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