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US Senate advances trade negotiating authority for Obama WASHINGTON: Following days of obstruction from lawmakers in President Barack Obama's own Democratic party, the US Senate advanced contentious legislation Thursday allowing him to swiftly finalize a landmark Pacific trade pact.The 65 to 33 vote marked a victory for the White House and free-trade Republicans who had united in an effort to press ahead with Obama's biggest domestic legislative priority in the remaining 20 months of his presidency.But it belied what may be a tough battle to get the divisive bill -- backed by big business but opposed by unions -- across the finish line and to the president's desk.Thursday's vote merely opened debate on so-called "trade promotion authority," which would allow Obama -- and his successor -- to negotiate international trade accords and present them to Congress for a yes-or-no vote, with lawmakers prevented from making any changes.The measure also provides assistance for US workers hurt by globalization, and ...

No plans for US to base B-1 bombers in Australia: PM SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday denied the United States had plans to base B-1 bombers in the country, saying an American official had "misspoken" on the issue.Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear spoke this week of the deployment of the aircraft at a hearing on safeguarding US interests in the East and South China Seas."We -- under the redeployment of long-term, medium to long-term redeployment of Marines ...

FDI into China rises in April BEIJING: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China jumped more than 10 percent year-on-year in April, the commerce ministry, accelerating significantly from previous months despite slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.FDI, which excludes financial sectors, rose 10.5 percent to $9.61 billion, the ministry said, after rises of 2.2 percent in March and only 0.9 percent in February.For the first four months of the year, it increased 11.1 percent to $44.49 billion, the ministry said, describing ...

US, Cuba to meet in coming weeks on reopening embassies: minister HAVANA: The United States and Cuba will hold another meeting in the coming weeks in Washington on reopening embassies, the latest step in their historic rapprochement, Havana's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Wednesday."In the coming weeks, there will be a new round of negotiations in Washington on reestablishing diplomatic relations and opening embassies," he told AFP in an exclusive interview.The exact date has not yet been set, he said.The two sides have held several rounds ...

India's wholesale prices fall for sixth month MUMBAI: India's wholesale inflation dropped for a sixth straight month as fuel prices and manufacturing costs continued to ease, government data showed Thursday.The Wholesale Price Index (WPI), an inflation indicator which measures the biggest basket of goods, fell a sharper-than-expected 2.65 percent in April from a year earlier.The fall was bigger than the 2.30 percent slip predicted by a Bloomberg survey and follows a 2.33 percent decline in March.The WPI data comes two days after ...

Japan cabinet OKs military expansion rules TOKYO: Japan's cabinet on Thursday approved a set of bills bolstering the role and scope of the military, as the pacifist country redefines its position in the increasingly roiled Asia-Pacific region.The bills are a pet project of nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who says Japan can no longer shy away from its responsibility to help safeguard regional stability, and must step out from under the shade of the security umbrella provided by the United States.The ...

Ukraine appoints US senator McCain presidential aide KIEV: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has appointed John McCain, a hawkish US senator who has pressed Washington to send lethal weapons to war-torn Ukraine, as his advisor, his administration said.Ukraine's pro-Western authorities are putting together an advisory council to help the ex-Soviet country conduct reforms and build global support for Ukraine.Pending his agreement, McCain, the Republican senator for Arizona, will become a member of the council, along with Carl Bildt, the former prime minister of ...


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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
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln