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Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

In Venezuela, no toilet paper and now lousy phone service CARACAS: Things in Venezuela keep finding ways to get worse. Because of acute shortages, people can't find basics like toilet paper. Now, it will be harder to make overseas calls or watch pay TV.The problem is this: the global drop in oil prices has made dollars much more scarce in Venezuela -- which is dependent almost totally on petroleum for hard currency. So local telecoms companies don't have greenbacks to pay international suppliers.President Nicolas Maduro's leftist government controls the currency market, and distributes dollars to private companies as it sees fit.The government owes local companies around 700 million dollars, which these firms need to honor obligations with foreign providers, according to the Chamber of Telecommunications Services Companies.So as a result, for instance, the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica will temporarily suspend this week long distance phone service for calls to countries such as the United States, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Colombia ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Canada's Mitel buys Polycom for nearly $2 bn OTTAWA: Canadian telecommunications and cloud computing host Mitel is buying US videoconferencing giant Polycom for nearly US$2 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced Friday.Polycom stockholders will receive US$3.12 in cash and 1.31 Mitel shares for each Polycom share, according to a statement.The merged company will operate under the Mitel name and be headquartered in Ottawa, but will also maintain the well-established Polycom brand.The deal, which still requires regulatory approval, is expected to close ...

World - Global Business & Economy

G20 embraces crackdown on tax havens, shell companies WASHINGTON: The world's leading economies on Friday embraced a new crackdown on tax havens and the use of shell companies to hide money, as the Panama Papers scandal claimed another victim.A draft communique from the G20 finance ministers meeting in Washington endorsed a plan that would rip away the shield of secrecy for companies and individuals stocking assets offshore behind anonymous companies, a dramatic move that could put a deep dent in tax evasion, money ...

World - Global Business & Economy

IMF agrees in principle to $2.8 bn loan for Tunisia TUNIS: Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund have agreed in principle on a new $2.8-billion (2.5-billion euro) loan, subject to approval by the IMF's executive board, the organisation announced Friday.While Tunisia is hailed as a political success story of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, authorities have failed to redress the economy, especially in the face of security threats.The agreement with the IMF follows months of negotiations on a new aid package to follow up on ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Spain sells off 'ghost airport' MADRID: Spanish judicial authorities revealed Friday that the "ghost airport" of Ciudad Real, a symbol of the country's financial excess in the boom years, had been sold off for 56 million euros ($62 million).Spain's construction and property sectors boomed until the downturn hit seven years ago and one victim was the airport, initially touted as an alternative international airport to Madrid's Barajas.Located around 240km (150 miles) south of the capital, however, the idea never took ...

World - Global Business & Economy

G20 embraces crackdown on tax havens, warns over 'Brexit' WASHINGTON: The world's leading economies took a step Friday toward denying tax evaders and money launderers around the world the ability to hide behind anonymous shell companies.Acting in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, finance chiefs of the Group of 20 powers meeting in Washington supported proposals requiring authorities to share the identities of the real owners of shell companies.They also backed creating a blacklist of international tax havens which do not cooperate with ...

World - Global Business & Economy

India to pay $8.8 bn for Rafale fighter jets: reports NEW DELHI: India has agreed to pay $8.8 billion to France's Dassault for 36 fighter jets, reports said Friday, as sources from both countries hinted a long-delayed deal to purchase the aircraft was imminent.The purchase of the Rafale jets, first mooted in 2012 and signed off in January, has faced stumbling blocks over the price tag throughout."The negotiations are in the final stages but nothing has been concluded so far," an Indian defence official said. ...