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Troops, rebels killed in clash in Pakistan PESHAWAR: Two Pakistani troops and five militants were killed Friday in an exchange of fire in a restive tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.The incident took place in North Waziristan's Ghulam Khan area close to the border with Afghanistan when paramilitary Frontier Corps troops ambushed a group of up to 20 militants."The troops ambushed the militants on an intelligence tip off," a senior security official told AFP."Five militants were killed and two soldiers embraced martyrdom," he said.Another security official also confirmed the incident and casualties.The area is remote and off-limits to journalists making it difficult to verify the army's claims, including the number and identity of those killed.Pakistan has been battling a homegrown militant insurgency for over a decade following the late 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.The Pakistan army began a major campaign against Taliban and other militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal area in June last ...

Germany's Schaueble plays down positive reports from Athens DRESDEN: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble sought to play down Friday assertions by Athens that Greece is on the verge of reaching a deal with its creditors."The positive reports out of Athens don't fully reflect the state of talks," Schaeuble said at the close of a meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors in Dresden. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

85,000 flee Ramadi since IS capture: UN GENEVA: Around 85,000 people have fled Ramadi since the Islamic State group captured the Iraqi provincial capital two weeks ago, the UN said Friday, warning that Iraqi authorities were blocking many of the displaced from reaching safety.The IS militants seized the Iraqi city, the capital of Iraq's largest province Anbar, on May 17, marking their most significant victory since mid-2014.William Spindler, spokesman for the UN refugee agency, said around 85,000 people had fled the violence ...

Greece mixes messages on expectations for deal ATHENS: Greece said Friday that the deadline for reaching an accord to release much-needed bailout funds was the end of June, despite officials raising hopes of a deal being imminent as it flirts with the possibility of a default.Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told VimaFM radio that under a February agreement "the country's aid programme was prolonged until June 30, thus that it is the date by which we need to arrive at a deal."After four ...

G7 agrees Chinese yuan should be in IMF currency basket DRESDEN: The Group of Seven countries are in fundamental agreement that the Chinese yuan should be part of an international basket of reference currencies, but there is no need to rush it, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Friday."There are technical issues and not just technical ones" to sort out, Schaeuble told a news conference concluding a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors. "We are in full agreement on the goal, but ...

Japan, EU agree to speed up talks over stalled free trade deal TOKYO: Japan and the European Union on Friday agreed to speed up talks over a long-stalled Free Trade Agreement, while voicing concerns over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk in the latest annual get-together between the leaders of the two big trading partners."In the area of economy, we agreed to accelerate the Japan-EU EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.795 bln
Exports $1.995 bln
Imports $3.790 bln
WeeklyMay 28, 2015
Reserves $17.494 bln