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Romania PM says will stick to deficit target despite EC forecast BUCHAREST: Romania's prime minister rejected on Thursday a European Commission forecast that the country's fiscal deficit would swell to 3.5 percent of economic output next year, saying his government would meet its targets. Victor Ponta has rolled out proposals for sweeping tax cuts between June and 2019, including a sharp reduction in value added tax for food products, in an effort to fight tax evasion and spur economic growth and private consumption. But the proposals have been questioned by Romania's fiscal watchdog as well as the International Monetary Fund and the Commission, which have warned the government not to endanger recent years of deficit cuts. "That was a wrong prediction because it was based on uneconomic calculations," Ponta told foreign media. "I am sure that as we have respected all targets until now, we will respect it next year." Romania recorded a deficit of 1.5 percent of GDP last year, ...

Britain votes in suspense-filled general election LONDON: Britons voted on Thursday in a knife-edge general election that could put their country's membership of the European Union in question and raise the likelihood of independence for Scotland.Voters were casting ballots in a choice between a government led by Prime Minister David Cameron's centre-right Conservatives or by Ed Miliband's centre-left Labour in the closest vote in decades.Capturing the tense mood, The Times carried a front page with the words "Judgement Day" emblazoned over ...
Cameron faces voters after lacklustre campaign LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron appears to face two thankless alternatives after Thursday's general election -- losing his job aged 48, or leading a fractious government until he steps down.Cameron's Conservatives have been virtually tied in opinion polls with Labour for months, confounding the party's expectations of a late boost in numbers.Defeat would be a rare failure for a man whose privileged background has led to accusations from critics that he cannot identify with ...
Underdog Miliband confident as Britain votes LONDON: Written off as a political insider lacking charisma, the leader of the centre-left Labour party Ed Miliband has confounded expectations to put up a tough fight to become Britain's next prime minister.His party has consistently appeared deadlocked in polls against the main competition: the centre-right Conservative party of Prime Minister David Cameron, long seen as the slicker political operator.Miliband's awkwardness was summed up in a photograph of him unattractively eating a bacon sandwich -- ...
Britons prepare to vote in election cliffhanger LONDON: Britons head to the polls on Thursday for their most unpredictable election in living memory, with fears of weeks of brinksmanship as the two major parties struggle to cobble together workable coalitions.With no party expected to win a majority and several smaller blocs on the rise, the election could also mark a shift to a type of fragmented politics that is more familiar in other parts of Europe.Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the leader ...
Merkel says her coalition ‘working very well’ despite spying row BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to reassure Germans on Tuesday that the government was working smoothly despite a spat between her conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners over the activities of the BND intelligence agency.The political bickering erupted following allegations that the BND helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European companies and officials, putting strain on Merkel's right-left coalition, which has run Europe's largest economy relatively harmoniously for the ...
UK Conservatives and Labour level-pegging as election looms LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives were level with the opposition Labour Party according to a Populus poll published on Tuesday, with less than 48 hours before voters cast their ballots in the closest election in a generation. Both the Conservatives and centre-left Labour were up one point on 34 percent each compared to a previous survey by the same pollster released on May 1. Voters in the world's fifth largest economy head to ...


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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
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln