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China, Taiwan in 'milestone' talks at APEC NUSA DUA: China said on Sunday it was open to a visit by Taiwan's top cross-strait official as it called for a political settlement to prevent their differences being handed down "from generation to generation".Chinese President Xi Jinping met Vincent Siew, Taiwan's former vice president, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Indonesia. They shook hands and smiled for the cameras. The first such China-Taiwan meeting at the APEC forum was in 2008 when tensions between the two started thawing after decades of hostility stemming from the two sides' separation at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.Xi emphasised that both sides should keep pushing for a political settlement to their longstanding division, and that they should see themselves as "one family", China's Xinhua news agency said.The Chinese communist supremo said "we cannot hand those problems down from generation to generation", it reported. Siew, ...

Final deals cut as Afghan election candidates rush to register KABUL: Afghanistan's presidential election race sparked a last-minute rush of candidates as nominations closed on Sunday for next April's poll, with former finance minister Ashraf Ghani among the leading names to register.The final days of the nomination period were marked by a frenzy of intrigue as former warlords, tribal leaders and veteran politicians cut deals and formed sudden alliances in the opening stage of the race to succeed Hamid Karzai.Karzai, who has ruled since 2001, ...

France urges EU action after Italy shipwreck disaster PARIS: France will press European leaders to take action to prevent tragedies like the shipwreck off the Italian coast that has left several hundred migrants dead, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday."The Mediterranean cannot remain a huge open-air cemetery. Action must be taken," Fabius told Europe 1 radio, i-Tele and newspaper Le Monde in a televised appearance.Fabius said President Francois Hollande wants the issue of border controls to be on the agenda for a ...

Blasts at Iraqi police station, school kill 10: official KIRKUK: Two suicide bombers detonated explosives-rigged vehicles at a police station and a nearby primary school in northern Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 10 people, a local official said.The blasts in the Turkmen Shiite village of Qabat, near the Syrian border, also wounded dozens of people, Abdulal Abbas told AFP.The bombing at the school collapsed the roof of the building, Abbas said.The blasts came a day after violence including an attack on Shiite pilgrims ...

Search for bodies resumes in Italy shipwreck tragedy LAMPEDUSA: Divers resumed their grim search for bodies on Sunday after a shipwreck disaster off a remote Italian island in which more than 300 African asylum-seekers are feared to have died."The search has resumed. We will be working in three teams doing two hour shift each. Because of the depth they can only stay down for six or seven minutes at most," Leonardo Ricci, a spokesman for the emergency services, told AFP on the island ...

Oil price of $100-110 acceptable: Kuwait minister KUWAIT CITY: Kuwaiti Oil Minister Mustafa al-Shamali said that an oil price of between $100 (74 euros) to $110 per barrel is acceptable to both producers and consumers, in remarks published on Sunday."The acceptable and fair price for oil at this stage is $100 to $110 a barrel," Shamali told Al-Seyassah newspaper."These prices are good and acceptable to all parties. They help producers to complete their production and exploration projects, besides they are suitable to ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln