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Colombia's Santos to visit Pope Francis in June: report BOGOTA: President Juan Manuel Santos will meet Pope Francis in mid-June as part of a European tour, Colombia's foreign minister said in comments reported Sunday.After meeting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Santos will "travel to Rome for an audience with the Holy Father, who will welcome him on June 15," Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin told the El Tiempo newspaper.Santos's tour begins with a summit in Belgium and will also take him to Sweden to discuss trade issues and Swedish support for a post-conflict Colombia."We have talked with the Europeans about creating a trust fund for projects" to be implemented after the war, Holguin told the newspaper.Peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been under way since 2012 in Havana, and on Saturday Santos called for accelerated negotiations.Since the Marxist-inspired FARC was founded in 1964, the Colombian conflict has killed some 220,000 ...

Brazil's Rousseff says Finance Minister Levy to stay in job BRASILIA: President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday rejected calls from some lawmakers in her Workers' Party for Finance Minister Joaquim Levy to quit, saying he would remain in the job. The lawmakers disagree with Levy's push for government austerity, which they think will sink Brazil's economy further towards recession. Rousseff said she has full trust in Levy, who is trying to push through the unpopular measures in order to reduce Brazil's fiscal deficit and ward off ...
Two Colombian soldiers killed in ELN rebel clashes BOGOTA: Two Colombian soldiers were killed in clashes with leftist ELN rebels, the country's second largest rebel group, the military said.The army accused guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN) of launching an attack in the northeastern town of Cubara near the Venezuelan border. Officials said the insurgents on Saturday attacked soldiers who were trying to dismantle oil infrastructure that the ELN is building in the area. "During the security and defence operation, our soldiers ...
Brazil's inflation eases to 0.71pc in April, lower than forecast RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's benchmark IPCA consumer price index rose 0.71 percent in April from March, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, the lowest since November and below market expectations of 0.76 percent.In the 12 months through April, consumer prices rose 8.17 percent, the highest rate since December 2003 and well above the government's 4.5 percent inflation target.Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...
Venezuela to unveil economic reforms CARACAS: President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday he will announce economic reform measures this week, as Venezuela grapples with severe inflation, shortages and other woes.The heir to the late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez said he wanted to "win the economic war along the path of socialism".Speaking on his weekly television program, Maduro, a former bus driver, said he would announce the measures Friday.Maduro said he will take part in a May Day march that day, ...
5.8 magnitude earthquake hits southeast Ecuador QUITO: A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck southeast Ecuador Tuesday, sparking panic, though there were no immediate reports in injuries or property damage, officials said. The earthquake occurred at 6:20 am (1120 GMT) in Guayaquil, in Guayas province, at a depth of 71 kilometers (44 miles), Ecuador's Geophysical Institute said.The rumble could be felt in neighboring provinces. Emergency services said no injuries, deaths or damage had been reported, but in a message on social media called ...
Two roads partially blocked in Brazil as truck protest falters SAO PAULO: Truckers in Brazil partially blocked two federal roads at four points in the top soybean growing state of Mato Grosso on Monday, the federal highway police said. The protest has never blocked more than 20 points on federal highways since it started on Thursday. Traffic was stopped at more than 100 points at times during a two-week strike in late February. The drivers have been in talks with the government and freight companies ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln