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

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."

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The "Golsan"

Another Iranian cargo ship en route to Venezuela

Teheran - Another Iranian oil tanker is en route to Venezuela, as the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to defy the sanctions put on both the nations (Iran and Venezuela) by the United States of America’s (USA). As per various reports received, the Iran-flagged "Golsan" is en route to Venezuela and is expected to dock soon

The Covid-19 effects

Moody's expects poor GDP numbers for the first quarter / ANALYSIS

London - Preliminary first -quarter GDP estimates for several euro zone member countries and for the currency area itself will make the coming week extremely busy. We expect the numbers to be awful. Whole swaths of the European economies were forced to shut down in March owing to the COVID -19 crisis

Finance and Shipping

Moody's upgrades long-term rating of NordLB

Moody's has today upgraded by two notches the long-term ratings of Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ, NordLB, and its rated subsidiaries. NordLB's long-term senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings were upgraded to A3 from Baa2 

Trade

Turkey, hazelnut exports up over 43% in 4 months

The Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters' Union reported that Turkey earned $1.09 billion from hazelnut exports during the first four months of the season, which starts in September and ends in August

finance and politics

EU deadlocked over Albania membership

Brussels - Bitterly divided EU leaders failed Friday to reach agreement on allowing Albania and North Macedonia to start talks to join the bloc, dealing a fresh blow to their membership hopes. Summit talks ended without a decision despite seven hours of backroom haggling

finance and politics

For Russian business, big dreams in Africa / FOCUS

Moscow - From diamonds and arms to nuclear power and oil, Russia has major business ambitions in Africa, even if it is coming late to the party. Western countries like France and the United States are deeply entrenched in African economies and in recent years China has emerged

finance and politics

Lebanese government faces calls to resign

Beirut - The Lebanese government faced calls to resign Thursday after thousands of furious demonstrators took to the streets across the country to protest dire economic conditions. Public anger has simmered since parliament passed an austerity budget in July to help trim a ballooning deficit

finance and politics

Who loses and who gains from the demise of Thomas Cook?

London - The world’s oldest travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday, stranding more than half a million holidaymakers around the globe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history.

finance and politics

French minister hopes for closer ties with new Italy government

Cernobbio - With the arrival of a new government in Rome, France and Italy have a unique chance to strengthen their ties through joint projects and closer cooperation on European matters, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday.

finance and politics

Greek PM set to outline tax cuts, structural reforms

Athens - Greece’s prime minister is expected on Saturday to detail tax cuts for companies strained by years of austerity, while also promising pro-business reforms aimed at convincing lenders to ease the nation’s fiscal target from 2021.

finance and politics

US tradedeficit rises to five-month high

Washington - The U.S. trade deficit rose to a five-month high in Mayas the politically sensitive imbalances with China and Mexico widened. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between the goods and services the U.S. sells and what it buys from foreign countries rose 8.4% to $55.5 billion in May

finance and politics

UN wants urgent end to migrant returns to Libya

Benghazi - The U.N. refugee agency is calling for an immediate end to bringing migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean back to Libya after an airstrike hit a detention center, killing at least 40 people. UNHCR had warned less than two months ago that anyone inside the Tajoura detention center was at risk

finance and politics

China to ease limits on foreign investment

Beijing - China is reforming key industries to allow for greater foreign investment, according to state media. Xinhua reported the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China said Sunday sectors including oil exploration and mining are to be deregulated for more foreign capital inflows

finance and politics

Ford to close Wales engine plant in 2020

London - Ford will close its engine plant in Bridgend, south Wales, by September 2020, a trade union said on Thursday, putting 1,700 jobs at risk in the latest blow to Britain’s car industry.

finance and politics

China trade war of words heads for Fox cable TV face-off

Beijing - China’s propaganda war with the United States over their escalating trade dispute will reach a crescendo of sorts when a broadcaster from Chinese state television debates a Fox Business host in prime time on the U.S. cable network.

finance and politics

Salvini vows to unite EU populists, lacks willing partners / ANALYSIS

Milan - Italy’s victorious right-wing leader, Matteo Salvini, says the European elections have created “a new geography” of anti-élite sentiment in the EU. But it is far from certain that he will be able to forge a bloc from parties who are united around a strict euroskeptic, anti-migrant, anti-Islam platform, but little else

finance and politics

Chinese tourism to US drops for 1st time

New York - After more than a decade of rapid growth, Chinese travel to the U.S. is falling. And that has cities, malls and other tourist spots scrambling to reverse the trend. Travel from China to the U.S. fell 5.7% in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors

finance and politics

“East Med cooperation to counter Russia”

Nicosia - Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says the U.S. is looking for friendly nations in the region that share core democratic values in light of what he calls Russia’s “malevolent machinations.”

finance and politics

“Freight villages: drafting a proposal for a new law” / INTERVIEW

Rome - The activity of Italy’s Federlogistica-Conftrasporto association has gained momentum following Luigi Merlo becoming its president; formerly Mr. Merlo was Transport Councilor for the Liguria Region, president at the Port Authority of Genoa, and manager of shipping company MSC.

finance and politics

Trump vs. Iran: Saudis say they will defend themselves

Dubai - Saudi Arabia does not want war but will not hesitate to defend itself against Iran,a top Saudi diplomat said Sunday after the kingdom’s energy sector was targeted this past week amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf

finance and politics

Six Chinese firms banned from exporting sensitive U.S. goods

Washington - The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it added six Chinese technology firms, one Pakistani firm and five based in the United Arab Emirates to its list of entities that are banned from exporting sensitive U.S. technologies and other goods.

finance and politics

BlackRock unnerved by Italian politics in quitting Carige rescue

Milan - U.S. asset manager BlackRock withdrew from a proposed rescue of Italian bank Carige because the plan needed more co-investors and the country’s political situation was unhelpful, a source familiar with its decision said on Thursday.