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Italy's Senate green-lights new electoral law ROME: Italy's Senate on Tuesday definitively adopted Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's new electoral law, which must now go before the lower house of parliament.The Senate approved the bill by 184 votes to 66 and it is expected to go before the chamber for a green light in April, Italian media reported.Once implemented, the revised law should ensure elections result in strong governments with clear parliamentary majorities rather than bickering and shaky coalitions, as has been the pattern in Italy for most of the period since World War II.The law was forged out of a bitterly contested deal between Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi and has met stiff resistance among the rebel wing of Renzi's centre-left party, but it is not expected to run into trouble in the lower house, where the government holds a strong majority.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

IMF's Lagarde warns African economies of headwinds from China, US KIGALI: International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde has warned that African economies could be hurt by a slowdown in China's economy and an imminent hike in United States interest rates.Lagarde, speaking on Tuesday on a visit to Rwanda, said IMF's global economic forecasts have been revised down over the past few months despite a huge fall in oil prices.Lagarde called for "vigilance" across Africa and added this slower growth has implications for a continent that ...

Ireland must avoid repeat of recent overspending: IMF DUBLIN: Ireland must avoid a repeat of recent expenditure overruns to protect the progress made in repairing its public finances, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said at the end of a mission to Ireland on Tuesday.Ireland's budget deficit likely fell by less than expected last year, Dublin said earlier this month, as a jump in year-end government spending, particularly in healthcare, prompted some concern that fiscal discipline may be slipping.The IMF, which was one of ...

IMF confirms that Dutch central bank did not buy gold in December LONDON: The International Monetary Fund confirmed on Tuesday that the Dutch central bank did not buy any gold in December, contradicting its earlier report that the bank had raised its bullion holdings for the first time in 16 years.Monthly data released earlier in the day by the IMF suggested that the Netherlands had added 9.61 tonnes of gold to its holdings last month.The Dutch central bank is the world's ninth-biggest official sector gold holder, with ...

Turkey forecasts inflation at 45-year low ISTANBUL: Turkey's central bank said Tuesday that inflation could sink to its lowest in 45 years, pushed down by falling oil prices and the country's tight monetary policy.Central bank governor Erdem Basci said at a press conference that the inflation rate was forecast to end this year at 5.5 percent, within a range of 4.1 percent and 6.9 percent.That compares with a previous forecast of 6.1 percent and is sharply down from the rate of ...

Spanish mortgage revival seen strengthening after ECB easing MADRID: Spanish home loans rose for the sixth straight month in November, a recovery expected to gather steam this year after European Central Bank efforts to funnel cheap credit to banks.The number of residential mortgages handed out in Spain - one of Europe's most battered property markets - rose just over 14 percent in November from the same months in 2013, data from the National Statistics Institute INE showed on Tuesday. The total amount in ...

US durable goods data signal weaker business spending WASHINGTON: A gauge of US business investment plans fell for a fourth straight month in December, a potential sign that slowing global growth and falling crude oil prices were starting to have an impact on the economy.The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 0.6 percent last month after a similar decline in November.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
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WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
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