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Rand dips below R14 vs the dollar

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The rand dipped below R14.00 against the dollar in trade on Monday, amid rising expectations that the US Federal Reserve may cut interest rates. With the rand now finally below the R14.00 mark, a renewed optimism fills the local currency market, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions. “The recovery in the local unit has been driven ... Read More »

Dutch, Germans recover cargo lost by container ship

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BERLIN: Cargo lost by a container ship in a North Sea storm has started washing up on a German island, while soldiers have arrived to help clean up beaches on Dutch islands further west. The MSC Zoe lost more than 270 containers earlier this week as it sailed from Portugal to the German port of Bremerhaven. German authorities say two ... Read More »

Brazil meat exports slump on trade bans, logistics issues

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Export sales by Brazilian meat processors lagged last year as trade bans and a domestic truckers’ strike weighed on their ability to serve major customers like Russia and the European Union, according to data released by trade group ABPA on Thursday. Europe banned 20 Brazilian chicken plants because of food safety concerns, while Russia froze imports ... Read More »

Arrest after Japanese tourist lured with travel freebies into smuggling meth

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An Iranian man has been arrested after using travel freebies to lure an unsuspecting Japanese tourist into smuggling a bag of clothes laced with crystal meth, Thai police. The tourist, whose name has not been disclosed, found the deal on a travel website that offered free getaways to Thailand, Shanghai and Frankfurt, complete with thousands in spending money. But after ... Read More »

Korea’s foreign reserves hit record high in Dec.

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South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves reached a record high level in December, amid a weakening US dollar trend, the central bank said Friday. The total amount of foreign currency holdings stood at $403.69 billion as of the end of December, up $710 million from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea. This renewed an earlier record of $403 ... Read More »

3 things that make India’s path to becoming fifth largest economy harder

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India’s economy grew at a faster pace than most major nations in 2018, and this year, it’s poised to overtake the UK to become the world’s fifth-biggest. But that journey won’t be smooth. The outcome of a general election due by May is a potential pitfall for a nation already battered by emerging market turmoil and a currency rout last ... Read More »

Philippine shares open higher to kick off 2019

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MANILA: Consumer stocks are poised to benefit from higher spending for the mid-term elections in May, with stocks likely to trade higher at the start of 2019, an analyst said. The consumer sector may see “low double digit” growth in earnings this year, Inflation is also expected to slow, said BPI Securities research head Haj Narvaez. Share prices historically open ... Read More »

Inflation reached 4-year high in 2018

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Thailand’s annual headline inflation rose to a four-year high in 2018, boosted by energy and house rent, but the rate still moved in the target range set by the government. The Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry reported Wednesday that headline inflation, gauged by the increase in the consumer price index (CPI), was 1.07% for the whole ... Read More »

How South Africa’s top 40 companies performed in 2018

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South Africa’s top companies have had a difficult year – with shareholders feeling the sting of a weak economy, and a toughening global economic environment. Of the top 40 companies listed on the JSE, 28 saw their share price tumble over the course of the year, showing precisely how tough big cap corporates have had it in the past 12 ... Read More »

Dutch spent €70 mil. on fireworks this new year’s

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People in the Netherlands spent a total of 70 million euros on fireworks this New Year’s, 2 million euros more than the previous two years, according to the Dutch Association of Pyrotechnics, ANP reports. The most money was spent on so-called compound fireworks – linked ornamental fireworks that needs to be lit only once to give a small fireworks show. ... Read More »

Qatar Airways acquires 5% of China Southern Airlines

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Doha: Qatar Airways has acquired five percent of China Southern Airlines, the airlines announced. Qatar Airways has completed an on-market purchase of certain A shares and H shares of China Southern Airlines, resulting in aggregate holding of approximately 5% of the total issued share capital of China Southern Airlines. The Minister of Finance and Chairman of Qatar Airways Group H ... Read More »

Alliant wins $36m Iraqi Defense Deal

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Alliant Techsystems Inc. has been awarded a $36,570,512 firm-fixed-price modification (P00045) to contract FA8106-16-C-0004 that exercises Option Year Three for contractor logistic support. This contract provides the Iraqi Air Force’s Cessna 208 fleet and the 208/172 Trainer fleet with contractor logistic support. Work will be performed in Iraq and is expected to be completed Dec. 31, 2019. This contract involves ... Read More »

Jordan Retrieves 58 Smuggled Antiquities from Canada

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The Jordanian Antiquities Department announced that a number of Jordanian smuggled artifacts that were confiscated by the Canadian authorities have been returned to Amman. The Department of Antiquities said in a statement: “The Jordanian Embassy in Canada has completed the procedures of returning archaeological artifacts to Jordan and commissioned a specialized shipping company to pack, secure and ship the pieces ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s neighbours fear refugee crisis if US pulls out

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KABUL: Afghanistan’s neighbours, caught off-guard by reports of U.S. plans to withdraw thousands of troops, have begun preparing for the risk that a pullout could send hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing across their borders, diplomats say. Alarmed by the possibly of a chaotic withdrawal, diplomats from neighbouring countries who have been in talks with U.S. officials in Kabul said ... Read More »

Taiwan to bar foreign passengers smuggling meat, Jan. 2019 the soonest

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TAIPEI: In the wake of growing violations of meat being brought into Taiwan by passengers arriving from other countries, Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (COA) is slated to implement new rules to bar offenders from entering the country from as soon as January of 2019. A total of 104 cases of meat from areas infected with African swine fever being seized ... Read More »

Drone used to smuggle drugs into Kuwait

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Kuwaiti authorities have arrested a man who used a drone to smuggle in drugs from a neighbouring country, the anti-narcotics department said. It said the department had seized four kilogrammes (nine pounds) of amphetamine and one kilogramme of hashish. Kuwait’s interior ministry posted a picture of the drone and the drugs on its Twitter handle. The authorities have regularly reported ... Read More »

‘More than one million tourists visited Nepal in 2018’

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Over one million tourists visited Nepal in 2018 and the country aims to double the number by 2020, the tourism authority said on Monday. Nepal Tourism Board organised a special programme to mark the 20th anniversary of its establishment. The board was set up in 1998, when Nepal observed ‘Visit Nepal Year’ in an effort to attract half a million ... Read More »

Hungarian minimum wage to reach monthly Eur 460

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The basic minimum wage is expected to rise to 150,000 forints (EUR 460) before tax in 2019, while the minimum monthly wage of skilled workers is likely to increase to 200,000 forints, the daily Magyar Idők said on Monday, citing unnamed sources. The paper said employers and unions are expected to reach a deal on next year’s pay rises by ... Read More »

Major Spanish bank opens Toronto outpost as trade ties deepen

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One of the biggest banks in Spain has opened an outpost on Bay Street. CaixaBank SA announced Thursday that the new representative office in Toronto, its first in both Canada and the city, will offer support and advisory services in trade and corporate banking. It also makes CaixaBank the sole Spanish bank with a physical presence in Canada, the lender ... Read More »

Slowdown expected for Polish economy: report

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While Polish economy grew grew 4.8 percent in 2017, and it is expected to grow over 5 percent this year, economists quoted by the daily forecast that the growth might slow down to 3.8 percent in 2019. The daily added that one of the reasons behind the slowdown is that Poland’s main trade partner, the European Union “is loosing its ... Read More »