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Venezuela closes Colombia border indefinitely CARACAS: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro indefinitely closed his country's border with Colombia and declared a state of emergency in part of the frontier region Friday, following an earlier attack that wounded four people.Tensions run high along the 2,200-kilometer (1,400-mile) porous border, rife with guerrilla and smuggling activity, and the two countries almost went to war in 2008.Two men on motorcycles attacked soldiers involved in anti-smuggling operations along the northwestern border with Colombia on Wednesday, according to Maduro.Regional officials said three soldiers and a civilian were wounded in the attack that took place in Tachira state. One soldier was seriously hurt."As part of measures to restore order, peace, tranquility and justice ... I have decided to declare a state of emergency" in several municipalities of eastern Tachira state, Maduro said in a broadcast address.He did not explain the scope of the action, saying only that it "broadly empowers civil, military and ...

US air strike kills 'IS number two': White House WASHINGTON: The second-in-command of the Islamic State group has been killed in a US air strike in northern Iraq, the White House said on Friday.The National Security Council identified the slain militant as Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Haji Mutaz, and said he was IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's senior deputy.This is not the first time that US officials have announced Hayali's death. In December, US defence officials, speaking to reporters on condition of ...

Six killed as typhoon hits northern Philippines MANILA: Six people were killed while thousands fled to higher ground as powerful typhoon Goni brought torrential rains to the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods, officials said Saturday.Five people died in the highlands of Benguet and Mountain provinces after they were buried in rocks and mud. A man was killed in nearby Ilocos Norte province after he was hit by a falling tree, according to Alexander Pama, executive director of the national disaster council.Two ...

South Korea defiant as North attack deadline looms SEOUL: South Korean troops stood at maximum alert Saturday, hours before the expiry of a North Korean ultimatum for Seoul to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts across the border or face military action.The North Korean People's Army (KPA) said its frontline troops had moved into a "fully armed, wartime state" in line with the wishes of leader Kim Jong-Un and ahead of the Saturday 5:00 pm (0830 GMT) deadline."The situation which has reached the brink of ...

Greece rebels announce new party ahead of snap polls ATHENS: At least 25 rebels from Greece's hard-left Syriza party said Thursday they would form a new parliamentary group a day after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned and triggered snap elections. The party, which rode to power in January by vowing to end austerity measures, was deeply divided over Greece's acceptance of a third international bailout package. The revolt within his own party prompted Tsipras to announce his resignation late on Thursday, unleashing early elections ...

Sri Lanka's June trade deficit widens 52pc COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's trade deficit in June widened 51.9 percent to $689.2 million from $453.7 million a year earlier, central bank data showed on Friday.Exports for the month were $944.1 million, down 4.2 percent from a year earlier. Imports rose 13.5 percent to $1.63 billion.The trade deficit for the first half of 2015 widened 15.6 percent to $4.09 billion. Sri Lanka's balance of payments showed a $791.7 million deficit for the first six months of ...

Greece dampens German consumer confidence FRANKFURT: Consumer confidence in Germany is being dampened slightly by the enduring wrangle over Greece's debt crisis, a poll found on Friday."The hitherto marked optimism among consumers has received a slight knock," market research company GfK said in a statement. "Despite the deal reached with Greece over its debt, the downward trend in economic expectations has intensified with the third consecutive monthly decline," the statement said. That, in turn, has weighed on consumers' willingness to ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln