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Aer Lingus board recommends $1.5bn offer from BA-owner IAG DUBLIN: The board of Irish airline Aer Lingus has recommended a raised 1.36-billion-euro ($1.5 billion) takeover offer from the owner of British Airways, which must now soothe Irish government concerns to win approval.The new offer from International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), its third in six weeks, is worth 2.55 euros per share, up from 2.40 euros, and includes a cash offer of 2.50 euros per share and a dividend of 0.05 euros.Aer Lingus said its recommendation is subject to being satisfied with how IAG proposes to address the interests of relevant parties, including its main shareholders budget airline Ryanair and the Irish state.The Irish government had sought to sell its 25 percent stake as part of the country's 2010 bailout by the European Union and International Monetary Fund but postponed the plan.It is now facing mounting political pressure from the two main opposition parties, as well as the airline's trade ...

UBS says to charge large companies for deposits in Switzerland ZURICH: UBS said on Tuesday it had introduced a deposit charge for certain large account balances in Switzerland, following policy moves by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) which have sent the value of the safe-haven Swiss franc soaring."These extraordinary market conditions, coupled with increased regulatory requirements in relation to banks' liquidity obligations, have resulted in UBS introducing an individual deposit charge for large account balances held by corporate and institutional clients as well as by ...

Philips 'setback' as 2014 profits slashed by two-thirds THE HAGUE: Dutch electronics giant Philips on Tuesday announced profits slashed by almost two-thirds after a "challenging" 2014, blamed on ever-slowing markets in China and Russia and unfavourable exchange rates.Annual net profit tumbled from 1.17 billion euros in 2013 to 411 million euros ($462 million), the company said in a statement, after issuing a profit warning on January 13.Sales in 2014 dropped 2.7 percent to 21.39 billion euros, said Philips, which has diversified into high-margin ...

Facebook, Instagram access restored after disruption WASHINGTON: Full access to Facebook and Instagram have been fully restored after users suffered disruptions on Tuesday, Facebook said in a statement.The problem was caused by "a change that affected our configuration systems," the statement said, adding that hacking was not involved.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

Siemens confirms 2015 outlook, Q1 in line with expectations FRANKFURT: German engineering giant Siemens said Tuesday it is sticking to it full-year outlook after business in the first quarter was in line with expectations."The performance of most of our businesses was within our expectations," said chief executive Joe Kaeser."While some divisions provided excellent performance, healthcare needs to step up its efforts to quickly resume to its outstanding performance and power and gas will need a more comprehensive concept to return to historical margins longer ...

Swiss National Bank says stands ready to intervene in FX market ZURICH: The Swiss National Bank is ready to intervene in the foreign currency market to ease monetary policy after ditching its cap on the Swiss franc earlier this month, its vice-chairman said in an interview on Tuesday.Switzerland's central bank shocked financial markets by abandoning its three-year-old cap on the franc against the euro on Jan. 15, a policy it later said would have cost 100 billion Swiss francs ($110.84 billion) to defend this month alone ...

Li Ka-shing buys way to European telco credibility HONG KONG: Li Ka-shing may soon be able to set a new tone for his problematic telecom investments. The Asian magnate's talks over buying the 02 UK mobile unit of Spain's Telefonica for 10.3 billion pounds ($15.4 billion) could see him effectively doubling down on a business that struggled for years, but if the deal comes off it should provide Li with enough scale to move forwards.Hutchison Whampoa's European 3G adventures started in earnest after ...


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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