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US existing-home sales rise for third straight month WASHINGTON: Sales of existing homes in the United States rose for the third straight month in July, holding at the highest pace since 2007, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.Sales of previously owned single-family homes rose 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the strongest level since February 2007, about nine months before the US economy entered the Great Recession.Sales were up 10.3 percent from a year ago. Analysts had expected a slightly slower annual sales rate of 5.42 million units."The creation of jobs added at a steady clip and the prospect of higher mortgage rates and home prices down the road is encouraging more households to buy now," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a statement.Despite the solid growth in existing-home sales during the peak homebuying season, tight housing supplies and rising prices likely pushed the share of first-time buyers down to the ...


Iraq PM orders major cuts in guards for officials BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Thursday ordered major cuts in the number of guards for officials, the latest step in a reform drive to curb corruption and streamline the government.Abadi rolled out a reform programme this month in response to popular pressure from weeks of protests against corruption and poor services, and to a call for drastic change from Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.Parliament has approved Abadi's plan along with additional ...

Saudi MERS infections soar ahead of hajj pilgrimage RIYADH: MERS coronavirus infections have soared in Saudi Arabia ahead of the hajj pilgrimage, forcing the closure of a major hospital's emergency ward in Riyadh and killing three people, officials and the press said.The Saudi Gazette said Thursday authorities shut the emergency ward at the King Abdulaziz Medical City, one of the capital's largest hospitals, "after at least 46 people, including hospital staff" contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.The closure was confirmed to AFP by ...

Malaysia PM says economy sound, as fears mount KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday that Malaysia's economy was on a sound footing, seeking to assuage growing public and investor fears over the nation's plummeting currency and slowing growth."Malaysia's financial system resilience remains intact," Najib said, according to a statement from his office.Najib, who is also finance minister, added that the plunging ringgit would not be pegged against the greenback to stem its decline, a step taken in the late 1990s ...

North Korea shells South Korean military border unit: Yonhap SEOUL: North Korea on Thursday shelled a South Korean military unit on the western section of the inter-Korean border, the South's Yonhap news agency said, citing military sources.The Defence Ministry said it could not immediately confirm the report, which comes at a time of elevated cross-border tensions, following a landmine attack earlier this month that Seoul blamed on Pyongyang.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

Greece repays 3.4 bn euros to European Central Bank ATHENS: Greece has repaid 3.4 billion euros ($3.79 billion) that was due to the European Central Bank Thursday, a source close to the government said.The payment was unlocked after European parliaments, including Germany's Bundestag, gave the green light to a third bailout package for Greece's stricken economy.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

Brazil Senate passes austerity bill in win for Rousseff BRASILIA: Brazil's Senate approved a bill to roll back payroll tax breaks on Wednesday that is a key measure in President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to reduce a gaping fiscal deficit and restore confidence in her government's accounts.The Senate voted 45-27 to pass the bill. It was received from the lower house with no changes, so it will go to Rousseff to be signed into law without delay.The vote puts an end to months of heated ...


 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln