban on flights to Turkey, Egypt and Ukraine amount to 6 billion rubles ($76 million), according to Domodedovo Airport’s acting director Denis Nuzhdin, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday. The biggest loss — more than 3 billion rubles — resulted from restrictions on flights to Turkey, Nuzhdin said. The ban on flights ... Read More »

Personal debt in Russia rises 30% in 2015

MOSCOW: The amount of personal debt in Russia rose by about 30 percent, last year according to deputy director of the National Bureau of Credit Histories Vladimir Shikin, the news website reported here the other day. “In 2015 we saw a rise in personal debt, both in rubles and as a percentage of the volume of existing loans,” Shikin ... Read More »

Russia sees 11.7 trillion rubles worth of suspicious financial transactions in 2015

MOSCOW: Financial transactions worth 11.7 trillion rubles ($152 billion) were classified as “suspicious” in Russia last year, the TASS news agency reported here the other day, citing state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring. The volume of transactions possibly linked to money laundering last year was almost equal to the 2014 volume. In 2013, the volume of such operations totaled 16.2 trillion rubles ... Read More »

Achilles Macris: FCA fines ex-JP Morgan banker £800,000 over ‘London Whale’

LONDON: The City watchdog has fined a former executive at JP Morgan Chase nearly £800,000 for failing to be “open and co-operative” over the bank’s controversial £4.2bn “London Whale” losses. Achilles Macris was boss of JP Morgan’s bank division when the risky dealings of trader Bruno Iskil, nicknamed the London Whale, resulted in massive losses. On Tuesday he described the ... Read More »