The dispute

Ivory Coast says Hershey cocoa beans deal could derail farmer income scheme

Abidjan - U.S. chocolate maker Hershey's move to buy cheap beans from the New York futures exchange is an attempt to derail plans by Ivory Coast and Ghana to increase farmers' income, the Ivorian cocoa regulator alleged in a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday. Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top producers, are expected to sell their first full cocoa crop this season under a new scheme that includes a price premium of $400 per tonne

On LNG storage ships

GTT fined over unfair sales practices in S. Korea

Seoul - South Korea's antitrust regulator said Wednesday it has fined a French engineering company 12.5 billion won (US$11 million) for its unfair tie-in sales to South Korean shipbuilding clients

Weighed down by COVID-19 and oil prices

Nigeria slips into recession

Lagos - Nigeria has slipped into a recession after its gross domestic product contracted for the second consecutive quarter, according to data released on Saturday which showed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices. Africa's biggest economy was last in recession in 2016, its first in a generation

After Albayrak and Uysal

Turkey's new economic chiefs need new crisis playbook / ANALYSIS

London - Turkey's two new economic czars will need a fresh crisis playbook if they are to keep the lira and the economy from plunging into deeper turmoil. The shock departure of finance minister Berat Albayrak, who is President Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, and central bank chief Murat Uysal over the weekend gave the lira its best day in over two years on Monday

In step towards emissions target

Gabon signs hydropower deal

Libreville - Gabon and Paris-based asset manager Meridiam signed a $210 million deal to build a hydroelectric dam as part of the central African nation's international commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once operational in 2023, the Kinguele Aval project on the Mbei River is slated to have production capacity of around 205 gigawatt hours per year, or 13% of the current consumption of the capital Libreville, 100 kilometres to the west

To help cut budget deficit

Sudan doubles domestic fuel prices

Khartoum - Sudan doubled domestic fuel prices on Tuesday, a move that should help reduce a gaping budget deficit but is sure to anger many of the country’s impoverished citizens. The government, which has long fixed fuel prices at some of the lowest levels in the world, raised the price at the pump of locally produced diesel to 46 Sudanese pounds ($0.8364) a litre from the previous 23 pounds

For Donbass

Ukraine expects $100 mln loan from World Bank

Kyiv - Ukraine will receive a $100 million loan from the World Bank to finance the recovery of the eastern Donbass region badly hit by a six-year military conflict with Russia-backed separatists, the Ukrainian president said on Saturday. In a Twitter post, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed gratitude to the World Bank "for supporting Ukraine's territorial integrity."

Due to political crisis

Ivory Coast cocoa port arrivals plunge

Abidjan - Cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast tumbled this week due to a violent political standoff following a disputed presidential election in the world's top growing nation. The delivery of cocoa beans to Abidjan and San Pedro ports between Monday and Wednesday were estimated 29,000 tonnes

As lira slides

Turkey's Erdogan ousts central bank governor

Istanbul - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan fired central bank governor Murat Uysal on Saturday and replaced him with ex-finance minister Naci Agbal, acting after a 30% plunge in the lira currency's value to record lows this year

As Adriatic Metals digs in

Bosnia's mountain minerals offer hope / FOCUS

Vares - In a remote mountain town with a history of mining that dates from Roman times, hopes are high that British mineral company Adriatic Metals will bring jobs and spur some of the economic revival Bosnia craves. Foreign direct investment in the country had already fallen as bureaucracy deterred investors. In the first half of this year, it was down nearly 50% compared with a year ago as the pandemic paralysed economic activity

If Karabakh talks fail

Azeri leader says he will fight "to the end"

Baku - Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said on Sunday his troops would "go to the end" should negotiations fail to result in an agreement by ethnic Armenian forces to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. Aliyev spoke during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the Azeri capital Baku

The technology maker

Wartsila's Q3 earnings per share below forecast

Wartsila posted third-quarter earnings per share below market forecasts on Friday, saying the COVID-19 pandemic continued to limit investments in both its marine and energy markets

Duterte

Philippine approve resumption of energy projects in South China Sea

Manila - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted the moratorium on petroleum exploration in the South China Sea, paving the way for three projects to resume, including a possible joint venture with China. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Thursday that service contractors were notified to resume energy-related activity in the area

Green policy

France to rein in export guarantees for oil and gas industry

Paris - France will stop providing state export guarantees to projects involving dirty forms of oil such as shale from next year, followed by all types of oil from 2025 and gas from 2035, the finance ministry said on Monday. The French state stopped giving export guarantees, which companies often need to get bank credit, to projects this year where fracking and flaring were involved and also dropped its financial support for coal developments

Erdogan tells EU's Michel progress needed on Turkey-EU ties

Greek-Turkish tensions rise in crisis over eastern Mediterranean

Istanbul - A Turkish ship set sail on Monday to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to issue a furious new demand for European Union sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights. France expressed its concern after the Turkish vessel, the "Oruc Reis", began its voyage

Backed by the EU

New gas pipeline could heat up Azeri-Russian rivalry

Azerbaijan’s ties with Russia, already strained by conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, face further pressure from the launch later this year of a gas pipeline that is poised to squeeze Moscow’s diminished gas sales to Europe and Turkey

The 16-year-old dispute

WTO backs EU tariffs on $4 bln U.S. goods over Boeing subsidies

The U.S. Trade Representative and the EU's Washington office did not immediately answer requests for comment. Boeing declined comment on the confidential WTO report but accused Airbus of ignoring its recent decision to forego tax breaks in Washington state to try to resolve the dispute. Airbus, which recently announced its own concessions on funding in France and Spain

Biggest fall in records going back to 1955

UK GDP collapsed nearly 20% in Q2 in historic COVID hit

London - Britain suffered a record collapse in economic output in the second quarter of 2020 when COVID-19 lockdown measures were in force and people had few opportunities to spend

Northern Africa

How strongly can Libya's oil rebound? / ANALYSIS

Cairo - A blockade on Libya's oil facilities has been partially lifted, allowing a gradual reopening of some ports and fields, but obstacles and uncertainties complicate a full recovery

Persian Gulf

Iran opens Naval base along oil chokepoint

Teheran - Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps opened a new naval base along one of the world’s busiest oil transit routes on the Persian Gulf as frictions with the U.S. and its allies in the region loom over security in the waterway. The Shaheed Rahbari base near the port of Sirik, on the eastern side of the Strait of Hormuz, took six years to build and will give Iran “full control” of various vessels that use the channel

Geopolitics

Tankers carrying Iranian fuel begin entering Venezuelan waters

Teheran - The first of a group of three tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela entered the waters of the South American nation on Monday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, in the most recent sign of the countries' expanding trade. The two OPEC members have increased cooperation this year by exchanging crude, fuel, food, equipment for refineries and other industrial goods

The referendum

Swiss voters clearly reject curbs on EU immigration

Around two-thirds of the 2.1 million foreigners living in Switzerland in 2019 were citizens of the EU, as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, which with Switzerland are members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

Energy

Trump extends drilling ban off North Carolina

The Trump administration, which has worked to expand U.S. oil and gas drilling and roll back Obama-era rules on pollution from fossil fuels, originally wanted to expand offshore drilling off many of America's coasts, including Florida

Energy transition

Shell launches major cost-cutting drive

London - Royal Dutch Shell is looking to slash up to 40% off the cost of producing oil and gas in a major drive to save cash so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets. Shell's new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year

Recovery Fund

Spain faces unusual problem: how to spend billions in crisis funds

Madrid - After securing a generous portion of European Union recovery funds for the coronavirus crisis, Spain faces an unlikely problem - how to make use of all the money, government sources told: "This is not a crisis of dough (money), it is a crisis of ideas," one of the sources said, referring to concrete investment projects to help the economy out of a record recession. In a country that has not managed to approve a full-year budget since 2016

Inventory glut

Oil refiners worldwide struggle with weak demand

London - Global oil refiners reeling from months of lackluster demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn because the recovery in demand from the impact of coronavirus has stalled

Public finances

Norway's government in deficit for the first time in 25 years

Oslo - Norway's quarterly public spending exceeded the government's overall income for the first time in 25 years during the three months from April to June, Statistics Norway (SSB) said on Wednesday. The unusual deficit, amounting to $9.5 billion, came as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp fall in tax revenue and in the price of crude oil

more than 90,000 cases

India reports global daily record of new coronavirus cases

The pandemic will not finish this year as the virus has spread from big cities to other parts of the country, Randeep Guleria, the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, said in an interview with India Today TV

Statistics

Turkey's economy shrinks nearly 10% in Q2 under pandemic impact

Istanbul - Turkey's economy contracted by 9.9% in the second quarter as a coronavirus lockdown brought activity to a near standstill, according to data on Monday that showed its worst year-over-year performance in a decade

New rules

Royal Canadian Navy drops 'seaman' title for gender-neutral term 'sailor'

Ottawa - The Royal Canadian Navy is ditching the term “seaman” in favour of the gender-neutral “sailor,” the organization said Thursday: “By adopting gender neutral designation for junior members of the Royal Canadian Navy, we demonstrate to all Canadians that the Canadian Armed Forces will welcome anybody who wants to serve their country and uphold the values of inclusion and diversity"- Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement

Bok data

North Korea economy returns to grow

Seoul - The economy of isolated North Korea grew for the first time in three years in 2019 as better weather conditions boosted crop yields, but sanctions imposed to stop its nuclear ambitions kept factory output weak, South Korea's central bank said. Gross domestic product (GDP) in North Korea last year rose 0.4%

Diplomacy

UAE cancels Israel boycott, allows economic agreements

Tel Aviv - The president of the United Arab Emirates has issued a decree cancelling a law on boycotting Israel and allowing trade and financial agreements between the two countries. The decree from UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan aims at "supporting bilateral cooperation in order to arrive at (the establishment) of bilateral relations"

New rules

Greece says new insolvency code gives 'second chance' to debtors

Athens - Greece's conservative government has drafted a bill which overhauls its insolvency code, seeking to help over-indebted households and businesses make a fresh start after a crippling decade-long debt crisis. More than one million individuals and 300,000 businesses owe money to banks and the state, legacy of a decade-long financial crisis that shrank the country’s economy by a quarter

Amid EU aid

For all the debt, new Italy or Spain bonds may be hard to find / FOCUS

Amsterdam - Investors may struggle to find new southern European government bonds for the next two years, as the European Union's support programmes could cover much of the new funding needs of countries worst hit by the pandemic. Together with ongoing European Central Bank bond buying, the net supply of new sovereign Italian bonds to the open market may even shrink

Pandemic crisis

We share workers: Chinese factories redeploy staff to weather pandemic blow / REPORTAGE

Beijing - When the government of the south China city of Zhongshan heard that watchmaker Kam Yuen Group was furloughing more than 100 workers, it brokered a deal to shift the surplus staff to another manufacturer - a growing practice The arrangement will see Guangdong Welland Technology Co, which makes smart-watches and weighing scales, take on 140 Kam Yuen workers over the next six months

After demonstrations

Putin says Russia has set up 'reserve police force' to help Belarus leader if needed

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the Kremlin had set up a "reserve police force" to support Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, although it would not be deployed unless unrest there got out of control, Interfax news agency reported. The remarks were the strongest signal the Kremlin has given yet that it is prepared to use force if needed in Belarus

Trade war

China only fulfils 5% of Sino-U.S. energy trade deal in first half of 2020

Beijing - China bought only 5% of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products from the United States in the first half of 2020, falling well short of its trade deal commitments at a time when relations between the two top economies are already sour. China's imports of crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), metallurgical coal and other energy products totalled around $1.29 billion this year through June

First normal dialogue since May

U.S., China reaffirm commitment to Phase 1 trade deal in phone call

Washington - Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal, which has seen China lagging on its obligations to buy American goods, giving a boost to financial markets on Tuesday. The pledge was made in a telephone call between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He

The strategy

Sweden beefs up Baltic Sea forces amid regional tensions

Stockholm - Sweden is beefing up its military presence in the Baltic Sea amid concerns over increased Russian activity in the region and heightened tensions in Belarus following a disputed election. Sweden has been rearming in recent years after running down its military following the end of the Cold War

Statistics

UK economic output collapses by record 20% in second quarter

London - Britain's economy shrank by a record 20.4% between April and June, when the coronavirus lockdown was tightest, the largest contraction reported by any major economy so far, according to official figures published on Wednesday. The data also showed the world's sixth-biggest economy entered a recession as it shrank for a second quarter in a row

Statistics

Wind and solar produced 10% of global electricity in H1 2020

London - Wind turbines and solar panels produced a record 10% of the world’s electricity in the first half of 2020 as coal-power declined, but steeper change is needed to meet targets set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a report said on Thursday. Scientist say huge cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector are required over the next decade to limit global warming and curb the worst impacts of climate change

Minister Le Maire says

France aims to help SMEs with $3.5 bln aid

Paris - The French government's economic recovery plan, which will be unveiled later this month, will entail three billion euros ($3.5 billion) in aid for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Sud Ouest reported citing Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire:"A lot of the SMEs were in good financial health before the crisis

New businesses

Spice is right as Indonesian startups eye value in vanilla / REPORTAGE

Jakarta - Indonesian Sofa Arbiyanto had a manufacturing job in South Korea two years ago when he learned about the high price of vanilla on the global market, and decided to try his luck at growing it. Now he has 2,000 vanilla vines on a 1,200-sq-metre (0.3-acre) farm in Blora, Central Java, started after he did some internet research and joined online groups of vanilla farmers

Commercial war

China hopes U.S. will create conditions to implement Phase 1 deal

Beijing - China hopes the United States will stop taking restrictive and discriminatory action against Chinese firms and create conditions for the implementation of a Phase 1 trade deal, Assistant Minister of Commerce Ren Hongbin said on Thursday. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are due to review the deal during a video conference this weekend

Extraordinary expenses

Swiss see $23 bln 2020 deficit, COVID relief costs less than planned

Zurich - The Swiss federal government expects a deficit of $22.87 billion for 2020, it said on Wednesday, as the country's coffers are hurt by lower receipts and costly programmes to offset the new coronavirus's hit to the economy. The shortfall results from an ordinary budget deficit of 3.1 billion francs, as well as extraordinary spending to combat the COVID-19 pandemic projected at 17.8 billion francs

After port blast

Next Lebanon government to face $30 billion reform test / FOCUS

Beirut - Lebanon may be in line for $298 million in emergency aid after the Beirut port blast, but the more than $30 billion some estimate it may need to rebuild its shattered economy will not be forthcoming without reform

A rebound is expected within 2021-2022

Philippines suffers first recession in 29 years

Manila - The Philippine economy fell into recession for the first time in 29 years with a record slump in the second quarter, as strict lockdown measures ravaged economic activity

Clashes in the country

Bolivia protests rattle political truce as military mobilized

La Paz - Bolivia's government said on Monday it had ordered police and military to protect key installations and the transport of medical oxygen after clashes broke out over protests and roadblocks by opposition supporters demanding a quick election. Tensions are brewing as the South American nation heads for a key presidential election on Oct. 18, which has been delayed due to COVID-19

The Ray-Ban tycoon

Italy's Del Vecchio eyes up to 14% stake in Mediobanca

Milan - Italian eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio is planning to raise its stake in financial group Mediobanca to 13-14% after he receives an approval from the European Central Bank later this month, two Italian dailies reported on Tuesday. Del Vecchio, founder of Ray-Ban owner Luxottica, sought ECB clearance in June to spike his Mediobanca holding above 10% and up to 20%

The economic crisis

Turkey's tumbling lira tests Erdogan's rate resolve / ANALYSIS

Istanbul - Turkish central bank head Murat Uysal has stuck to the rate-cutting script since President Tayyip Erdogan hired him to lift Turkey out of a recession and currency crisis. A year later with the COVID-19 pandemic now crushing the lira, some traders and analysts say they think Uysal will instead hike rates to head off a deeper crisis

Rocky road to recovery

European factory activity returned to modest growth

London - Euro zone manufacturing activity expanded modestly last month, its first growth since early 2019, and Asia's pain eased as the contraction slowed in export-reliant nations, adding to hopes the sector is emerging from the hit of the coronavirus pandemic. Just over 18 million people have been infected by the coronavirus and the hit from lockdowns and social distancing policies to contain its spread have had a devastating impact on global growth

Coronavirus

Philippines fears for economy as tough lockdown returns

Manila - Tens of millions of people in and around the Philippine capital will go back to a strict lockdown from Tuesday, threatening incomes and hopes for reviving a once dynamic economy as authorities take drastic measures to halt surging virus cases. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippines was one of Asia's fastest growing economies

Budgets

Azerbaijan lowers its economic outlook

Baku - Azerbaijan has lowered its economic outlook, projecting its oil-driven economy will shrink by 5% this year from an earlier forecast of 3.8%, the finance ministry said on Saturday. Its updated budget will be discussed next week. The ministry also lowered its 2020 oil price forecast, which it uses to calculate its budget

Latest data

Austrian economy shrank 10.7% in the second quarter

Vienna - The Austrian economy shrank 10.7% in the second quarter, marking its biggest contraction since the data series began after World War Two, as the coronavirus pandemic hit both domestic and foreign demand

Eni's marketing unit shines in challenging quarter

Shell, Total avoided expected loss due to trading

London - The trading units of European oil and gas majors have shielded their second-quarter results from the full force of the corona-induced collapse in demand for fuel, but big writedowns showed the scale of the challenge ahead, results showed on Thursday. France's Total and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell scraped out small profits against expectations of losses

Worth of 20 million dollars

380 kg of Cocaine found in container at London Gateway Port

London - British officials have seized about £15.2m ($19.4m) worth of cocaine hidden in the floor of a refrigerated container at the London Gateway port in Essex. Border Force officers found 380 kg of the drug in a container carrying bananas from Costa Rica to Germany, after an X-ray revealed an anomaly in the insulation cavity

Post Covid-19

Iron ore, Rio Tinto sees China demand recovery

Rio Tinto on Friday reported a 1.5% rise in iron ore shipments for the second quarter and said demand for the steelmaking ingredient was improving in China as its economy recovers from the coronavirus outbreak

Post-Covid

China's export slump to ease in June

The slump in China’s exports likely eased in June as some countries reopened their economies, while imports contracted less sharply on higher crude oil and commodities purchases, a Reuters poll shows