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China to cap 2015 local government debt at 16 trillion yuan: Xinhua BEIJING: China's parliament approved on Saturday a cabinet plan to cap total outstanding local government debt at 16 trillion yuan ($2.5 trillion) this year, the official Xinhua news agency reported.China, whose cooling economy has spooked investors worldwide, has long sought to deal with a mountain of local government debt - a legacy of unbridled spending during the global financial crisis. It was estimated by the audit office at 17.9 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion) at the end of June 2013.The debt ratio of local governments will be set at 86 percent, Xinhua said.Outstanding local government debt stood at 15.4 trillion yuan as of the end of 2014, the agency said.Local governments will be allowed to increase their outstanding debt by 600 billion yuan during the rest of this year.The Ministry of Finance has allowed local governments to swap 1 trillion yuan of maturing, high-interest local debt for new municipal bonds to ...

Thai court indicts previously acquitted British activist BANGKOK: A Thai court Monday indicted a British labour rights activist in a case linked to a report he co-authored alleging severe labour abuses in Thailand's food industry, a key supplier to Western supermarkets.Andy Hall, 34, had previously been acquitted by a court last year on a defamation charge pursued by Thailand's Attorney General.But Natural Fruit, the company at the heart of the dispute, has filed a string of its own criminal and civil cases ...
Maldives ex-president Nasheed back in jail COLOMBO: Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has been thrown back in jail a month after his 13-year prison sentence was commuted to house arrest, his party said Monday.The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said police and prison officials clashed with supporters as they removed Nasheed from his home in the capital Male and took him to the high security prison island of Maafushi on Sunday night."Nasheed's transfer back to jail is in clear breach of the ...
Nepal police arrest 30 in protest against new constitution KATHMANDU: Nepalese police arrested 30 demonstrators in the capital on Sunday for trying to enforce a nationwide strike, the latest in a string of protests against the new constitution."We have arrested 30 demonstrators in Kathmandu for trying to block roads, vandalise vehicles and close shops," police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam told AFP. The protesters were from Nepal's federation of indigenous nationalities, which called a nationwide strike against the borders of new provinces proposed in the ...
Japan protests Russian PM's visit to disputed island TOKYO/ITURUP: Japan on Saturday lodged a protest over Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to one of four disputed Pacific islands which have strained ties between the two countries since the end of World War Two.The decades-old argument over the territory, claimed by both states, could set back Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to court resource-rich Russia and keep the door open to dialogue, despite the Ukraine crisis.The islands are known in Russia as ...
Ex-Sri Lanka leader Rajapakse concedes election defeat COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse told AFP that he has conceded defeat in parliamentary elections after a close fought comeback attempt just months after he was toppled as president."My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away," Rajapakse told AFP. "I am conceding. We have lost a good fight."Rajapakse accepted that his United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had lost even before Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya could announce the final results."We have won eight ...
Sri Lanka deploys thousands of police on election eve COLOMBO: Sri Lanka deployed thousands of police Sunday in stepped up security on the eve of a general election after the campaign was hit by sporadic violence that claimed four lives.Police Inspector General N.K. Illangakoon said 63,000 officers were fanning out across the country to guard polling booths and counting centres for Monday's election, while para-military commandos were on alert in case of trouble."We have taken additional measures to ensure that the election is conducted ...


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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