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Philippines seeks speedy UN ruling on China sea dispute MANILA: The Philippines said Thursday it would ask a UN tribunal to expedite its appeal to declare China's expansive claims to the South China Sea invalid, as tensions over the contested waters worsen.A formal request will be filed seeking a resolution on the case within the year or early 2015, foreign department spokesman Charles Jose said."We are consulting our legal team to present a request to the tribunal if it can hasten its process earlier, rather than later," Jose told AFP.He declined to say when the request would be formally transmitted, however.Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario separately said a speedier ruling was necessary "because the situation is getting worse by the day in the South China Sea".China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters near the shores of its neighbours, which has led to escalating territorial disputes."The only mechanism that's out there right now ... is arbitration," del ...

Satisfied Australia marks six months with no boatpeople SYDNEY: Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Thursday he was "very satisfied" as Australia marked six months since the last asylum-seeker boat arrival, but warned it was not yet "mission accomplished".Abbott's conservative government came into power in September vowing to stop the flood of asylum-seekers arriving on rickety boats from its Southeast Asian neighbours, with hundreds of people dying en route.Under its offshore detention policy, asylum-seeker vessels are now controversially turned back to Indonesia and would-be ...
Former Chinese banking executive stands trial for bribery SHANGHAI: A former executive with one of China's big four state banks went on trial Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes totalling $4.9 million, the latest target of a high-profile crackdown on corruption.Yang Kun, former vice-president of the Agricultural Bank of China, appeared at the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern city of Nanjing, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said in a statement.Yang sought benefits for others by taking advantage of his position with the bank and ...
Iran will do everything to protect Iraq shrines TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday Iran would do whatever it takes to protect revered shrines in Iraq against militants fighting the Baghdad government."Dear Karbala, Dear Najaf, Dear Kadhimiyah and Dear Samarra, we warn the great powers and their lackeys and the terrorists, the great Iranian people will do everything to protect them," he said of the shrines in a speech in Khoram-abad, near the Iraq border.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
66 missing after boat sinks off Malaysia KUALA LUMPUR: Sixty-six people were missing on Wednesday after an apparently-overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants sank in rough waters off Malaysia's west coast, authorities said."A wooden boat with 97 Indonesians has sank off Port Klang near Banting," Mohamad Zuhri, spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), told AFP, adding that 31 had been rescued after the overnight disaster."The Indonesians were trying to enter Malaysia illegally by crossing the Malacca Straits," he said, referring ...
China to launch final CO2 exchange, national scheme uncertain BEIJING: China launches its seventh and final pilot carbon market in the sprawling city of Chongqing on Thursday, but plans to set up a national trading scheme within three years remain shrouded in uncertainty in the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases. China has pledged that by 2020 it will reduce its carbon intensity - the amount of CO2 produced per unit of economic growth - by 40-45 percent from 2005 levels. It has also ...
South Korea's Park faces fresh climbdown over PM nominee SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye was facing a second embarrassing failure in her efforts to appoint a new prime minister, as calls grew Wednesday for her latest nominee to withdraw.A political novice, former journalist Moon Chang-Keuk was a surprise choice from the start, and his nomination has now become a political battleground because of past comments he made related to the period of Japanese colonial rule.Park has had problems with a number of her ...

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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