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Global Business & Economy

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IMF approves 550-million euro loan for Bosnia SARAJEVO: The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it had approved a new loan to Bosnia worth 550 million euros ($613 million) to help it carry out economic reforms sought by the European Union.The reforms are intended to improve the business climate in the Balkan country, resume the privatisation and restructuring of public enterprises, and slow down a rise in public debt.The IMF said in a statement that its mission in Sarajevo had reached an agreement with Bosnian authorities on an economic programme to be supported by a 36-month loan.The loan has yet to be approved by the IMF Executive Board, with the green light not expected until July."The economy is showing firmer signs of recovery. Growth is expected to reach 3.0 percent this year... but vulnerabilities remain," the IMF said.EU membership is a major political objective for Bosnia, and under pressure from Brussels it launched economic reforms last year, notably ...

World - Global Business & Economy

IMF and Bosnia agree new 550 million euro 3-year loan deal SARAJEVO: The International Monetary Fund and Bosnia reached a long-awaited agreement on Tuesday on a new, 3-year 550 million euro ($613 million) loan arrangement with a 4-year grace period, an IMF official said.The IMF sees Bosnia's economic growth this year at about 3 percent, Nadeem Ilahi, the head of an IMF mission, said on completion of its two-week visit to Bosnia.Bosnia has sought to clinch a deal with the fund since a previous, 33-month programme ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US new home sales take off in April WASHINGTON: Sales of new homes in the United States surged in April to their best level since January 2008 despite tight supplies and rising prices, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.As the Spring home shopping season opened, pent-up demand, rising household incomes and ultra-low mortgage rates supported the buying.New home sales jumped to an annual pace of 619,000 units, 23.8 percent over the April 2015 figure and well up from the 531,000 unit annual pace of ...

World - Global Business & Economy

IMF urges France to deepen contested job reforms PARIS: France's economy is recovering too slowly to attack high unemployment, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday, urging the country to go beyond its already hotly contested job market reforms.French President Francois Hollande's labour reforms, which would make it cheaper to hire and fire employees, are a "necessary step" to bring down the country's near 10-percent unemployment rate, said the IMF's annual review of the economy.The job market reforms have angered French unions, which are ...

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Irish unemployment rate falls below 8 percent DUBLIN: Ireland's unemployment rate fell below 8 percent in April for the first time since its financial crisis, revised statistics showed on Tuesday.The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in April, a revision from an earlier estimate of 8.4 percent, the central statistics office said following the publication of detailed data for the first three months of 2016.Employment has increased strongly since the jobless rate hit a high of 15.1 percent in early 2012 when Ireland ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Brexit fears spook German investors in May: ZEW institute FRANKFURT: Investor confidence in Germany fell unexpectedly in May as uncertainty over a possible exit by Britain from the European Union overshadows better-than-expected economic data, a leading survey showed on Tuesday.The investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute decreased by 4.8 points to 6.4 points in May, the think tank said in a statement.Analysts had projected a slight increase in the index this month to around 12 points. "The strong growth of the ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Swedish unemployment lowest in nearly 8 years STOCKHOLM: Swedish adjusted unemployment fell to its lowest level since 2008 in April, reinforcing the picture of a strong economy ahead of next week's growth figures as well as the central bank's view that inflation will continue to rise.Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 6.7 percent, the lowest figure since October 2008, and down from 7.2 percent in March."The strong growth and improved labour market support our view that the Riksbank is done easing, although the bank's ...