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What Happens Now That Argentina Is in ‘Selective Default’

What Happens Now That Argentina Is in 'Selective Default'

Default is a major disaster for a government, but not much will happen right away now that Standard & Poor’s has declared Argentina to be in “selective default.” S&P (MHFI) took the action today after Argentina’s talks with holdout creditors continued past the end of the 30-day grace period for a $539 million bond payment. Defaults are usually bad for bond prices. But prices for Argentine bonds soared today to their highest level since 2010. They rose 10¢ to reach almost 96¢ on the dollar.

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China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

The leaders of China, Russia and Japan all descended on Latin America in recent weeks, jostling with the United States to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets. The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday was in Trinidad and Tobago, the second stop on a five-country tour that began on Friday in Mexico. China is in the market for Chilean copper and timber, Peruvian gold and zinc, Argentine beef and wheat, Brazilian sugar and soybeans and Venezuelan oil, among other commodities.

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Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit

Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit

“Is now the time to buy water?” enquired the email that showed up in my inbox earlier this week. Its authors weren’t worrying about my dehydration levels. Rather, they were urging me to think of water in quite a new way: as a commodity to invest in. Making money from water? Is this what Wall Street wants next? This summer, however, myriad business forces are combining to remind us that fresh water isn’t necessarily or automatically a free resource. It could all too easily end up becoming just another economic commodity.

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Boeing Reaches Aircraft Parts Deal With Iran

IRAN US AIRCRAFT

Boeing has disclosed an agreement with Iran to provide aircraft parts, relaxing a three-decade freeze in ties as part of a broader package of sanctions relief. US industry analysts say the sale of spare aircraft parts is seen as a diplomatic carrot for Iran, which for decades has relied on parts obtained on the black market or copied locally. Iran agreed in November to curtail nuclear activities for six months from January 20 in exchange for sanctions relief from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

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Norway’s Wealth Fund Mulls Scaling Back $8 Billion Russia Assets

Norway's Wealth Fund Mulls Scaling Back $8 Billion Russia Assets

Norway’s colossal sovereign wealth fund is considering reducing its $7.6 billion portfolio of Russian investments as Russia stares down the barrel of tougher EU sanctions. EU ambassadors met to discuss sanctions drawn up by the European Commission, chief among which were proposals to ban European investors from buying new debt or shares in banks majority-owned by the state. Not being an EU member, Norway has no obligation to comply with EU sanctions, but the country’s sovereign wealth fund is nonetheless reviewing its Russian investments.

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Greece tops eurozone poverty rate

Greece tops eurozone poverty rate

Greece ranks first in the eurozone and fourth among the 28 members of the European Union for the percentage of its citizens living on or below the poverty line, according to a new report. The study, conducted by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), found that just over a third (34.6%) of Greeks – some 3,795,100 individuals – were living on less than 60% of the national median income in 2013.This percentage has risen steadily since 2010, when the country began implementing austerity measures.

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Ethiopia Becomes China’s China in Global Search for Cheap Labor

Ethiopia Becomes China’s China in Global Search for Cheap Labor

Huajian’s 3,500 workers in Ethiopia produced 2 million pairs of shoes last year. Located in one of the country’s first government-supported industrial zones, the factory began operating in January 2012, only three months after Zhang decided to invest. It became profitable in its first year and now earns $100,000 to $200,000 a month, he said, calling it an insufficient return that will rise as workers become better trained. A combination of cheap labor and electricity and a government striving to attract foreign investment makes Ethiopia more attractive than many others.

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Spain loses €12 billion in sale of ‘failed’ bank

BBVA RACHÈTE LA BANQUE NATIONALISÉE CATALUNYA

Catalunya Bank, a victim of Spain’s economic crisis, has been sold to BBVA, the country’s second-largest bank. But Spain’s sale of Catalunya Bank — in which it owns a 66 percent share — for just €1.2 billion means the country lost €11.8 billion by propping up by the bank which teetered when thousands of borrowers defaulted on their loans. That is close to the €13.8 billion in cuts to education and healthcare imposed by the Spanish government in its austerity drive, Spain’s El País newspaper noted. Spain will now turn its attention to selling off another failed bank in Bankia.

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Collateral damage: US spy scandals endanger the world’s largest trade deal

Collateral damage: US spy scandals endanger the world's largest trade deal

In this politically charged climate, German and EU leaders may find a new political lightning rod for rising frustration toward the U.S. in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an ambitious trade deal between the United States and the European Union slated to add $280 billion and 13 million jobs to the transatlantic economy. Germany is the EU’s economic center of gravity, making it the United States’ most important bilateral partner in the TTIP negotiations. German and EU politicians will have to sell TTIP to their people for it to pass.

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France signs one billion euro navy deal with Egypt

French Foreign Minister, Fabius, talks during a news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Shukri, in Cairo

France has secured its first major military contract in Egypt in about 20 years with a 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) deal to sell four naval frigates, a French diplomatic source said on Saturday. Paris and Cairo have enjoyed close economic ties in the past but turmoil in the north African state since former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted has left Western governments wary of signing contracts, especially in the defence sector. The DCNS company, in which the French state has a majority stake, won the contract to provide four corvette frigates to the Egyptian navy.

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Portugal’s Espirito Santo bank shares plunge on rating cut

Portugal's Espirito Santo bank shares plunge on rating cut

Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo, battling a financial crisis crippling its main shareholder, came under renewed stock market pressure on Thursday after a credit downgrade. Shares in the bank, which had rallied strongly on Wednesday from record low levels, plunged again in morning trading. They fell by 6.59 percent to 0.43 euros, shedding ten percent at one point. The declines pushed down the overall Portuguese stock market, which fell 1.14 percent.

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Afghans want oil project to create ‘energy corridor’

Afghans want oil project to create 'energy corridor'

Afghanistan could become an “energy corridor” in the next two years as the country could part-host a $17 billion pipeline project to transfer Turkmen gas to Pakistan and India, according to a senior Afghan official. The Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India – TAPI – natural gas pipeline project was first proposed in the early 1990s with the purpose of transporting natural gas from Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, ongoing security problems and a lack of upstream development opportunities have seen investors’ interest wane in recent years.

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Financial crisis in Bulgaria budget amendment because panic and bank losses

Financial crisis in Bulgaria budget amendment because panic and bank losses

Because of this change in the budget deficit would grow this year to 2.7% of GDP from 1.8% of GDP as initially planned, said Bulgarian Minister of Finance, Petar Chobanov, at the end of a meeting of the Government. Also Chobanov announced that public debt will increase by BGN 3.4 billion (1.7 billion euros) due to the issuance of new bonds of which 2.7 billion leva will be allocated to address liquidity problems the fourth commercial bank, Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), which last month was on the verge of bankruptcy.

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Bulgaria to allow its fourth-biggest bank to collapse

Bulgaria to allow its fourth-biggest bank to collapse

Bulgaria is to allow its fourth-biggest lender to collapse and will hive off its healthy activities into a separate bank as it moves to clear up the mess from the country’s worst financial scandal since the 1990s. The central bank said it was removing Corporate Commercial Bank’s (Corpbank) license and alerting prosecutors to the possibility that its main shareholder stole money from the bank just before the central bank took over its operations.

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Germany clears path for EU to directly fund ailing banks

Germany clears path for EU to directly fund ailing banks

The EU’s bailout fund has moved closer to being able to directly pump money into troubled banks after the German government introduced a bill allowing direct bank recapitalisation. The German government has introduced a bill allowing the EU’s bailout fund to directly fund struggling banks. The draft law will now require approval in the Bundestag, but is planned to enter into force in November. “This is an important step to stabilise our financial sector … and to increase further the trust in our common European currency,”

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Russia to suggest forming energy association, fuel bank at BRICS summit

Russia to suggest forming energy association, fuel bank at BRICS summit

Russia will suggest setting up an energy association and a reserve fuel bank during the BRICS summit that takes place in Brazil July 15-16, Yury Uskakov, a Russian presidential aide, told reporters. “Russia intends to suggest several specific subjects for consideration, namely the formation of a BRICS energy association to ensure the energy security of BRICS members,” Ushakov said ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Brazil. “A reserve bank of fuel and BRICS energy policy institute would also be set up in the framework of this association,” he said.

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Portugal’s Largest Bank Espirito Santo Misses Bond Payment

Espirito Santo Investment Bank Lisboa

Banco Espirito Santo SA bonds plunged to record lows after a parent company delayed payments on short-term notes, reawakening concern that banks remain vulnerable as the euro region emerges from the sovereign debt crisis. Portugal government bonds also fell, sending the 10-year yield up the most in two months, leading declines among securities from Europe’s most indebted nations. A gauge of Portuguese stocks fell to a seven-month low, Portugal government bonds also fell.

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Total CEO calls for bigger euro role in oil payments

Total CEO calls for bigger euro role in oil payments

Oil major Total’s chief executive said on Saturday the euro should have a bigger role in international trade although it was not possible to do without the U.S. dollar. Christophe de Margerie was responding to questions about calls by French policymakers to find ways at EU level to bolster the use of the euro in international business following a record U.S. fine for BNP.”Doing without the (U.S.) dollar, that wouldn’t be realistic, but it would be good if the euro was used more,” he told reporters.

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Central Bank Official: Digital currencies could ‘challenge sovereignty’ and government finances

Digital currencies could 'challenge sovereignty'

A senior Central Bank official has warned that virtual and digital currencies have the potential to challenge the sovereignty of states. Mr Murphy said rivals to national legal tender pose challenges to central banks’ ability to influence the price of credit for the whole economy. He also warned that there would be a substantial threat to the country’s finances if more and more transactions for goods and services disappear from the tax net through the use of digital currencies.

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Turkmenistan’s gas will flow to Europe via Turkey

Turkmenistan's gas will flow to Europe via Turkey

In an effort to reduce dependency on Russian natural gas and position itself as a key player amid rising European energy demands, Turkey recently agreed to increase its energy co-operation with Turkmenistan. After a meeting last month in Ankara between President Abdullah Gul and his Turkmen counterpart Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Gul told reporters that Turkey is determined to deliver Turkmen gas to European markets. Turkmenistan is the world’s fourth-largest natural gas producing country, with 32 trillion cubic metres of natural gas reserves.

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India okay with BCIM, wants details on China maritime silk road

India okay with BCIM, wants details on China maritime silk road

India today backed China’s initiative to build a regional economic corridor also linking Bangladesh and Myanmar, but sought more details from Beijing about its plans for a Maritime Silk Road (MSR) before deciding to take part in the endeavour. “BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) is a good and positive initiative we will be supportive of it,” Vice President Hamid Ansari, who concluded his five-day visit to Chinatoday.

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Argentina & Puerto Rico may default on their debt next week

Argentina & Puerto Rico may default on their debt next week

Investors are intently watching two separate stories in the bond market Monday that could have rippling effects, challenging the traditional notions of how bonds are paid. Argentina is expected to enter technical default as the pariah of the debt markets negotiates with creditors in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling. Separately, a Puerto Rican agency is on watch for a potential default Tuesday after the U.S. commonwealth passed a law allowing its public corporations to restructure their municipal bond debt last week

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China to Set Yuan Clearing Banks in Luxembourg, Paris

China to Set Yuan Clearing Banks in Luxembourg, Paris

In its continued push to make the yuan a global currency, China’s central bank said Sunday it plans to designate clearing banks for its currency in Paris and Luxembourg, as the two financial centers battle with London to become the leading European offshore yuan-trading city. The People’s Bank of China announced the move in two separate statements Sunday. It didn’t say when it would designate the clearing banks. The French and Luxembourg central banks said Sunday they had signed agreements with PBOC.

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Here are the countries showing early warning signs for banking crises

A trader reacts in front of the DAX index board at Frankfurt's stock exchang

History shows that when the difference between a country or region’s credit-to-GDP ratio and the long-term trends of that ratio exceeds 10%, it indicates a pretty rapid accumulation of debt and is usually followed by serious strain on a banking system within 3 years. When residential property prices start rising above their long term trends, that often points to a credit boom and comes two to three years ahead of a crisis.

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Bulgaria banks under attack, hit with second bank run

Bulgaria banks under attack: Central bank

Bulgaria’s central bank said yesterday there was a systematic attempt to destabilise the country through attacks on the banking system and vowed to protect citizens’ savings. Depositors queued in the capital Sofia to withdraw funds from one of the country’s biggest banks and its shares slumped, worsening a crisis that has shone a light on weak economic governance in the poorest European Union state. The central bank took control of Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank) after a run on deposits.

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China aims to break U.S. hold in Asia with rival to World Bank

Chinese RMB banknotes are arranged for a photograph. After a

Beijing diplomats on charm offensive to rally support for new institution free from U.S. control. China wants to set up a multilateral development bank in Asia to break the U.S.’s financial hold on the continent, theFinancial Times reported Tuesday, citing officials familiar with the matter. It said that Chinese officials have been touring Asia and the Middle East drumming up support for a new institution with $100 billion in capital, with a view to financing major development projects such as infrastructure.

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Run on Corpbank prompted Bulgaria to seize control

People queue outside the main office of Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank in Sofia

A run on Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank) prompted Bulgaria’s central bank to take control of the country’s fourth-largest lender and its governor appealed to depositors to stay calm. The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) said it would handle Corpbank’s operations for three months and removed its management and supervisory board after the run, which was sparked by media reports of shady deals involving the bank. The BNB said it acted after Corpbank said it had stopped all bank operations due to a liquidity drain.

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Thai junta taking control of economy

Thai junta taking control of economy

The Thai military is rapidly taking control of Southeast Asia’s second largest economy with an overhaul of state enterprises, a suspension or cancellation of some of the previous government’s infrastructure projects and efforts to build bridges with foreign investors. The move comes after decades of corruption in the country’s infrastructure, previous Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – for one – removed from office after being found guilty of having illegally transferred a high ranking civil servant for personal gain.

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China hails Greece as “gateway to Europe”

China hails Greece as “gateway to Europe”

Accompanied by his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, Li visited the country’s largest port of Piraeus to inaugurate a rail link that will transport goods to central Europe. Chinese and Greek officials are signing 19 deals worth an estimated 4.5 billion euros. Among the key agreements is one for boosting trade and investment cooperation, as well as a deals for Chinese bank loans to go towards various construction projects, such as shipyards and solar energy parks.

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IMF ready to ask ECB to begin quantitative easing

IMF ready to ask ECB to begin quantitative easing

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund is expected to launch an appeal to the European Central Bank on Thursday, urging it to deal with deflationary risks by beginning a form of quantitative easing, the Financial Times newspaper reported. That would include large purchases of sovereign bonds to stimulate growth, the newspaper said Wednesday, citing a draft of a statement from the IMF based on its annual evaluation of the eurozone’s economic health.

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The cost of global violence and unrest: US $1,350 per person

The cost of global violence and unrest: US $1,350 per person

Violent conflict and unrest cost the world as much as the combined economic output of Britain, Germany, France and Italy last year, or $1,350 per person globally, an index measuring the state of world peace found on Wednesday. The economic cost of containing and dealing with the consequences of global violence last year was an estimated $9.8 trillion, 11.3 percent of global economic output, up 3.8 percent from 2012, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

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Chinese army think-tank says gas resources in Arctic region would help economy

Chinese army think-tank says gas resources in Arctic region would help economy

Oil and gas resources in the Arctic are an important resource to guarantee China’s sustained economic growth and the country should actively look at developing it, state media on Wednesday cited a Chinese military think-tank as saying. The Defence Policy Research Centre of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People’s Liberation Army singled out the Arctic as one of the chapters of an annual strategic assessment.

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China Blocks European Shipping Alliance, Sending Maersk Down

China Blocks European Shipping Pact, Sending Maersk Down

China blocked the formation of a global alliance by the world’s three biggest shipping lines in a surprise move that ignored Western approval of the plan and sent A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S (MAERSKB) shares tumbling the most in two years. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on its website that the proposed P3 vessel-pooling accord, which also included Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM SA, would “restrict competition” on the busiest Asia-Europe container routes.

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Southern Corridor: EU wants ‘Mediterranean hub’ for Azeri gas

EU wants ‘Mediterranean hub’ for Azeri gas

The European Union is looking southwards to develop a “southern gas corridor” for natural gas from Azerbaijan to fuel the European mainland. A key policy that also ties in with the Maltese government’s prospective energy shift to gas, will be the creation of the southern corridor running from the Caspian region and into Italy. The more interesting keyword is the “Mediterranean gas hub” which the EU would like to develop in the south of Europe together with North African and Eastern Mediterranean partners.

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Risk of new Argentinian debt default after vulture fund verdict

Risk of new Argentinian debt default after vulture fund verdict

President Cristina Fernandez says Argentina can’t possibly comply with U.S. court orders to pay $1.5 billion in cash to winners of a decade-long debt dispute, the position her country was left in Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her government’s final appeal. Under the U.S. court orders, Argentina must hand over $907 million to the plaintiffs, or lose the ability to use the U.S. financial system to pay an equal amount due June 30 to holders of other Argentine bonds.

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France’s Noyer Says BNP May Prompt Shift Away From Dollar

France’s Noyer Says BNP May Prompt Shift Away From Dollar

Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said the U.S. investigation into BNP Paribas SA (BNP)’s dealings with sanctioned nations may encourage companies to stop using dollars in international transactions. “We could say that companies would have maximum interest to do the most possible transactions in other currencies,” Noyer said yesterday on BFM television. “Trade between China and Europe — do it in euros, do it in renminbi, stop doing it in dollars. This is an affair that will leave marks.”

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Defying Russian warnings, Moldova and Georgia head for EU pact

Defying Russian warnings, Moldova and Georgia head for EU pact

Undeterred by the conflict triggered by Ukraine’s swing towards Europe, the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia will sign a trade and political pact with the European Union this month with Russia warning both countries against the move. The two small countries – Moldova has a population of just over 3.5 million and Georgia 4.5 million – see the signing of an association agreement as the crucial step towards mainstream Europe, leading to eventual membership of the powerful EU trading bloc.

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Are China and Japan decoupling business from politics?

Are China and Japan decoupling business from politics

It is heartening to see that the booming bilateral trade between Asia’s two largest economies continues to defy their bellicose rhetoric and “war games” at sea and in the air. In the first four months of this year Japanese sales to China rose at a rate of 14 percent – a huge improvement from the year earlier when they fell at an annual rate of 4 percent.
Over the same period, the rate of growth of Chinese exports to Japan nearly doubled to 19 percent.

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Oil is Drying Up in Besieged Libya

Oil is Drying Up in Besieged Libya

Libya is still able to supply its 120,000-bpd Zawiya refinery without drawing on oil from two offshore fields, an oil ministry official said. On Wednesday, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said Libya might have to use oil from offshore fields Al Jurf and Bouri to feed the refinery which supplies western Libya with fuel products.
The offshore oil is one of the last export sources for a government struggling with a wave of protests at oilfields and ports that began last summer.

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Ukraine, Arab Spring, Cold War II and Price Wars Hardly Disguised

Ukraine, Arab Spring, Cold War II and Price Wars Hardly Disguised

Please think about why the son of a US Vice President ends up working for the biggest Ukrainian gas company. Then wonder why a college chum of Secretary of State John Kerry ends up at the same Cyprus based Burisma Holdings? Years before the current Ukraine situation western investors planned to undercut Gazprom by diverting shipments of natural gas to so-called “regasification” plants across Europe. This report by actuary Gail Tverberg goes in depth into the dynamics of east versus west price warring.

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Bulgaria PM Orders South Stream Freeze until EU Green Light

Bulgaria PM Orders South Stream Freeze until EU Green Light

Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has ordered a suspension of all activities related to the South Stream gas pipeline project until Bulgaria reaches agreement with the EU on it. Oresharski, as cited by Darik radio, announced the step in a Sunday interview after a meeting with three US senators visiting Bulgaria – John McCain, Chris Murphy, and Ron Johnson. The participants in the meeting discussed Bulgaria-US relations in the spheres of economy and defense, as well as energy independence and the current situation in Ukraine.

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Afghan economy on edge as investors flee

Afghan economy on edge as investors flee

Jackhammers are down and excavators gather dust at a Kabul construction site, spotlighting an aid-reliant economy on the edge of a precipice as Afghanistan’s war winds down and a tenuous political transition looms.The country’s banks are at grave risk of being put on an international blacklist this month if parliament fails to pass a long-demanded money laundering bill — with potentially devastating consequences for the already-fragile economy.

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US-EU Fracture?: Germany backs France on Russia warship contract

Germany backs France on Russia warship contract

Germany has defended France’s plan to deliver a warship to Russia in October despite US criticism of the move. “France also sees what other EU countries are doing. Why should it stick its neck out on the Mistrals, when [British firm] BP has just signed a major new deal with [Russian company] Rosneft when it didn’t have to?”. Franco-US relations have also hit a stumbling block over a US decision to fine French bank BNP Paribas billions of dollars for non-compliance with US sanctions on Cuba and Iran.

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EU-Russian Tensions in Bulgaria’s ruling axis over South Stream out in the open

Tensions in Bulgaria’s ruling axis over South Stream out in the open

A few days after the European Commission (EC) announced an infringement procedure against Bulgaria over its choice of a contractor to build the land section of the South Stream pipeline project in the country, tensions between current ruling axis partners the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms are becoming clearer. EC President Jose Barroso has made clear the Commission’s intentions about ensuring that EU countries keep to the rules regarding South Stream.

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Brazil finds bumpy path on way to becoming world oil power

Brazil finds bumpy path on way to becoming world oil power

Brazil’s efforts to become one of the world’s major oil producers have attracted businesses such as U.S. drilling giants Halliburton and Baker Hughes, gained it partnerships with oil companies from India and China, lured immigrants from idyllic Norway and drawn investment dollars from American pension funds in Florida, South Carolina and California. But the prospects for success have darkened in the seven years since Brazil first identified massive oil deposits in deep water off its coast.

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SE Asia’s war on drugs is ‘fueling production’ of opium

SE Asia's war on drugs is ‘fueling production’

Cultivation of opium in Southeast Asia’s notorious Golden Triangle region has doubled in the past decade, according to an in-depth study that rebuffs claims by governments that an aggressive anti-narcotics policy is reaping benefits and improving livelihoods. The findings come a year before the 2015 deadline set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc to make the region drugs free. Myanmar, the world’s second highest opium producer after Afghanistan, remains the driving force.

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Renminbi (RMB) Yuan Clearing Bank To Open In London

Renminbi (RMB) Yuan Clearing Bank To Open In London

A RMB Yuan (CNY) clearing bank will be officially appointed in the United Kingdom (UK) in June, said Mark Boleat, policy chairman for the City of London Corp, in an interview at the weekend. A week before that agreement was reached, China also signed a memorandum with Germany to work on appointing a clearing bank in Frankfurt, highlighting the fierce competition between European financial centers for more yuan activities.

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Afghanistan supplies its first ever domestic refined oil to the market

Afghanistan supplies its first ever domestic refined oil to the market

Afghanistan’s first ever domestic refined oil will be introduced in the market. According to Head of Afghanistan’s oil and gas companies Azrakhsh Hafizi, over 5,000 tons of oil obtained from Amu Darya basin were sent to Kam International Oil for refinery. He added about 2,500 tons of refined oil would be supplied in the market. Petroleum companies have invested about USD 3bn and 750mn in the oil and gas sector of Afghanistan. The Afghan government intends to establish a large oil reserve at a cost of USD 1.3mn.

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ECB ‘alert’ to deflation risk: Mario Draghi

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The European Central Bank is “alert” to the risks of persistently low inflation, president Mario Draghi said on Monday amid speculation of further interest rates cuts to avert possible deflation. “What we need to be particularly watchful for at the moment is, in my view, the potential for a negative spiral to take hold between between low inflation, falling inflation expectations and credit, in particular in stressed countries,” he said.

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Iran’s “espionage” claims towards Gazprom, CNPC

Iran's "espionage" claims towards Gazprom, CNPC

A week after coming up with espionage claims towards Russian Gazprom that it has been transferring sensitive information about Iran’s joint Azer oil field to Iraq, some Iranian media outlets recently claimed that the Chinese CNPC handed over the secret data about Iran’s other oil field – Azadegan, to Iraq. Those are the rumors that Iran’s Foreign Ministry has refused to reject completely, saying that the case is under investigation.

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Czechs oppose single EU body for gas, oil purchases

on November 8, 2011 in Lubmin, Germany.

The Czech Republic opposes a Polish proposal to create a single body to buy gas for the European Union but could support private groups voluntarily joining up for purchases, according to a position document approved by the government on Wednesday. Central European countries are vulnerable to any interruption in supplies because they take most of their natural gas from Russia, mainly via Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called for the EU to create an energy union.

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International Russia, China sign deal to bypass U.S. dollar

Russia's President Putin and China's President Xi review an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Xijiao State Guesthouse ahead of the fourth CICA summit in Shanghai

In a symbolic blow to U.S. global financial hegemony, Russia and China took a small step toward undercutting the domination of the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency on Tuesday when Russia’s second biggest financial institution, VTB, signed a deal with the Bank of China to bypass the dollar and pay each other in domestic currencies. To be sure, the Russia-China bank deal is mostly a symbolic step

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China steps up speed of oil stockpiling as tensions mount in Asia, Crimea

China steps up speed of oil stockpiling as tensions mount in Asia

China is stockpiling oil for its strategic petroleum reserve at a record pace, intervening on a scale large enough to send a powerful pulse through the world crude market. The move comes as tensions mount in the South China Sea, and the West prepares possible oil sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. Analysts believe China is quietly building up buffers against a possible spike in oil prices or disruptions in supply.

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Bank of Canada: “Unstable” Bitcoin could pose risk to global financial system

Bank of Canada: “Unstable” Bitcoin could pose risk to global financial system

Does Bitcoin threaten to destabilize the global financial system? A new article published by the Bank of Canada says maybe. “There could be potential risks to overall financial stability if Bitcoin became a significant means of payment and the Bitcoin system remained unstable,” Gerald Stuber of the central bank’s currency department writes in the spring 2014 issue of the Bank of Canada Review, released on May 13.

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Ezra Levant: Putin’s new OPEC

Russia Ukraine

Russia, Iran and Qatar declared that they were going to form an OPEC-style gas cartel. Gazprom’s chairman, Alexey Miller, announced the formation of a “Big Gas Troika.” You can probably guess that they didn’t exactly test that name with focus groups. Big Gas Troika sounds like some oppressive Soviet pact — and really, that was the vision for it: a world-dominating bully that could intimidate the West using its control of the majority of global natural gas as a weapon.

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Spain to ‘spy’ on 34 million bank accounts

Spain to 'spy' on 34 million bank accounts

The Spanish Government plans to collect data on all of the country’s 34 million bank accounts in what it calls a bid to crack down on money laundering and terrorist activity. But the move has drawn plenty of fire.
Spain plans to set up a German-style archive of data on the financial activity of Spaniards and residents in Spain, national daily El País reported. Groups including the Tax Office, the military, the General Council of the Judiciary and the secret services will then be able to access that information.

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China-led Asia Bank Project Shuns Japan, India

China-led Asia Bank Project Shuns Japan, India

Japan and India have been left out in the discussions about China-led project Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was held on the first night of the Asian Development Bank’s yearly meeting which was held in Kazakhstan this month. Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei headed the discussions for the new $50-billion Asian lender. Regional competitors Japan and India, and the US, were not invited in this meeting, according to Bloomberg.

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IRGC elite group ‘keeps secret funds in Asia’

IRGC 'keeps secret funds in Asia'

An Iranian elite group is suspected of keeping secret funds in various parts of the world including South Korea and Malaysia, dodging internationally coordinated economic sanctions, people familiar with the matter said Sunday. Petrosina Arya, a Tehran-based company under the IRGC, allegedly has savings worth more than US$1 billion in an account at a major South Korean bank, a diplomatic source told Kyodo News.

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Turkey Ponders Role as Oil Hub

Turkey Ponders Role as Oil Hub

In addition to being a major market for energy supplies, Turkey’s role as an energy transit hub is increasingly important. Turkey is a key part of oil and natural gas supplies movement from Russia, the Caspian region, and the Middle East to Europe. The country has been a major transit point for seaborne-traded oil and is becoming more important for pipeline-traded oil and natural gas. Growing volumes of Russian and Caspian oil are being sent by tanker via the Turkish Straits to Western markets.

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China Is Quietly Profiting From the Russia-Ukraine Standoff: Here’s How

China Is Quietly Profiting From the Russia-Ukraine Standoff: Here's How

Much to the chagrin of the United States, China has the innate ability to negotiate major energy deals in the midst of conflict. PetroChina’s state-run parent company, China National Petroleum, or CNPC, was the first oil company to secure a contract in the Iraqi oil fields following the fall of Saddam Hussein, and today both it and CNOOC are two of the most active oil comapnies there. With Russia and the West at a standstill over the recent events in Ukraine, it appears that CNPC is about to seal another energy coup.

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Cash-rich global firms face calls to crack open war chests to prop up the global economy

Cash-rich global firms face calls to crack open war chests

Impatient shareholders are calling on the world’s top firms to start spending some of the eye-popping $2.8 trillion in cash built up since the financial crisis, as analysts warn that their thriftiness could be holding back global growth. Companies now need to rethink their cash strategy to create growth opportunities. Mark Carney, current head of the Bank of England, was more blunt in a 2012 speech as he derided unused corporate cash as “dead money”.

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Power of the Purse: OFAC, The most powerful government agency you’ve never heard of

Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Szubin and his staff meet at U.S. Treasury Department in Washington

By turning to sanctions in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, Obama reinforced a trend: He – and George W. Bush before him – increasingly have used financial warfare, rather than the overtaxed U.S. military, in crises from North Korea to Iran to Syria. It has made OFAC’s war room something of a front line for the United States and its allies. In interviews, current and former top OFAC officials offered insight into some of the often-secret agency’s inner workings.

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G20 gives US an ultimatum on IMF reform: But is it a bluff?

U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew arrives for a G20 ministerial meeting, during the IMF/World Bank 2014 Spring Meetings in Washington

The G20′s frustration centres on US failure to ratify the IMF quota and governance reforms agreed by the G20 in 2010. While countries representing nearly 80% of IMF votes have approved the reforms, the required threshold is 85%. The US has a veto with its 16.75% shareholding and the US Congress continues to block the reforms. Joe Hockey said the 2010 IMF reforms are a top priority because they would ‘double the IMF’s permanent resources and lead to a major realignment of voting shares’.

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EU QE?: ECB Will Turn On Its Money Printing Machine To Fuel Needed Inflation

ECB Will Turn On Its Money Printing Machine To Fuel Needed Inflation

Sunday, a top European Central Bank policymaker described how the bank will approach an asset purchase plan to tackle low inflation in the single currency bloc, saying that such a program “would not be about quantity, but about price.” Eurozone inflation is running at 0.5% far below the ECB’s target of just under 2% over the medium term. Several ECB policymakers have deep reservations about pursuing a US Fed style program of sovereign asset purchases.

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Eurasian Corridor Project: China to Invest $5Bln in Russia’s Far East

China to Invest $5Bln in Russia's Far East

Amid increasing tensions with the West, Russia is making progress on long-awaited deals with its eastern neighbor, China. The China Development Bank has confirmed its plans to invest $5 billion in Russia’s Far East, news reports said Friday. Investments will be channeled to regional economic zones and will finance large infrastructure projects, Russia’s Far East Development Ministry said. Russia is ready to take on the transit cargo coming from the Asia-Pacific region to Europe.

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Dumping the Dollar: Russian oil firm Gazprom Neft says Asian buyers willing to use euros

Russian oil firm says Asian buyers willing to use euros

Russian state-controlled oil producer Gazprom Neft said it had received positive responses from Asian clients about the possibility of using euros as a settlement currency instead of the dollar. Company head Alexander Dyukov said this week Gazprom Neft had broached the idea of dropping the dollar, traditionally the currency of choice for the global energy sector, in response to a possible new round of Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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Rampant inflation triggers nationwide strike in Argentina

Rampant inflation triggers nationwide strike in Argentina

Argentina is struggling with a weakening economy and rapidly rising inflation, which currently stands at roughly 30 percent. Labor leaders are therefore calling for higher pay and lower taxes. A nationwide 24-hour strike, called by the powerful CGT Union, brought large parts of the country to a standstill, public transport came to a halt, flights were canceled, hospitals provided emergency services only and rubbish was left uncollected. Many schools and businesses also remained shut.

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Romania plans to become China’s open door to Europe

China's Premier Li Keqiang visit to Romania

Romania plans to become the open door of China to Europe, not only through the Constanta Port (eastern Romania, on the Black Sea shore), but also through the development of such investment projects to prove the high technological level reached by the Chinese economy in the past years, Secretary of State for political analysis and the relation with the Parliament, Radu Podgorean, stated during a visit he paid to the People Republic

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Iran, India and Afghanistan to sign sea trade pact

Iran, India and Afghanistan to sign sea trade pact

The draft pact centers on Chabahar Port, which would allow India and Afghanistan to conduct trade and access Central Asia’s vast energy resources, has been reviewed and approved by Afghanistan and is now awaiting Indian approval, FreshPlaza reported. India considers the pact pivotal, as analysts believe the sea route is the only viable alternative to land trade given the instability of Afghanistan and the reluctance of Pakistan to grant land access to India, which has no direct land connection to Central Asia.

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A Little Less Rich: Qatar Gas Dominance Challenged

A Little Less Rich: Qatar Gas Dominance Challenged

U.S. producers have signed contracts to supply Asian LNG buyers, including GAIL India Ltd., Korea Gas Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Co., at prices that undercut what Qatar is being paid. Canada, Mozambique, Russia and Tanzania also plan new LNG export plants, according to Bloomberg Industries data. “The global LNG market is going to loosen, and that has a big impact for the Qataris,” says Trevor Sikorski, a gas, coal and carbon analyst at consulting firm Energy Aspects Ltd. in London.

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Russia to create special economic zone in Crimea to woo investors

Russia to create special economic zone in Crimea to woo investors

Russia will make Crimea a special economic zone offering tax breaks and reduced bureaucracy to attract investors, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. “Our aim is to make the peninsula as attractive as possible to investors, so that it can generate sufficient income for its own development,” Medvedev told a Russian government meeting on the Black Sea peninsula, whichMoscow has annexed from Ukraine.

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The new ‘silk road’, a rail link from China’s factories to heart of Europe

The new 'silk road', a rail link from China's factories to heart of Europe

It is one of the world’s longest railways — an approximately 11,000-kilometre “modern-day silk road” that traverses Russia and Kazakhstan to link a megacity in the heart of China with a key commercial hub in western Germany. On Saturday, as part of his landmark visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit the last stop on the “Yuxinou” rail line, an industrial feat that promises to revolutionise transport between Europe and Asia.

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Japan Is Doomed Unless It Learns to Love Inflation

Japan Is Doomed Unless It Learns to Love Inflation

It’s hard to believe, but Japan’s total economy is smaller now than it was 20 years ago. The country’s story has become an all-too-familiar one: boom, bust, and stagnation. As Nomura economist Richard Koo points out, Japan lost three GDPs worth of wealth when its “Heisei bubble” burst in the early 1990s. The U.S., as point of comparison, “only” lost one during the Great Crash of 1929.

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Ukraine: Divvying Up The Breadbasket Of Europe

Ukraine: Divvying Up The Breadbasket Of Europe

Endowed with particularly fertile steppes of rich black soil, Ukraine became known as the “Breadbasket of Europe” during centuries of foreign occupation. According to the CIA World Factbook, the country produced more than 25% of total agricultural output – grains, meat, milk, and vegetables – for the Soviet Union. Today, roughly one out of four workers in Ukraine subsist on cultivating the land, consistently generating net food surpluses.

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Egypt mulls creation of industrial & free trade zones with Russia

Egypt mulls creation of industrial & free trade zones with Russia

Egypt is considering opening a Russian industrial zone for the manufacture of agriculture equipment, a partnership that would help Egypt meet its domestic demands and allow for surplus machinery to be exported. The industrial zone would also build grain silos, a benefit for both countries, which rely heavily on farming, said the website of the Egyptian ministry of industry, foreign trade and investment. The free trade zone would exempt the countries from customary tariffs.

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Germany’s Bundesbank opens up to Quantitative Easing

Germany’s Bundesbank opens up to Quantitative Easing

The European Central Bank could buy loans and other assets from banks to help support the eurozone economy, Germany’s Bundesbank said Tuesday, marking a radical softening of its stance on the contested policy. The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low, and promised to keep them low for some time, having also flooded the banking system with cheap crisis loans. But the eurozone economy is still weak, and inflation remains stuck well below the central bank’s target.

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No deposit insurance, no confidence: Rumor sparks panic and three-day bank run in Chinese city

People gather in front of a branch of Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank, in Yancheng

Responding to rumors that Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank, Sheyang county’s largest bank (link in Chinese) with 44 branches, is in financial trouble, depositors have been flocking to branches in at least three villages since March 24. Another bank in the farming county, the Rural Commercial Bank of Huanghai, was also bombarded with wary savers wanting to take their money out, according to state media. Residents waited in droves in the rain outside bank branches to take their money out.

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Turkey earns $12 billion from Baku pipeline

Turkey earns $12 billion from Baku pipeline

The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has earned 12 billion dollars from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline since 2005 when oil from Baku was first pumped, Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz said on Monday.
During his speech in the Turkish province of Adana, Yildiz underlined the importance of BTC pipeline for the region and stated that TPAO has 6.5 percent of the shares in the BTC crude oil pipeline.

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Russia Could Crush the Petrodollar

Russia Could Crush the Petrodollar

Veteran investor Jim Sinclair argues that Russia has a much scarier financial attack which it can use against the U.S.
Specifically, Sinclair says that if Russia accepts payment for oil and gas in any currency other than the dollar – whether it’s gold, the Euro, the Ruble, the Rupee, or anything else – then the U.S. petrodollar system will collapse: Indeed, one of the main pillars for U.S. power is the petrodollar, and the U.S. is desperate for the dollar to maintain reserve status.

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Citigroup’s Schofield: Global Economy ‘May Be Heading Into Grumbling Discontent’

Citigroup's Schofield: Global Economy 'May Be Heading Into Grumbling Discontent'

While the turmoil surrounding Ukraine wasn’t enough to derail a strong U.S. stock rally, the East-West conflict could bode ill for the global economy, says Mark Schofield, head of interest rate strategy at Citigroup. “All-in-all, it feels as if we may be heading into a summer of grumbling discontent, rather than the steady and progressive U.S.-led recovery that had become the consensus view around the start of the year,” Schofield writes in a commentary obtained by CNBC.

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Meet G4S, the Contractors Who Go Where Governments and Armies Can’t—or Won’t

Meet G4S, the Contractors Who Go Where Governments and Armies Can’t—or Won’t

G4S is based near London and is traded on the stock exchange there. Though it remains generally unknown to the public, it has operations in 120 countries and more than 620,000 employees. The fact that such a huge private entity is a security company is a symptom of our times. Most G4S employees are lowly guards, but a growing number are military specialists dispatched by the company into what are delicately known as “complex environments” to take on jobs that national armies lack the skill or the will to do.

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Egypt’s generals use power grab to increase their economic clout

Egypt's generals use power grab to increase their economic clout

Now, experts say, the Egyptian economy is increasingly shaped by the opaque desires of the ruling generals. And the military’s business activities appear to be expanding – from the manufacture of basic items such as bottled water and furniture into mega-infrastructure, energy and technology projects, analysts say. “We’re dealing with a brand new economy that’s now run by ‘Military Inc’,” said Joshua Stacher, an Egypt expert at Kent State University who has studied the military economy.

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Russia gains vast new area twice the size of Crimea with ‘the energy riches of an Ali Baba’s cave’

Russia gains vast new area twice the size of Crimea with 'the energy riches of an Ali Baba's cave'

The Siberian land mass is officially 52,000 square kilometres bigger after an enclave in the Sea of Okhotsk was recognised as part of Russia’s continental shelf. The decision comes from the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The treasure trove includes hydrocarbon resources exceeding one billion tonnes, believes Donskoy.

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China–US telco wars

CHINA HUAWEI

The United States is equally concerned about the integrity of Chinese telecommunications technology. Chinese telco giants Huawei and ZTE have been barred from the United States over concerns that the Chinese government would use these companies as a ‘Trojan horse’. Snowden’s revelation highlights the importance of protecting critical telecommunication infrastructure from cyber intrusion not only from terrorists but also state actors. These restrictions have big implications for international trade and investment.

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Tenge in crisis, Kazakhstan in economic disarray

Tenge in crisis, Kazakhstan in economic disarray

Recent monetary problems in Kazakhstan cast a shadow over the very viability of the “ruble zone” and the almost-quantum entanglement between post-Soviet economies is now under scrutiny. With a low Russian ruble, Ukraine de facto defaulting and a recent devaluation in Kazakhstan, the economic side of President Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian integration project just took a serious blow. Countries like Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, in talks to join the Customs Union, might also find it a hard pill to swallow

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Confusion in Crimea sparks run on banks

Confusion in Crimea sparks run on banks

Crowds in Crimea queued outside banks as the countdown to this weekend’s referendum to break away from Ukraine and join Russia sowed panic, confusion and fear of a looming legal vacuum. Local pro-Moscow officials have tried to reassure locals, saying there will be no problem with pensions or salaries and that the banks have sufficient cash for everyone. But details on how the financial system will work if Crimea severs ties with mainland Ukraine were sketchy.

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China Bond Risk Exceeds Ireland as Defaults Unavoidable

China Bond Risk Exceeds Ireland as Defaults Unavoidable

China’s default risk has risen beyond that of Ireland, having been on par with France and Japan a year ago, as Premier Li Keqiang said financial leverage is making the economy’s outlook more complex. Five-year contracts protecting against non-payment on government debt climbed to 99 from 63 a year earlier, almost double the 49 for Japan and 51 for France, CMA credit-default swap data show. That compares with 88 for lower-rated Ireland, which exited a bailout in December.

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Russia Preparing for Iran-Style Sanctions

Russia Preparing for Iran-Style Sanctions

Russian government officials and businessmen are readying for sanctions resembling those applied to Iran after what they see as the inevitable annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, according to four people with knowledge of the preparations. Iran-style retaliation from the West, which would include freezing Russia’s foreign reserves, banking assets and halting lending to companies, is being treated as an unlikely worst-case scenario, according to the people who asked not to be identified as the talks are under way.

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Italy and France on EU’s economic ‘watch list’

Italy and France on EU's economic 'watch list'

Italy and France were the major euro area countries put on the European Commission’s economic “watch-list” over fears about persistently high debt and deficit levels. The two countries were among 14 nations deemed to have “macro-economic imbalances” in their economy by the EU executive in a series of reports on 17 countries published on Wednesday. Italy “must address its very high level of public debt and weak external competitiveness,” the commission said,

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China rural mini-bank run exposes perils of deregulation

A man carries his luggage on his shoulder at a railway station in Beijing

Depositors wanting to withdraw money from a rural bank in eastern China’s prosperous Jiangsu province ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday found the doors locked, their money gone and employees offering a simple explanation. “We’ve lent out all the money. There’s none left,” an employee told Reuters, repeating the explanation given to depositors weeks earlier. Word had spread that at least three rural cooperatives were running short on funds.

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Kremlin aide warns US of economic warfare response if sanctions imposed

Kremlin aide warns US of response if sanctions imposed

A Kremlin aide was quoted on Tuesday as saying that if the United States were to impose sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Moscow might be forced to drop the dollar as a reserve currency and refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks. Sergei Glazyev, who is often used by the authorities to stake out a hardline stance but does not make policy, was cited by RIA news agency as saying Moscow could recommend that all holders of U.S. treasuries sell them if Washington freezes the U.S.. accounts of Russian businesses and individuals.

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S.Korea adopts quasi-QE to stabilize mortgage market

S.Korea adopts quasi-QE to stabilize mortgage market

South Korea adopted a quasi- quantitative easing (QE) under the three-year economic innovation plan to stabilize mortgage loan market, whose fast growth was feared to dent private consumption. The Finance Ministry, Bank of Korea (BOK) and Financial Services Commission (FSC) on Thursday unveiled a joint plan to speed up the restructuring of household debts, which topped the psychologically dangerous level of 1,000 trillion won (about 940 billion U.S. dollars) last year. The plan came as part of follow-up actions to the three-year economic innovation plan, announced by President Park Geun-hye

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Piraeus Port Has ‘Geostrategic’ Edge as Greece Pushes Logistics

Piraeus Port Has 'Geostrategic' Edge as Greece Pushes Logistics

The Greek port of Piraeus could become one of Europe’s top five container-shipping hubs as the government spurs logistics activities in a bid to kick-start economic growth, said Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis. Piraeus, now the 11th-largest container-shipping port in the European Union, is expanding as China-based Cosco Pacific Ltd. (1199) operates one of two piers, builds a third and prepares to offer cargo-train shipping to multinational companies. “Piraeus could become one of the four to five biggest ports in Europe very soon,” Hatzidakis said in a Feb. 20 interview in Brussels.

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Venezuela’s real inflation may be six times the official rate

Venezuela’s real inflation may be six times the official rate

Among the complaints of the Venezuelans that have taken to the street by the tens of thousands over the past couple weeks is the government’s inability to stem high inflation. It’s easy to see why people are angry; official figures put the country’s annualized inflation rate at 56%, which is among the highest in the world. And there’s reason to believe even that high number is a drastic underestimate of Venezuela’s actual inflation rate. The problem with Venezuela’s official rate is that it doesn’t account for the country’s highly active black market, according to Johns Hopkins economics professor Steve Hanke.

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Ex-Im Bank to Continue Support to US Satellite Communications Industry

Ex-Im Bank to Continue Support to US Satellite Communications Industry

With more than $50 billion in U.S. exports in FY 2012, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is one of the satellite industry’s largest supporters. As one of the country’s fastest growing industries, satellite accounts for a total of 60 percent of all exports financed by the Ex-Im Bank. On Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Washington Space Business Roundtable event, Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Ex-Im Bank spoke about the effect that the satellite industry has on the United States economy.

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US Ex-Im Bank opens for business in Burma/Myanmar

US Ex-Im Bank opens for business in Burma-Myanmar

The US government has taken another important step in helping to reintegrate Myanmar (referred to as Burma for official purposes) into the global economy. On 6 February 2014, the Export-Import Bank of the US (Ex-Im Bank) announced the opening of financial support for qualified short-term and medium-term US export sales to Myanmar. Over the past 18 months, the US has substantially removed sanctions on business with Myanmar and has expanded economic and trade support on a step-by-step basis in response to political and economic reforms.

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Dollar Dump: China just sold almost $50 billion in US Treasurys… But don’t panic just yet

China just sold almost $50 billion in US Treasurys But don’t panic just yet

China’s holdings of US Treasurys dropped to the lowest levels in two years after China dumped $47.8 billion in paper—equal to about 3.6% of its Treasury holdings as of November—bringing its total holdings to $1.27 trillion. Not that this should come as a shock. Yi Gang, a deputy governor of China’s central bank, hinted at the move when he announced in late November that the country no longer benefits from increasing its foreign reserves.
Though this news is likely to stoke fears of a US bond market sell-off, it’s way too early to judge whether this is a fluke or a new PBoC strategy.

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Gazprom Captures Largest-Ever Share of European Gas Market

Gazprom Captures Largest-Ever Share of European Gas Market

Russian energy giant Gazprom provided a record share of 29.9% of gas supplies to the European and Turkish markets in 2013. Gazprom broke a record set in 2011 of 150 billion cubic meters of gas, or a share of 27%, according to reports of Interfax, as cited by dnevnik.bg. The data is provided in a prospectus published due to a new Eurobond issue by Gazprom. The document cites an official evaluation of Gazprom of the European gas market in 2013, which amounted to 451 bcm, of which Gazprom supplied 161.5 bcm.

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94% of GDP: Spain’s Public Debt Hits Record High

Spain’s Public Debt Hits Record High

Spain’s public debt rose to an unprecedented high of $1.317 trillion in 2013, or around 94 percent of GDP, according to Bank of Spain data on Monday, nearly three times as much as it was before the start of the crisis in 2008. The historical series showed that this was the highest level since records began, though it managed to come in slightly below the government’s target of 94.2 percent of GDP for last year. The figure was also an 8.7 percent increase on the previous year’s figure, the Bank of Spain said.

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Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt hit record

Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt hit record

Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increased their holdings to a record in December even though the two largest holders of U.S. government debt — China and Japan — reduced their shares. The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings rose 1.4 percent in December to $5.79 trillion, surpassing the old record set in March of $5.73 trillion. Foreign holdings had fallen from April through July before rising again in August. China, the largest foreign buyer of Treasury debt, reduced its holdings to $1.27 trillion in December.

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