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IMF's Lagarde says Greece should not delay payments WASHINGTON: The head of the International Monetary Fund on Thursday signaled that the IMF would not agree to let Greece delay a scheduled bailout payment, saying the Fund needed to protect its sterling reputation as a global lender.Greece is fast running out of cash and its euro zone and IMF lenders have frozen bailout aid until the new leftist-led government in Athens reaches agreement on a package of reforms.That has raised fears the Greek government will not be able to make its next payments to the IMF, which total some $1 billion over the next month."We have never had an advanced economy asking for payment delays," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in response to reporters' questions on Greece's debt crisis.Asked whether that meant the Fund would not grant a delay if Athens asked for one, Lagarde answered indirectly."I can assure you that (IMF) management will do everything it can ...

Putin dismisses France's non-delivery of warships MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that France's refusal to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Moscow over the Ukraine crisis would not affect its defence capabilities."Of course not delivering the ships according to a valid contract is a bad sign, but from the point of view of supporting our defence capabilities, to tell you frankly, this has no importance." Putin said the main reason Moscow signed the 1.2 billion euro deal for ...

US housing starts creep higher in March WASHINGTON: New construction of homes in the United States was stuck in the doldrums for a second straight month in March, according to government data released Thursday.Housing starts rose 2.0 percent in March to an annual rate of 926,00 units, but were down 2.5 percent from March 2014, the Commerce Department said.Starts increased less than expected as severe winter weather in February eased in March. On average, analysts expected a March rate of 1,045 units.Starts ...

MH370 search zone to double if nothing found: officials KUALA LUMPUR: The search zone for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be doubled if nothing is found in the huge undersea area now being scanned for wreckage, government officials from Malaysia, Australia and China said Thursday.A joint statement released by the officials after a meeting in Kuala Lumpur said the Indian Ocean search zone would be expanded to 120,000 square kilometres (46,300 square miles) if the current area comes up empty.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), ...

German economic institutes hike 2015 growth forecast to 2.1pc BERLIN: Germany's leading economic institutes sharply raised their growth forecast Thursday, predicting Europe's top economy will expand 2.1 percent this year thanks to cheap oil, the low euro and strong consumer spending.The forecast by four research institutes was sharply higher than the 1.2 percent growth for 2015 they had predicted last autumn.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

New York protesters demand $15 minimum wage NEW YORK: Thousands of demonstrators, including many fast-food workers, protested in New York on Wednesday demanding a minimum wage of $15 an hour to escape poverty in America's largest city.Fast-food workers held strikes in more than 230 American cities, joined by airport, construction and child care staff, as well as people working in education, organizers said, calling it the largest mobilization of underpaid workers in the US. Between 10,000 and 15,000 took part in the ...

Australia's jobless rate falls to 6.1pc SYDNEY: Australia's unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent in March, data showed Thursday, a better-than-expected reading that could ease pressure on the central bank to further cut interest rates.The figure was down from a revised 6.2 percent in February, as 37,664 positions were created, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Analysts had forecast a reading of 6.3 percent with 15,000 jobs added.Full-time roles increased by 31,516 while part-time jobs rose 6,148. The participation rate, ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln