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Germany's ratings likely unaffected by vote outcome FRANKFURT: Rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's (SP) said Monday the sovereign debt ratings of Germany and the eurozone are likely to remain unaffected by the outcome of the German election.Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative CDU/CSU parties won the biggest share of the votes at the weekend elections and are now widely expected to ask Social Democrat rivals to form a coalition.And analysts believe such a power-sharing arrangement will not result in any major shifts in policy, either at home or abroad."Any German coalition agreement on fiscal policy is likely to be set with reference to existing targets, limiting the scope for any significant shift to deficit-financed expenditure," Fitch Ratings said in a statement. In the run up to the election, the CDU/CSU and the opposition SPD had differed in some details on tax and spending policy, but both remained bound by constitutional debt limits and committed to ...

ECB ready to use another long-term loan if needed: Draghi FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank is prepared to make fresh liquidity available to banks if developments in money markets warranted such a move, ECB chief Mario Draghi said Monday.The ECB was "ready to use any instrument including another LTRO if needed to maintain the short term money markets at the level that is warranted by our assessment of inflation in the medium term," Draghi told a hearing by the European Parliament's committee for economic and ...
Eurozone economy 'gathers pace', but doubts remain BRUSSELS: Eurozone business activity continued to pick up in September to hit a 27-month high, a closely watched survey showed Monday, but doubts remained over whether the recovery was sustainable.The Composite Purchasing Managers' Index compiled by Markit Economics jumped to 52.1 points for September from 51.5 in August, pushing further beyond the 50-points boom-or-bust line.The rise confirms a recovery for the embattled single currency bloc, which finally exited 18 months of recession in the second ...
Eurozone business activity 'gathers pace' in September: survey BRUSSELS: Eurozone business activity continued to pick up in September, hitting a 27-month high as the economy climbed out of a record recession, a closely watched survey showed Monday.The Composite Purchasing Managers' Index compiled by Markit Economics jumped to 52.1 points for September from 51.5 in August, pushing further beyond the 50-points boom-or-bust line.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
Rail links Russia and sanctions-squeezed North Korea SEOUL: Russia and North Korea have reopened a rail link that Pyongyang hopes will offer a trading boost to the isolated, sanctions-squeezed state.The 54-kilometre (33-mile) track from the Russian border town of Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin was opened for service at a special ceremony on Sunday, the North's official KCNA news agency reported.Rajin is the centrepiece of the Rason Special Economic Zone established by North Korea in 1991 in an apparent ...
Recession-hit Italians return to vineyards for harvest ZENEVREDO: Hard-up Italians have increasingly taken the place of immigrant seasonal labourers in the vineyards this harvest season -- and a new pilot project plans to increase the number even further.In Oltrepo-Pavese, a wine region in northern Italy, the farmers' union Coldiretti has launched an initiative called the "Harvest of Solidarity".The plan is to match up supply and demand for vineyard workers in the surrounding area and to create a base of local seasonal labourers ...
Thai parliament passes $64bn infrastructure borrowing bill BANGKOK: Thailand's parliament has approved a bill to borrow 2 trillion baht, or $64 billion, to finance seven-year infrastructure projects aimed at sustaining economic growth and boosting investment at a time of weak exports.The government has said the funding for the projects, including high-speed railways and mass-transit systems - proposed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and approved late on Friday - will be completed by 2020, with repayments spread over 50 years."This is necessary for ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln