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German FM jets to Kiev, Moscow in bid to revive Ukraine peace plan KIEV: Germany's foreign minister jetted to Kiev and Moscow Tuesday in a bid to revive a failing peace plan in east Ukraine, as deadly fighting pushed EU-Russia relations to breaking point.Berlin's top diplomat Frank-Walter Steinmeier was set to hold key talks with Ukraine's pro-Western leaders before heading to Moscow for a crunch sit-down with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. On the ground, Ukraine's military said fresh clashes over the past 24 hours between government forces and rebels killed five of its soldiers despite a nominal truce that has halted fighting along much of the frontline but failed to stop bombardments at key flashpoints. The European Union on Monday agreed to blacklist more Kremlin-backed rebels in Ukraine but stopped short of fresh sanctions against Moscow, saying there was hope of restarting dialogue with Moscow to end the worst standoff since the Cold War.New European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said foreign ...

South Korea names ex-admiral to head new 'safety' ministry SEOUL: South Korea on Tuesday named a former navy admiral to head a new public safety ministry created in response to the Sewol ferry tragedy in April that claimed more than 300 lives. The Ministry of Public Safety and Security, to be officially launched on Wednesday, will oversee the response to all future land and sea disasters.A major ministry with more than 10,000 staff, it will take over responsibilities previously shared by a number of ...

Philippines slammed for 'breach' of Ebola quarantine MANILA: The Philippines' top health and military officials were under fire Tuesday for visiting Filipino UN troops undergoing quarantine after serving in Ebola-ravaged Liberia.More than 100 soldiers and police were confined for 21 days on an island at the mouth of Manila Bay last week, part of measures meant to ensure the Asian country remained free from the deadly Ebola virus.However, armed forces chief General Gregorio Catapang and acting health secretary Janette Garin then apparently ...

Greek ship sailor does not have Ebola: ministry ATHENS: A crew member on a Greek ship coming from Guinea who was thought to be showing symptoms of Ebola does not have the deadly disease, the Greek health ministry said on Tuesday.A Filipino crew member on the Magda P. cargo ship on its way from Guinea to Ukraine had had a high fever for several days, sparking concern that he may have contracted the deadly virus that has killed more than 5,100 people in ...

South Korea hopes to store low radioactive waste next year SEOUL: South Korea hopes to win sufficient community support to open a long-delayed storage facility for low and medium level radioactive waste early next year, the head of the country's nuclear safety body said on Tuesday. The facility in the southeastern city of Gyeongju to store contaminated clothing and tools has been delayed for years, and the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission postponed a start-up earlier this month due to the concerns of residents. "As ...

Australian exports to China still face hurdles after hyped trade deal SYDNEY: A trade deal signed with great fanfare between China and Australia has been touted as a major step towards Australia shifting its economy from a "mining boom" to a "dining boom," but the reality is likely to be more sobering. Australia is looking to replace its reliance on exports of minerals such as coal and iron ore as mining investment wanes and demand begins to dwindle. The government would prefer to expand its food ...

Iraqi security forces enter Baiji refinery BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces entered the country's largest refinery for the first time on Tuesday after months of battling Islamic State militants who had surrounded it, a police colonel and state television reported. "The first Iraqi force, the anti-terrorism force called Mosul Battalion, entered Baiji refinery for the first time in five months," police colonel Saleh Jaber, of the Baiji refinery protection force, told Reuters. State television flashed news of the advance but did not ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln