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coronavirus

Shengjing demands repayment of debts due to it

China Evergrande to sell $1.5 bln stake in Shengjing Bank to state firm

Hong Kong - Scrambling to avoid defaulting on its debts, cash-strapped China Evergrande Group said on Wednesday it plans to sell a 9.99 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) stake in Shengjing Bank Co Ltd to a state-owned asset management company. Shengjing Bank, one of the main lenders to Evergrande, had demanded that all net proceeds from the disposal be used to settle the financial liabilities of the property developer due to the lender

In the first half 2021

S. Africa says mine deaths rose 33%

Johannesburg - South Africa's mines recorded 32 deaths in the first half of 2021 compared with 24 during the same period in 2020, the mines ministry said on Thursday, continuing a spike in deaths which began last year in some of the world's deepest mines

Vaccination surge encourages sector

Russians' return boosts Turkish tourism prospects

Istanbul - Thousands of Russian tourists began arriving in Turkey on Tuesday, boosting hopes for its tourism sector after a two-month suspension in flights imposed by Moscow due to concerns about a surge in COVID-19 cases in April

Local buying target of 1.2 mln tonnes unrealistic

Syrian drought puts Assad's 'year of wheat' in peril

Amman - The "year of wheat" campaign pushed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in jeopardy after low rainfall risked leaving an import gap of at least 1.5 million tonnes, according to preliminary estimates by officials and experts. The agricultural blow and lack of funds to finance the imports will add to pressure on a Syrian economy already reeling from 10 years of conflict and buckling under the pressure of U.S. sanctions

Trade restrictions linked to COVID-19 have ticked up

WTO head says pandemic-related trade barriers are rising

Geneva - The head of the World Trade Organization said on Monday that trade barriers related to medical supplies used against COVID-19 had risen and urged member states to drop them, as it intensified efforts to reach a deal on vaccine-sharing: "The trend is going in the wrong direction, - WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a virtual U.N. forum

On anti-COVID-19 measures

Congestion at South China ports worsens

Beijing - Congestion at container shipping ports in southern China is worsening as authorities step up disinfection measures amid a flare-up in COVID-19 cases, causing the biggest backlog since at least 2019. More than 150 coronavirus cases have been reported in Guangdong province, a key manufacturing and exporting hub in southern China

Over summer

EU countries clear plan to ease cross-border tourism

Brussels - European Union countries agreed on Friday to an easing of travel restrictions over summer that will allow fully vaccinated tourists to avoid tests or quarantines and broaden the list of EU regions from which it is safe to travel. Ambassadors from the 27 EU member states approved a modified European Commission proposal that people who have been fully vaccinated for 14 days should be able to travel freely from one EU country to another

Average cost of a litre of gasoline in Mumbai has risen above 100 rupees

India's low- income frontline workers burned by rising fuel prices

Chennai - Rizwanudeen, a 37-year old worker who delivers food in the southern Indian city of Chennai, struggles to pay his rent and loan instalments at the end of every month as he has been hit by the double whammy of higher fuel prices and fewer food orders. Millions of weekly wage earners like Rizwanudeen who make their living ferrying goods or people throughout India have been hit hard by record high fuel prices which are among the highest in Asia

Despite pandemic

Russian Davos to go ahead in person with Putin

Moscow - Thousands of officials and executives will gather in person in St Petersburg this week - and President Vladimir Putin will give a speech - as the annual economic forum Moscow pitches as "the Russian Davos" returns despite the COVID-19 pandemic

Through July

OPEC+ sticks to plan to ease supply cuts

London - OPEC+ oil producers agreed on Tuesday to stick to the existing pace of gradually easing supply curbs through July, as they sought to balance expectations of a recovery in demand against a possible increase in Iranian supply. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies - known collectively as OPEC+ - decided in April to return 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply to the market during May through July

Modelling hadn't factored in government shutdowns

Underwriters puzzle over how to make pandemics insurable again / FOCUS

London - When much of the global economy locked down last year, insurers, facing estimated losses of more than $100 billion globally, reached straight for their red pens to strike pandemic cover from all new business policies

No forecast for 2021

ONE profits soar to US$3.5b from $105m in 2019

Tokyo - Japanese container line headquartered in Singapore ONE has reported a US$3.5 billion profit for 2020 - an astonishing leap from the $105 million profit declared for 2019. The earnings surge came on the back of a 21 per cent increase in annual revenue

The proposal

British Airways calls for vaccinated people to travel without restrictions

London - British Airways's new boss said vaccinated people should be allowed to travel without restriction and non-vaccinated people with a negative COVID-19 test, as he set out his ideas for a travel restart a month before the UK government finalises its plans. Holidays will not be allowed until May 17 at the earliest

As pandemic keeps many shops closed

Inditex's net profit falls 70%

Madrid - Zara owner Inditex said on Wednesday its net profit fell 70% in 2020 to 1.1 billion euros ($1.31 billion), a steeper drop than expected, after a year of global lockdowns and dampened demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Fourth-quarter net profit fell 53% to 435 million euros out of sales of 6.3 billion euros as restrictions on shopping came back into force across much of Europe during the end-of-year holiday season

Reports record profit

Malaysia's Top Glove says no systemic forced labour found at firm

Kuala Lumpur - Top Glove said an independent consultant has found there is "no longer" any indication of systemic forced labour at the world's largest medical glove maker after it took steps to address U.S. allegations of such practices. The firm announced the findings on Tuesday as it posted a fourth consecutive quarter of record profit

Global prices rise

Russia plans to raise wheat export tax from March 1

Moscow - Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, plans to impose a higher export tax on wheat from March 1, its economy minister said on Friday, in another push to curb a rise in domestic food prices triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. Wheat prices in Chicago and Paris jumped after the proposal, which the Russian government has yet to sign

But concerns over vaccine hesitancy

EU eyes 'Vaxproof' document to revive travel

Brussels - The European Commission is working on a vaccine certificate, dubbed 'Vaxproof', that could help restore cross-border travel, EU officials said, but the plan is dividing EU nations. The issue has been discussed for months but has led to no compromise because of fears over vaccine hesitancy and privacy. The EU executive Commission is working on a system for mutual recognition in all 27 EU countries of a certificate proving the holder has been vaccinated

New service

ZIM to meet eCommerce boom with record US-China service

Haifa - Container shipping line ZIM has launched a dedicated service from South China to Los Angeles US West Coast – Speedy ZIM eCommerce Xpress (ZEX) to cater for the increasing needs of eCommerce customers. In a statement, the carrier said the emphasis on eCommerce was particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic