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Exclusive: GM offers $2.2 billion debt for equity swap in return for Seoul’s support – sources

SEOUL : General Motors (GM.N) has offered to convert debt of around $2.2 billion owed by its ailing South Korean operation into equity in exchange for financial support and tax benefits from Seoul, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The restructuring proposal comes after the Detroit automaker announced last week that it would shut its plant in...

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US crude ends year above $60 on strong global oil demand

CALGARY: US oil prices closed above $60 a barrel on the final trading day of the year — the first time since mid-2015 — as the commodity ended 2017 with a 12 percent gain spurred by strong demand and declining global inventories. International benchmark Brent crude futures ended the year with a 17 percent rise, supported by ongoing supply cuts...

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Stock performance in 2017 points to wealth for many nations

Markets bid 2017 goodbye on a modestly defensive note on Friday, but the year will be best remembered for leaving global investors wealthier. A pick-up in global growth boosted corporate profits and commodities during the year, while tame inflation kept central banks from snatching away the punch bowl of easy monetary policy. MSCI’s world equity index shed 0.12 percent on...

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Finance adviser Miftah Ismail targets tax reforms, touts rupee flexibility

ISLAMABAD: New finance ministry chief Miftah Ismail said he plans significant tax reforms in the five months before the government’s term ends ahead of a 2018 election, and touted a policy of greater currency flexibility. Pakistan’s government has in recent months devalued the rupee, imposed tariffs on imported goods and sought to boost exports to reduce growing balance of payments...

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OGRA recommends to increase Petrol Prices from New year 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has recommended on Friday an increase of Rs4.6 per liter price of petrol following the fluctuation in global oil prices. OGRA has sent a summary to ministry of petroleum to increase petroleum product prices from January 1st 2018. The proposal showed that petrol price might see a jump of Rs4.06 per liter,...

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China’s Huawei flags slowest revenue growth in four years

HONG KONG: China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd expects 2017 revenue to rise 15 per cent to 600 billion yuan ($92.08 billion), its rotating chief executive, Ken Hu, said in a New Year’s message to staff posted on its official WeChat account on Friday. That would make it the slowest revenue growth in four years for Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone...

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Oil Alternative: Taxes To Impose In Saudi Arabia And UAE from January Onwards

According to a media sources, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are going to introduce Value-added Tax (VAT) from January 2018, on most of the services because of the decreasing oil price. To generate a handsome yearly revenue, 5 percent increased VAT will be applied on appliances, goods, water and electricity bills, education etc. "The cost of the living...

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Dollar falls broadly; commodity currencies stand tall

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The dollar slid broadly on Thursday, hampered by a recent dip in U.S. 10-year bond yields, while commodity-linked currencies were bolstered by this week’s rally in metals and oil prices. In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin came under renewed pressure, tumbling by as much as 10.8 percent on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. The dollar’s index against a basket...

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Kuwait says GCC to keep operating despite Qatar crisis

DUBAI: Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister said Wednesday the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would continue to operate despite a row among three of its members and Qatar that it has unsuccessfully sought to mediate. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain plus non-GCC member Egypt cut off diplomatic, travel, and trade ties with Qatar in June, accusing it...

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Bitcoin recovers some losses after its worst week since 2013

SINGAPORE/TOKYO/NEW YORK: Bitcoin rose 15 percent on Tuesday, recouping about half of the losses it sustained last week, its worst since 2013, as investors — who had missed out on earlier rallies — bought the world’s biggest and best-known digital currency. While bitcoin investors and analysts believe last week’s decline in its value was a natural correction after a heady...

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Japan joblessness rate lowest since 1993

Japan's unemployment rate in November dipped to its lowest level since November 1993, official data showed Tuesday, offering another sign that the world's third-largest economy is on track to recovery even if the pace is slow. Figures released by the government showed unemployment stood at 2.7 percent last month while the jobs-to-applicants ratio improved slighty, up 0.01 percent from the...

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China, Pakistan to look at including Afghanistan in $57 billion economic corridor

BEIJING: China and Pakistan will look at extending their $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road plan linking China with Asia, Europe and beyond. China has tried to position itself as a helpful party to promote talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan, both uneasy neighbors ever...

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Iraq reaches initial deal with China’s Zhenhua to develop East Baghdad oilfield

BAGHDAD: Iraq has reached an initial deal with China’s state-run Zhenhua Oil to develop the southern portion of the East Baghdad oilfield, the oil ministry spokesman said on Sunday. Iraq is seeking the help of Zhenhua Oil to increase production from East Baghdad oilfield to 40,000 barrels per day within five years as of the start of the development operations,...

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PM Abbasi lays down White Oil Line Project foundation, says Oil consumption increases every year

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has launched White Oil Line project in Karachi. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is on two day visit to Karachi, as he laid down the foundation of White Oil Line project in Port Qasim. Addressing to a ceremony the premier said that the national consumption of the oil is increasing ever year, so as the...

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Facebook, Universal Music strike multi-year licensing deal

Facebook Inc and Universal Music Group on Thursday announced a global agreement that will enable users to upload videos featuring music from Universal’s library across the social media network as well as Instagram and Oculus. Through the agreement, which is Facebook’s first with a major record label, the social media company will no longer have to require users to take...

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PetroChina to buy petrol stations, storage facilities in Pakistan in expansion bid

BEIJING: PetroChina’s oil and gas trading arm aims to buy petrol stations and fuel storage facilities, setting up business in Pakistan, West Africa, and Brazil in a major global expansion aimed at taking on international rivals, according to three senior oil industry executives briefed on the plans. The ambitious drive at one of the world’s top oil merchants is taking shape...

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World Bank approves $825-million loan for Pakistan infrastructure

KARACHI: The World Bank has granted Pakistan an $825-million loan to upgrade the energy and public finance sectors in a country that has long struggled with chronic power shortages and poor fiscal management. Just over half the loan — approximately $425 million — would be used to modernise the national grid under National Transmission Modernization Project-I (NTMP-I), the World Bank...

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