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Thailand’s struggling exports to rise 2% in 2016

BANGKOK: Thai exports, which have contracted for years, will grow again in 2016, two business associations predicted. Exports, equal to more than 60 percent of the economy, have stayed weak due to sluggish global demand and structural problems at home. The Commerce Ministry and the central bank both project that exports, which shrank in 2013 and 2014, contracted by 5.5 ... Read More »

US ethanol exports drop 16% in Nov

WASHINGTON: U.S. ethanol exports in November dropped 16% to 59.0 million gallons (mg), landing around 10 mg under the year-to-date monthly average according to RFA analysis of government data released yesterday. Once again, Canada was the top destination, receiving 23.2 mg of ethanol (39% of November exports). After being the top market in October, China slipped to second in November. ... Read More »

South Korea’s exports of makgeolli to Japan

SEOUL: South Korea’s exports of makgeolli, a traditional rice wine, to Japan have been in the doldrums since 2011 when they peaked at $48.4 million, government and industry data showed Monday. Exports of makgeolli to the neighboring country rose sharply since the late 2000s thanks to the rising popularity there of Korean pop culture, called “hallyu,” and the strong value ... Read More »

Ecuador to pay OXY $1bn

BRASILIA: Ecuador is to make a US$1 billion payment to US oil giant Occidental Petroleum (OXY) by April, in keeping with a decision from a World Bank arbitration panel, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said here the other day. The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes initially ordered Ecuador to pay the company US$1.77 billion plus interest in the 2012 ... Read More »

Sri Lanka Customs launches ‘Single Window program’

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has been linked up with high tech Single Window program implemented worldwide to facilitate the export-import process of the country. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake launched the Sri Lanka Customs Single Window System enabling the Custom Department to do away the system overlapping that will otherwise require submitting and processing the same information on numerous occasions to different ... Read More »

GCC equity market shed $200bn in 2015 market cap

DOHA: GCC equities underperformed most international peers with the MSCI GCC total return index retreating 15 percent during the year, its weakest performance since 2008. The correction followed three years of solid performance. While regional markets fared worse than their international counterparts, equities in general were thrashed in 2015. Total GCC market capitalization stood at $904bn at year end, after ... Read More »

Rotterdam port workers start one-day strike

AMSTERDAM: The Rotterdam port workers are starting a 24 hour strike starting at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday. Unions FNV and CNV hope that the strike will bring all parties back to the table to discuss more job security in the port. This is the first time in 13 years that the Rotterdam port workers are striking. The intention is to ... Read More »

Kuwait’s CID nabs three drug smugglers

KUWAIT CITY: Personnel from the Criminal Investigations Department have arrested three people — two Lebanese and an American — for smuggling ‘chemical’ drug, reports Annahar daily. The daily added, acting on information the police put the men under surveillance and caught them selling drugs to a police agent. After taking legal procedures, the detectives raided the houses of the traffickers ... Read More »

Kuwait Customs seizes 3kg marijuana

KUWAIT: An Asian man was arrested at Kuwait International Airport with possession of marijuana which he admitted of attempting to smuggle into Kuwait. A total of three kilograms of the drug were found hidden in cases of nuts inside the suspect’s luggage, said Suleiman Al-Fahad, Airport Customs Supervisor. The man, who faces capital punishment if convicted with drug trafficking, was ... Read More »

China improves soya imports up to 80 mln tons in 2015/16

BEIJING: China, the world’s top soya buyer, will import 2 million tonnes more in the 2015/16 marketing year at 80 million tonnes, an official grains think tank said in a revised forecast, up 2.1 percent from 2014/15 due to higher-than-expected crushing demand. Imports of soya in the previous marketing year that runs from October to September stood at 78.36 million ... Read More »

Oman’s Bank Dhofar closes $250m three-year loan

MUSCAT: Oman’s Bank Dhofar has raised a $250 million three-year loan to be used for general funding, sources aware of the matter told Reuters on January 05. The lender joins a number of Gulf banks that have tapped the loan market in recent weeks to bolster their balance sheets while regional liquidity drops amid persistently low oil prices. The loan ... Read More »

Oishi Group eyes South African market

SHANGHAI: Filipino-owned Liwayway Group of Companies, the company behind the Oishi brand, is set to make its first foray outside Asia as it continues to look for opportunities to grow its business. In an interview with The STAR, Liwayway Group head of operations in China Larry Chan said the snack foods giant is eyeing to expand into South Africa that ... Read More »

HK Customs seizes cocaine in chocolate wrappers worth HKD1.5 million

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Customs seized around 1.4 kilograms of suspected cocaine here the other day, which was not-so-craftily concealed inside packets of chocolate. The female passenger in possession of the sugary stash was arrested. The woman was flying from Johannesburg via Dubai. On inspection of her luggage, Customs officers found seven packets of chocolate inside plastic bags, collectively containing ... Read More »

Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves jump $5.7b

JAKARTA: Bank Indonesia’s foreign-exchange reserves jumped the most since April 2012 last month, giving the central bank more scope to manage the exchange rate in the face of external headwinds. The stockpile grew by $5.7 billion to $105.9 billion, the monetary authority said in a statement. That came after Bank Indonesia posted the figures on its website earlier on Friday ... Read More »

Oman adopts conservative approach in estimating non-oil revenue

MUSCAT: Oman government has adopted a conservative approach in estimating non-oil revenue in the recently announced State Budget for 2016. Although government fees on several services have been raised this year, the total non-oil current revenue estimate is at OMR2.4 billion for 2016 against OMR2.38 billion estimated for the previous year, mainly on account of an expected slowdown in overall ... Read More »

China’s PPI falls 5.2% in in 2015

BEIJING: China’s producer price index (PPI), which measures wholesale inflation, dropped 5.2 percent year on year in 2015, official statistics showed on Saturday. In December, the PPI fell 5.9 percent from a year ago, unchanged from that of November and marking the 46th straight month of decline. Read More »

Iraq extends ban on imports of frozen, live poultry products

BAGHDAD: Iraq has extended a ban on imports of frozen and live poultry products to cover two dozen countries, including China and South Africa, the government said on Sunday. Baghdad last month restricted poultry imports from France, where an outbreak of avian flu has been reported. “The import of poultry and birds of all kinds … as well as both types ... Read More »

Bangladesh H1 garment exports up over 9%

DHAKA: Bangladesh saw its garment exports increase over 9% in the first six months of its 2015/2016 financial year, new figures show. Exports of garments, comprising knitwear and woven items, reached US$13.13bn in the period from July to December, a 9.2% increase on the prior year, according to data from the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau. Total exports for the period ... Read More »

Shanghai tax revenue rises 22% to $170bn in 2015

SHANGHAI: Shanghai’s tax revenue surged 22 percent from a year ago to more than 1 trillion yuan last year for the first time as stamp duty rose due to active stock market trading. The city collected 1.12 trillion yuan (US$170 billion) in tax in 2015, the Shanghai Taxation Bureau said in a statement yesterday. Tax receipts expanded 11.7 percent in ... Read More »

Three on trial on charges of importing banned pills to Dubai

DUBAI: Dubai Two merchants and a trading company manager have been accused of importing 35 million banned pills and 2.5 tonnes of tramadol for promotional purposes through Jebel Ali Port. The Iranian merchants, 42-year-old H.M. and 41-year-old J.A., and the Bangladeshi manager, M.K., were said to have imported a container in which Dubai Customs inspectors discovered the 2.5 tonnes of ... Read More »