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ECB's Draghi meets Merkel ahead of crunch meeting BERLIN/ FRANKFURT: German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Wednesday, a government spokesman said, ahead of a key ECB meeting at which the bank is poised to announce a scheme to print fresh money to buy state bonds. The meeting happened on the same day that a top EU court adviser removed a hurdle to ECB plans to buy government bonds to bolster the euro zone economy, a step known as quantitative easing (QE). Launching the scheme, however, faces political obstacles such as opposition from Germany's Bundesbank and a sceptical public. Against this backdrop, Draghi visited Merkel at her office in Berlin. "It was one of the informal meetings that take place regularly," the government spokesman told Reuters on Friday. A spokesman for the ECB said: "The ECB naturally maintains regular contact with European leaders." But while the German government described the meeting as ...

Goldman pay ratio tells only half the story NEW YORK: Wall Street talks about compensation as a share of revenue. On this metric, Goldman paid its people the second-least since going public. Look at the profit left for shareholders, though, and despite small steps in the right direction the firm's owners are still suffering more. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Nigeria's currency market is liquid enough LAGOS: Nigeria's central bank denied there was any shortage of liquidity in the currency market on Friday, rejecting JP Morgan's stated reason for putting the status of its bonds under review. JP Morgan said on Friday it would assess Nigeria's suitability to remain in a key emerging currency bond index it manages because of a lack of liquidity in the forex and bond markets of Africa's biggest economy."We are willing and able to meet all ...
SNB bombshell throws doubt on franc's safe-haven status LONDON: With a stroke, the Swiss National Bank wiped out a reputation earned over decades as the safest steward of the world's fortunes. Its surprise decision on Thursday to scrap the franc's exchange rate cap triggered the currency's biggest rise in history, pushed the benchmark 10-year bond yield below zero for the first time ever, and stunned financial markets. The consequences will be long-lasting and widespread, and cast doubt over the franc's status as one ...
Russian central bank says 2014 net capital outflows at $151.5bn MOSCOW: Russia's central bank said on Friday that net capital outflows in 2014 amounted to $151.5 billion, the largest on record. The bank also said the 2014 current account surplus amounted to $56.7 billion and the trade surplus stood at $185.6 billion. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Fed's Bullard takes swipe at central bank's reaction ability CHICAGO: The Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee has failed to shift market expectations on the timing and path of an expected interest rate hike this year, a top Fed official said on Friday. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said the Fed's misreading of labor market strength and overestimation of inflation are among the reasons for the market's disconnect with where the Fed is headed on rates. "Instead, market expectations for the policy rate have ...
Peru's central bank says economic slowdown touched bottom in Nov LIMA: Peru's central bank said on Friday that the sharp economic slowdown over the past year likely bottomed out in November and that growth in December was "certainly" stronger than the previous month's.The central bank's chief economist, Adrian Armas, said that November's 0.31 percent year-on-year expansion, the weakest in more than five years, caught policymakers off guard. "The reading for November was a negative surprise for everyone," Armas said on a conference call with reporters. ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,652.60 0.79
Arrow Nasdaq 4,757.88 0.16
Arrow S&P 2,051.82 0.55
Arrow FTSE 6,832.83 0.53
Arrow DAX 10,649.58 2.05
Arrow CAC-40 4,640.69 1.93
Arrow Nikkei 17,511.75 1.05
Arrow H.Seng 24,850.45 1.34
Arrow Sensex 29,278.84 0.94

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
Reserves $10.331 bln