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Russia's Putin says Moscow wants solution to Ukraine crisis MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the Ukraine crisis should be resolved as quickly as possible and that Moscow's aim was to restore political unity to Ukraine.Putin also warned Kiev at his annual end-of-year news conference that it must respect all its regions if it wanted peace.Copyright Reuters, 2014

Indonesia says considering removing govt subsidies for gasoline next year JAKARTA: Indonesia's Chief Economics Minister Sofyan Djalil on Thursday said the government is considering removing subsidies for gasoline next year, but would maintain subsidies for diesel."The option is fixing subsidy (per litre) for diesel, then we will uncouple gasoline, make gasoline a non-subsidised fuel," Djalil told reporters.He said the policy wouldn't need parliament's approval.Indonesia allocated 246.5 trillion rupiah ($19.63 billion) for fuel subsidies in its 2014 budget. The 2015 budget presented in September, one month ...

Putin says Russia determined to protect interests, US creates threats MOSCOW :President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia was more and more determined to protect its interests but that the United States was creating threats for his country.Putin also told his annual end-of-year news conference that Russia did not invade any other country and that Russia had just two military bases abroad, while , he said, the United States had such bases all over the world.Copyright Reuters, 2014

Putin says West behaving like 'empire' towards vassals MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the West of behaving like "an empire" and treating other countries like its vassals."Our (Western) partners have not stopped. They decided that they are winners, they are an empire now and the rest are vassals and they have to be driven into a corner," Putin said during his end-of-the-year news conference, referring to raging tensions with the West over Ukraine.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Greece in a race to avoid early elections ATHENS: The race was on Thursday in Greece to forestall early elections -- and a possible blow to the country's fiscal reforms -- hours after parliament failed to elect a new president.Only 160 deputies on Wednesday supported the government candidate, former EU commissioner Stavros Dimas, far short of the needed 200.Now the focus is shifting to December 23 when parliament will vote in a second round, once again requiring 200 votes for Dimas to win."First ...

Cautious Japanese firms holding record assets: BoJ TOKYO: Japanese firms are holding a record amount of cash equivalent to almost half the country's gross domestic product, Bank of Japan figures showed Thursday, despite growing calls to open up those corporate coffers.The currency holdings and deposits of non-financial, private-sector companies jumped to 233 trillion yen ($1.96 trillion) at the end of September, up 4.2 percent from a year ago, according to the data. Japan's GDP in the year to April 2013 -- the ...

China hopes US will lift Cuba embargo: govt BEIJING: China said on Thursday it hopes the United States will lift its economic embargo on Cuba, in place for more than half a century, as the two countries normalise relations."China welcomes and supports the normalisation of Cuba-US bilateral ties, and we hope that the US can lift its embargo on Cuba as early as possible," Qin Gang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said at a regular media briefing in Beijing."We cherish our friendship with Cuba, ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,804.80 0.15
Arrow Nasdaq 4,765.38 0.36
Arrow S&P 2,070.65 0.46
Arrow FTSE 6,545.27 1.23
Arrow DAX 9,786.96 0.25
Arrow CAC-40 4,241.65 0.18
Arrow Nikkei 17,621.40 2.39
Arrow H.Seng 23,116.63 1.25
Arrow Sensex 27,371.84 0.90

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln