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Thai June import slump may brake economic recovery BANGKOK: Thailand's exports in June improved but imports tumbled sharply, highlighting the challenges faced by the military government as it tries to get economic growth back on track.Annual exports grew 3.9 percent, Commerce Ministry data showed on Monday, stronger than 3.1 percent forecast in a Reuters poll. But the growth rate was well below the 7.2 percent indicated by a senior ministry official on Friday.Imports surprisingly fell 14.03 percent from a year earlier, nearly matching the double-digit declines in April and March, and compared with expectations for a 3.75 percent decline.Thailand mainly imports materials which are assembled into completed products and goods again, so a sharp drop could cast doubt on whether the export rebound in June can be sustained.The mixed trade data suggests the economy may not recover as quickly as expected from a contraction in the first quarter, despite the military government's plans to kick-start growth.Benjamin Shatil, economist ...

Philippine central bank may tighten again to tackle inflation MANILA: The Philippine central bank is expected to tighten policy for the fourth straight meeting on Thursday to tackle inflationary pressure, by raising either its main overnight borrowing rate or the rate on its special deposit accounts (SDAs).Twelve economists polled by Reuters were split down the middle on the main rate : six expected no change but the remaining six forecast it would be raised by 25 basis points to 3.75 percent, which would be ...

Russia ordered to pay Yukos shareholders $50bn LONDON: The arbitration court in The Hague has ordered Russia to pay shareholders of Yukos $50 billion in compensation over its seizure of the one-time oil giant, main shareholder GML Ltd said in London on Monday.The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled on July 18 that Russia pay the claimants "in excess of $50 billion" after finding it had forced Yukos into bankruptcy and sold its assets to state-owned businesses for political purposes, the claimant's ...

Venezuelan ex-intel chief wanted by US freed in Aruba, arrives home CARACAS: A Venezuelan ex-military intelligence chief arrested at the United States' request on drug trafficking charges by Aruba was freed from jail Sunday and returned home, authorities said."It is a very brave decision by Holland to acknowledge diplomatic immunity was violated, and for international law to be restored. It takes clarity, good will and bravery," President Nicolas Maduro said.Aruba, close to Venezuela's coast, is an autonomous part of the kingdom of the Netherlands.Copyright AFP (Agence ...

Nine hospitalized after US lightning strike LOS ANGELES: Nine people, including teenager, were taken to hospital Sunday following a lightning strike at bustling Venice Beach, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.LAFD spokeswoman Katherine Main told AFP two of the individuals were in critical condition but that it was unclear whether all nine were actually hit.The early afternoon incident occurred while there were isolated thunderstorms in the area and many people were at the beach, Main said.Eight of those taken to hospital ...

Great Portland Estates portfolio value rises 3.8pc in Q1 LONDON: Property group Great Portland Estates said the value of its portfolio of assets in central London rose by a net 3.8 percent in the first quarter to 2.8 billion pounds ($4.8 billion), reflecting healthy demand for prime property.Chief Executive Toby Courtauld said the company had made a strong start to its financial year, with good progress across its 2.3 million square feet development programme, including starting its largest ever development, Rathbone Square, at the ...

Japanese get anti-radiation pills ahead of nuclear restart TOKYO: Japanese officials are handing out radiation-blocking iodine tablets to people living in the shadow of two nuclear reactors slated to restart this year, underscoring concerns about atomic power after the Fukushima crisis.The move to distribute the pills -- which help to reduce radiation buildup in the body -- started Sunday for those living within a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius of the Sendai nuclear plant.The site, roughly 1,000 kilometres from Tokyo on the southern island of ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln