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Portugal’s Q4 GDP growth confirms at 0.2%

LISBON: Portugal’s economy eked out uninspiring growth of just 0.2 per cent in the final three months of 2015, a final reading confirmed on Monday. Although this was a pick up from the third quarter, when the economy stagnated, economists had originally been expecting much better growth of 0.4 per cent for the final three months. Year on year, the economy ... Read More »

Jordan seeks easy loans from World Bank

AMMAN: Jordan is currently negotiating with the World Bank over a $500 million loan for the year 2016 under new and easier terms Jordan has not been entitled to due to its ranking as an upper-middle-income country. Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said such concessional loans are usually given with an interest rate of less than 3 ... Read More »

IOC assures regular LPG supply to Nepal

KATHMANDU: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has said its sole supplier Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has assured regular supply of cooking gas from Monday. IOC has reduced the supply for the past week, citing technical problem at its Barauni-based depot. “IOC officials have said the problem has been fixed and that regular supply will resume from Monday,” said NOC Director Mukunda Ghimire. ... Read More »

Polish media group Cyfrowy moves to buy infrastructure partner Midas

WARSAW: Poland’s No.1 media group Cyfrowy Polsat has moved to buy its key infrastructure partner Midas from its joint owner, valuing the company at almost 1.2 billion zlotys ($301 million). Cyfrowy said on Monday its mobile unit Polkomtel had bought 66 percent of Midas by acquiring Cyprus-based Litenite, controlled by Cyfrowy’s owner Polish billionaire Zygmunt Solorz-Zak. The price was a symbolic ... Read More »

Bangladesh to invest $1.0 bln in Bhutan hydropower

DHAKA: Bangladesh is weighing a deal with Bhutan to invest around US$1.0 billion in hydropower in the landlocked country to re-import the electricity, officials said. It’s part of a regional power trade. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), an enterprise of the World Bank Group, has already assured the government of financing regional power trade involving Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. ... Read More »

Dubai FDI supports regional expansion strategy

DUBAI: Praemium, provider of varied financial solutions to the wealth management industry worldwide, has moved to Dubai with the support of Dubai Investment Development Agency, or Dubai FDI, an agency of the Department of Economic Development and business services provider, Capital International Group. Through its representative office in Dubai, Praemium aims to expand its client base in the region and ... Read More »

Oman’s traditional fish catch grew 8.4% in 2015

MUSCAT: Oman’s fish catch by traditional fishery registered a rise of 8.4 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014 figures. As much as 225,297 tonnes of fish landings were recorded last year, while the previous year’s quantity stood at 207,775 tonnes, according to the recent data published by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). Total value of fish ... Read More »

UK man arrested in meth smuggling case

LONDON: A UK man was due to face a Perth court today after allegedly attempting to smuggle more than 100 pellets of methamphetamine into Australia inside his body. The 45-year-old was stopped by Australian Border Force officers at Perth International Airport on Saturday after arriving on a flight from Thailand. The officers suspected the man may be concealing drugs within ... Read More »

Azerbaijan to increase gas export to Georgia

BAKU: Azerbaijan will be additionally supplying up to 500 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas a year to Georgia, said Rovnag Abdullayev, president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). Abdullayev made the remarks speaking to Trend Feb. 29 at the second Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Meeting in Baku. “Previously, we supplied 800 mcm of gas a year to ... Read More »

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit declines 13.4% in Jan

ANKARA: Turkey’s foreign trade deficit declined 13.4 percent year-on-year in January, the Turkish Statistical Institute reported on Monday. In January, the deficit fell to $3.76 billion, down from $4.34 billion from same month last year, plummeting 13.4 percent. Exports amounted to $9.6 billion, a 22 percent decrease from January 2015, and imports were $13.4 billion, an 19.7 percent decline year-on-year. ... Read More »

Australia inflation forecast dips 0.2% in Feb

CANBERRA: Consumer prices in Australia are predicted to have eased 0.2 percent on month in February, the latest forecast from the Melbourne Institute revealed on Monday. In January, the forecast called for a 0.4 percent decline on month. On a yearly basis, inflation is pegged at 2.1 percent – down from 2.3 percent in the previous month, but still barely ... Read More »

New Zealand business confidence 7.1% in Feb

WELLINGTON: New Zealand business sentiment fell in February, an ANZ Bank survey showed on Monday. The survey’s headline measure showed a net 7.1 percent of respondents are optimistic about the general economy over the year ahead. It compared with 23.0 percent in the prior survey in January. A net 25.5 percent of respondents expected their own businesses to grow in ... Read More »

Brazil tax agency alleges fraud in 2009 JBS-Bertin merger

BRASÍLIA: Brazilian tax authorities allege that the 2009 merger of JBS SA and the Bertin Group, which created the world’s largest meatpacker, involved fraud that harmed minority shareholders, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Sunday. The allegations stem from a tax investigation of companies in the Bertin Group and have already resulted in an assessment of 3 billion ... Read More »

Russian fuel oil exports drop 15.6% in Jan

MOSCOW: Lower output and “other reasons” caused fuel oil exports from Russia to fall 15.6 percent in January compared to December 2015. According to that nation’s energy ministry data and Reuters calculations, lower crude prices plus weaker global and domestic demand for middle distillates resulted in Russian oil refinery runs dropping 4.7 percent to 275,584 barrels per day in January. ... Read More »

Cement sector grows by 30.4% to Rs 16.14 billion in 2Q

LAHORE: The country’s cement sector witnessed huge growth of 30.4 per cent to Rs 16.14 billion during second quarter of current fiscal year 2015-16. Cumulatively, the sector now stands at Rs27.65b in first half of FY16 against Rs20.91b in the corresponding period last year, depicting a growth of 32.2 percent YoY. Revenues of the sector during 1HFY16 grew by an ... Read More »

Japan’s auto exports drop 1.8% in Jan

TOKYO: Japan’s exports of cars, trucks and buses declined 1.8% year over year in January for the first fall in five months, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Monday. Exports totaled 335,556 vehicles in January, down from 341,872 vehicles in the same month a year earlier, the association said. Read More »

Pakistan producing world’s costliest wheat: PEW

ISLAMABAD: A renowned economic watchdog has criticised the government for producing the costliest wheat in the world. Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has asked the government to tackle distortions in the wheat market, as forty percent population is living below the poverty line but is forced to consume the costliest wheat flour in the world. Revisiting support price can improve the ... Read More »

Pakistan leading e-commerce industry in South Asia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is leading the e-commerce in South Asia as around 6 per cent of adults in the country have mobile accounts as compared to the region’s average of less than 2.6 per cent. The government has already introduced National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), a roadmap to achieve financial inclusion goals. Pakistan is also among the 25 countries, the World ... Read More »

S. Korea’s air passenger traffic rises 13.4% in Jan

SEOUL: South Korea’s air passenger traffic jumped 13.4 percent in January from a year earlier on an increase in both inbound and outbound travelers, government data showed Monday. The number of people boarding flights entering and leaving the country reached 8.42 million last month, up from 7.42 million the year before, according to the data by the Ministry of Land, ... Read More »

Secretary Shahid Hussain Asad to retire on April 30

ISLAMABAD: Shahid Hussain Asad, a BS-22 officer of Inland Revenue Service, is going to retire from the government service on attaining the age of superannuation. The officer presently posted as Secretary, Statistics Division, Islamabad, will stand retired with effect from April 30. Read More »