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‘Low-wage economy’: What you need to earn to be an above-average earner in NZ

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New Zealand workers need to earn more than $52,100 before tax each year to be considered an above-average earner. In a relatively low-wage earning society, full-time workers earning $1000 a week can think of themselves as lucky, as about 40 per cent of our full-time workers are on the minimum wage ($34,320 annually or $660 per week) and earning significantly ... Read More »

Brazil president says he wants free trade with ‘the entire world’

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro wants “bilateral trade with the entire world without an ideological bias,” he said on Twitter on Saturday ahead of the Davos World Economic Forum later this month. Latin America’s largest economy is also one of the world’s most restrictive. The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, last year ranked Brazil 153 out ... Read More »

Japan’s Nov current account surplus falls 43% on higher oil imports

A laborer works in a container area at a port in Tokyo, Japan July 19, 2017. Picture taken July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO: Japan posted a 43.5 percent drop in the current account surplus from a year earlier in November as goods trade fell into the red on higher oil imports that cut growth in exports, government data showed. The current account, one of the widest gauges of international trade, was at 757.2 billion yen ($7 billion), coming below the 1 trillion ... Read More »

China-Korea trade battered by UN sanctions

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BEIJING: China’s trade with North Korea plummeted last year, data showed Monday, as harsh UN sanctions batter the nuclear-armed country’s economy. Beijing is a key ally of the isolated state and its main source of trade and aid – but in 2017 it backed United Nations measures to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile activities. The sanctions on ... Read More »

24kg gold seized at Chennai airport, two South Koreans detained

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CHENNAI: In yet another sensational seizure, Customs official at the city airport on Saturday seized as much as 24kg gold worth Rs 8 crore from two South Korean women who were trying o smuggle it into the country. Customs officials said Hanbyoul Jung, 26, and Eunyoung Kim, 26, had arrived from Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific flight CX 631. They ... Read More »

The outlook of the Philippine real estate industry in 2019

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The Philippine real estate industry is forecast to maintain its growth and remain resilient in 2019. This is based on research and data gathered by industry leader JLL which reported an upward trend in the office, residential, retail, and hospitality sectors of the Philippine property market in 2018. In 2018, an estimated 1 million square meters of office space was ... Read More »

Gold prices up B50 to B19,550

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The Gold Traders Association this morning announced the buying prices at 19,101.60 baht per baht-weight for gold ornaments and 19,450.00 baht per baht-weight for gold bars. The selling prices were set at 20,050.00 baht per baht-weight for gold ornaments, and 19,550.00 baht per baht-weight for gold bars. The prices rose 50 baht from close. The buying prices closed on Saturday ... Read More »

Protecting South Africa’s borders: Rocky roads and unrelenting conditions

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Despite unrelenting terrain, the beating sun and vast tracks of land to patrol, South African Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers on the borders have still managed to apprehend more than 6 000 people – allegedly for trying to illegally enter South Africa from Mozambique since January. There, base commander Major Marvin Manganye spoke about their mission to maintain South African sovereignty. ... Read More »

Belgian port Antwerp netted record cocaine haul in 2018

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Brussel: Belgian authorities said Friday they had seized a record haul of more than 50 tonnes of cocaine at the port of Antwerp in 2018. Antwerp, Europe’s second busiest cargo port after Rotterdam, has boomed in importance to the drug trade in recent years and is now considered the continent’s main entry point for South American cocaine. The Belgian finance ... Read More »

Sharp Increases In Municipal Taxes This Year

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The municipal housing costs, sewerage and waste taxes, and property taxes are rising “very substantially” this year, according to the annual study by the research center for the economy of the lower governments COELO, NU.nl reports. The national government is increasing waste tax by 139 percent this year. Waste processors pay waste tax for the garbage that is incinerated or ... Read More »

Greece racks up surplus by keeping foot on investment brake

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Greece’s leftwing Syriza government expects that 2018 will have brought another record budget surplus as it strives to please investors — but economists wonder whether the country is achieving more discipline than is good for it. Figures published in December for the first 11 months of 2018 showed that Greece would outperform the year’s target for the primary budget surplus ... Read More »

Ukraine and UK to start talks about new trade agreement

TO GO WITH AFP ELECTION STORY by  DENIS HIAULT
A general view of of the Palace of Westminster, with the Great Westminster Clock, more commonly known as "Big Ben" seen on April 5, 2015 in London. In one month, Britain votes in a general election likely to put the nail in the coffin of two party politics and herald an uncertain future of coalitions, alliances and horse-trading. Neither of the two parties which have dominated parliament since the 1920s, the Conservatives and Labour, are expected to win the 326 House of Commons seats out of 650 needed to govern alone. AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'N

Ukraine’s Economy Ministry is expecting to start official negotiations with the United Kingdom concerning a new cooperation and trade agreement between the two countries this year. The new free trade agreement will be similar to Ukraine’s existing agreement with the European Union, according to the ministry. In a comment to the Kyiv Post, the ministry’s spokesperson Roksolana Pidlasa stated that ... Read More »

EU: Postpone Vote on Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

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The European Parliament and the European Council should postpone the ratification of the proposed EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement until the Vietnamese government takes concrete steps to improve its increasingly abusive human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. In Vietnam’s latest move to restrict rights, a new draconian cybersecurity law went into effect on January 1, 2019. The European Commission, ... Read More »

Italy coalition parties resolve migrant spat in late-night talks

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ROME: Italy’s coalition parties patched up a row over the planned arrival of boat migrants on Thursday, with hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini agreeing to let in a small group following late-night government talks. Salvini, leader of the far-right, anti-migrant League, had threatened on Wednesday to block the transfer of would-be refugees who were part of a group of 49 ... Read More »

Portugal, Ireland Bond Sales Show Conviction on ECB Rate Outlook

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In one fell swoop, Portugal and Ireland completed a quarter of their refinancing for the year. The two nations sold 4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) of bonds each via syndication Wednesday, compared with Portugal’s 15.4 billion euro target for 2019 and Ireland’s goal of between 14 and 18 billion euros. That follows banks underwriting around 21 percent of Belgium’s target ... Read More »

Italy’s Salvini touts ‘European spring’ with Poland’s rightwing government

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Matteo Salvini has pledged a “new European spring” alongside Poland’s rightwing government as Italy’s populist leader attempts to build a Eurosceptic alliance ahead of Brussels elections in May. On a trip to Warsaw to meet Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, Mr Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and head of the country’s hard right League party, ... Read More »

Vodafone plans to cut up to 1,200 jobs from its Spanish business

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MADRID: Vodafone (VOD.L) plans to cut up to 1,200 jobs from its Spanish business, the company said on Thursday, though it declined to give further details ahead of talks with labour representatives expected to begin at the end of the month. The telephone company said in November it planned to reduce its costs in Spain and Italy to respond to ... Read More »

Is Hungary becoming a rogue state in the center of Europe?

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during a conference in Budapest, Hungary, November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo - RC1CEB46EBF0

Most of the international criticism directed at Hungary over the past nine years has focused on domestic indicators such as the rule of law, separation of powers and press freedom. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been remarkably blunt about his designs for Hungary, citing China, Russia and Turkey as models. After an election in April widely deemed free but not ... Read More »

GALFAR WINS RO2.9MN DEAL FROM OMANTEL

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MUSCAT: Galfar Engineering and Contracting Co announced that it has been awarded a contract worth RO2.87mn by Omantel. The company has been awarded the tender for replacement and upgrading of HVAC systems and allied electro-mechanical and civil works for exchanges at Muscat, Wattayah, Azaiba and TCC Salalah-Phase III by Omantel, Galfar said in a filing to the Muscat Securities Market. ... Read More »

Nepal, Japan agree to resume commercial flights

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KATHMANDU, Nepal — Japan and Nepal have agreed to allow state-run Nepal Airlines to resume flights between the two Asian nations. The agreement was signed Wednesday at the beginning of two-day visit to Nepal by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. No Japanese airlines fly to Nepal, and Japanese tourists who visit Nepal and Nepalese students and workers who travel to ... Read More »