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Fed could slow QE if jobs market improves: minutes WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve could slow the pace of its bond-purchase program this year if the jobs market continues to improve, according to the minutes of the last FOMC meeting released on Wednesday. The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting last month showed policymakers slightly more inclined to reel in massive bond purchases this year amid signs of recovery in the labor market. "Many participants expressed the view that continued solid improvement in the outlook for the labor market could prompt the Committee to slow the pace of purchases beginning at some point over the next several meetings," the minutes said. The March 19-20 meeting came on the heels of the February jobs surge, which added 268,000 nonfarm payrolls. But the March data released last week showed a paltry gain of 88,000 jobs, the slowest growth in nine months and far below expectations. FOMC policymakers debated about the ...

US senators reach deal on gun-sale background checks WASHINGTON: Two US senators have reached a compromise to be announced Wednesday that would expand background checks for gun sales, an official said, in what could result in the most ambitious change to gun laws since 1994.The deal comes four months after the Connecticut elementary school massacre that took the epidemic of gun violence in the United States to an alarming new level. Twenty small kids were slaughtered by young and deranged shooter, as were ...
Development, not vigilantes needed: Mexico president TOKYO: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday there was no place for vigilantes in the battle against drug violence, insisting the kind of development seen in Japan was the answer.Pena Nieto, who took office in December, inherited a drug war that had killed some 70,000 people in six years under his predecessor Felipe Calderon.Fed up with the police's failure to curb crime, armed groups have spread to at least four Mexican states, manning checkpoints, ...
Bill Clinton hails 'iconic' Thatcher NEW YORK: Former US president Bill Clinton on Monday hailed the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher as an "iconic" and ground-breaking leader.Clinton said in a statement he "was saddened" to hear of her death at the age of 87 on Monday."The United Kingdom has lost its first woman Prime Minister, an iconic stateswoman, and a fearless leader. The United States has lost one of its dearest friends and most valued allies," he said.Clinton said ...
Bin Laden son-in-law due in New York court NEW YORK: Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former spokesman was due back in a US federal court in New York Monday, a month after he pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges.Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, reportedly a 47-year-old Kuwaiti and allegedly a senior propagandist in the Al-Qaeda network, is accused of conspiring "to kill nationals of the United States."At the March 8 arraignment, which followed a secret operation to bring Abu Ghaith to US custody, Judge Lewis ...
In mid-term doldrums, Canada's Conservatives hope to reboot OTTAWA: Voter fatigue with Canada's ruling Conservatives and signs of stress within the government are putting Prime Minister Stephen Harper under pressure to freshen up his team and policies as the telegenic son of Pierre Trudeau starts snapping at his heels. Even though the election is 30 months away in October 2015 the next few months will be a critical time for Harper, given mounting evidence in opinion polls that the Conservatives risk losing power ...
FBI interviews ex-CIA chief Petraeus: report WASHINGTON: FBI agents interviewed ex-CIA chief David Petraeus Friday to probe whether secret files had been passed to the woman at the center of the scandal that brought him down, USA Today reported.Petraeus, America's most celebrated military leader in a generation, stepped down in November as head of the spy agency after admitting to an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.The move ended a storied career marked by his tenure as military commander in the ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln