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US says Russia air defence systems inside Ukraine WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday accused Russia of building up air defence systems inside eastern Ukraine and of involvement in training exercises of pro-Russian rebels in breach of a European-brokered truce."This is the highest amount of Russian air defence equipment in eastern Ukraine since August," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.She said the increasingly complex nature of the training exercises "leaves no doubt that Russia is involved."Fighting has picked up in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks despite the ceasefire agreed in February, with each side accusing the other of violence. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday he believed a surge in ceasefire violations had however passed.But Harf said Russia was building up its forces along the Ukrainian border.Copyright Reuters, 2015

Russia still expecting North Korea's Kim in May: diplomat SEOUL: Russia is still expecting North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to visit Moscow in May, with a possible summit scheduled with President Vladimir Putin, Russia's ambassador to South Korea said on Thursday.In a press briefing at the embassy, Alexander Timonin confirmed Kim, who has yet to travel abroad since coming to power more than three years ago, was on course to attend Moscow's World War II anniversary celebration on May 9."We... are expecting the visit ...

EU considers military action on migrants at summit BRUSSELS: EU leaders gathering in Brussels on Thursday will consider launching a military operation against human traffickers in Libya, in a bold effort to halt the deadly flow of refugees trying to reach Europe by sea.As survivors laid bare the full horror of last weekend's catastrophic shipwreck near Libya, a draft statement for the summit seen by AFP committed leaders to "undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by ...

Hong Kong leader assails 'uncivilised' critics HONG KONG: Hong Kong's chief hit back at "uncivilised" critics on Thursday after he was booed and heckled by local residents as he tried to promote a newly unveiled, Beijing-backed plan for leadership elections in 2017.The roadmap for the city's first ever public vote for its chief executive was announced on Wednesday. It conforms to a controversial ruling from Beijing stipulating that candidates must be pre-screened by a loyalist committee.The ruling sparked mass protests which ...

France will pay back Russia if warships not delivered: Hollande PARIS: President Francois Hollande said Wednesday that France will reimburse Russia if it fails to deliver two Mistral warships in a deal frozen over the Ukraine conflict."According to the different scenarios you either have payment or reimbursement," Hollande said during a press conference.He was responding to comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin who last week dismissed France's refusal to deliver the first ship, but said he expects the money to be repaid.The delivery of the ...

US existing-home sales jump in March WASHINGTON: US existing-home sales rebounded in March to the fastest pace in 18 months, pointing to solid spring sales this year, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.Total sales of used homes jumped 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.19 million units in March, from a pace of 4.89 million in February, NAR reported.That marked the biggest monthly increase since December 2010, driving up the sales rate to its highest pitch since September 2013.The ...

Ukraine miners protest to save crisis-hit pits KIEV: Hundreds of angry Ukrainian coal miners protested in Kiev Wednesday demanding the government protect their jobs as pits face closure in a crisis worsened by the country's separatist conflict in the east.Banging their helmets on the ground outside the president's office, the miners yelled "Shame", demanding that the pro-Western government raise their pay and restore subsidies to the mines that help power Ukrainian industry.Waving signs reading "Stop ruining the coal mining industry" and "Without ...


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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 $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln