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Mexico leader touts reforms amid falling popularity MEXICO CITY: Facing sagging popularity, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto used his second state of the nation speech Tuesday to tout a drop in drug-related violence and defend his economic reforms.Pena Nieto has garnered international praise for passing 11 reforms in under two years, including historic openings of the energy and telecommunications sectors and sweeping changes to the education system."This is not the same country as before. This is the Mexico that dared to change," Pena Nieto told lawmakers, governors, top officials and diplomats at the capital's historic National Palace.But his popularity has fallen at home. His approval rating fell from 47 percent in April to 43 percent in August in a survey published last week by BGC polling firm and Excelsior newspaper.Much of the criticism appears focused on the country's disappointing economic performance, with the government reducing its 2014 growth forecast from 3.9 percent to 2.7 percent."The economy is ...

Ukraine may need bigger bailout WASHINGTON: Ukraine may need as much as $19 billion in additional funds from donors if its conflict with pro-Russian separatists continues during 2015, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday. Even under Kiev's current $17 billion IMF bailout, the Fund said Ukraine will not be able to meet all of its targets due to the ongoing fighting and an intensified gas dispute with Russia, which supplies the bulk of Ukraine's natural gas needs. Nevertheless, it ...

African leaders hunt fund to fight militant NAIROBI: African leaders proposed on Tuesday creating a special fund to combat Islamist militant groups growing in strength from Kenya to Nigeria. African Union (AU) states announced the idea after Nairobi talks on a problem highlighted on Tuesday by capture of a town in north-eastern Nigeria by Boko Haram militants. Fighting killed scores of people, according to security forces, and sent at least 5,000 fleeing. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, where al Shabaab gunmen last ...

Positive criticism, part of democracy: Khurram ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Tuesday positive criticism on the government policies was part of democracy.Talking to PTV, he said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was a democrat and he listened to the criticism against the government policies in the joint sitting of ParliamentHe alleged that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was using abusive language against leaders of other political parties, which did not suit him. He had been ...

Pakistan hires banks for US dollar sukuk LONDON: Ministry of finance has selected Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered as bookrunners for a US dollar sukuk offering, according to a ministry official who asked not to be identified.The mandate was officially decided last week, the official added. The ministry will decide on the tenor of the Islamic bond, as well as the format of the transaction, as early as next week, he said."We would like to be able to ...

Imran to meet Siraj-ul-Haq to discuss political crisis ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan said on Tuesday he would hold talks with a Jamaat-e-Islami leader who has been trying to mediate between Khan's party and the government since the beginning of a political crisis."Siraj-ul-Haq is coming with (other opposition figures) for talks, we have invited them to come. We will hold talks with them," Khan told his supporters."We will put our stance in front of them and they will do the same ... ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 28, 2014
Reserves $13.582 bln