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Australian regulator queries Shell's mega deal for BG Group SYDNEY: Australia's competition watchdog Thursday raised concerns about energy giant Royal Dutch Shell's purchase of Britain's BG Group, saying it could raise domestic prices, while delaying a final decision to November.The planned £47-billion (US$72.8 billion) deal announced in April has to be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as well as Chinese regulators, and would make Shell the world's second largest oil and gas company.But Commission chairman Rod Sims said the takeover could see Anglo-Dutch titan Shell direct the gas reserves of Australian firm Arrow Energy -- which it has a 50 percent interest in -- to BG's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Queensland state.This would then remove some or all the gas from the local market to meet BG's contracts to supply LNG export markets, Sims added."Currently, Arrow has the largest quantity of uncommitted gas reserves in eastern Australia and there are a limited number ...

Pinterest claims 100 million users SAN FRANCISCO: More than 100 million users are on Pinterest, the online bulletin board-style service which allows people to "pin" images based on their interests, the California company said Wednesday.Co-founder Evan Sharp told AFP that most of the users "are not just visiting Pinterest once a month, but they're actually discovering something so interesting that they're saving it or are clicking through to the website.""It's 100 million active users, more than 70 percent of whom ...

Volkswagen and Skoda look into Iran market entry FRANKFURT: Volkswagen and its Skoda brand are looking at entering Iran following the country's deal with the West to end sanctions, in a move that could cut their dependence on volatile Chinese and Brazilian markets and challenge French rivals. Iran is already the Middle East's largest car market and analysts believe it could grow rapidly, with a population of almost 80 million and 1.1 million cars sold last year. Investment from Europe and elsewhere could ...

Toyota sees decision on sportscar project with BMW by year-end FRANKFURT: Japan's Toyota Motor Corp and Germany's BMW will decide by year end on whether to develop a common sportscar architecture, Toyota executives said on Wednesday. BMW and Toyota have for some years been collaborating on fuel cell technology, lightweight components, and on possibly jointly developing the underpinnings of a sportscar. Speaking on the sidelines of the Frankfurt auto show, Johan van Zyl, head of Toyota's European operations, said all three projects were progressing well. ...

Telecom Italia stock conversion unlikely at current prices MILAN/LONDON: Telecom Italia is unlikely to proceed with the mooted conversion of its 6 billion savings shares into ordinary stock until the price gap widens between the two share classes, three sources close to the matter said on Wednesday. The Italian group has said it will discuss the possible conversion in the second half of 2015. Such a move would be designed to generate cash for the heavily indebted company, as savings shares do not ...

Renault chief says manufacturing know-how vital for new carmakers FRANKFURT: Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said aggressive hiring of auto industry executives by software companies shows how vital it is for new players to understand manufacturing and vehicle design. The increased use of computing power in vehicles has sparked fears that carmakers could suffer the same fate as some computer manufacturers, who became dependent on outside companies to write an operating system - a step which saw software makers eventually harvest most of the ...

Lufthansa sees 500mn-euro profit boost from new overhaul ESSEN: Lufthansa's profits will be boosted by 500 million euros ($564 million) annually thanks to a reorganisation of the group that will strip out layers of management and give budget unit Eurowings a new boss, it said on Wednesday. The airline, long known for a focus on business customers, is expanding budget operations as it battles for market share on shorthaul routes in Europe with the likes of Ryanair and easyJet. Lufthansa's attempts to cut ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.988 bln
Exports $1.835 bln
Imports $3.823 bln
WeeklyOctober 05, 2015
Reserves $18.349 bln