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Ukraine extends ‘special status’ for conflict-hit regions

KIEV: Ukraine’s parliament voted to extend regulations giving limited self-rule to separatist-controlled eastern regions, a prerequisite for a deal to settle the five-year conflict there. Lawmakers gave a one-year extension to the regions’ “special status”, which was adopted in 2014 and has been extended several times. The conflict in eastern Ukraine that broke out in 2014 has killed more than ... Read More »

Portugal hopes European tech investment will drive up exports

LISBON: European investment in Portugal’s digital sector can help address a shortfall in equity funding for start-ups and support an export-driving technology industry, Portugal’s economy minister said. A 30 million euro fund backed by the European Investment Fund, the Portuguese government and venture capital investors was announced on Tuesday at the Web Summit – Europe’s largest tech conference, held in ... Read More »

Hungary transfers HUF 57 bln for Paks upgrade in December

Hungary made HUF 57 billion in payments for the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant in December, János Süli, the minister in charge of the project, said at a conference organized by business daily Világgazdaság this week, Hungarian news agency MTI reports. The payments were made for six invoices related to general contractor Rosatomʼs delivery of technical plans for ... Read More »

China’s State Grid nears Oman electricity deal

State Grid Corp. of China is nearing an agreement to acquire a 49% stake in Oman’s state-owned transmission company in the first major privatization by the Middle East’s largest non-OPEC oil producer, people with knowledge of the matter said. , the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Talks are advanced and the two parties ... Read More »

Kuwait to invest as much as $1bn in Saudi Aramco IPO

Kuwait’s government will invest as much as $1bn in the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco as the kingdom asks regional allies to bolster the record share sale, according to people familiar with the matter. The Kuwait Investment Authority had been reluctant to commit significant funds to the IPO, but was told by the government that a stake was in ... Read More »

Qatar-Malaysian Joint Business Council formed

DOHA: Qatar Chamber (QC) yesterday announced the establishment of a Qatar-Malaysian Joint Business Council. This was revealed during a meeting of the Qatari side headed by Qatar Chamber Board Member Dr Mohamed Jawhar Al Mohamed in the presence of 20 Qatari businessmen who represented the Qatari side in the newly-established council. The Qatari side held a coordinative meeting at the ... Read More »

Scheme to Smuggle Luxury Cars into Iraq

Three men and a woman have reportedly been charged in Canada in connection with a scheme to smuggle stolen high-end cars and pickup trucks into Iraq. According to CP24, the gang stole 39 cars, including a BMW X6, usually from car rental agencies. The accused are named as Yehia al-Jbouri, Amer al-Ogaili, Zeyad al-Khafaji and Nahla Khayon. Read More »

Switzerland’s top insurer enters in to Afghanistan market through a local partner

The Insurance Corporation of Afghanistan has signed a partnership agreement with Zurich, one of the top global insurer with over $47 billion annual revenue. Jamal Asfour, Chief Executive Officer of ICA said this is an exclusive partnership which enables Zurich to insure risks in Afghanistan. Such milestone proves ICA’s ability to deliver top notch insurance and risk management solutions to ... Read More »

Taipei mayor lauds Taiwan’s medical industry

TAIPEI: Surgeon-turned Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) proposed on Sunday that Taiwan should double down on exporting its medical expertise, rather than just ICT (information and communications technology). At a forum held by Asia Pacific Chinese Medical Global Union, Ko said healthcare is an area where Taiwan can leverage its international clout, as it struggles to exert diplomatic recognition. Ko ... Read More »

Merkel warns German labor shortage could spark business exodus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel used her weekly podcast on sound the alarm on the country’s skilled labor shortage, saying it could force companies to move elsewhere. “We know that many sectors and businesses are looking for skilled workers,” Merkel said. “Without sufficient skilled workers, a business location cannot be successful. “That is why it is necessary for us to make ... Read More »

Brussels man jailed for human smuggling of Vietnamese nationals

A Bruges court has sentenced a Brussels man to over 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of people smuggling activities by arranging transport of Vietnamese nationals. The 45-year-old man, identified as a Brussels resident of Vietnamese origin, was sentenced by the Bruges correctional court to 37 months in jail, one of them suspended, Bruzz reports. The man ... Read More »

Japan tax evasion hunt extends to nearly 2m offshore accounts

Japan has learned of close to 2 million overseas accounts as it broadens its search for tax evaders to smaller balances. Data on more than 1.89 million accounts held by Japanese individuals and businesses in 85 countries and regions has been obtained for 2019, the National Tax Agency said Friday. When the agency began sharing information with counterparts under the ... Read More »

Three arrested for smuggling sandalwood

TIRUPATI: Three men were arrested in V Kota mandal of Chittoor for smuggling sandalwood. Cops recovered logs weighing 62kg from them. According to circle inspector C Yatheendra, the accused were identified as Faruq, 40, a resident of V Kota and Siva (27) and Surendra (24), both residents of Nadimantram village in this mandal. Acting on credible information, cops arrested Siva ... Read More »

DTI sees 2% to 4% rise in exports in 2019

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects exports of goods and services to increase by 2 percent to 4 percent up to about $99 billion this year, with services leading the growth. “I think it’s now between zero to 1 [percent growth]; the way it appears, this is for goods only. Because services will still show about single-digit growth,” ... Read More »

South Africa’s businesses marooned by rolling blackouts

JOHANNESBURG: As if choreographed by a puppet master, stores along the aisle of a Johannesburg mall hurriedly shut their doors one by one as soon as power outages strike slap-bang in the middle of the day. “We have to close the store immediately because people can steal … the card machines also don’t work without electricity,” a 23-year-old clothing retail ... Read More »

Fruit Company Workers Find 330 Kilos Of Cocaine In Melon Shipment From Brazil

Employees of a fruit company in Ridderkerk found a large batch of cocaine hidden among melons in a shipment the company received from Brazil on Monday, the Public Prosecutor said. A total of 330 kilograms of cocaine were hidden in the container, according to RTL Nieuws. The container came from Brazil and was delivered to the port of Rotterdam before ... Read More »

Bangkok Bank vies with SMFG for StanChart Indonesia Bank

Bangkok Bank Plc is emerging as a leading bidder for control of Standard Chartered Plc’s Indonesian bank, according to people familiar with the matter. The Thai lender is competing with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc in the final race for almost 90% of PT Bank Permata, a stake with a market value of about US$2.3 billion, said the people, asking ... Read More »

VN30 firms take 92% of all top listed firms’ total Q3 profits

HÀ NỘI: The top 60 biggest companies by market capitalisation and trading liquidity on the two local stock exchanges saw combined post-tax profit gain of 22.5 per cent to VNĐ46.75 trillion (US$2 billion) in the third quarter of 2019. Profits recorded by the top 30 firms on the Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange accounted for nearly 92.3 per cent of ... Read More »

Japan business sentiment hits 3.5-year low

Japanese executives are taking a dim view of business conditions. A government survey shows sentiment among major firms for the current quarter has hit a three-and-a-half-year low. Officials say the index for big companies across all industries came to minus 6.2. That’s the lowest it has been since the second quarter of 2016, when powerful earthquakes hit southwestern Japan. A ... Read More »

Korea is the ‘most undervalued’ equity market in North Asia

South Korean stocks are currently the “most undervalued” among the North Asian equity markets, according to one strategist from State Street Global Markets. South Korea’s market performance has lagged far behind its regional peers so far this year. Into Monday’s market close, the Kospi has only risen around 2.3% year to date. In comparison, Japan’s Nikkei 225 has soared about ... Read More »