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Ford execs predict DETROIT: Ford Motor Co's top executives predicted steady, consistent growth in the US auto market this year and remained confident in the company's earnings prospects despite increasingly tough competition in the region.   US auto sales reached their highest level since 2007 last year and industry analysts and executives expect the region to make further gains in 2013. As the European auto market weakens, the US market is emerging as the most attractive region for global automakers.   Last week's decision by the second-largest US automaker recent to double its quarterly dividend signaled confidence in its earnings outlook, Ford Chairman Bill Ford said on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show on Monday.   "I think our plan is robust enough that we'll get through any dislocation that we're going through," Bill Ford told reporters after an event to unveil the Lincoln MKC compact crossover.   Ford expects to lose at least $3 billion in Europe over the ...


Gilts up, eyes on Bernanke, inflation LONDON: British government bonds extended last week's gains on Monday in line with German Bunds and some analysts said a new year sell-off had probably bottomed out in the absence of strong new signs on British or US central bank policy.   Eyes were fixed firmly on a speech by US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke late in the evening European time (2100 GMT) as well as British inflation numbers due out early on Tuesday.   Simon Peck, strategist ...

Saint-Gobain begins Verallia exit with $1.7bn deal PARIS: Saint-Gobain has struck a deal to sell its North American glass container operation to Ireland's Ardagh Group for $1.7 billion, beginning its planned exit from the low-margin business.   While the French group looks to focus on higher-margin building materials operations, Ardagh's worldwide glass business will increase by 60 percent, Chairman Paul Coulson said in a statement, with about 40 percent of sales generated in the United States.   Plans by Saint-Gobain to spin off the whole of ...

US bonds climb Fed buybacks, Bernanke eyed NEW YORK: US Treasury prices rose on Monday in anticipation of Federal Reserve bond repurchases of longer-dated paper this week.   In December, the Fed announced $45 billion in monthly, open-ended purchases of government securities with maturities ranging from four to 30 years in order to maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help make broader financial conditions more accommodative.   Markets also have their eye on a speech later in the day by Fed ...

Austrian Airlines stops flying to Tehran VIENNA: Austrian Airlines said Monday that it has stopped flying to Tehran because of the economic situation in Iran.   The subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa had already in November cut the number of weekly flights from Vienna to the Iranian capital to three.   Iran has seen the value of its currency fall sharply in recent months as US and European Union sanctions, imposed because of the country's nuclear programme, have hit its oil exports.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), ...

Toyota regains global auto sales crown DETROIT: Toyota regained the global sales crown lost when the 2011 Japanese tsunami devastated its supplies as US rival General Motors saw its share of the global market shrink.   Toyota first overtook GM as the world's biggest carmaker in 2008, a position GM had held for 77 consecutive years.   A year later, GM was forced to restructure under bankruptcy protection and has shed a number of unprofitable brands.   While the largest US automaker is once again making record ...

EFSF announces bank group for seven years euro bond LONDON: European Financial Stability Facility, rated Aa1/AA+/AAA, has hired banks for a new seven-year euro benchmark bond, which will be the issuer's first deal since Moody's axed its Triple-A status late last year.   Barclays, Nomura and Societe Generale will manage the deal, the EFSF said on Monday. Although official guidance has not been released yet, market observers expect the deal to come at around 30-32bp over swaps.   Spreads to swaps are constant in the belly of EFSF's ...


 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln