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UK's Osborne seeks sweet spot between budget pain and electoral gain LONDON: British finance minister George Osborne will try next week to convince voters only he can be trusted to run the economy, delivering an uncompromising fiscal plan in a budget update six months before national elections.Osborne will focus his Autumn Statement on Britain's return to growth, while sketching out enough sense of economic danger to dissuade the electorate from supporting his rivals.Backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Osborne has staked the Conservative party's chances of winning the 2015 ballot on a gamble that voters will accept years more of spending cuts and reject the less severe fiscal consolidation offered by rivals.After a sharp slump triggered by the 2007/08 financial crisis and extended stagnation, Britain's $2.8 trillion economy is growing faster than any other major industrialised country and last year passed its pre-crisis peak.But despite five years of austerity in which the budget deficit has roughly halved, weaker than predicted growth ...

EU's Juncker faces confidence vote STRASBOURG: The European Parliament holds a confidence vote Thursday on Jean-Claude Juncker and his entire Commission over the "Luxleaks" tax scandal, in a symbolic but still damaging move less than a month into his five-year mandate.Juncker and his team of 27 commissioners, who took office on November 1, are virtually certain to survive the vote as major political groups have opposed the censure motion, filed last week by eurosceptic groups.The motion focuses on revelations from ...
Scotland to receive greater control over tax powers: reports LONDON: Scotland is set to gain the biggest transfer of power since its devolved parliament was set up when an influential commission recommends on Thursday that the country should have large new powers over income tax, media reports said.Scottish voters rejected independence from Britain in a referendum in September, swayed in part by promises by British politicians of a greater say in managing their own affairs, including more powers to set their own tax rates.Media ...
Hollande embarks on trip to Ebola-hit Guinea PARIS: French President Francois Hollande on Friday begins a visit to Guinea, making him the first Western leader to travel to a country hit hard by the deadly Ebola virus.Guinea has already lost 1,200 people to the disease which has killed over 5,600 in total and infected almost 16,000, mainly in west Africa, according to World Health Organization figures.The visit, the first by a French president since 1999, is a bid to deliver "a message ...
Spanish PM to announce new law after graft scandal MADRID: Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will on Thursday present a new law aimed at tightening political party accounting rules, the day after his health minister resigned amid a massive corruption scandal.Health minister Ana Mato stepped down on Wednesday after being linked to the scandal involving an alleged kickback scheme at the heart of the prime minister's conservative Popular Party.Her departure was accepted by Rajoy whose government has been embarrassed by the court investigation into ...
Crete to take some 700 migrants from stricken ship IERAPETRA: The Greek island of Crete was preparing on Wednesday to take in some 700 migrants aboard a freighter immobilised by engine failure, local officials said.The Kiribati-flagged ferry Baris was being towed by a Greek navy frigate to the Cretan port of Ierapetra, and was expected to arrive on Thursday, the Greek coastguard said."The freighter is expected to arrive early on Thursday owing to poor weather conditions," a coastguard spokesman told AFP.The town authorities are ...
EU takes France to task over protest death dam BRUSSELS: The European Commission launched legal action against France on Wednesday over a controversial dam project that saw a young protestor killed by a police grenade last month.The Commission, the EU's executive arm, said the dam risked violating European water management rules and comes as the French government, hit by controversy, has cooled on the 8.4-billion-euro ($10.5 billion) project.The EU said it was preparing to inform Paris of "a suspected violation of the water directive ...


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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