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Kazakh leader to extend long rule, promises stability ALMATY: President Nursultan Nazarbayev will extend his nearly 26-year rule of Kazakhstan in an election on Sunday which investors hope will maintain stability in the Central Asian state despite criticism of his rights record. The 74-year-old former steelworker has held power since 1989 when the oil-producing nation of 17 million stretching from the border with China to the Caspian Sea was part of the Soviet Union, and has never faced a genuine challenge at the polls. Usually met by huge crowds, he has toured his vast steppe nation, opening shopping malls, recreation centres and even two underground metro stations in the financial capital Almaty last weekend. He looks down from huge billboards."To new victories together with the Leader of the Nation!" read one. An ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, he called the vote a year before his current term is due to end, removing the danger of growing economic ...

Tsipras to meet Merkel Thursday in Brussels: Greek government ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday on the sidelines of an EU summit, the Athens government said as it continues to wrangle with creditors over a new rescue package.EU leaders are to hold emergency talks in Brussels on the Mediterranean migrant crisis.The Greek government did not say what Tsipras and Merkel would discuss at their meeting in the Belgian capital.Tsipras' cash-strapped leftist government is under pressure from fellow ...

German railways hit by another drivers' strike this week BERLIN: Rail passengers in Germany face two days of disruptions and cancellations this week as train drivers stage a new round of walkouts in their months-long pay dispute, operator Deutsche Bahn said Tuesday.Board member Ulrich Homburg said that two out of three long-distance trains and as many as five out of every six regional trains would be cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday. The strikes -- the seventh round of industrial action in ten months -- ...

Ebola retreat brings cheer to Sierra Leone chimps FREETOWN: In the rising afternoon humidity 30-year-old Tom sits in the shade, picking fleas off his neighbour, unaware of how close he came to losing his home to Ebola.Tom is a chimpanzee -- one of around 5,500 in Sierra Leone for whom the tropical fever poses as deadly a threat as it does to humans.His rainforest sanctuary in the verdant hills around the capital Freetown suddenly found itself forced to close in August last year ...

Indonesian court rejects death row Frenchman's appeal JAKARTA: Indonesia's Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a Frenchman on death row for drug offences, taking him and a group of other foreigners closer to execution by firing squad.Serge Atlaoui, 51, was arrested near Jakarta in 2005 in a secret laboratory producing ecstasy and was sentenced to death two years later.Imprisoned in Indonesia for a decade, the father-of-four has always denied the charges, saying he was installing industrial machinery in what he ...

South Korea finance minister says economy on steady recovery SEOUL: South Korea's economy has escaped sluggish growth seen in the fourth quarter of last year and seems to be on a steady recovery, the country's finance minister told lawmakers on Tuesday.However, despite improvements the recovery momentum has not spread to all part of the economy as capital investment remains shaky and exports have been lagging on weak demand from China, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

South Korea PM tenders resignation over bribery scandal SEOUL: South Korean Prime Minister Lee Wan-Koo was left in political limbo on Tuesday after offering to resign over a scandal involving bribery allegations against senior members of President Park Geun-Hye's administration.Park is currently on a trip to Latin America and a presidential spokeswoman said she would formally decide on whether to accept the resignation when she returned next week."I find it regrettable. I also feel sympathy for the agony of the prime minister," the ...


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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