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Hong Kong protest march seeks unity as lower turnout expected HONG KONG: Thousands are set to gather for a pro-democracy march on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China Wednesday, but organisers said turnout at the annual event would be down as momentum wanes after nearly a year of rallies.Last year's march saw huge numbers as discontent surged over restrictions by Beijing on how Hong Kong chooses its next leader, with organisers saying a record 510,000 attended.But after more than two months of street rallies at the end of last year and further protests in the lead-up to the vote on the controversial election reform package last month, fewer people are likely to turn out Wednesday as campaigners work out their next step.The government's plan to allow the public to vote for the city's chief executive for the first time in 2017 was derided as "fake democracy" by the opposition as it stuck to Beijing's ruling that candidates must ...

China passes national security law BEIJING: China passed a wide-ranging new national security law Wednesday, expanding its legal reach over the Internet and even outer space as concerns grow about ever-tighter limits on rights.The rubber-stamp National People's Congress standing committee passed the legislation by 154 votes to nil with one abstention, officials said at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.Since President Xi Jinping came to power, the ruling Communist Party has overseen a wide-ranging crackdown on activists, while ...
China new home prices rise in June: survey BEIJING: China's new home prices increased in June for the second straight month, a survey showed Tuesday, as official stimulus policies helped boost the market. The average price of a new home in China's 100 major cities rose 0.56 percent month-on-month to 10,628 yuan ($1,714) per square metre, the China Index Academy (CIA) said in a report.The result comes on the heels of a 0.5 percent gain in May, the first increase in four months. ...
Indonesian military plane crashes in city of Medan JAKARTA: An Indonesian military transport plane crashed Tuesday shortly after take-off in a city on Sumatra island, exploding in a ball of flames and damaging nearby buildings.There was no immediate information on the number of people on board or any casualties on the ground after the Hercules plane went down in the city of Medan. Dramatic pictures on social media showed large crowds and emergency services gathering around the flaming wreckage, with the fuselage of ...
Hong Kong student leader Wong in 'chilling' assault HONG KONG: Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong, the teenage face of the city's pro-democracy protests, was assaulted in the street with his girlfriend in an attack he said Monday sent a "chill to my heart".The motivation for the assault is not known but previous high-profile attacks against prominent media figures have raised concerns that tensions from Hong Kong's deep political divisions could turn violent. Wong, 18, was leaving a cinema near Mong Kok -- ...
Nepal PM appeals for quake aid, vows funds will reach victims KATHMANDU: Nepal's prime minister pledged Thursday to ensure that all aid would reach quake victims, seeking to allay fears over corruption and red tape as he appealed for funds at a meeting of international donors in Kathmandu.Nepal says it needs around $6.7 billion to recover from the April disaster, which killed more than 8,800 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and left thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter.But some international donors ...
Japan police raid Toyota HQ over US exec drug charges TOKYO: Japanese police said Wednesday they had raided Toyota's headquarters in the hunt for evidence, after arresting its most senior female executive for suspected drug law violations.The announcement came as reports said American Julie Hamp, 55, told prosecutors she had the powerful painkiller shipped from the United States to ease problems with her knees.A police spokesman told AFP "it's true that we raided" Toyota's headquarters in Toyota city in central Japan, its main Tokyo offices ...

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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 $-1.894 bln
Exports $1.953 bln
Imports $3.847 bln
WeeklyJune 25, 2015
Reserves $17.457 bln