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