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Volkswagen to cut working hours, jobs at Russian plant MOSCOW: Volkswagen will reduce shifts and lay off at least 150 workers at its Russian car plant, the German car producer said on Monday, to try to cut costs in a market downturn.Car sales in Russia dropped sharply last year as the economy was hit by a fall in oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. The rouble also weakened, hurting demand.General Motors said last week it would shut its Russian factory and wind down the Opel brand in the country, while Nissan Motor Co suspended Russia production for 16 days this month."In the first months of 2015 the Russian auto market continued to feel the impact of a weak economy, significant price increases and high interest rates. We don't expect that to change in coming months," Volkswagen said in emailed comments.The company said its car plant in Kaluga, south of the capital Moscow, would work four days a week ...

China's Alibaba invests in funds of Israeli venture capital firm TEL AVIV: Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group is investing in the funds of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), one of Israel's leading venture capital groups.JVP managing partner Kobi Rozengarten announced the investment on Monday during the firm's annual meeting, without giving details.The Calcalist financial newspaper said on its website the investment amounted to tens of millions of dollars.JVP has nearly $1 billion under management.Calcalist said the investment was Alibaba's first in a venture capital fund.A delegation ...

RBS to sell $3bn more Citizens shares to cut stake to less than half LONDON: Royal Bank of Scotland is to sell up to $3.3 billion more shares in its U.S. bank Citizens to cut its stake to less than half and accelerate its retreat to its home UK market.RBS said on Monday it will sell 115 million shares of Citizens' common stock and up to another 17.25 million shares in an over-allotment option, equivalent to 24 percent of Citizen's issued shares.RBS sold a first slice of Citizens in ...

Bundesbank sees 'strong' German growth in first half of 2015 FRANKFURT: The German economy, Europe's biggest, will notch up "strong" growth in the first half of 2015, driven by robust exports and buoyant consumer spending, the German central bank or Bundesbank said Monday."The German economy, following surprisingly strong growth at the end of 2014, should have continued to grow strongly in the first quarter of 2015," the Bundesbank wrote in its latest monthly report."For the second quarter, too, the robust economic uptrend will continue. The ...

Chinese developers turn to onshore yuan debt, lower costs eyed HONG KONG: Chinese developers plan to eschew the offshore market and borrow more money onshore this year thanks to lower funding costs and improved liquidity on the back of government easing measures.The move by Chinese property firms, which account for about one-third of the Asia high-yield market, coincides with interest rate cuts on the mainland and an expected hike in US interest rates later in the year.Expectations of a weaker yuan, which fell 2.4 percent ...

China firm to take wheel of Italian tyre maker Pirelli SHANGHAI: A Chinese state firm has agreed to buy just over a quarter of Italian tyre maker Pirelli, renowned for its Formula One equipment and racy calendars, in a deal that will lead to a takeover bid.Pirelli's largest shareholder Camfin said Sunday that it had signed a deal with state-owned chemical giant ChemChina to create a "long-term industrial partnership" for the tyre firm.ChemChina confirmed it had agreed to pay 15 euros ($16) per share for ...

China monetary policy to remain prudent: central bank governor BEIJING: China will stick to a prudent monetary policy despite a recent rate cut and a reduction in the reserve requirement ratio, China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Sunday.Monetary policy needs to support growth as well as helping structural adjustments, Zhou said. China's QFII scheme was not flexible enough and reform measures were being planned, he said.Copyright Reuters, 2015


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,678.23 0.23
Arrow Nasdaq 4,863.36 0.27
Arrow S&P 2,056.15 0.24
Arrow FTSE 6,895.33 1.37
Arrow DAX 11,843.66 0.18
Arrow CAC-40 5,006.35 0.29
Arrow Nikkei 19,471.12 1.39
Arrow H.Seng 24,497.08 0.13
Arrow Sensex 27,457.58 2.33

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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 $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln