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GE to sell fleet services to Element for $6.9bn NEW YORK: General Electric said Monday it had agreed to sell its vehicle fleet management and financing services in the United States and three other countries to Canadian firm Element Financial for $6.9 billion.GE, which is restructuring to focus on its core industrial business, also said it had signed a preliminary agreement to sell its European fleet businesses to Arval, a subsidiary of French banking giant BNP Paribas and a partner of Element.The announcement is the latest step in GE's plan to sharply pare back GE Capital in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.The transactions announced Monday would bring total GE Capital asset sales to $63 billion. The total could reach $100 billion by the end of the year, said Keith Sherin, GE Capital chairman and chief executive."We continue to demonstrate speed and execution on our strategy to sell most of the assets of GE Capital," Sherin said.GE ...

TUI, Thomas Cook share prices plunge on Tunisia attacks LONDON: Share prices of travel groups TUI AG and Thomas Cook plunged on the London stock market Monday following the attack in Tunisia that killed 38 people, most of them British tourists.TUI AG fell 8.27 percent in early trading, while Thomas Cook shed seven percent in a market also unsettled by the Greek crisis.The declines were more severe than the overall 2.14 percent slide of benchmark FTSE 100 index.Stock markets elsewhere in Europe suffered even ...

Novartis buys pain drug firm Spinifex for $200mn upfront BASEL: Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG boosted its presence in pain management on Monday by agreeing to buy US-Australian biotech firm Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, the companies said in separate statements on Monday. Spinifex said Novartis was paying $200 million upfront and Spinifex shareholders could get further payments based on clinical development and regulatory milestones. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year, pending regulatory approval.The deal gives Novartis access to Spinifex's experimental ...

Germany's BMW among suitors for ANZ car finance unit SYDNEY: Germany's BMW AG, Australia's Macquarie Group and a host of US private equity firms are expected to bid for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's more than $6 billion car and equipment loan book, a source said on Monday.The automaker and Australia's top investment bank have requested information memorandums for the sale, as have buyout firms TPG, Blackstone and Carlyle, said the source who is involved in the process.The sale is expected to fetch ...

BNP Paribas in talks to buy GE's European fleet management business PARIS: BNP Paribas's Arval unit signed a memorandum of understanding to buy GE Capital's European fleet management business, the group said in a statement on Monday.The completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of this year, The French bank said.Copyright Reuters, 2015

Framework for China-led international bank signed BEIJING: Countries from five continents formally signed up to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at a ceremony on Monday, officials said, as Beijing steps up its global diplomatic and economic role.Australia was the first country to sign the articles of association creating the AIIB's legal framework in the Great Hall of the People, an AFP journalist saw, followed by 49 other founding members. Seven more are expected to do so by the end of ...

ECB considers tightening emergency funding for Greek banks FRANKFURT: European Central Bank policy setters are considering keeping Emergency Liquidity Assistance open to Greek banks on Monday but imposing a higher valuation discount on the security they offer in return for the funding, people familiar with the matter said. If the haircut on the assets Greek banks give for Emergency Liquidity Assistance is increased, it would, however, curb their use of such finance. "There is a possibility of an extension," said one of the ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.894 bln
Exports $1.953 bln
Imports $3.847 bln
WeeklyJune 25, 2015
Reserves $17.457 bln