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LONDON: Approvals for home loans in Britain rose unexpectedly in March, suggesting the housing market may be continuing to recover despite the end of a tax exemption for first-time buyers, Bank of England data showed on Wednesday. A separate release showed that the Markit-CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) eased to 55.8 from the previous month's 21-month high of 56.7, still well above the 50 level which separates growth from contraction and beating forecasts for a fall to 54.0. ECONOMISTS' COMMENTS: PETER DIXON, COMMERZBANK "The lending figures remain extremely weak so I wouldn't place too much weight on those." "Looking at the mortgage approvals, these are the figures for March so don't forget that they're still buoyed by the tax effect for first-time buyers. Let's see how the April figures look but obviously they were a slightly pleasant surprise." ON CONSTRUCTION PMI "The most important figure I think was the construction PMI which held up close to ...

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Real Estate, which is eyeing a state-backed merger with rival Aldar Properties, posted a 30-percent rise in quarterly net profit riding on revenue from government projects and higher rental income. Sorouh, the second largest property developer by market value in Abu Dhabi, made a first-quarter net profit of 83.6 million dirhams ($22.76 million) compared with 64.3 million dirhams in the same period in 2011, it said in a statement on the Abu ...
ABU DHABI: Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's struggling developer currently in merger talks with rival Sorouh Real Estate, more than doubled its first quarter net profit on land and residential unit sales to the government. The builder of the Yas Marina Formula One Circuit said in a statement on Saturday that it made a net profit of 478.2 million dirhams ($130.2 million) compared to 189.1 million dirhams in the same period in 2011. Analyst estimates for the company ...
DUBAI: Dubai's Istithmar World said on Saturday it has became the sole owner of the Atlantis resort in Dubai after buying a 50 percent stake from luxury resort operator Kerzner International Holdings for $250 million. The Bahamas-based Kerzner International has been in talks with creditors to restructure $2.6 billion in mortgage debt. In August, the Wall Street Journal said the proceeds from Dubai's Atlantis resort sale would go toward paying down a portion of the mortgage ...
TOKYO: Housing starts in Japan rose 5.0 percent in March from a year earlier, posting a second straight month of increase, government data showed on Friday, helped in part by rebuilding efforts in the northeast region battered by last year's earthquake and tsunami. The rise compared with economists' median forecast for an 8.1 percent annual increase. Copyright Reuters, 2012 ...


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln