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Russia steps in as job losses, closures ravage east Ukraine DONETSK: The year-long conflict in east Ukraine has closed businesses across this industrial heartland, ramping up unemployment, crippling finances and leaving it ever more reliant on Moscow. Fierce fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels has ravaged a region that once provided 25 percent of the nation's exports and has shorn Kiev of a vital source of foreign currency, seeing the Ukrainian economy contract sharply. For people in rebel-held territory, the destruction of infrastructure and a cut-off of government support along with the legal limbo created by the separatist takeover have left once-flourishing cities in dire straits. In total, medium and large businesses employed close to 350,000 people in Donetsk in the first half of 2014, according to the city's mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, who fled to Kiev after rebels took the city almost a year ago."Half of them have now lost their jobs, and main source of income," he told ...

EU introduces labels on origin of meat other than beef BRUSSELS: The EU will on Wednesday introduce labels showing the origins of pre-packed meat other than beef, but critics had sought even tougher rules in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.The new rules for fresh, chilled and frozen meat from sheep, goats, pigs and poultry require listing for EU consumers the countries where the animals were raised and slaughtered, said the European Commission, the executive of the 28-nation bloc.These rules, which also apply to meat ...
Merkel says deal on Iran would be ‘good sign’ but not there yet BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday it would be a positive message if negotiators in Switzerland reach a deal with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme but made clear that there had been no breakthrough in talks."An agreement would be a good sign," Merkel told a news conference with French President Francois Hollande, saying it was vital that any agreement ensured Iran would not have access to nuclear weapons for a prolonged period ...
Germany's Merkel says no time to lose on Greece BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Greece needed to stick to its commitments and though there was some leeway for the new government to make some changes, it needed to fulfill the general framework of what had been agreed."I said recently that time is of the essence -- that means there is no time to lose so I think we need to continue working," she said at a joint news conference with ...
France's Hollande to press ahead with reforms despite poll losses BERLIN: French President Francois Hollande pledged on Tuesday to press ahead with his reform drive after his ruling Socialist Party suffered heavy losses in weekend local elections.The party and its left-wing allies lost 26 of the 61 French departments (counties) they had previously ruled to former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his conservative allies.The Socialists have seen their support crumble as Hollande and his government have failed to live up to promises to cut unemployment while ...
Greek debt deal 'possible' but not before Easter: EU president MADRID: A new Greek bailout deal is possible before an end-April deadline but it will not come before Easter, EU president Donald Tusk said Tuesday.Experts from the IMF and the EU are scrutinising a list of economic reforms proposed by Athens in a bid to unlock another 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in loans to stave off possible bankruptcy and a euro exit.Greece says the reforms would help raise an extra three billion euros for ...
Russia's Lavrov to rejoin Iran talks, sees chance of success MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he would rejoin talks on Iran's nuclear programme in Lausanne later on Tuesday and said there was a good chance of success."The chances are high. They are probably not 100 percent but you can never be 100 percent certain of anything. The odds are quite 'doable' if none of the parties raise the stakes at the last minute," Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow.Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...


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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