Real estate crisis in China

Evergrande begins repaying wealth product investors with property

Beijing - Cash-strapped developer China Evergrande Group has begun repaying investors in its wealth management products with real estate, a unit of its main Hengda Real Estate Group Co Ltd unit said. Evergrande, with over $300 billion in liabilities, is in the throes of a liquidity crisis that has left it racing to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers

europe

Hungary government offers to buy Budapest airport

The Hungarian government would like to acquire a majority stake in Budapest Airport again through negotiations with theowners, the Innovation and Technology Ministry told Reuters in a statement, adding it was "strategically important to have the airport in Hungarian hands again"

But political feud rumbles on

Kuwait assembly backs budget

Kuwait's parliament approved the 2021-22 state budget on Tuesday but failed to quell a bad-tempered standoff between government and opposition that has blocked economic reforms and hampered decision-making at the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund. Rowdy scenes broke out after the vote, supported by 32 out of 63 lawmakers in attendance including 50 elected members and government ministers

In sharp recovery

Dutch economy to grow 3.2% in 2021

Amsterdam - The Dutch economy is expected to recover much faster from its coronavirus slump than expected, as the rollout of vaccinations lets businesses reopen, government policy adviser CPB said on Tuesday

And proposes new path

Spain welcomes bank efforts on job cuts

Madrid - Spain on Monday welcomed efforts by banks to reduce the number of initially planned layoffs after talks with unions, while calling on lenders to explore new paths to profitability. Comisiones Obreras, Spain's largest financial sector union, has called for a one-day-strike on Tuesday in protest at plans by Caixabank to cut to cut more than 7,500 jobs

Congolese Finance Minister Andely says

China agrees to reschedule Congo Republic's $2.4 bln debt

Brazzaville - Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed in principle to reschedule Congo Republic's debt, Congolese Finance Minister Rigobert Roger Andely said on Monday, adding that the move would help unlock stalled International Monetary Fund lending

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

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

And that's a worry

China's banks are bursting with dollars / ANALYSIS

Shanghai - A mountain of dollars on deposit in China has grown so large that banks are struggling to loan the currency and traders say it poses a risk to official efforts to control a fast-rising yuan. Boosted by surging export receipts and investment flows, the value of foreign cash deposits in China's banks leapt above $1 trillion for the first time in April

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

The announcement

France to set up 3 bln euro company support fund

Paris - France will set up a new three billion euro ($3.67 billion) fund to support mid-sized and large companies as they emerge from the coronavirus crisis, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday. The fund aims to help firms on a case-by-case basis with loans or equity injections so that businesses that were viable before the pandemic but now have strained balance sheets

But signs of recovery emerge

Philippine economic slump extends into Q1

Manila - The Philippine economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter, though sequential momentum showed a recovery was underway and suggested the central bank will keep rates at a record low at this week's policy review to support the revival. Gross domestic product fell 4.2% in the March quarter from a year earlier

Blinken says

"West must be very careful about Chinese investment"

London - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the West had to be very careful about the exact nature of Chinese investment in Western economies and think very carefully about investments in strategic assets. China's spectacular economic and military rise over the past 40 years is among the most significant geopolitical events of recent history, alongside the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union that ended the Cold War

In $4.5 bln deal

France to sell Egypt 30 fighter jets

Paris - Egypt has signed a contract with France to buy 30 Rafale fighter jets, its defence ministry said in a statement early on Tuesday, in a deal that was worth 3.75 billion euro ($4.5 billion). President Emmanuel Macron said in December he would not make the sale of weapons to Egypt conditional on human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo's ability to counter terrorism in the region

IMF says

Saudi Arabia could ease fiscal adjustment to help recovery

Dubai - Saudi Arabia's plans to balance its finances are making good progress but a slower pace of adjustment could be considered this year to support the recovery from the coronavirus crisis, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday

In France

Lebanon's central bank governor faces new corruption allegations

Paris - An anti-corruption group has submitted a legal complaint in France against Lebanon's central bank governor over foreign investments including property he owns worth millions of euros, two people involved in the filing said on Monday. Sherpa, a non-governmental organisation that defends victims of economic crimes

And other economic changes

Tanzania's new president plans income tax cut

Nairobi - Tanzania's new President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Saturday the government would reduce the income tax rate by 1 percentage point to 8%, in the 2021/22 financial year beginning in July, and also planned to remove "unfriendly taxes and charges to Tanzanians"

After Erdogan sacks central bank chief

Turkish lira plunges to near record low

Istanbul - Turkey's lira briefly fell 15% to near its all-time low on Monday after President Tayyip Erdogan abruptly fired the central bank governor at the weekend and installed a critic of tight policy who is expected to reverse recent rate hikes. Sahap Kavcioglu, a former ruling party lawmaker who shares Erdogan's unorthodox view that high interest rates cause inflation

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

Germany says

Talks about Franco-German fighter jet still ongoing

Berlin - Negotiations about the next steps in the development of a Franco-German fighter jet are still going on, the German defence ministry said on Friday of Europe's biggest defence project. A defence ministry spokesman was commenting on the latest round of talks between the defence ministers of both countries which took place on Thursday

After pandemic debt surge

ECB faces tricky balancing act

Frankfurt - As the euro zone begins to emerge from the depths of a pandemic-induced recession, the European Central Bank is facing a difficult balancing act between supporting indebted governments and keeping creditors onside. Encouraged by the ECB's massive bond purchase programme and ultra-low interest rates, national governments have taken on a mountain of new borrowing to cushion the coronavirus pandemic

In Q1

Recovery in global trade to stall again

Geneva - A recovery in global trade is expected to slow again in the first quarter of 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic keeps disrupting the travel industry after world trade contracted 9% in 2020, a U.N. report said on Wednesday. After lockdowns caused trade to shrink 15% in the first half of 2020, it rebounded in the second half, with global trade in goods up about 8% in the fourth quarter compared with the third, UNCTAD said.

Figures released by the Federal Statistics Office showed

Chinese demand helps German manufacturers weather COVID-19 pandemic

Berlin - Germany's industrial sector avoided a contraction in December despite coronavirus lockdowns at home and abroad as strong demand from China helped export-oriented manufacturers in Europe's largest economy weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Industrial output was flat on the month after an upwardly revised increase of 1.5% in the previous month

As election row escalates

Somalia's opposition cease recognising president

Mogadishu - An alliance of Somali opposition parties proposed the creation of a national council of lawmakers, opposition leaders and civil society to govern the war-ravaged Horn of Africa nation after the president's term expired on Monday with no clear plan for succession. The power vacuum and divisions between political leaders was a boost to the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency, a Somali security analyst warned

Use of EU funds without reforms won't be enough

Bank of Italy says country needs cohesion to grow and cut debt

Milan - Italy's central bank called on Saturday for cohesion as the country battles a government crisis, saying it was imperative to revive growth and reduce a public debt that the coronavirus pandemic has pushed to levels last seen after World War One. Italy's debt is expected to approach 160% of domestic output at the end of this year

FY net profit 113 mln euros vs 5.7 bln loss in 2019

Investment banking boom lands Deutsche Bank first profit since 2014

Frankfurt - Deutsche Bank eked out a small annual profit in 2020, its first since 2014, saying on Thursday it had made strong gains at its investment banking division. Over the past 10 years, Deutsche has lost a total 8.2 billion euros ($9.8 billion) and the return to profit marks an important milestone for Chief Executive Christian Sewing as analysts had been predicting another loss in 2020

At the World Trade Organization

Qatar suspends dispute with United Arab Emirates

Geneva - Qatar has suspended a trade dispute with the United Arab Emirates at the World Trade Organization, a document showed on Tuesday, after tensions between Doha and its Gulf neighbours eased. Doha launched its case with the WTO in 2017 over trade in goods, services and intellectual property after the UAE and other Arab states in the Gulf and beyond cut diplomatic and business ties with Qatar as part of a political dispute

After years of division

Libyans start using new exchange rate

Libya - The Central Bank of Libya on Sunday introduced a new unified exchange rate agreed last month after years of division between rival branches based on opposing sides of the front line. As part of the change, the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli suspended a fee on foreign currency transactions that it introduced two years ago to bring the official rate closer to the black market rate

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

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