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Taiwan hikes Q2 economic growth to 2.41%

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TAIPEI: The economy likely grew by 2.41 percent during the second quarter, not by 1.78 percent as originally forecast, the government’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said. The surprise surge of the Gross Domestic Product was mainly the result of exports and domestic investment, the Central News Agency reported. Last May, the DGBAS predicted that annual growth ... Read More »

Italy’s Intesa clinches 10 billion euro soured loan deal with US hedge fund

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MILAN: Italy’s biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) has clinched a deal with U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner over 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in problem loans, moving closer to a 2021 target of cutting soured debts to 6% of total lending. In reporting a higher-than-expected net profit for the second quarter, Intesa said it would sell 3 billion euros ... Read More »

Trump promises to ‘work on a free trade agreement with Brazil’

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President Donald Trump said he will pursue a United States trade agreement with Brazil. The move suggests a friendly relationship with President Jair Bolsonaro could help lower trade barriers between the two biggest economies in the Americas. “We’re going to work on a free trade agreement with Brazil,” Trump told reporters at the White House, without giving details. Trump raised ... Read More »

Two Japanese lizard smugglers get prison time in Australia

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Two Japanese men arrested last month for trying to smuggle lizards out of Australia have each been sentenced to five months in prison, according to the Australian Border Force. The men, identified by local media as Yusuke Imanishi, 52, and Daisuke Kobayashi, 28, were intercepted by customs officers at Perth Airport on June 5, at which time 13 bobtail lizards ... Read More »

Vietnam seizes 125kg of smuggled rhino tusks worth $7.5m

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More than 125kg of smuggled rhino horns have been seized in Vietnam in one of the biggest wildlife trafficking cases ever seen in south-east Asia. The horns, which had been smuggled in from the United Arab Emirates on an Etihad airways flight, were found in Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport concealed in thick plaster. It took over half a day for ... Read More »

500 Indian star tortoises being smuggled in train rescued from Vijayawada station

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A search operation was conducted on the Navajeevan Express and a passenger was taken into custody for allegedly smuggling the tortoises in an AC coach. In a major bust, officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized around 500 Indian star tortoises, after they conducted a raid at the Vijayawada railway station. DRI officials said that a search operation ... Read More »

July inflation seen settling lower at range of 2%-2.8%

A scene at one of the supermarket in Paranaque City, a shopper checks on sweetened drinks. Report said that Consumer prices in January rose at the fastest pace in over 3 years, exceeding expectations, as the government implemented the first tranche of tax reforms.The consumer price index rose 4 percent, compared to the 3.3-percent increase last December. Analysts polled by Bloomberg predicted a 3.5-percent uptick. It was the fastest increase since Oct. 2014.he government implemented higher taxes on fuel, sugar-sweetened drinks and cars from Jan. 1 to offset a reduction in personal income tax rates and help fund President Rodrigo Duterte's P8-trillion infrastructure program.Photo by:NONIE REYES

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expressed confidence that the downtrend in inflation will continue in July after a one-off blip this year, as reflected in its monthly forecast. The BSP’s Department of Economic Research (DER) announced on Wednesday that July inflation likely settled in the range of 2 percent to 2.8 percent. This is a more optimistic forecast compared ... Read More »

Thailand’s currency keeps getting stronger and that’s sparking concerns

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The Thai baht has soared against the U.S. dollar this year, significantly more than many other emerging market currencies. That strength, however, is sparking concerns as the country’s domestic economy weakens, analysts said. Since the beginning of this year, Thailand’s currency has jumped more than 5% against the dollar. On a year-over-year basis, it has bounded even higher — nearly ... Read More »

Woman arrested for allegedly smuggling liquid cocaine into SA

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A 36-year-old woman has been arrested at King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu-Natal for allegedly trying to smuggle liquid cocaine into South Africa. According to police, the South African woman had arrived on an Emirates flight from Dubai. “Members of the South African Police Service and Customs and Excise, acting on intelligence, searched the woman’s luggage and found liquid cocaine ... Read More »

Dutch man arrested in large German dark web drug bust

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The German authorities arrested a total of 11 suspects, including a Dutch national and two persons from Poland, while shutting down Germany’s largest online drug shop called ‘Chemical Revolution’, the General Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt announced. The detainees are suspected drug trafficking and other drug related crimes. This investigation was launched with the arrest of a 26-year-old German in the ... Read More »

NZ dollar treads water ahead of central bank rate-cutting actions

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The New Zealand dollar was treading water, awaiting expected central bank rate-cutting action later this week and next. The kiwi was trading at 66.28 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 66.30 cents at 7:55am. The trade-weighted index was at 72.92 points from 72.93. The US Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates early Thursday, New Zealand time, by ... Read More »

Exports down nearly 10% in July: poll

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South Korea’s exports have extended their slump for the eighth consecutive month in July, falling nearly 10 percent from a year earlier, a poll showed Monday, due mainly to the prolonged trade row between the United States and China. Outbound shipments are estimated to reach $46.6 billion last month, down from $51.8 posted a year earlier, according to the poll ... Read More »

Sports Direct shares plunge after retailer reveals £605m tax bill

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Sports Direct shares crashed as much as 27 per cent after Mike Ashley’s company revealed a £605m unpaid tax bill for House of Fraser, which it bought out of administration last August. The company’s share price later recovered some lost ground but remained more than 9 per cent down by 9.40am. Sports Direct repeatedly delayed releasing its results on Friday ... Read More »

Grab says it will invest $2 billion from Softbank into Indonesia

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Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab said Monday it will invest $2 billion into Indonesia over the next five years using funds from SoftBank Group. The investment will be aimed at speeding up the development of Indonesia’s digital infrastructure. That includes building a next-generation transportation network around electric vehicles in local cities and improving the way important services, such as health ... Read More »

Denmark’s corner of the global economy is shrinking

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According to new figures from the national confederation for industry, Dansk Industri (DI), Denmark’s share of the global economy has dwindled in recent decades. The figures show that the Danish economy now accounts for 2.2 percent of the world economy, down from 4.5 percent in 1980. “Denmark has gone from being a minnow to a microbe nation. While a number ... Read More »

Bayer says 2019 profit goal becoming a stretch

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FRANKFURT: Germany’s Bayer has warned that its 2019 earnings target has become harder to reach, becoming the latest agricultural supplies company to be affected by flooded US farms and trade disputes. The drugs and pesticides maker said it was still aiming to lift 2019 adjusted core earnings, or EBITDA, to about 12.2 billion euros ($13.6 billion), excluding the effect of ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 30 July to 05 Aug 2019

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Armed men steal $40 million of gold, metals from Brazil airport

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SAO PAULO: Armed men stole $40 million of gold and other precious metals on Thursday from a Sao Paulo cargo terminal at South America’s busiest airport, taking two hostages, police said. Several of the suspects arrived at the Guarulhos airport in a black pickup truck with livery resembling Brazil’s federal police, according to security footage seen by Reuters. Four men ... Read More »

Do NRIs in Gulf need to pay income tax in India?

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Benjamin Franklin, who was credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence and the American constitution, said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. His utterances made in 1700s hold true even this day. Non-resident Indians are required to pay an income tax on income of more than 250,000 Indian rupees that is earned in India. Siddesh ... Read More »

PH seeks $500-M WB loan

The Philippines is seeking a fresh $500-million loan from the World Bank to sustain its ongoing initiatives aimed at making the country more resilient and immediately respond to natural disasters. World Bank documents showed that the proposed Third Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Development Policy Loan (DPL) with a Catastrophe Deferred-Drawdown Option (CAT-DDO) is being considered for approval of the Washington-based ... Read More »