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China opens second land port in Nepal to boost trade with South Asia

China opens second land port in Nepal to boost trade with South Asia

In a major boost for bilateral trade between China and Nepal, a second cross-border trading route has come into operation in Tibet, allowing the communist trading giant to expand its trade with South Asia. China yesterday officially opened the Gyirong Port on the Rasuwagadhi border in Nepal, the second land route for bilateral trade, state-run media reported. Operation of the port means a solid foundation for China to build the South Asia trading area and it will help to promote trade between China and South Asian countries in the near future.

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Crete will be the energy hub for EastMed Pipeline

Crete will be the energy hub for EastMed Pipeline

Crete is considered to play a key role on energy scene, as East Med Pipeline will be extended to Cyprus, Crete, then in western Greece, the Peloponnese and Epirus and would come eventually the Greek-Italian pipeline IGI (Interconnector Greece-Italy). The Eastmed pipeline is a reliable alternative solution for the extraction of natural gas from SE Mediterranean to European countries. This is proven by the strong European interest in creating a new energy corridor.

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Asian demand for crude to drive switch to renminbi

Asian demand for crude to drive switch to renminbi

The increasing demand for crude in Asian countries such as China was enough reason for the region to prepare to pay for trade in the Chinese currency renminbi, an HSBC official said. Georges Elhedery, HSBC head, Global Banking and Markets, noted that the region was slow to adopt RMB since trade between the Middle East and China was still highly dependent on the greenback. The Middle East has been slow in adopting RMB but we’re starting to see a shift in the region towards the Chinese currency.

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Capital of Kurdish Iraq goes from backwater to boomtown as it fights to achieve independence

IRAQ-KURDS-ECONOMY-POLITICS

While the rest of Iraq has remained mired in violence, stability has allowed oil wealth to drive growth here. Representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) note that no Westerners were killed in the region during the U.S. occupation. If Kurds controlled their own oil — 45 billion barrels of which they say lie under their soil — they believe they could do even more. Over the past decade the KRG has made a series of escalating gambles to develop their oil, with Baghdad opposing every move.

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Energy tops list of China’s 8 billion dollar deal with Myanmar

Energy tops list of China's deals with Myanmar

China and Myanmar pushed cooperation forward on Friday, introducing an energy liaison committee and signing more than a dozen deals relating to energy, finance, infrastructure and agriculture. The strides were made as China has pressed ahead with its ambitious initiatives to fuel Asian growth by focusing on free trade and connectivity. After some frustrations involving Chinese investment in the country’s infrastructure over the past few years, Myanmar’s government is seeking to reassure Beijing that it is welcome.

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Italy sees nationwide protests against labour market reforms

Italy sees nationwide protests against labour market reforms

Italy was rocked by nationwide protests on Friday as trade unions, students and migrants staged strikes and rallies in more than 20 cities against labour market and other reforms. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wants to make it easier for firms to hire and fire workers but has also pledged more generous unemployment benefits. Skirmishes with police were reported in other cities, including Milan, Padua and Turin, while in Naples and Genoa, protests led to major road closures.

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‘Violent’ stock market crash could be round the corner warns think-tank

Violent stock market crash could be round the corner warns think-tank

The Bank of International Settlements said that suspiciously low levels of volatility in the markets seen this year suggest a lack of liquidity that could trip up investors who assume they can dispense of assets when a sell-off begins. Guy Debelle of BIS said global investors were buying assets on the misguided presumption of liquidity that does not exist and that in a possible sell-off, volatility and price movements ‘will be exacerbated by the reduced capacity and inventory of market makers’.

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Ukraine Bonds Sink as Risk of War in East Stokes Default Concern

Ukraine Bonds Sink as Risk of War in East Stokes Default Concern

Ukrainian bonds slumped the most since March as the threat of open war in the nation’s east deepened concern the government will struggle to repay debt. The International Monetary Fund has warned that a $17 billion bailout may not be enough to keep the former Soviet republic of 43 million people afloat. The conflict will deepen the recession, deplete foreign-currency reserves and weaken the hryvnia, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a report yesterday.

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Supply-chain suffers as oil majors battle price plunge

Supply-chain suffers as oil majors battle price plunge

Belt-tightening by big energy majors faced with plunging oil prices is battering the finances and share prices of their suppliers, as investors reassess the sector’s ability to keep gushing cash. A growing list of delayed or canceled projects, seen by some investors as a healthy move by majors to rein in capital spend after a poor history of returns is working its way through corporate earnings; it has already pummelled the share price of some European suppliers seen as financially fragile.

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China hoarding gold to challenge U.S. dollar

China hoarding gold to challenge U.S. dollar

Some market participants also believe China is building up its gold reserves to challenge the U.S. dollar, which is currently the world’s reserve currency. A few years ago, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said, “International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country.” Gold already plays a significant role in China’s economy.

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Beijing $40 billion offer to revive the historic Silk Road, starts Central-Asia geostrategic competition

Beijing $40 billion offer to revive the historic Silk Road, starts Central-Asia geostrategic competition

The “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative, announced by Xi Jinping in 2013, is designed to allow capabilities of Chinese state-controlled construction companies to further expand its already booming trade with central Asia and Europe by diversification of Chinese trade routes, lowering transportation costs, opening up new markets, and an expansion of the Chinese sphere of influence beyond Asia. It will also secure the supply of Uranium and rare metals from Central Asia.

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Strike Back: Russian government may ban circulation of US dollar

Russia may ban circulation of US dollar

Russia may ban the circulation of the United States dollar. The State Duma has already been submitted a relevant bill banning and terminating the circulation of USD in Russia, APA’s Moscow correspondent reports. If the bill is approved, Russian citizens will have to close their dollar accounts in Russian banks within a year and exchange their dollars in cash to Russian ruble or other countries’ currencies. Otherwise their accounts will be frozen and cash dollars levied by police, customs, tax, border, and migration services confiscated.

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U.S. Returns Fire in Saudi Arabia’s Oil War

U.S. Returns Fire in Saudi Arabia's Oil War

One day after Saudi Arabia declared war on U.S. oil producers by lowering prices in an attempt to dump cheap crude in the US market, the White House and private oil companies responded. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the U.S. is monitoring the global oil supply and demand situation. Then, later in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported that BP is going to export ultra-light crude without the permission of the U.S. government in a move that not only starts to breakdown the US export ban, but also is a direct challenge to OPEC.

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Myanmar: Run on Bank Owned by Son of Aung Thaung

Run on Bank Owned by Son of Blacklisted MP

The US blacklisting of senior ruling party member Aung Thaung has caused concerns among clients of United Amara Bank, which is owned by his son Nay Aung, and on Tuesday an unusually large amount of money was withdrawn, a bank representative said. The bank’s CEO Than Win Swe said that after the US Treasury Department announced on Friday that Aung Thaung’s personal assets were being targeted for sanctions, a rumor began to spread that United Amara Bank (UAB) would also be affected.

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Qatar to become Middle East clearing hub for China’s yuan

Qatar to become Middle East clearing hub for China's yuan

“The signing of the MoU and the appointment of the renminbi clearing bank will increase the strong ties between China and Qatar and position Qatar as the regional centre for renminbi clearing and settlement,” the Qatari central bank said. Seeking to promote global use of the yuan, China has in the past two years appointed clearing banks for Taiwan, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg and Seoul. Hong Kong and Macau had clearing banks earlier; Sydney is expected to join the list under a deal to be signed later this month.

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China and 20 other countries sign MOU on regional bank

China and 20 other countries sign MOU on regional bank

China and 20 other countries moved forward towards setting up an Asian infrastructure lender seen as a counterweight to Western-backed international development banks. The signatories put their names to a memorandum of understanding to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. It is intended to address the region’s burgeoning demand for transportation, dams, ports and other facilities, officials say.

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Hungary set to bypass EU over South Stream with law amendment

Hungary set to bypass EU over South Stream with law amendment

Ever since Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sat to the negotiating table with Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller, the number of Hungarian steps putting the Russian gas giant in an advantageous position and supporting Russian interests have oddly increased. First Hungary shut down reverse gas flow to Ukraine, then allowed Gazprom to stash its gas in local gas storage units. The latest measure is a law amendment proposal that would give Hungary the green-light to start building the South Stream pipeline.

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Currency Wars Evolve With Goal of Avoiding Deflation

Currency Wars Evolve With Goal of Avoiding Deflation

Currency wars are back, though this time the goal is to steal inflation, not growth. Brazil Finance Minister Guido Mantega popularized the term “currency war” in 2010 to describe policies employed at the time by major central banks to boost the competitiveness of their economies through weaker currencies. Now, many see lower exchange rates as a way to avoid crippling deflation. Weak price growth is stifling economies from the euro region to Israel and Japan.

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Belarus Wants to Criminalize Unemployment With Forced Labor As Punishment

Belarus Wants to Criminalize Unemployment

Taking an old-school approach to battle the woes of modern capitalism, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has endorsed a legislative ban on unemployment. “You want to bring back [the phrase] ‘social parasitism,’ do it. That would be easier for the people to understand,” Lukashenko was cited as saying at a governmental meeting on employment. His comments were made during a discussion of the Belarussian police’s proposal to punish people who “intentionally don’t work,” including by imposing forced labor.

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Tamar to supply Israeli gas to Egyptian market

Tamar to supply Israeli gas to Egyptian market

The partners in the Israeli Tamar gas field report this morning that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings for the export of up to 2.5 BCM of surplus natural gas from Israel to private Egyptian industrial customers, over a period of seven years. The gas will be transported via the Israel Natural Gas Lines system to Ashkelon, and from there to Egypt via the EMG (East Mediterranean Gas) pipeline.

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Greece Returns to Market Spotlight With Nosedive

Greece Returns to Market Spotlight With Nosedive

After months out of the spotlight, Greece was back at the center of Europe’s financial troubles on Wednesday, when concerns over the stability of the government and its bailout program triggered a massive sell-off in stocks and bonds. Greece’s main stock index closed 6.3 percent lower having traded down as much as 9.8 percent lower earlier in the day. Following a 5.7 percent loss on Tuesday, that brings the index to its worst level in 14 months.

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The Waning Phase Of Globalization Has Begun

The Waning Phase Of Globalization Has Begun

The economic slump has slowed the globalization process, but it’s not just cyclical. As alliances crack and problems spread, the interconnected world system may have just maxed out. The economic downturn has shown the need to reform multilateral financial institutions (the IMF and World Bank, especially), though there has been little progress so far. Meanwhile, emerging powers such as China and Russia are promoting alternative mechanisms (direct loans or currency swaps) to resolve crisis situations outside the multilateral system.

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Rival Kremlin Factions Feud Over Russia’s Economy

Rival Kremlin Factions Feud Over Russia's Economy

One faction, centered around Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, is concerned about Russia’s increasing alienation from the global financial system, the officials say. The other group—which includes Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, veterans of the security services, and heads of state companies such as Igor Sechin of oil giant Rosneft favors greater state control over the economy. “The long-running conflict between rival pro-Putin camps has elevated to war,” says Stanislav Belkovsky, a Kremlin adviser.

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Mass default looms as world sinks beneath a sea of debt

Mass default looms as world sinks beneath a sea of debt

As if the fast degenerating geo-political situation isn’t bad enough, here’s another lorry load of concerns to add to the pile. The UK remains the fourth most highly indebted major economy in the world after Japan, Sweden and Canada, with total non financial debt of 276pc of GDP. The US is not far behind with debt of 264pc of GDP. However, the real stand-out is China, which since the crisis began has seen debt spiral from a very manageable 140pc of GDP to 220pc and rising.

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Is Samaras Resorting to ‘Bank Run’ Threats?

Is Samaras Resorting to ‘Bank Run’ Threats

New Democracy MP Adonis Georgiadis recently announced that, should the current coalition government fall and SYRIZA rise to power, he will immediately withdraw all his money from the bank. At any other time, a statement of that sort would sound merely colorful. But given the fragile, fragmented nature of Greece’s banking system, Georgiadis’s words border on the incendiary. His threat also sounds uncannily similar to those old slogans the Greek right used to feed to their electorate: “If the Communists take power, they will take your homes.”

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China’s New Export: Military in a Box

China's New Export: Military in a Box

At the Africa Aerospace and Defence expo in September, weapons buyers from across the continent descended on Air Force Base Waterkloof in the South African capital of Pretoria for a bit of shopping. There they were wooed by Chinese defense gear giant Norinco, which has honed its pitch to an art. Norinco has even devised a novel way to make buying weapons easier: It bundles together starter kits of basic defense gear—everything from rifles to howitzers, laser-guided bombs, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and drones—for governments that want to quickly outfit their armed forces.

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Moody’s says private security firm Academi is cash-strapped post-acquisition

Moody's says private security firm Academi is cash-strapped post-acquisition

An acquisition that brings together leaders in the private security industry also leaves the combined company strapped for cash — but still stable, according to one rating agency. The deal announced in June united McLean-based Academi Holdings LLC with Triple Canopy in Reston and a few other global security companies, creating a company with estimated annual revenue of about $800 million, according to Moody’s Investors Service. But it also leaves liquidity dangerously tight, Moody’s says. C

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Turkmenistan Becoming Regional Railway Hub

Turkmenistan Becoming Regional Railway Hub

Buoyed by its rising hydrocarbon revenues, Turkmenistan is using some of that income to reduce its geographical isolation by upgrading and expanding its railway network while linking it to those of its neighbors. The most recent development is an Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railroad. A second project is a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan rail line. If carried through, the rail lines, will transform Turkmenistan into a gateway for imports and exports from post-Soviet Central Asian nations, breaking Russia’s traditional monopoly.

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Why Europe’s Super Rich Are Resorting to Smuggling Cash

Why Europe's Super Rich Are Resorting to Smuggling Cash

Under pressure from the United States and the European Union, these countries are warning their customers that if they don’t declare their bank accounts to the taxman in the countries where they live, they threaten to do it for them. That, or issue a cheque for the amount they hold followed by the closure of their account – but a cheque is no good for individuals who would have to use it to open another account, thus flagging up to fiscal authorities that which they want to hide in the first place.

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French farmers torch tax office in Brittany protest

French farmers torch tax office in Brittany protest

French vegetable farmers protesting against falling living standards have set fire to tax and insurance offices in town of Morlaix, in Brittany. The farmers used tractors and trailers to dump artichokes, cauliflowers and manure in the streets and also smashed windows, police said. The farmers say they cannot cope with falling prices for their products.About 100 farmers first launched an overnight attack on an insurance office outside Morlaix, which they set light to and completely destroyed, officials said.

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Dhaka to join China’s Asian investment bank

Dhaka to join China’s Asian bank

China had revealed its plan last year to create an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a capita of $100 billion. The emerging power will inject half of the total capital. This year, it invited Bangladesh to join as its founder-member.
Though Beijing has sought to downplay the politics behind it, analysts say it will extend its financial reach and compete with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which are heavily dominated by Japan. China has lesser voting power than the US, Japan, and the UK as a World Bank member.

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‘Scotland has £1 trillion of energy on tap’

'Scotland has £1 trillion of energy on tap'

As much of Europe focuses on whether Scottish voters will choose to leave the U.K., a key aspect of the debate is the extent to which energy wealth would — or would not — sustain an independent country. Scotland will vote in a country-wide referendum Thursday either to stay part of the U.K. or reclaim its independence after 307 years. Most of the North Sea’s oil and gas reserves lie north and east of Scotland, and those resources have continued to fuel the Scottish people’s hopes of independence since their discovery in the 1960s.

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Scottish independence could leave UK economy in crisis

Scottish independence could leave UK economy in crisis

The UK economy could be on the verge of a crisis if Scotland votes for independence in a referendum on September 18, with a London-based consultancy already reporting that almost £17 billion has been pulled out Britain in the last month. Described as the worst economic crisis to hit the country since the credit crunch of 2008, the information released by CrossBorder Capital comes after major banks, oil companies and supermarkets began voicing concern about Scottish secession amid uncertainty over the currency and a central bank.

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China, Russia to build one of the largest seaports in northeastern Asia

China, Russia to build one of the largest seaports in northeastern Asia

China and Russia will build one of the largest ports in northeast Asia on Russia’s Sea of Japan coast, reports said, in a further sign of the powerhouses’ growing alliance. The seaport is expected to be able to handle about 60 million tonnes of cargo a year. That’s comparable to Britain’s busiest port Immingham or Le Havre in France, according to European Commission statistics. The facility will be located in far eastern Russia, just 18km from the Chinese border. The region is also close to North Korea.

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Asian trading shifts make Suez, Panama canals less important

Asian trading shifts make Suez, Panama canals less important

Projects to expand the Suez and Panama canals are being talked up as the biggest upheaval for decades in global maritime traffic, but experts say they could be outflanked by a trade shift towards Asia. “These days most imports of coal, iron ore and oil are dominated by China, India, Japan and they do not require using any of the canals. The Suez Canal remains “fundamental for all Middle East Gulf to Europe crude oil trades… but even there it’s losing importance.

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Independent Scotland could not join EU without central bank, expert says

Independent Scotland could not join EU without central bank, expert says

The former EU commissioner for monetary union said it would not be possible for an independent Scotland to join the EU if it used the pound without a formal currency deal or its own central bank. Olli Rehn, who stood down in July as the European commissioner for monetary union and the euro, wrote to Danny Alexander, the chief secretary of the Treasury, this week to say having a central bank was an essential requirement of EU membership. With the vote due in just over two weeks, it showed support for independence at 47%.

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Taiwan to spend US$2.5b on anti-missile systems

Taiwan to spend US$2.5b on anti-missile systems

The defence ministry aims to purchase the locally-made Tien Kung 3 (Sky Bow 3) surface-to-air missile system between 2015 and 2024 to replace the ageing Hawk missile systems, said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang of the parliament’s defence committee. This will be the biggest procurement of domestically-made weapon systems in recent years. The Tien Kung 3 surface-to-air missile system, developed by Taiwan’s Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, is designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles for air defence missions and missile interception

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Ten more countries that may default on debt after Argentina

SOUTH KOREA STOCK MARKET

Argentina is not the only country that has struggled to pay its debt recently. There are 10 other countries currently on Moody’s lists with a rating of Caa1 or worse, meaning they are at risk of default. Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belize, Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Jamaica and Ukraine are all on the verge of a default, according to Moody’s ratings. Moody’s currently rates the country’s economy as stable and it is predicted that it will continue its healthy trend set in the past six years.

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Western sanctions push Russia, China closer; hurt dollar

Western sanctions push Russia, China closer; hurt dollar

By forcing Russia to conduct more business in the yuan and other Asian currencies, the U.S. may be speeding up the end of the petrodollar and giving China more prominence on the world stage. As the West tightens financial sanctions against Russia, Russian businesses are reducing their exposure to the dollar to minimize the damage from still tougher punishments. Many of these businesses have turned to the Hong Kong dollar as an alternative to the greenback.

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Strategic alliance with Bangladesh, India and Myanmar to exploit sea resources

Strategic alliance with India, Myanmar to exploit sea resources

C Raja Mohan, who is the head of strategic studies and distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, recently at a lecture in Dhaka had mooted the idea to form a trilateral group. On Tuesday at a roundtable on ‘blue economy’, the idea also came up from the private sector who believed Bangladesh should have a “strategic partnership alliance” with India and Myanmar to exploit sea resources. It gave hope of extracting “plenty of resources” beneath the Bay of Bengal that Bangladesh considers its “third neighbour”.

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Hungary seeks EU alliance to push closer ties with Russia

Hungary seeks EU alliance to push closer ties with Russia

Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday said he would seek to form a political alliance to stop the European Union pulling away from Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. “The EU gets further away from Russia every day. That’s not only bad for Hungary, but for the entire EU,” Orban told Hungarian ambassadors in Budapest. “We will have to seek the company of those EU member states who are interested in slowing and stopping this separation process,” he added, without naming any specific countries.

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Jordan to import natural gas from Gaza field

Jordan to import natural gas from Gaza field

Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have agreed in principle to start negotiations for Jordan to purchase natural gas from a field recently discovered off Gaza’s coast. In a statement to Anadolu news agency, the chairperson of the energy committee in the Jordanian parliament, Gamal Qumwa, explained that the preliminary agreement includes supplying Jordan with 150 cubic feet of natural gas from Gaza’s field. He pointed out that this quantity would cover 50 per cent of Jordan’s natural gas needs, which ranges from between 300 to 350 cubic feet per day.

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Venezuelan President Announces Mandatory Fingerprinting at Grocery Stores

People stand at the checkout line at a supermarket in Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Wednesday that the country will introduce a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets. He asserted that the plan will keep people from buying too much of any single item. The president did not say when the measure would go into effect, the Associated Press reports. The Socialist Venezuelan government has struggled with food shortages for over a year. Basic cooking items like oil and flour are scarce.

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Guam is Strategic Hub to Asia-Pacific Rebalance

The Pentagon Is Stuffing Caves in Norway Full of Tanks

Guam, because of its military bases, Army anti-ballistic missile system and location 3,300 miles west of Hawaii is an increasingly important strategic hub for the U.S. Asia-Pacific rebalance, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said today. “We’re going to have 60 percent of the Navy out in the Pacific and we’re going to have 60 percent of our combat air forces out in the Pacific,” he said. “But it’s not just about military things. The other part of the rebalance involves an initiative called the Trans Pacific Partnership.

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Peru fights gold fever with fire and military force

PERU

After years of ignoring the frantic gold rush fouling the Amazon forests of southeastern Perú’s Madre de Dios region, the government has launched a no-mercy campaign to crush it.It has sent police and soldiers on dozens of helicopter raids, swooping down to blow up equipment and burn mining camps. It has cut fuel supplies to Madre de Dios in an attempt to choke off the miners’ generators, motorbikes and diesel engines, saying per capita fuel consumption in the region is 10 times the national average because their machinery runs round-the-clock.

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Canada’s Controversial Engagement in Honduras

Canada’s Controversial Engagement in Honduras

Canadian mining corporations have a deep-rooted interest in keeping Honduran regulatory mining laws weak. These interests were threatened, however, when left-of-center candidate Manuel Zelaya was elected in 2006. Shortly after taking office, Zelaya announced his plans to reform the mining sector by restricting foreign mining companies in Honduras, distinguishing himself as a leader of an anti-foreign mining viewpoint. In May 2009, only a month before the armed forces ousted Zelaya, the Honduran Congress drafted a new mining bill.

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Spanish public debt tops one trillion euros

Spanish public debt tops one trillion euros

Spain’s public debt has topped one trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) for the first time, despite years of government-imposed austerity. The nation’s accumulated public debt mushroomed to 1.007 trillion euros at the end of June from 996 billion euros a month earlier, the Bank of Spain said in a report. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government has struggled to contain annual deficits by raising taxes, freezing public salaries and curbing spending on services such as education and health care despite angry street protests.

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China Restores 1,344km Copper Rail Line for Angola to Atlantic port of Lobito

China Restores 1,344km Copper Rail Line for Angola

The 1,344-km Benguela railway is the second-longest railroad built by Chinese overseas, shorter only than the 1,860-km Tanzania-Zambia Railway built in the 1970s. It will be the longest and fastest track in the southwestern African country of Angola, said Liu Feng, head of China Railway Construction’s Angola railway project. It connects Angola’s Atlantic port of Lobito to the eastern border town of Luau, and further to the rail network of southeastern Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo.

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LAPSSET: Kenya signs massive $478 million Lamu ports deal with Chinese firm

Kenya signs $478 million Lamu ports deal with Chinese firm

It is part of a bigger project known as LAPSSET (short for the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor) that includes not only a giant seaport to relieve Kenya’s overstretched port at Mombasa, but also roads, a 1,500km railway, an airport and a refinery. The $24bn scheme, due to be finished by 2030, is intended to give much of landlocked east Africa access to the Indian Ocean, with oil pipelines to South Sudan and railways to Ethiopia and Uganda.

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Portugal ready to bail out crisis-hit bank BES

The logo of Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES) is seen at their headquarters in downtown Lisbon

Portugal is ready to bail out the Banco Espirito Santo (BES) to prevent a catastrophic run on its banks that could plunge its fragile economy further into crisis. The recapitalisation plan could be announced as early as Sunday evening after trading in the country’s biggest private bank was suspended by the Lisbon stock exchange on Friday after its shares went into freefall. The cash injection from the state is designed to stop savers pulling any more money out of the bank.

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Ireland: Banking glitch leaves thousands of civil servants unpaid

Banking glitch leaves civil servants unpaid

An investigation is underway after teachers, nurses, garda workers and civil servants did not receive their pay into their bank accounts prompting a flood of complaints. It is understood that there is an issue processing the payments at the Bank of Ireland who said they are currently attempting to rectify the situation. The Financial Shared Service which handles pay for almost all public servants, distributes all pay through Bank Of Ireland, hence the issue.

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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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