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Euro zone yields near record lows as ECB about to show the money LONDON: Euro zone borrowing costs lurked around record lows on Thursday, with investors holding their bonds tight as the European Central Bank put the final touches to its trillion-euro asset-buying programme.German two-year yields were minus 0.20 percent, in line with the ECB's deposit rate as markets were unsure whether the bond-buying scheme would include assets that yield less than the rate at which the ECB effectively funds itself. The main concern is the ECB's ability to meet its monthly target to buy 60 billion euros of assets, mostly government bonds.Banks want the bonds as liquidity buffers as regulators are not asking lenders to set aside cash for government debt as they do for other assets perceived as riskier. Pension funds and insurers need the bonds to match their long-term liabilities. "It will be quite difficult for the ECB to buy bonds," said Emile Cardon, market economist at Rabobank. German Bund ...

VW's German workers win pay rise and pension benefit BERLIN/FRANKFURT: Volkswagen will give workers at German plants a 3.4 percent wage increase even as Europe's largest automaker looks to boost profitability by cutting costs. About 115,000 workers at VW's six factories in western Germany and its financial services division will see monthly pay go up for from June, VW said.Workers will also each see 450 euros ($497) paid into a staff pension account over the coming year as part of the new salary contract ...

UniCredit raises 2.5bn euros in Tier 2 debt to boost capital MILAN: UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank by assets, has raised 2.5 billion euros ($2.76 billion) from retail investors selling a subordinated bond that it will be able to include in its supplementary capital. UniCredit and other Italian banks recently stopped counting as part of their Tier 2 capital subordinated bonds where gradual repayment began less than five years after issue. UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni said last month the impact on his bank's capital was 3.5 billion ...

Kenya 91-day T-bill yield falls to 8.463pc NAIROBI: The weighted average yield on Kenya's 91-day Treasury bills fell to 8.463 percent at auction on Thursday from 8.645 percent last week, the central bank said. The bank said it received bids worth 1.92 billion shillings ($21 million) for the 1 billion shillings worth of bills offered. It accepted all the bids. Copyright Reuters, 2015

Norwegian Air sets ‘final’ deadline in pilot strike OSLO: Budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has given pilots on strike for a sixth day on Thursday a deadline to return to the negotiating table, saying the situation was a "state of emergency". The 650 pilots on strike want a collective labour agreement with the parent group, instead of the current deal with its local subsidiary, and for uniform terms across the Nordic region. The company has rejected both demands. Norwegian Air held new talks ...

ECB to launch 1 trillion euro bond buying scheme on March 9 NICOSIA: The European Central Bank said it will start its new government bond-buying programme on March 9, hoping that pumping new cash into the sagging euro zone economy will boost growth and lift inflation. The ECB will purchase sovereign debt until at least September 2016. "We will on 9 March 2015 start purchasing euro-dominated public sector securities in the secondary market. We will also continue to purchase asset-backed securities and covered bonds which we started ...

ECB raises GDP forecasts, sees zero inflation in 2015 NICOSIA: The European Central Bank raised its economic growth forecasts on Thursday but cut its inflation projection for 2015 to zero, reflecting the impact of last year's sharp drop in oil prices and euro weakness.Its last outlook, in December, was finalised before crude oil prices bottomed out."The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area remain on the downside but have diminished following recent monetary policy decisions and the fall in oil prices," ECB ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 18,135.72 0.21
Arrow Nasdaq 4,982.81 0.32
Arrow S&P 2,101.04 0.12
Arrow FTSE 6,961.14 0.6
Arrow DAX 11,504.01 1.00
Arrow CAC-40 4,963.51 0.94
Arrow Nikkei 18,751.84 0.26
Arrow H.Seng 24,193.04 1.11
Arrow Sensex 29,448.95 0.23

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $16.137 bln