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coronavirus

Amid fears of food shortages

Mali suspends grain exports

Bamako - Mali has indefinitely suspended exports of rice, maize and other grains to protect its food supply as the United Nations warned of worsening hunger in West Africa, the minister of trade and industry said on Tuesday

Insight

African nations mend and make do as China tightens Belt and Road Initiative

Nairobi - Deep in Kenya's Great Rift Valley, members of the National Youth Service tirelessly swing machetes to clear dense shrubs obscuring railway tracks more than a century old. It's a distinctly low-tech phase for China's Belt and Road drive in Africa to create the trade highways of the future

The project

China to meet "challenges" to giant Belt and Road initiative

Brussels - A feed additive that reduces emissions of potent greenhouse gas methane from cattle could be the first of its kind to come to market in Europe after receiving a positive assessment on Friday from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Bucking global tapering trend

Japan unleashes record stimulus package

Tokyo - Japan unveiled a record $490 billion spending package on Friday to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, bucking a global trend towards withdrawing crisis-mode stimulus measures and adding strains to its already tattered finances

FOCUS

How GE's Larry Culp split the empire Jack Welch built

London - It was the break-up that eluded a generation of General Electric insiders. When Larry Culp, the first GE chief executive not to rise from within its ranks, convened a board meeting earlier this month to greenlight the split of the industrial conglomerate into three companies, he secured its backing. It was a far cry from board meetings held in the 1980s and 1990s by one of Culp's predecessors

Due to COVID 19 outbreak

UK: global supply chain crisis supports small ports

London - As the global supply chain crisis continues to escalate, suppliers are rerouting shipments into the UK through smaller ports like Liverpool. The sudden upsurge in demand for online retail instigated major disruptions in the global supply chain sector, following worldwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 outbreak in November 2019

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