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China and rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions BEIJING: China, the United States, Japan and more than a dozen other Asia-Pacific countries have signed a naval agreement aimed at ensuring miscommunication between ships at sea does not escalate into conflict.The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, which was agreed Tuesday in the eastern port city of Qingdao, would reduce the potential for "situations to arise that could lead to conflict in busy sea lanes", the state-run China Daily said. China is embroiled in a series of territorial disputes with neighbours in the South and East China Seas which have frequently led to military jets being scrambled but not open conflict.Beijing also feels threatened by an increase in US naval power in the region. In December, a US-guided missile warship, the Cowpens, had to make a sharp turn to avoid colliding with a Chinese naval ship that cut in front of it, according to the Pentagon. Gary Li, an ...


Pirates kidnap three on Japanese tanker off Malaysia: report KUALA LUMPUR: Armed pirates boarded a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, Malaysian media said Wednesday.The attack occurred early Tuesday about 16 nautical miles off Malaysia's west coast, The Star quoted Malaysian authorities saying."The incident occurred at about 1 am (1500 GMT) and it was only realised by the crew members when they saw about five or six men ...

Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law SAO PAULO: Brazil's Congress on Tuesday passed comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy in what some have likened to a web-user's bill of rights, after stunning revelations its own president was targeted by US cyber-snooping.The lower House of Deputies had passed the bill earlier, and late Tuesday the Senate gave it a green light. That leaves only the expected signature into law from President Dilma Rousseff."The bill sets out principles, guarantees, rights, and duties for Internet ...

US lifts freeze, will deliver Apache choppers to Egypt WASHINGTON: The United States will lift a suspension on the delivery of Apache helicopters to Egypt after concluding Cairo has upheld its peace treaty with Israel, US officials said Tuesday.Despite concerns about Egypt's failure to embrace democratic reforms following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, the US government will provide Cairo with 10 Apache aircraft, officials said.Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel informed Egyptian Defense Minister General Sedki Sobhy of President Barack Obama's decision in a phone ...

France treads fine line on EU deficit-cutting targets PARIS: France's government is to set out its roadmap to deficit reduction on Wednesday using optimistic growth forecasts considered risky by its own fiscal watchdog to show how it will meet European budget standards by the end of next year. Europe's second-biggest economy is a laggard where recovery and public finances are concerned. It has already been granted a two-year extension on the original deadline to bring its deficit below the EU's treaty limit of ...

NZ migration gains hit 11 year high in March WELLINGTON: New Zealand posted its highest migration gains in 11 years in March, official data showed on Wednesday, as fewer New Zealanders moved to Australia while more people settled in the country. The country had a seasonally adjusted net gain of 3,840 people last month, the highest since February 2003 and rising from a downwardly revised gain of 3,540 in February. For the year to March 30, there was a net gain of 31,914 permanent ...

China manufacturing improves slightly in April: HSBC BEIJING: Chinese manufacturing activity improved slightly in April as domestic demand showed "mild improvement", HSBC said Wednesday, but it warned the world's second-largest economy was still showing signs of weakness.The banking giant's preliminary purchasing managers' index (PMI), which tracks manufacturing activity in China's factories and workshops, rose to 48.3 in April from a final reading of 48.0 in March, the British banking giant said in a statement.The index is a closely watched gauge of the ...


 



 
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Banking Review 2013


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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
MonthlyFebruary
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln