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NAMA to bring 1bn euro of loans to market: source DUBLIN: Ireland's state-run National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) is set to bring 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) of Irish property-backed loans to the market in its biggest domestic block sale to date, an industry source with knowledge of the transaction said on Saturday.   NAMA has hired advisers to find buyers for the loans, the source said, which have been split into two portfolios and will be sold at a discount to their one billion-plus euro par value.   A spokesman for the agency declined to comment on the matter.   The so-called "bad bank", created in 2009 to purge Irish banks of some 74 billion euros of risky loans, has so far generated 10.5 billion euros ($13.9 billion) in cash, two thirds from asset disposals, mostly outside Ireland.   Just over half of the properties on NAMA's books are based in Ireland where residential property prices have halved and commercial values fallen by around two-thirds since the ...

South Korea questions BOJ easing DAVOS: South Korea's central bank governor on Saturday questioned the efficacy of Japan's decision to ease monetary policy, saying its decision to start buying assets in 2014 could have unintended long-term consequences.   The move by the Bank of Japan was also done in a hasty manner and would lead to large movements in the foreign exchange market, said Bank of Korea Governor Kim Chong-soo.   "What they did created a couple of problems," Kim said in an interview ...
UK central bank ready to set up yuan swap line LONDON: The Bank of England is prepared in principle to become the first G7 central bank to enter into a foreign exchange swap agreement with China, opening the door to another substantial step in moves to liberalise the yuan currency.   The bank's Executive Director for Banking Services, Chris Salmon, told a meeting of senior bankers in London that the move was aimed at underpinning a developing offshore market in yuan trade out of London that Britain ...
South Africa central bank holds rates despite slow growth JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's Reserve Bank decided on Thursday to keep interest rates on hold, despite revising down growth forecasts for the year.   After a three-day policy meeting the bank decided to leave its key rate at 5.0 percent, while growth for 2013 was forecast to come in at a sluggish 2.6 percent.   Announcing the decision Bank governor Gill Marcus painted a bleak picture for the economy, the biggest in Africa. Detailing a "challenging domestic outlook" Marcus noted ...
Commerzbank wields axe in cost cutting drive FRANKFURT: Commerzbank, Germany's second-biggest bank, said on Thursday it is looking to axe more than 10 percent of its workforce over the next three years as it tots up the toll of the financial and sovereign debt crisis.   "As part of our strategic agenda announced in November, Commerzbank is assuming that 4,000-6,000 jobs will be cut group-wide by 2016," a company spokeswoman told AFP.   The exact number would be determined in talks with unions and labour representatives ...
Allianz Germany to shut Allianz bank, cuts jobs FRANKFURT: Allianz's German arm said it would close its small Allianz Bank unit at the end of June, with the loss of 450 jobs.   Allianz said that growth at the unit had not panned out as it had hoped and that by the time the restructuring is finished, the retail bank will have amassed losses of 400 million euros ($531 million) since 2009.   However, the insurer also said it would continue the operations of a second banking ...
Monte dei Paschi an isolated case, says Intesa TURIN: The Italian banking system is healthy, and the derivatives loss of about 720 million euros ($956 million) at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is an isolated case, said one of Italy's most respected bankers on Thursday.   "This is an isolated episode," said Intesa Sanpaolo supervisory board chairman Giovanni Bazoli on the sidelines of an event.   "The bank has completely new management and the situation can in no way be generalized.   The Italian banking system is healthy."   On ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
Reserves $13.465 bln