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South Korea president criticises 'Pyongyang Time' SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Monday criticised the North's "regrettable" decision to turn back its clocks to a new time zone, saying it would deepen divisions between the two rivals.North Korea announced Friday that it was changing its standard time to GMT+8:30, 30 minutes behind South Korea.Pyongyang offered a nationalist rationale for the move, saying it would return the North to an original time zone used before Japan imposed Tokyo standard time during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.The new system is to take effect on August 15 this year -- the 70th anniversary of the peninsula's liberation from Japanese rule."It is highly regrettable that the North unilaterally changed its time zone with no consultation with us," Park said during a meeting with senior aides.Noting that Pyongyang's move had triggered international criticism, Park said it also threatened a "further deepening of disparity between the two Koreas."Inter-Korean ...

Lowly Beijing official embezzled $130mn BEIJING: Anti-graft authorities have busted a low-level Beijing official for allegedly embezzling more than $130 million, state media reported -- one of the largest amounts revealed in the corruption crackdown under President Xi Jinping. Zhang Peishan, a former low-ranking agricultural services official in a Beijing suburb, misappropriated 821 million yuan ($132.2 million) from 2008 to 2014, according to a report by the official Xinhua news agency.The funds were used for financial investments, it added at ...
France steps up Reunion island search for MH370 wreckage KUALA LUMPUR: France said it would launch new air, land and sea searches from Reunion on Friday in hopes of finding more wreckage from MH370, after Malaysia said a wing part found on the island came from the ill-fated flight.The find is the first physical clue to solving one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, 17 months after the aircraft inexplicably veered off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.A military plane will ...
Australian PM calls for end to 'sabotage' of mining projects SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned against the use of courts to "sabotage" developments, after approval for a massive India-backed coal mine was revoked on a legal challenge.The Federal Court this week set aside approval for Adani's Aus$16.5 billion (US$12.2 billion) Carmichael coal mine in Queensland state, a project which critics argue risks impacting the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef."If a vital national project can be endlessly delayed, if the courts can be ...
South Korea's Park offers North 'opportunity' with rail link SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye offered North Korea a "door of opportunity" as she flagged off restoration work Wednesday on a railway line that could one day link both Koreas with Europe via the Trans-Siberian.The work will focus on the South's section of a disconnected inter-Korean railroad that once linked central Seoul with the North Korean eastern city of Wonsan.South Korea hopes to reconnect the line and link it to Russia's Trans-Siberian Railway, an ...
Kerry leans on Kennedy family heirloom after leg break KUALA LUMPUR: US Secretary of State John Kerry has got a helping hand from the Kennedy family since breaking his leg in a low-speed bike accident in May.The 71-year-old, who is attending a regional security summit in Kuala Lumpur, has been getting around with the help of a polished black walking stick used by two generations of the Kennedy dynasty."This cane has a history," Kerry told delegates at a meeting held on the sidelines of ...
Former South Korea first lady begins rare trip to North SEOUL: The widow of late South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung arrived in North Korea on Wednesday, hoping the rare trip would help ease the perennial tensions that have stymied efforts at cross-border cooperation. The August 5-8 visit by Lee Hee-Ho is ostensibly humanitarian in nature but there has been much speculation about a possible meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who personally approved the trip."I hope that this will offer a window for more ...

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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