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China to start direct currency trading with euro SHANGHAI: China will begin direct trading between its yuan currency and the euro starting on Tuesday, the national foreign exchange market's operator said, as Beijing seeks to broaden the unit's global usage.The China Foreign Exchange Trade System already offers a platform for yuan-euro transactions but direct trading means the US dollar will not be used as an intermediary currency to calculate rates, according to a statement released Monday.The market operator said the move aimed to promote bilateral trade and investment, facilitate the use of yuan in cross-border trade and lower conversion costs. In June, China started direct trade between the yuan and Britain's pound, one of several currencies to be included in a streamlined regime. China has long had direct currency trade with the United States, and in recent years has added Japan's yen, the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar and Malaysian ringgit.Beijing keeps a tight grip on the ...

Ukraine troop withdrawal in doubt after 12 killed KIEV: The shaky truce between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military was challenged Monday when 12 soldiers and civilians were reported killed in a surge of fighting across the separatist east.A week after talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk yielded an agreement for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from the frontline, a lasting solution to the conflict which has killed more than 3,200 people seemed no closer.National Security and Defence ...

Spain rolls out roadblock to Catalonia independence vote BARCELONA: The Spanish government on Monday rolled out a legal roadblock to stop the Catalonia region voting on independence, branding the planned ballot an affront to the sovereignty of Spain.After Catalonia's president Artur Mas staked his leadership on the issue by calling the vote for November 9, the national government responded by filing a constitutional challenge.Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he "deeply" regretted Mas's move."I regret it because it is against the law, it ...

New Afghan President Ghani takes oath, seeks peace talks KABUL: Ashraf Ghani, a one-time US-based academic, was sworn in as new president of Afghanistan on Monday and used his inaugural speech to call for Taliban insurgents to join peace talks after 13 years of war.The militant threat in Kabul was underlined by a suicide attack outside the airport's main entrance that killed four members of the security forces and three civilians shortly before the inauguration.The ceremony at the presidential palace marked the country's first ...

Afghan 'first lady' edges towards a public life KABUL: In Afghanistan's strictly patriarchal society women are generally hidden from public view, but Rula Ghani could be the exception after her husband paid her a heartfelt tribute at his presidential inauguration on Monday.Rula Ghani has already broken several taboos by accompanying her husband Ashraf to election campaign events and giving at least one speech to supporters.The new president has often said he wants women to play a greater role in Afghan life, and many ...

Lloyds bank sacks eight staff after rate-rigging probe LONDON: Lloyds Banking Group has sacked eight workers and withheld bonuses in disciplinary measures linked to the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal, the state-rescued lender said on Monday.Earlier this year, Lloyds was fined £218 million ($353 million, 279 million euros) by British and US regulators regarding its submissions to the British Bankers' Association (BBA) London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and Sterling Repo Rate."Lloyds Banking Group... has taken disciplinary action against certain individuals following the resolutions reached ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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