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IMF urges Zambia to resolve tax issues with mining companies LUSAKA: The International Monetary Fund has urged Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, to quickly resolve issues with mining companies over value-added tax refunds and an increase in royalties.Lower world copper prices and the announced shift to a royalty-only mining tax regime with high rates were likely to adversely affect the companies, the IMF said in a statement late on Thursday.Barrick Gold Corp said on Thursday it would suspend operations at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia after laws were passed raising the royalty rate on open-pit mining operations to 20 percent from 6 percent."The authorities indicated that they are looking to assuage the concerns of mines and prevent closures," the IMF said after a mission to Zambia.Greater policy stability and consistency would help anchor confidence in Zambia as an investment destination, it said."It will be important to enhance dialogue between stakeholders, particularly between government and the mining sector, where there ...

Thai economic recovery may not be as strong as expected: central bank BANGKOK: Thailand's central bank said on Friday it expected the economy to recover next year, driven by government spending, but gains might not be as strong as expected.Bank of Thailand Deputy Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan also told reporters that the central bank must reserve monetary policy "space" in case a rate change was needed.On Wednesday, the central bank's monetary policy committee voted 5-2 to hold the key interest rate at 2.0 percent, where it has been ...
Deutsche Bank says to review strategy, no comment on Postbank sale report FRANKFURT: Deutsche Bank AG said it would review its strategy in 2015 after a business magazine said it was considering major changes, possibly including the sale of its Postbank-branded retail unit and a revision of its profit targets.However, in comments following a report by Manager Magazin, Germany's biggest lender said it would be irresponsible to speculate on the sale of any business and declined further comment.The magazine said big shareholders had expressed displeasure with progress ...
Swiss central bank introduces negative interest rate ZURICH: Switzerland's central bank on Thursday announced it was introducing negative interest rates, in a bid to stop the Swiss franc -- a safe haven currency -- from gaining further value.The Swiss National Bank is imposing an interest rate of -0.25 percent on bank deposits, with the aim of pushing the target range of a benchmark rate into negative territory.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Swiss national bank introduces negative interest rates ZURICH: The Swiss National Bank surprised markets on Thursday by introducing a negative interest rate on sight deposit account balances, seeking to discourage safe-haven buying by investors anxious over the crisis in Russia and oil's slide. In a brief statement, the SNB said it would impose an interest rate of -0.25 percent on sight deposit account balances of over 10 million Swiss francs and expand its three-month Libor target range to -0.75 percent to 0.25 ...
Norway's central bank says has firm policy against currency intervention OSLO: Norway's central bank has a firm policy against intervening in the currency market and has no position on where the crown currency should be, central bank Governor Oeystein Olsen told national daily DN, confirming the bank's stance. The crown has been hit in recent months by the plunge in oil prices and suffered its biggest intraday drop in decades on Monday. It recovered by the end of the day, but is still nearly 10 ...
Indonesian finance minister says 7pc GDP growth in 2016 is 'possible' JAKARTA: Indonesia can lift its economic growth rate to 7 percent in 2016 barring any major turbulence, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said on Thursday. This year, Indonesia will have its slowest growth since 2009. The finance ministry has forecast growth of 5.1 percent for 2014 and 5.8 percent for next year. Brodjonegoro also said on Thursday that Indonesia aims to cut its budget deficit to 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, partly ...


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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln