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Greek minister to meet Obama, IMF officials in Washington ATHENS: Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will meet US President Barack Obama, the head of the European Central Bank and officials from the International Monetary Fund during a US visit later this week, his ministry said Tuesday.The two-day visit comes as the Greek government remains locked in tense negotiations with its EU and IMF creditors on a list of reforms it must carry out to unblock 7.2 billion euros ($7.7 billion) of bailout loans.Obama and Varoufakis will meet privately on Thursday afternoon, as part of a White House commemoration of Greece's 19th century independence struggle.Greek minister may also cross paths with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble. The two men, who fundamentally disagree on how to revive Greece's shattered economy, have been invited to speak separately on Europe at the prestigious Brookings Institution think tank Thursday morning.On Friday, the first day of World Bank and IMF Spring meetings, the radical left-wing ...

Renzi hails Milan design fair as symbol of recovery, not just for ‘hipsters’ MILAN: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi kicked off a showpiece Milan trade fair promoting modern Italian design on Tuesday, hailing it as a symbol of potential economic recovery in a country battered and discouraged by years of recession. "We are not just talking about stuff for hipsters here, we are talking about a piece of the Italian economy today and even more importantly tomorrow," Renzi said on the first day of Milan's week-long international design fair. ...
EU slams Kosovo justice mission's handling of corruption charges BRUSSELS: The EU published a report Tuesday saying its justice mission in Kosovo poorly handled allegations of corruption by opening a belated internal probe that only fuelled suspicions of a cover-up.The report was made by Frenchman Jean Paul Jacque who spent several months examining how the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) managed allegations that some top EULEX officials accepted bribes to drop high-profile cases against local criminals.The controversy was given widespread coverage in the ...
Merkel urges unified approach to Iran sanction removal BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged countries which imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme to keep a unified approach to removing them, following Russia's decision to prepare to deliver missile systems to the Islamic Republic.Welcoming this month's agreement with world powers including Russia to curb Iran's nuclear programme, Merkel said in response to a question about Moscow's move: "I urge people to lift those sanctions together, as far as possible."The chancellor, ...
Britain's Cameron pledges to extend Thatcher policy LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron is to pledge to extend the "right-to-buy" housing policy of 1980s predecessor Margaret Thatcher on Tuesday in a bid to seize victory in a close-fought election race.The policy allows social housing tenants to buy their homes from local authorities at a deep discount, and Cameron will say it shows his Conservatives are "the party of working people" at the Tuesday manifesto launch.Cameron is keen to take momentum from the ...
Russia lifts ban on supplying S-300 missiles to Iran MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defence missile systems after Tehran struck a landmark framework deal with the West over its nuclear programme.While Iran welcomed the development, it sparked strong condemnation from Israel and triggered concern in Washington.A decree signed by Putin gave the go-ahead for "the shipment from Russia to Iran", ending Moscow's self-imposed ban on supplying the surface-to-air missiles to the Islamic republic.The ...
Pirates 'abduct three Nigerians' from oil industry supply boat PARIS: Pirates have kidnapped three Nigerians in an attack on an oil industry supply vessel off Nigeria, the French company operating the boat said.The attack on the crew boat took place on April 8, "off the Nigerian coast", Bourbon said on its website."The 3 crew members of Nigerian nationality have been kidnapped," the company said, adding an emergency unit based in Nigeria was immediately activated.The Gulf of Guinea off west Africa has seen numerous attacks ...


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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
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln