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Honda says may postpone new Thai plant on political crisis, lowers sale TOKYO: Honda Motor Co said on Friday it may postpone the start-up of a new $530 million manufacturing plant in Thailand as economic and political uncertainty drives automakers to rethink their investments.The plant in Prachinburi, with an annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles, is currently slated to start operating in April, 2015.Honda spokeswoman Kumiko Hashimoto said that the company may reconsider that date.Toyota Motor Corp, the biggest car maker in Thailand, signalled frustration over a drawn-out political crisis in January by saying that it may reconsider investing up to 20 billion baht in Thailand and could even cut production if unrest drags on.Street rallies by anti-government protesters hoping to dislodge Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have led to a political crisis in Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy, threatening its position as a major auto manufacturing and export hub.Indonesia is expected to overtake Thailand as the region's biggest car market as early as this ...

France plans to sell 8.0-9.5bn euros of bonds April 17 PARIS: France plans to sell 7-8 billion euros of fixed-rate, medium-term government bonds at a regular auction on April 17, plus 1.0-1.5 billion euros of inflation-indexed bonds, the public debt management agency, Agence France Tresor, said on Friday. Fixed-rate bonds on offer are the 0.25 percent November 2016 OAT and 1.0 percent May 2019 OAT. AFT said inflation-linked bonds on offer included the 2.10 percent July 2023 OAT indexed to French inflation and two more ...

Etihad closer to buying almost half of Alitalia after Renzi talks ROME: The prospect of Etihad Airways buying nearly half of Alitalia has significantly increased after a meeting between Etihad's boss and Italy's prime minister, and disagreements over job cuts may be overcome, said a source with knowledge of the talks.Loss-making Alitalia was kept afloat by a government-engineered 500 million euro ($694 million) rescue package last year. But it needs to find a cash-rich partner quickly to revamp its flight network or else risk having to ...

Daimler starts production of electric B-Class FRANKFURT: Daimler has started series production of its B-Class electric car, it said on Friday, with a planned launch of the vehicle in the United States in mid-2014, followed by deliveries in Germany later in the year. The five-seater compact, which is being made in Rastatt, Germany, will have a driving range of around 200 kilometres before the battery needs to be recharged, Daimler said. Copyright Reuters, 2014

Volkswagen says won't raise Scania offer FRANKFURT: Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, said Friday it will not increase its offer for truck manufacturer Scania after the Swedish group dismissed the bid. "As we have already said, Volkswagen is convinced that the offer is attractive for Scania shareholders and will lead to a sustainable and clear ownership structure that is beneficial to Scania," the German giant said in a statement. "Volkswagen has therefore stated that the offer will not be increased. The offer ...

Vodafone wins full control of India division LONDON: Global mobile phone giant Vodafone has taken full control of its Indian subsidiary in deals worth £1.0 billion ($1.7 billion, 1.2 billion euros), it confirmed on Friday."Vodafone announces that it now owns 100 percent of its Indian subsidiary, Vodafone India Limited (VIL)," the group said in a statement.The company added it completed a deal in March to lift its VIL stake from 84.5 percent to 89.03 percent, after buying a stake from Analjit Singh ...

Sony issues battery-fire warning over 26,000 Vaio laptops TOKYO: Sony on Friday warned customers to stop using its new Vaio Fit 11A laptops due to an overheating battery problem that poses a fire risk and said it may issue a recall.The Japanese electronics giant said 25,905 units had been shipped globally since they went on sale in February.It said it may recall the computers but was so far asking customers to stop using them, adding that it plans to issue more details, including ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln