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Japan TOKYO: A Japanese government-backed fund will spearhead a plan to merge the lithium-ion battery businesses of Sony and other major firms in a bid to safeguard cutting-edge technology, a report said Friday.   The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) has started work on the integration of Japanese ventures, with the consumer electronics giant at the core of its plan, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing unnamed sources.   Under the plan, the most likely merger partner for Sony Energy Devices is a joint venture established by Nissan and NEC, called Automotive Energy Supply, the paper said.   The move is aimed at safeguarding the technological edge Japanese firms have developed in the face of increasingly intense competition from South Korean firms, it said.   Lithium-ion batteries are used in various products, ranging from electronic gadgets such as laptop computers and mobile phones to electric cars.   Much larger and more powerful lithium-ion batteries are at the centre of a probe ...

IMF calls on Britain to ease austerity drive LONDON: The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, urged Britain on Thursday to lessen the pace of its austerity programme because of the risk it may fall back into recession this year.   Speaking on BBC radio, Blanchard said Britain's annual budget statement due in March would be a good time for finance minister George Osborne to "take stock" of his programme of deep spending cuts and tax hikes.   He offered his advice the day before fresh data is ...
Argentina BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's industrial production fell in 2012 for the first time in a decade due to shrinking automobile output and weak domestic and external demand.   Factory output shed 1.2 percent in 2012 from a year earlier , the government said on Thursday. This marked the first decline since 2002, when Latin America's No. 3 economy was in deep crisis.   An economic boom since 2003 ended abruptly last year because of sluggish global conditions, high inflation, a ...
Tesco seeks clarity on India retail policy NEW DELHI: The chairman of Tesco PLC met India's Trade Minister Anand Sharma, seeking clarifications on the country's decision to open its supermarket sector to foreign investors, the Indian government said in a statement on Thursday.   India threw its doors open to foreign supermarket chains last year in the teeth of fierce domestic opposition, but attached strict conditions, including on sourcing, in the policy.   In a meeting in Davos, Sharma told Tesco Chairman Richard Broadbent that foreign ...
UK Elgin gas field to restart within days or weeks: Total CEO DAVOS: Total said on Thursday it will restart its Elgin gas field in the UK North Sea within days or weeks, but it still requires the go-ahead from Britain's health and safety regulator.   The field was shut down in March last year following a gas leak that lasted over seven weeks and was caused by gas flowing into a well that had been capped earlier.   Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie said at the World Economic Forum ...
Spain unemployment rate shoots over 26pc MADRID: Spain's unemployment rate surged to 26.02 percent in the final quarter of 2012, the highest level in the nation's modern history, official data showed Thursday.   The jobless rate was up from 25.02 percent in the previous quarter. The number of unemployed climbed by 187,300 people to 5.97 million, the National Statistics Institute said.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
Sweden PM says won DAVOS: Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said on Thursday he would not complain that Sweden now had a stronger currency.   His comment, in a Reuters Insider television interview for the Davos Today programme, contradicted Finance Minister Anders Borg, who said last week he would like the crown to weaken to help exports.   Reinfeldt said that in his 20 years in politics, people had always complained about having a weak currency that eroded workers' purchasing power.   "Now when we ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,810.06 0.51
Arrow Nasdaq 4,712.97 0.24
Arrow S&P 2,063.50 0.52
Arrow FTSE 6,750.76 1.08
Arrow DAX 9,732.55 2.62
Arrow CAC-40 4,347.23 2.67
Arrow Nikkei 17,357.51 0.33
Arrow H.Seng 23,437.12 0.37
Arrow Sensex 28,334.63 0.95

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