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Asian markets down but Tokyo extends rally on weak yen

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 02:14

The rally in Japan's export sector was enough to offset a more than 10 percent plunge in mobile giant SoftBankAsian stock markets mostly fell Tuesday on profit-taking following a week-long rally but Tokyo headed for a sixth straight gain as a weak yen boosted exporters. The rally in Japan's export sector was enough to offset a more than 10 percent plunge in mobile giant Softbank, which was hammered after agreeing a $32 billion deal to buy a British chip designer. Hopes for fresh global central bank stimulus, coupled with forecast-beating readings on US jobs and retail sales, have injected some much-needed optimism after last month's shock British vote to leave the European Union.

Venezuela threatens US company reps with jail after closure

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 00:15

Employees work on the production line of daily care products at the Kimberly-Clark plant in Maracay, Venezuela, on July 18, 2016President Nicolas Maduro threatened to seek the arrest of Kimberly-Clark representatives after the US paper products company shut down production in Venezuela amid a deep economic crisis. The company, which halted operations two weeks ago, produced items that are in extremely short supply in Venezuela like toilet paper, diapers and feminine hygiene products. Maduro accused the company of failing to fund social benefits that its workers had been promised.

EU's Oettinger says Turkey won't get visa-free travel this year

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 18:04
European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has said he did not see the European Union granting Turks visa-free travel this year - as agreed in a migration deal - due to Ankara's crackdown after a failed military coup. The EU sealed a controversial deal with Turkey in March intended to halt illegal migration flows to Europe in return for financial and political rewards for Ankara. "The draft law (on ending visa requirements for Turks) is being debated in the European Parliament right now," Oettinger, commissioner for digital economy and society, told several regional German newspapers in an interview published on Tuesday.

Turkey economy facing fresh problems after coup attempt

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 13:51

Turkish mourners carry the coffin of a policeman killed Friday in the failed military coup, during a mass funeral in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, July 18, 2016. Warplanes patrolled Turkey's skies overnight in a sign that authorities feared that the threat against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government was not yet over, despite official assurances that life has returned to normal after a failed coup. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey faces the prospect of waning economic growth, a struggle to attract international investors and financial market volatility for months to come following the failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mexican anti-graft chief resigns at dawn of new corruption rules

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 12:46

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto gives a speech during the promulgation of the anti-corruption laws at the National Palace in Mexico CityMexico's chief anti-corruption official, who last year exonerated President Enrique Pena Nieto of conflict-of-interest allegations, resigned on Monday, just hours before new graft-fighting legislation comes into effect. Virgilio Andrade, head of the Public Administration Ministry (SFP), the government's main anti-corruption auditor, was appointed by Pena Nieto in 2015. The opposition accused Andrade of a whitewash when the months-long probe exonerated all three of wrongdoing, just as the president was pledging to get tough on entrenched political corruption in Latin America's No. 2 economy.

Turkey calms rattled markets but post-coup fears remain

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 12:17

Pro-Erdogan supporters gather at Taksim square in Istanbul to support the government on July 16, 2016, following a failed coup attemptTurkey moved quickly to quell financial market concerns over political instability after the coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, although the putsch created new economic risks that will be tougher to banish. Global financial exchange markets were still open when the coup erupted late Friday and fears of prolonged political turmoil in a key emerging market prompted a five-percent crash in the lira against the dollar. When markets reopened on Monday, investors had taken some reassurance from the rapid collapse of the coup and swift moves by the government to insist that financial stability would not be compromised.

EU, Greece seek debt deal by year end: Moscovici

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:53

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici (R), pictured with Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on July 18, 2016, stressed that the EU and Greece need to reach an agreement on the country's mountain of debtThe European Union and Greece hope to reach a deal on the crisis-hit country's debt mountain by the end of the year, EU economic affairs chief Pierre Moscovici said on Monday. "We need to reach a positive agreement involving the IMF by the end of the year," Moscovici told reporters after meetings with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. "It is in the interest of all parties that the IMF is fully on board," Moscovici said, noting that the global lender brought "credibility and visibility" to the rescue.

EU sticks to Greece optimism despite Brexit worries

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:39

European Union Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici, right, shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, Monday, July 18, 2016. Moscovici is on a one-day visit to Athens where he will also meet with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. (AP Photo)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The European Union's top economy official laid out his hope that a debt-relief deal with Greece could be achievable by the end of this year.

Ghana lowers 2016 GDP growth forecast to 4.1 pct

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:28

Customers peruse goods at Makola market in AccraGhana has cut its 2016 economic growth forecast to 4.1 percent from 5.4 percent due to lower export prices and irregular oil production, Finance Minister Seth Terkper told Reuters on Monday. "These developments have taken into consideration the release of revised GDP figures for 2015, revision of gold production forecasts for 2016-18 and the shutdown of the (oil production vessel) FPSO Kwame Nkrumah," Terkper said. GDP growth should pick up between July and September as a second oil field, TEN, comes onstream to offset the shortfall from Jubilee, he said.

South Africa's rand bounces as Turkey concerns ease

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:24

People walk near the reception at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, JohannesburgSouth Africa's rand strengthened two percent against the U.S. dollar on Monday as concerns over a failed coup attempt in Turkey eased and investors sought out higher returns in emerging markets. Stocks ended slightly lower with gold shares among the biggest decliners as traders pared their safe-haven holdings after Turkey's government said it was in control of the country and the economy. "We believe it is an exaggeration to believe the political noise in Turkey may affect the general price dynamics in other major emerging markets, especially the high-yielding ones," Citi said in a note.

ADB says developing Asian economies to grow 5.6 % in 2016

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 09:02
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Asian Development Bank said Monday it had cut its 2016 growth projection for developing economies in Asia and the Pacific to 5.6 percent, down from its earlier forecast of 5.7 percent, but added that the economies' performance will remain solid and help offset softness from the U.S. economy and near-term market shocks from Britain's vote to exit from the European Union.

Cyprus sets another tourism record

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 08:09

Cyrpus enjoyed a 22.6-percent hike in tourist arrivals in June compared to the same month in 2015Bailed-out Cyprus, seen as a safe destination in a region dogged by terror attacks, set a record for the number of tourist arrivals during the month of June, officials said Monday. With the Mediterranean holiday island's economy on an upward curve, state-run Cyprus Tourism Organisation said that 413,114 tourists arrived last month. "It is the best June in terms of arrivals in the history of Cyprus tourism.

German economy 'to grow strongly in Q3 despite Brexit risks'

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 06:04

German gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.7 percent in the first three months of this year, but is expected to have slowed in the second quarterThe German economy, Europe's biggest, will continue to expand strongly in the third quarter, despite potential risks from the British vote to quit the European Union, the German central bank or Bundesbank said on Monday. After growth slowed in the second quarter of 2016, "the underlying economic trend remains very strong and a sharp increase in overall economic output can be expected in the summer quarter," the Bundesbank wrote in its latest monthly report.

PM May says Softbank-ARM deal shows Britain can be a success post-Brexit

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 05:57
Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday Japanese company Softbank's decision to buy British chip designer ARM Holdings showed Britain's economy could be successful after the country voted to leave the European Union. Welcoming the deal as a boost for British jobs and the economy, a spokeswoman for Britain's new prime minister said May believed the deal was in the country's national interest -- a gauge she will use in all future foreign takeovers. "This is good news for British workers, it's good news for the British economy, it shows that, as the prime minister has been saying, we can make a success of leaving the European Union," the spokeswoman said.

Resort town mapped out for Athens airport wasteland

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 05:47

A migrant woman makes her way next to tents set at the old baseball venue of the former Hellenikon Olympic complex, which is used as a shelter for refugees and migrants, in AthensBy Angeliki Koutantou and Karolina Tagaris ATHENS (Reuters) - A crumbling former Athens airport complex housing thousands of stranded migrants will be transformed into one of Europe's biggest coastal resorts if a Greek development company realizes its ambitions. The 7-billion-euro plan to develop Hellenikon, a site three times the size of Monaco, has the potential to help kick-start an economy that is limping back to growth after seven years of recession.

Sri Lanka police arrest ex-leader's brother on suspicion over funds

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 04:49
Sri Lankan financial crime police arrested on Monday a brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a third time over suspicion of state fund misappropriation when he was economic development minister, a lawyer said. Rajapaksa's younger brother, Basil, is on bail after being arrested twice for alleged misappropriation of state funds and a land deal allegedly involving money laundering. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was president for a decade until January 2015 and is now an opposition legislator, is popular among many ethnic majority Sinhala Buddhists who credit him with ending a 26-year-war against ethnic Tamil rebels in 2009.

Hindu monk's temple mission in India a headache for Modi

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 04:37

Sharad Sharma, a spokesman of Hindu nationalist group VHP, walks past a wall with inscription of Hindu religious book Ramayana, in a temple in AyodhyaBy Tom Lasseter and Rupam Jain AYODHYA, India (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was flying high in June, jetting from Afghanistan to Mexico in a whirlwind of red carpet diplomacy crowned by a speech to the U.S. Congress extolling democracy and investment opportunities in the subcontinent. The pressure on the leader of the world's fastest growing major economy is clearest in Ayodhya, a dilapidated outpost of muddy roads and open sewage where religious and political leaders from the Hindu right are pushing for the construction of a temple where a mosque was destroyed by a mob in 1992. "We expect and hope that the temple will be constructed during his tenure," Nritya Gopal Das, the elderly, influential monk leading the Ayodhya temple campaign, said of Modi.

SoftBank made formal approach to ARM after Brexit vote: source

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 04:28
Japan's SoftBank Group made its first formal approach to buy UK chip designer ARM after Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23, a source close to the situation said. The shock vote to leave the 28-member bloc has hammered sterling and hurt confidence in the British economy, but the share price in ARM has risen as the group's revenues are largely in dollars. The source said the change in the value of the pound and the firm's share price meant the deal was around 7 percent more expensive than it would have been if it had happened a month ago.

Nigerian inflation rose to 16.5 percent in June: statistics office

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 02:53

Workers arrange bags containing cocoa beans at a cocoa processing factory in Ile-Oluji village in Ondo state, southwest NigeriaAnnual inflation in Nigeria accelerated to 16.5 percent in June, data showed on Monday, its highest in almost a decade and the fifth monthly increase in a row, as the crisis in Africa's biggest economy deepens. The rise reflected higher prices for electricity, transport and food, a separate index for which rose to 15.3 percent from 14.9 percent in May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. "In June, the consumer price index which measures inflation continued to record relatively strong increases for the fifth consecutive month," the NBS said.

Algerian parliament passes new investment law to improve business climate

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 02:24

A general view of the upper parliament chamber is pictured in AlgiersBy Hamid Ould Ahmed ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria's parliament on Sunday approved a new investment law that the government hopes will improve the business climate outside the oil sector after a drop in energy earnings of almost 50 percent due to falling oil prices. The law is part of reforms planned by the OPEC member state to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, which account for 95 percent of export revenues and 60 percent of the state budget. The passage of the law coincided with a call by a visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation for quicker and deeper reforms to help compensate for losses caused by the fall in crude oil prices.

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