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Monsoon rains arrive in India, bring cheer to farmers NEW DELHI: The annual monsoon, crucial to India's food output and economic growth, hit the southwest coast on Saturday, bringing cheer to farmers and boosting hopes for the struggling economy.The keenly awaited rains lashed the state of Kerala and parts of neighbouring Tamil Nadu and will now sweep across India, resulting in torrential downpours over the coming months for hundreds of millions of farmers who rely on the seasonal precipitation."The southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala," the weather office announced on its website.The rains that lash the subcontinent from June to September are dubbed the "economic lifeline" of India, one of the world's leading producers of rice, sugar, wheat and cotton.The rains normally hit the southwest coast at the start of June but memories remain fresh of India's devastating drought in 2009 that resulted in shrivelled crops.The weather department has forecast India will receive normal rains this year, raising ...

Rajoy sees hope for Spain in jobless figures MADRID: Jobless figures to be released next week in Spain will be encouraging and the recession-hit country has started to turn a corner, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Saturday."I'm not counting chickens here, however I recommend that you pay attention to unemployment and social security numbers on Tuesday the 4th If the patterns we've seen are confirmed they will be clearly encouraging," Rajoy said at an economic conference.Spain's unemployment rate currently stands at 27 ...

EU's Reding says Hungary constitution 'not a toy': report VIENNA: EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding criticised Hungary for treating its constitution like "a toy" and called for more effective measures to sanction EU treaty violations in an interview with Austrian media on Saturday."The state of law is not to be trifled with. A constitution is not a toy that one can change every few months," Reding told the daily Der Standard when asked about the Hungarian government's numerous changes to the constitution since coming ...

China trying new form of Internet censorship: campaign group BEIJING: China is experimenting with more subtle methods to censor Internet search results ahead of the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, according to a group that monitors blocked websites in the country.In the past, a search for keywords in China related to the events of June 4, 1989, came up with an explicit message saying: "According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results for (the blocked keyword) can not be displayed."But ...

Obama presses for action from lawmakers after recess WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Saturday used his weekly address to urge lawmakers returning from the post-Memorial Day recess to take action on mortgage refinancing and immigration reform.Highlighting recent improvements in economic indicators, including rising home sales, a rebounding auto sector "with Americans buying more cars that we have in five years" and shrinking deficits, Obama said "now we need to do more.""We've got to keep this progress going until middle-class families start regaining ...

Razak reaches out to opposition with electoral reform KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday the political opposition would be given an oversight role over the country's Election Commission, a move aimed at healing divisions following a disputed May 5 election.The opposition has held a series of rallies around the country as it refuses to accept the ruling coalition's victory, saying it was tainted by widespread fraud that the Election Commission (EC) has failed to address.The opposition has long said ...

Russia tries to kick habit with anti-smoking law MOSCOW: Tobacco restrictions came into force in Russia on Saturday which President Vladimir Putin hopes will create a healthier workforce and help reverse a population decline, but they face stiff opposition in a country where four in ten people smoke.The measures, part of a law Putin signed in February, include a ban on smoking at schools and universities, museums, sports facilities, hospitals and on public transport in many cases places where it is already prohibited.A ...


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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 26, 2015
Reserves $17.749 bln