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Ford profit beats estimates, but European outlook worsens DETROIT: Ford Motor Co on Thursday said it would keep relying on North America for its profit this year as the No. 2 U.S. automaker signaled that losses in Europe would be more than previously forecast.Ford had previously estimated losses from Europe at about $250 million in 2015. On Thursday, however, it backed away from that forecast, saying the loss would narrow from $1 billion in 2014 but would be wider than previously thought."We're seeing a much bigger impact from Russia," Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said.The company's earnings beat Wall Street's expectations but fell from the prior year, mainly due to charges for a previously announced accounting change for its Venezuela operations. Ford also maintained its 2015 profit forecast.Shanks said the introduction of the latest version of Ford's F-150 pickup truck was going "extremely well" in North America, where 2014 pretax earnings of $6.9 billion were greater than the ...

VW brand should beat 5bn euro cost-cutting goal WOLFSBURG: Volkswagen should be able to cut costs at its troubled passenger car brand by "substantially more" than the 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) planned by the German carmaker's top management, its works council chief said."With a bit more discipline one would easily be able to generate more efficiencies," Bernd Osterloh, Volkswagen's (VW) top labour representative, told reporters on Thursday at the carmaker's base in Wolfsburg, Germany.Across the multi-brand group, the potential for savings is ...

RBS to exit corporate debt, DCM business in Mideast, Africa DUBAI: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plans to sell or close its corporate debt and debt capital markets business in the Middle East and Africa, the latest pullback by the state-controlled lender from emerging markets to focus on its domestic business.The lender, 81-percent owned by the British government, has been reviewing its global footprint as it seeks to rebuild its reputation after one of the biggest bailouts in British history during the global financial crisis.Earlier ...

Treasuries prices turn down after rally, jobless data NEW YORK: US Treasuries fell on Thursday ahead of scheduled auctions of $64 billion of new federal debt and after surprisingly strong weekly figures on American jobless claims bolstered optimism.After three days of price increases that dropped the 30-year bond's yield to a record low on Wednesday, the 30-year was last off 17/32 in price to yield 2.3214 percent after dipping to a record low of 2.273 percent on Wednesday.The 10-year note was down 9/32 ...

Alibaba disappoints as quarterly earnings plunge 28pc NEW YORK: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reported a 28 percent plunge in third quarter net profit Thursday, missing analysts' estimates as earnings were hit by a one-off financing fee and higher taxes.Net profit for the three months ending December reached $964 million, although earnings per share rose 13 percent to 81 cents.Sales soared 40 percent to $4.219 billion as Alibaba now counts 334 million active buyers on its e-commerce platforms, but fell short of the ...

ECB urges 'prudence' from banks on dividends BERLIN: The European Central Bank (ECB) recommended Thursday that banks err on the "conservative" side or even refrain from paying out dividends this year to help shore up their finances.The Frankfurt-based ECB made the call in its role as Europe's banking watchdog which it assumed in November under a new system aimed at warding off another euro-threatening crisis."Banks should base their dividend policies on conservative and prudent assumptions, so that after any pay-out they can ...

Microsoft launches Outlook for rival iOS, Android WASHINGTON: Microsoft on Thursday launched an Outlook app for rival handsets running on Apple's iOS and Google's Android, ramping up its software services efforts.The move will allow users of iPhones, iPads and Android-powered smartphones and tablets to more easily access the email service popular with many businesses."The new Outlook app brings together the core tools you need to get things done -- your email, calendar, contacts and files -- helping you get more done even ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln