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Egypt CAIRO: The head of Egypt's central bank, Faruq el-Okda, has resigned and will be replaced by his ex-deputy Hisham Ramez, the president's spokesman Yassir Ali said on Thursday at a news conference attended by both men.   Ali said Ramez will replace Okda in February. "I am very happy with this civilised transfer," Okda told reporters.   Okda, who has headed the bank since 2003, downplayed differences with the presidency and said he had asked last year that the bank governor's tenure be limited to two four-year terms.   Okda's resignation comes amid economic turmoil in Egypt, which has seen its currency drop and foreign reserves dwindle two years after an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak.   An IMF loan expected to boost the economy has also been delayed as Mubarak's successor Mohamed Morsi battles a renascent opposition movement that resorted to mass rallies in November and December to put pressure on the Islamist leader.   Both Okda and Ramez ...

Two victims in US school shooting: sheriff LOS ANGELES: Two people were shot Thursday in a high school in California and a gunman was in custody, an official in the local sheriff's office told AFP.   "We have two victims and the shooter has been taken into custody," the official said about the shooting at Taft Union High School in the town of Taft north of Los Angeles, declining to say if the victims were dead or injured.   The incident happened around 9:00 am (1700 ...

US moves to halt junk home loans that fed crisis  WASHINGTON: The US issued new rules Thursday restricting the kind of high-risk and abusive home loans at the center of the housing collapse that led to millions losing their homes to repossession.   The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) set regulations which forbid lenders from granting mortgages to buyers who are not in the position to repay the loan, requiring strong documentation and basic income-to-loan ratios.   The rules also restrict lenders from offering inducements to borrowers to overextend ...

California 2014 budget holds $1 bln reserve  SACRAMENTO: California governor Jerry Brown presented a multiyear budget plan that is balanced and mantains a $1 billion reserve, paying down budgetary debt from past years.   Overall General Fund spending is projected to grow by 5 percent, from $93 billion in 2012-13 to $97.7 billion in fiscal 2013-14. Total revenues and transfers for 2013-2014 are seen at $98.5 billion up from $95.39 billion.   The economic forecast included in the budget sees the state's unemployment at 9.6 percent ...

Greek unemployment hits record as recession drags on  ATHENS: Greece's unemployment rate climbed to a record 26.8 percent in October as the debt-laden country remained sunk in recession, data showed on Thursday.   Greece's jobless rate has almost tripled since it started rising in September 2009 as the country's debt crisis became apparent, and is more than double the average rate in the 17-nation euro zone, which stood at 11.8 percent in November.   Unemployment among youth aged 15-24 also touched a new record of 56.6 percent ...

Chavez supporters come from afar, with love  CARACAS: They came by the tens of thousand Thursday to pay fervent tribute to their stricken leader, Hugo Chavez, many of them on buses, from oil states and seaside cities and the distant Andes.   With words of love for their longtime leader and contempt for his opponents, they turned the broad avenue that runs past the Miraflores presidential palace into a sea of red shirts and flags, the color of Chavez's leftist movement.   "I've come because you ...

In Argentina, final stop for world BUENOS AIRES: To the chagrin of nostalgic Argentines, the world's oldest running subway commuter train, a dimly lit, century-old wooden car beloved by tourists and Buenos Aires residents, is scheduled to make its final stop this weekend.   Unless defenders of the old trains secure a last-gasp court order or law to keep it in service, the Belgian-made carriages will be mothballed on Saturday before being replaced by slick new cars made in China.   With a curved roof, ...


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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 $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln