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Google super-fast US Internet service spreads SAN FRANCISCO: Google's super-fast Internet service -- up to 100 times quicker than basic broadband -- is heading for four more US metropolitan areas as the technology titan ramps up pressure on cable service giants.A Google Fiber program launched nearly five years ago will expand to 18 cities in the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham areas."We can't wait to see what people and businesses across the southeast US do with gigabit speeds," Google Fiber vice president Dennis Kish said in a blog post announcing the expansion Tuesday.Google Fiber is live in Kansas City, Provo and Austin.Google is meanwhile working on a new generation of applications designed to capitalize on Internet speeds available using Fiber, but did not disclose details."Today, we aren't the only ones talking about gigabit broadband," Kish said."From the White House to main street, a chorus of new voices is standing up for speed."Some US telecommunications firms stepped ...

Credit Suisse expects Brazil bank lending to contract this year SAO PAULO: Commercial banks in Brazil are likely to reduce loan disbursements to companies and consumers by 8.5 percent this year, a senior economist with Credit Suisse Group AG said on Tuesday, the latest sign that Latin America's largest economy is struggling with slumping confidence and activity.Last year, bank lending rose 11.3 percent, the slowest pace of loan disbursements in Brazil since at least 2007. Some of Brazil's largest lenders plan to unveil their guidance ...

Irish central bank eases mortgage rules for first-time buyers DUBLIN: Ireland's central bank offered relief to first time house buyers as it finalised new regulations on Tuesday to introduce curbs on mortgage lending aimed at avoiding a repeat of a devastating property crash. The central bank kept a proposal that mortgages be subject to an 80 percent loan-to-value limit for anyone buying for the second time, but said first time buyers could now borrow 90 percent of the value of a home if it ...

Global oil downturn hits Caterpillar Q4 earnings NEW YORK: US heavy equipment maker Caterpillar said Tuesday that the plunge in oil prices took a hit on the company's earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014.It also said it did not expect much of an upturn this year, with mining commodities still in a slump as the global economy grows slowly and with sweeping cutbacks in investment by the oil industry.The company reported a slight decline in fourth quarter revenues from a year ...

Donors pledge $7.5bn to extend child vaccine drive BERLIN: Countries and private donors have pledged $7.5 billion (6.6 billion euros) to help immunise 300 million more children in developing countries over the next five years, a major vaccine alliance announced Tuesday.The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) announced it had just slightly exceeded its "bold" request for funding for 2016 to 2020 at a two-day pledging conference in Berlin.The funding will help the alliance, created in 2000 as an international public-private partnership, ...

Brazil steel plant closes, cuts 770 jobs SAO PAULO: A steel plant making precision tubing in Brazil's Sao Paulo state closed its doors and laid off 770 workers, who are demanding unpaid wages, union sources said Tuesday.Workers at the MTP plant in the city of Guarulhos, which manufactures parts for the auto industry, held a vigil outside the site to protest the job cuts and demand back pay and benefits they say the company owes them, union vice-chairman Josinaldo Jose de Barros ...

Aer Lingus backs fresh IAG takeover bid LONDON: Irish airline Aer Lingus on Tuesday backed a 1.35 billion euro ($1.51 billion) takeover bid from International Airlines Group, parent of British Airways and Iberia, in a deal aimed at slashing costs.Aer Lingus announced that its board was "willing to recommend" IAG's improved proposal -- its third since December -- subject to certain conditions.The Dublin-based airline announced the news a day after revealing that IAG had submitted a sweetened proposal worth 2.55 euros per ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln