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Further losses for Australia's Billabong amid 'turnaround' SYDNEY: Embattled Australian surfwear firm Billabong posted a Aus$233.7 million (US$218.2 million) net annual loss Thursday, an improvement from the previous year as it declared that a "turnaround is gaining traction".The global retailer said revenue rose 1.6 percent to Aus$1.13 billion in the year to June 30, although underlying earnings -- excluding discontinued businesses and significant items such as redundancy costs -- fell 26.2 percent to Aus$52.5 million.Billabong, which had posted a Aus$859.5 million net loss in the 2013 financial year, has been the subject of multiple failed takeover bids in recent years.The firm appointed a new chief executive, Neil Fiske, in September and accepted a refinancing deal worth more than US$500 million from US investment firms Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management.Fiske said management had "significantly stabilised, restructured and refocused the business"."The turnaround is gaining traction. As said at the half year, we are at the early stages of ...

Millions lose Internet access in US NEW YORK: Time Warner Cable apologized for a "very serious failure" after millions of people across the United States were knocked off the Internet on Wednesday because of a fault.An estimated 11 million Internet subscribers were hit by the early morning outage, which lasted more than hour, The Wall Street Journal said, while other reports said the problem affected customers nationwide."During an overnight network maintenance activity in which we were managing IP addresses, an erroneous ...

Lagarde charge raises ghosts of scandal at IMF WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund is again touched by scandal with chief Christine Lagarde's being charged in a French graft case, three years after predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned in disgrace.The "negligence" charge against Lagarde Wednesday in a case dating back to her years as French finance minister bear little resemblance to the sexual-assault allegations from a hotel maid that led to the downfall of Strauss-Kahn in 2011.But Lagarde's legal challenge in the long-running Tapie affair ...

Kia to open $1bn car assembly plant in Mexico MEXICO CITY: South Korean carmaker Kia Motors on Wednesday announced plans to build its first auto assembly plant in Mexico.The $1 billion plant is to be built near the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico and would begin operations in 2016.It will have state-of-the-art technology and capacity to make 300,000 vehicles a year, the company's vice president for global strategy, Hyung-Kun Lee said. Lee did not say what types or models of vehicles are to ...

Uber eyes aggressive expansion in Germany despite bans FRANKFURT: US car service Uber is planning an aggressive expansion in Germany despite a backlash from cities such as Berlin and Hamburg, which have questioned its right to operate in highly regulated markets dominated by traditional taxis. The San Francisco-based company, which allows users to summon rides on their smartphones, announced late on Tuesday that it was experiencing "huge demand" for its services in German cities where it is not currently operating.It plans to move ...

Developer Orco sells Warsaw project for EUR 63mn PRAGUE: Central European real estate developer Orco Property Group has agreed to sell its delayed Zlota 44 project in Warsaw to a subsidiary of international consortium of AMSTAR and BBI Development for 63 million euros in cash, the company said on Wednesday.Orco said the transaction included loan receivables acquired from Poland's bank Pekao. The Zlota 44 building, designed by modernist architect Daniel Libeskind, is one of the most prominent constructions in the Polish capital and ...

US drops planned duties on specialized steel from Japan, Germany WASHINGTON: The United States will not go ahead with planned import duties on specialized steel from Japan, Germany and Poland after the US International Trade Commission found the imports were not harming local industry.The Department of Commerce had set anti-dumping duties on imports of grain-oriented electrical steel, mainly used in large and medium-sized electrical power transformers, but a ITC vote ends the case. The decision affects companies including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, JFE ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 28, 2014
Reserves $13.582 bln