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Public debt drops to 121.5 percent of GDP

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Portugal had a debt-to-GDP ratio of 121.5 percent by the end of 2018, below the previous year’s ratio of 124.8 percent, the country’s central bank announced. This is the value calculated under Maastricht rules, which are those that Brussels considers. The value calculated by the Bank of Portugal (BdP) is slightly higher than the goal set by the government for ... Read More »

High-speed rail tunnel linking Finland and Estonia under the Baltic Sea gets funding

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An ambitious plan to build a vast railway tunnel under the Baltic Sea to connect Finland and Estonia looks set to go ahead after the project secured €15 billion in funding. The tunnel, which is supported by both countries’ governments, would connect the Finnish capital of Helsinki with the Estonian capital of Tallinn – cutting a two to three hour ... Read More »

IMF: Greece among best performers in eurozone

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Greece has entered a period of economic growth that puts it “among the best performers in the eurozone”. That rather striking judgement comes from the International Monetary Fund in a new report on the Greek economy. A senior IMF official said there were a lot of positive developments to point to. That said, the IMF said the economy remains vulnerable, ... Read More »

Reform of customs regulations slow, improvements sporadic

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The 1,000-member European Business Association of Ukraine, or EBA, issued its semi-annual customs index as well as the results of accompanying research. The index has not changed during the preceding half-year and stays at the level of 3.92 out of 5 points. EBA and its research partner Gemius interviewed 90 customs experts from among the pool of EBA member companies. ... Read More »

State to explore fee cuts for shipping companies

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HÀ NỘI: The Việt Nam Maritime Administration has requested that associations, seaport companies and shipping companies be exempted or allowed to pay reduced service fees for containers stored at seaports for a long time. The proposal was laid out in document No 646/CHHVN-VTDVHH, issued on March 7 to create favourable conditions for the owners of the containers to release the ... Read More »

‘Italy to defend strategic interests in China ‘Belt and Road’ accord’

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MILAN: Italy will protect its strategic infrastructure such as telecoms and avoid transferring key know-how as part of a planned agreement with China, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. Italy is studying mechanisms to monitor commercial accords signed under the “Belt and Road” memorandum agreement with China, as well as other measures to protect “strategic activities and national interests,” Conte told ... Read More »

Norwegian Air grounds its Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets

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OSLO: Norwegian Air will temporarily ground its Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jets at the advice of European regulators, it said on Tuesday. “Following the decision by the relevant aviation regulatory bodies to temporarily suspend operations of Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice,” the company said in a statement. The ... Read More »

Australian fintech firm expands to Indonesia

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Over the past few years, the Indonesian Central Securities Depository (KSEI) has consistently recorded a significant increase in the number of investors in the country, as shown in the issuance of Single Investor Identification (SID) numbers. Last year, the depository recorded a 44 percent increase in SIDs to 1.62 million, of which 988,946 were mutual fund SIDs. However, those numbers ... Read More »

Danish companies invent like never before

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An enzyme that breaks down dead cells in the stomachs of chickens so that they don’t need as much feed. An algorithm that stabilizes the swaying of a wind turbine so that it can be built with a little less steel. These are examples of products that two Danish companies, Novozymes and Vestas, have developed and been granted patents for. ... Read More »

Tuesday March 12 — Monday Mar 18, 2019

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Finland’s Outgoing Premier May Bow Out as Party Chair

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HELSINKI: Finland’s outgoing prime minister, who abruptly tendered the resignation of his center-right government just weeks before the general election, said Saturday he won’t seek to remain as chairman of his party next year if support continues to decline. Juha Sipila, now heading a caretaker government in the Nordic country, told Finnish public broadcaster YLE that polls showing 14-percent support ... Read More »

European shares pull back ahead of ECB meeting

European shares retreated further from five-month highs ahead of a European Central Bank meeting that is expected to slash growth forecasts and hint at a new round of ultra-cheap loans for euro zone banks. Euro-zone banks fell as some profit taking kicked in following gains made in anticipation of the ECB loan scheme, while the export-oriented auto sector continued to ... Read More »

Spain received record-breaking 4.2 million tourists in January

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The tourism boom continues unabated in Spain. The month of January set a new historical record for both tourist arrivals and spending: nearly 4.2 million visitors came to Spain, a 2.2% rise from the same month last year, and they spent a total €4.7 billion, 3.6% more than in January 2018. The strong January figures come on the back of ... Read More »

Uzbekistan discusses production of pharmaceuticals with major Hungarian brand

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Uzbek Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade held meeting with the President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hungary Laszlo Parragh, Trend reports via Uzbek media. The main issues of discussion were systemic measures to expand bilateral cooperation between the business circles of Hungary and Uzbekistan. In this regard, the importance of enhancing mutual visits of entrepreneurs was noted, ... Read More »

Oman’s inflation rises marginally in February

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Muscat: The inflation rate in the Sultanate, calculated in terms of consumer price index (CPI), increased by 0.18 per cent in February 2019 compared to the same month in 2018, according to the latest data released by the National Centre for Statistics and information (NCSI) on CPI. It also stated that the inflation rate fell by 0.10 per cent compared ... Read More »

Price of gold, silver plummets

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As per the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA), gold price was fixed at Rs 61,500 per tola on Sunday. Though the price of gold remained constant on Monday, it fell by Rs 500 per tola to Rs 61,000 a tola on Tuesday. Gold price further dropped by Rs 300 a tola on Wednesday to Rs 60,700 ... Read More »

Kuwait said to be planning $10bn fund with China

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Kuwait is planning to create a $10 billion fund with China to invest in the two countries, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Gulf state is discussing the creation of a Kuwait-China Silk Road Fund that would invest in Kuwaiti projects related to the Silk City and islands development, according to the people. It could also be ... Read More »

Qatar’s trade surplus hit $52 billion last year, minister says

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Qatar’s trade surplus reached $52 billion in 2018, the country’s Minister of Commerce and Industry said Sunday. More than 20 months after the economic and diplomatic blockade enacted by its neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar is endeavoring to tell the world that business is carrying on as usual. The tiny gas-rich monarchy has expanded ... Read More »

Oil Police interdict Kirkuk-area smuggling operation

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SULAIMANIYA/KIRKUK: Iraqi Oil Police fought a two-hour gun battle with smugglers tapping a remote well in the Jambur oil field this week, the latest incident in an uphill battle the Iraqi state is waging against oil thieves operating throughout northern Iraq. The various smuggling operations involve several thousand barrels of oil per day — a small fraction of Iraq’s overall ... Read More »

Jordanian manufacturer seals first ever deal in Middle East with Siemens

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AMMAN — Jordanian manufacturer Petra Engineering Industries Company on Monday signed the first ever deal in Jordan with international company Siemens to supply smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and equipments. During the signing ceremony at Petra’s industrial facilities, 30km southeast of Amman, the company uncovered that this deal is Siemens’ first ever in the Middle East region. ... Read More »