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.

finance and politics

China to show new warships

Beijing - China will show off new warships including nuclear submarines and destroyersat a parade next week marking 70 years since its navy’s founding, a senior commander said on Saturday, as Beijing flexes its increasingly well-equipped military muscle

finance and politics

Ukraine enters uncharted new era / FOCUS

Kiev - Ukraine entered uncharted political waters on Monday after near final results showed a comedian with no political experience and few detailed policies had dramatically up-ended the status quo and won the country’s presidential election by a landslide

finance and politics

EU urges new Ukraine leader to push reforms

Brussels - The European Union delivered formal congratulations to Ukraine’s novice president elected on Monday but made clear it expects TV comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy to pursue halting reforms, including fighting corruption

finance and politics

China wants to ban bitcoin mining

Shanghai - China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining in the country, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector

finance and politics

Global trade slowed in Q4, WTO says

Geneva - World trade shrank by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is likely to grow by 2.6 percent this year, slower than 3.0 percent growth in 2018 and below a previous forecast of 3.7 percent.

finance and politics

Life after Super Mario unnerves global investors

London - “Whatever it takes” is a daunting legacy for any departing central bank chief to bequeath a successor and leaves world markets anxious about what is to come after Mario Draghi leaves the European Central Bank later this year

finance and politics

“China and EU to strengthen multilateralism”

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday acknowledged historic rivalries between the European Union and China as he called on both to strengthen multilateralism: “We would like to make progress renovating multilateralism.”

finance and politics

STX Engine fined for violating subcontract law

Seoul - South Korea’s antitrust regulator said Sunday that it has fined STX Engine Co. 20 million won (US$18,000) for violating the country’s subcontracting law.

finance and politics

Thousands of Moroccan teachers stage protest over pay terms

Rabat - About 10,000 teachers staged a new protest in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Sunday to demand permanent jobs, hours after police had used water cannon to disperse an overnight demonstration.

finance and politics

HK catches Singapore in most expensive city race

Tbilisi - Paris and Hong Kong for the first time joined Singapore as the world’s most expensive cities to live in, a study revealed on Tuesday, with utilities and transport driving up the cost of living. Zurich,Geneva and Japan’s Osaka trailed closely

finance and politics

“Positive signs” in Airbus-China talks

Nairobi - There are encouraging signs that European planemaker Airbus is closingin on a long-negotiated deal with China for dozens of new narrow-body jets, an aide to French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday

finance and politics

Algeria orders early university holiday as students spur protests

Algiers - Algerian authorities on Saturday ordered an early start to the spring university holiday, an apparent attempt to weaken two weeks of student-led protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

finance and politics

The port of Genoa signs alliance with CCCC

Genoa - “We are working to establish a new company in partnership with the Chinese group CCCC (China Communications Construction company), which will help us in the procurement phases of some major works related to the port of Genoa”.

finance and politics

Uljanik shipyard selects strategic partner

Croatia’s troubled shipbuilder Uljanik has selected domestic shipyard Brodosplit as its strategic partner, the company informed the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Thursday.

finance and politics

ECB calls in administrators to save Italy’s Carige

Milan - The European Central Bank appointed three temporary administratorson Wednesday to take charge of Italy’s Carige bank in an unprecedented effort to save the struggling lender after it failed to raise new capital