World Bulletin / News Desk
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde met the leader of bailout candidate Greek Cyprus on Thursday, with both sides giving little away on the timing of financial aid to the island, battered by its exposure to Greece.
Euro zone minnow Greek Cyprus, with a GDP of just 17 billion euros, asked for aid in June to rescue its largest banks, heavily exposed to Greek debt. Talks with the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank, known as the troika, have been inconclusive.
"We had a good and productive engagement about the ongoing discussions concerning Cyprus," Lagarde told reporters after meeting Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, without elaborating. She was in Greek Cyprus to attend an informal gathering of European Union and euro zone finance ministers.
Greek Cyprus became the fifth euro zone nation to seek aid after its second largest bank failed to meet European regulatory capital requirements when it wrote down Greek sovereign debt holdings earlier this year. The island's largest bank has also sought state aid.
In addition to seeking aid from international lenders, the island has sought a 5 billion-euro bilateral loan from Russia, a close business and political ally.
Bailout estimates from the troika are still unclear, though some accounts put the figure at 10 billion euros.
In return, international lenders are demanding salary and pension cuts, pension reform and privatisations. Greek Cyprus's leftist government, which faces a general election in five months, has repeatedly said any measures should be balanced and not push the island deeper into recession.
Asked about the timing of any bailout deal, Christofias said: "When we are ready."
Greek Cyprus intends to counter the troika's proposals with proposals of its own, a government official said. Authorities plan to consult political parties and labour unions, a move the official said would give authorities a stronger hand in negotiations.
Production from conflict-free mines are bagged and tagged with a barcode to make it easily traceable.
"We will further expand our capacities to be able to respond to the high market growth," Jochem Heizmann, head of VW's China operations told reporters on Saturday ahead of the Beijing auto show.
The State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012.
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, is likely to be liquidated after a Tokyo court dismissed the company's bid to resuscitate its business.
Discussions will continue in the days and weeks ahead, but there is no particular deadline for concluding the talks, the official added.
Russia's oil output stands at over 10 million barrels per day, the world's largest, but it needs new sources of crude oil, including hard-to-recover deposits and the Arctic, to sustain this level
The strike at Yue Yuen is not just one of China's biggest in recent years, it's also more clearly driven by workers' fears that they have been scammed by an opaque and convoluted welfare payment system.
When the system is in place citizens will be able to buy a limited amount of subsidised fuel, and will have to pay a normal, market price for any extra quantities.
Production in Upper Nile state's Paloch oilfields, where output has not been hampered by the conflict, stood at 159,000 barrels per day this week.
Dragomir Stoynev accused fellow European Union members of a politically-motivated attempt to scupper the project, and urged the bloc to understand the effect that doing so would have on its members.
The drops have come mainly because Japan did not take any cargoes in March and South Korea is not scheduled to take any shipments in April, according to the tanker data.
Japan's finance ministry and central bank have declined to comment on the payments.
But a survey shows that most people believe inflation is speeding up and could surpass 37 percent this year.
A fifth payment of $450 million was due on April 15, contingent on Iran having diluted half of its most sensitive stockpile of nuclear materials
The year-on-year inflation rate in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March against 0.7 percent in February, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said.
Pushed by higher food and shelter costs, the consumer price index rose in March.