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.
Since Britain voted last June to exit the European Union, the country's finance, car and airline sectors have been lobbying the loudest for continued access to the European single market.
France remained Germany's second largest trading partner while the US slipped from first to third place, as bilateral trade contracted by five percent to 165 billion euros.
Upcoming joint meeting seeks to tackle obstacles to trade between Turkey, Egypt
Next step in proposed Turkey-Israel natural gas pipeline project is to put words into action: Israeli conglomerate Delek
The unit was at 19.69 to the dollar, strengthening from around 19.90 on Thursday and up more than 10 percent from its record lows around 22.00 in early January.
The country's federal, state and local governments together achieved an overall surplus in their public finances of 23.7 billion euros ($25 billion) last year, according to Germany's statistics office Destatis.
Exchange rate dipped to as low as 3.5756 points, lowest figure since Jan 4.
European bank finances Turkey's Bozankaya, public transportation vehicles producer, to produce metro trains for Thailand
Net profit surged more than four times to £2.0 billion ($2.5 billion, 2.4 billion euros) in 2016 compared with net profit of £466 million a year earlier, LBG said in an earnings release.
Turkish lira becomes best performing emerging-market currency against U.S. dollar over last 3 weeks
ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez says such moves would create 'snowball effect' of instability
Aude Fleurant, head of the armaments program at Sipri, told AFP that "competition is fierce among European producers" with France, Germany and Britain in the lead.
PSA, the parent company of France's Peugeot, Citroen and DS, has confirmed it is interested in taking over Opel, the German arm of US giant General Motors.
Progress has been made in Southern Gas Corridor project , says Azerbaijani president
Another positive assessment of the US economy and reassurance over tax reform from President Donald Trump was not enough to spur further buying in Asia after the past week's rally.
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could provisionally apply from as early as April