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California leaders want smartphone 'kill switch' SAN FRANCISCO: Californian leaders want to make it compulsory for smartphones or tablets sold in the state to have built-in "kill switches" to counter the rocketing number of thefts of the devices.State senator Mark Leno and other elected officials on Friday unveiled legislation requiring that new smartphones or tablets have technology that could be used to remotely render them useless.Backers called the bill the first of its kind in the United States; opponents fear it may allow hackers to shut down people's devices."With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available," said Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco."Today we are officially stepping in and requiring the cell-phone industry to take the necessary steps to curb violent smartphone thefts and protect the safety of the very consumers they rely upon to support their businesses."The legislation would leave ...


HTC, Nokia reach settlement on patent lawsuits TAIPEI: Taiwan's smartphone maker HTC said Saturday it has signed a patent and technology collaboration agreement with Finnish phone giant Nokia to end all pending patent litigation between them. Under the deal, HTC will make payments to Nokia and the collaboration will involve HTC's LTE patent portfolio to further strengthen Nokia's licensing offering, a company statement said. The companies will also explore future technology collaboration opportunities, HTC said, adding that the full terms of the ...

Communist Vietnam gets first taste of the Big Mac HO CHI MINH CITY: Four decades after the Vietnam war ended, US fast-food giant McDonald's opened its first restaurant in the communist country Saturday, aiming to lure a rising middle class away from rice and noodles.The arrival of one of the most potent symbols of US capitalism in southern Ho Chi Minh City -- known as Saigon when American troops dramatically withdrew in 1975 -- is the result of a partnership with the son-in-law of ...

Toyota halts Venezuela production CARACAS: Toyota is halting production at its only assembly plant in Venezuela because the world's largest automaker lacks the hard currency to import parts due to government controls, a factory official said Friday.The temporary shutdown of the Japanese car maker's operations in the western city of Cumana is to begin February 13 and last at least six weeks."We are going to close initially for 45 days in hopes that we will be granted the foreign ...

Redemptions force US mutual funds to unload Puerto Rico debt BOSTON: US mutual funds with heavy exposure to Puerto Rico bonds have sold off some of the cash-strapped island's debt to meet investor redemption demands, taking heavy losses after a year-long slide in prices. The sellers included some of Puerto Rico's most bullish US mutual fund investors including OppenheimerFunds, a vocal supporter of the territory's recent financial improvements, according to analysts and public filings. Funds with less exposure aren't likely to unload their Puerto Rico ...

US ends probe of Samsung Electronics' WASHINGTON: The US Justice Department will close its investigation into Samsung Electronics' use of a special class of essential patents to attack rivals, but said it would continue to monitor related patent litigation. Samsung had filed a complaint against Apple Inc. at the US International Trade Commission and won an order banning the sale of some Apple products in the United States. That order was overturned in 2013, rendering the Justice Department investigation unnecessary, the ...

UniCredit vows 600m euros for Italian farmers MILAN: Italy's UniCredit said on Friday it would lend up to 600 million euros ($817 million) to agricultural companies in the country to boost investments in a sector that generates 35 billion euros of exports each year. The loans will have a six-year duration, the lender said in a statement. The Gestione Fondi per l'Agroalimentare, a public authority that supports funding for farmers, will cover potential losses for up to 5 percent of the total ...


 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln