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Novartis licences drugs to non-profit TB group GENEVA: Swiss-based pharmaceuticals giant Novartis said Wednesday that it had signed a licensing deal with an international organisation that fights tuberculosis.In a statement, the group said that the exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development covered compounds discovered at the Novartis Institutes for Tropical Diseases.All told, TB claimed 1.3 million lives worldwide last year, making it the deadliest disease after AIDS to be caused by a single infectious agent, according to the World Health Organization.WHO figures show that there are 8.6 million cases of TB every year, and that drug-resistant forms are a huge emerging threat.The disease is global, but its hotspots include China, India and the former communist countries of eastern Europe and central Asia.The WHO last month called for a massive new international effort to try to wipe out TB by 2050.Under the terms of agreement, Novartis will fully transfer its TB research ...

Nokia's navigation unit head to step down HELSINKI: Nokia on Wednesday said Michael Halbherr, the head of the Finnish company's navigation unit HERE, will leave the company to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests. Nokia said Cliff Fox from inside the unit would take the role of acting head until a permanent leader was found. Nokia in April sold its once-dominant handset business to Microsoft, leaving it with its core network equipment business, HERE and the technology division, which includes patents. Copyright Reuters, ...
China fines Japanese auto parts firms $200mn for monopoly SHANGHAI: China has fined 10 Japanese auto parts firms more than $200 million for price-fixing, authorities said Wednesday, in what state media called the biggest-ever penalty for violating the anti-monopoly law.The companies were found to have implemented monopoly pricing agreements for more than 10 years, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) regulator said in a statement.It fined them a total of 1.24 billion yuan ($201 million), in what state broadcaster CCTV said was the ...
New Zealand's Fletcher posts modest annual net profit WELLINGTON: New Zealand's largest listed company Fletcher Building posted a four percent rise in annual net profit Wednesday as a strong performance in its home market offset weakness in Australia.The Auckland-based entity said net profit for the 12 months to the end of June was NZ$339 million (NZ$286 million), up from NZ$326 million in the previous year.Chief executive Mark Adamson said the strong New Zealand dollar weighed on the result, which was slightly below market ...
BHP shares slump in Australia after demerger plans SYDNEY: Investors in Australia Wednesday gave the thumbs down to BHP Billiton's annual profit result and plans to spin off parts of its business, with its shares slumping more than four percent at the open.The sell-off followed a similar scenario in London, where the firm is also listed, after the world's biggest miner reported weaker-than-expected underlying earnings of US$13.4 billion and a net profit of US$13.8 billion.It also outlined a proposal to create a new ...
Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board SAN FRANCISCO: Former Microsoft chief Steven Ballmer on Tuesday said he is stepping down as a member of the software giant's board of directors.Ballmer made his decision public a month after his successor, Satya Nadella, announced unprecedented job cuts at the US technology firm as it worked to adapt to a "mobile first, cloud first" world."Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical ...
Air France staff refuse to fly to Ebola-hit nations PARIS: Some Air France flight crews are refusing to board planes bound for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria over fears of the Ebola outbreak, the airline said Tuesday.Cabin crew scheduled to work on some flights "have not wanted to carry out their assignment", a spokesman for the company told AFP.He refused to be drawn on numbers but said none of the flights destined for the region had ultimately been left short-staffed."In the end, all these ...

 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 15, 2014
Reserves $14.264 bln