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Venezuelan leader wraps up 'superpowers' with 28 laws CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wrapped up a year of congressionally granted "superpowers" Wednesday by decreeing 28 new laws that analysts said would do little to salvage the troubled economy.A year ago, the Venezuelan National Assembly, which is controlled by Maduro's United Socialist Party, granted the president the power to govern economic policy by decree for 12 months, ostensibly to fight corruption and the country's sharp economic downturn.Maduro closed out the year by signing a tax increase on luxury goods, alcohol and tobacco, eliminating inflation adjustments on corporate taxes, and tightening controls to prevent businesses from making profits of more than 30 percent.Other measures aim to fight monopolies, expand the state's role in the gold-mining industry and increase foreign investment.Maduro, the political heir to late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez, announced the new laws in a TV broadcast of several hours.But economic analysts said the measures would do little to reverse ...

Brazil carbon emissions rise for first time in decade BRASoLIA: Brazil's carbon dioxide emissions have risen for the first time in a decade, mainly due to increased deforestation, the Climate Observatory said Wednesday.Emissions jumped 7.8 percent in 2013 over 2012 and the country produced 1.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases last year, according to a report from the non-governmental organization. The study said it was a reversal of a decade-long trend of decreased carbon outputs. "The rise in CO2 emissions in 2013 reverses a ...
Thousands protest in Ecuador against president QUITO: Thousands of people marched Wednesday in Ecuador against the leftist government of President Rafael Correa, denouncing a move that would allow him to extend his rule beyond 2017.Union members, students, teachers and indigenous peoples gathered in the capital Quito and other cities for the second march in two months in opposition to the Socialist leader.In office since 2007, Correa was re-elected in February 2013 to a four-year term, the last he is currently allowed ...
White House backs increased Venezuela sanctions WASHINGTON: The White House would support increased sanctions against Venezuela, a US administration official said in a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.Failed efforts from Latin American allies to reform the government of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro have led President Barack Obama to switch his stance on increased sanctions, national security adviser Antony Blinken said while facing questions from lawmakers."We would not oppose moving forward with additional sanctions," Blinken said.Blinken was answering questions during a Senate Committee ...
Fate of peace talks in FARC hands: Colombian president BOGOTA: The fate of peace talks is in the hands of the FARC rebels, the Colombian president warned Monday, after halting the negotiations designed to end Latin America's longest-running conflict. The Marxist guerrillas are under increasing pressure at home and internationally to free a general whose kidnapping prompted President Juan Manuel Santos to stop the talks, throwing the two-year-old negotiations into fresh crisis.The most promising effort yet to end Colombia's 50-year-old conflict, the talks were ...
Typhoon-shattered Philippines slowly on mend DAGAMI: Philippine communities shattered by Super Typhoon Haiyan a year ago are starting to bustle again as a mega-reconstruction effort takes root, but millions of survivors still endure brutal poverty and are dangerously exposed to the next big storm.More than 7,350 people perished as Haiyan tore in off the Pacific Ocean with the strongest winds ever recorded on land and generated tsunami-like storm surges more than two-storeys high.The typhoon, on November 8, smashed into a ...
Brazil lifts key rate to 11.25pc RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's central bank on Wednesday raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 11.25 percent -- the first hike since April -- in the wake of leftist Dilma Rousseff's re-election as president.Analysts had predicted the bank would leave the main Selic rate on hold at 11 percent.But with Brazil fighting inflationary pressures, the rates committee elected to send out a signal given what it termed a "less favorable risk balance ...


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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