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Banks in stronger position to lend after ECB health checks PORTOROZ: The European Central Bank expects euro zone banks to be in a stronger position to lend to the bloc's companies and households once they concluded the ECB's unprecedented health check, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Friday. Coeure said he also expected banks to tap the ECB's new four-year loans more once the tests had finished. The ECB is putting the euro zone's 131 largest banks through an assessment to try to weed out soured loans and check how they hold up under certain shock scenarios before it takes over as the bloc's bank supervisor in November. "Once the final results are known and residual uncertainty is removed, banks will be in a stronger position to resume new lending," Coeure said in the text of a speech at a high-level seminar by the International Monetary Fund and Slovenia's central bank. Copyright Reuters, 2014

Intel to buy stake in two Chinese firms NEW YORK: US semi-conductor maker Intel said Friday it will invest $1.5 billion in two Chinese cell phone part companies.The California firm said it would acquire a 20 percent stake in a holding company that owns Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, according to an Intel statement.The transaction should be finalized early next year.The two Chinese companies specialize in parts for 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation cell phones. They do not make the parts themselves but ...

FBI head criticizes Apple, Google over data encryption WASHINGTON: Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey hit out at Apple and Google on Thursday over new data-security measures designed to reassure customers wary of government prying.Google and Apple this month announced they are hardening encryption tactics on devices powered by their mobile operating systems.The move should mean that even if law enforcement agencies have court-issued search warrants, they will be blocked from getting hold of pictures, messages and other personal data stored on ...

Microsoft chief makes first China visit amid probe: report SHANGHAI: Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is visiting China for the first time since taking the post in February, state media said Friday, as authorities probe the US technology giant for alleged monopoly behaviour.The China Daily newspaper reported Nadella "extended an olive branch to Chinese regulators" in Beijing on Thursday by saying the company was willing to work with officials. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the visit.Nadella was ...

German consumer confidence falls again: survey FRANKFURT: Consumer confidence in Germany is fading, weighed down by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. "In the eyes of consumers, ongoing geopolitical tensions are now also threatening to affect the economy in Germany. And it has led to a drop in optimism," market research company GfK said in a statement."As a result, both income and economic expectations, as well as a propensity to spend have fallen ...

Turkish central bank leaves rates steady ANKARA: Turkey's central bank on Thursday left interest rates unchanged as it keeps a watchful eye on inflation despite government pressure for a sharp cut.The bank said in a statement after its latest monetary policy meeting that the one-week repurchase rate would remain at 8.25 percent and the marginal funding rate at 11.25 percent.In January, the bank, which is nominally independent, had aggressively raised key rates in a bid to stop a steep drop in ...

Lufthansa pilots threaten strike as talks fail again BERLIN: German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said it was planning further industrial action at Lufthansa after talks over an early retirement scheme once again broke down.The union, which has already held four strikes so far this year over the matter, said it would give notice of any strikes.VC wants Lufthansa to maintain a scheme that allows pilots to retire early at the age of 55 and still receive up to 60 percent of their ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklySeptember 25, 2014
Reserves $13.305 bln