International

German GDP grew 1.5% in 2018, weakest rate in five years

Views - 4 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

BERLIN (Reuters): The German economy grew by 1.5% in 2018, the weakest rate in five years and a clear slowdown from the previous year, a preliminary estimate from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Tuesday. Europe’s largest economy is struggli


German economy to continue growing in early 2019: ministry

Views - 6 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German economy is likely to continue expanding at the start of 2019, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday, after data showed the economy grew at its weakest rate in five years in 2018. Economic output in Europe’s largest econ


Oil prices rise over 1%, but global slowdown looms

Views - 6 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): Oil prices rose more than 1% yesterday after tumbling the previous session, although a darkening economic outlook may soon weigh on growth in fuel demand. Brent LCOc1 was up 78 cents or 1.32% at $ 59.77 per barrel by 1240 GMT, after


China car sales hit reverse for first time since 1990s

Views - 11 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters): Car makers in China will face more fierce competition this year, after a tough 2018 when the world’s biggest auto market contracted for the first time in more than two decades, the country’s top auto industry associati


Oil prices edge up on OPEC-led supply cuts, lower US drilling activity

Views - 23 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Oil prices edged up on Monday, supported by ongoing supply cuts from producer club OPEC and Russia and by a drop in US drilling activity. International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.75 per barrel at 0040 GMT, up 27 cents, o


Asia shares, US stock futures hit as China’s export slump jolts investors

Views - 14 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian shares and US stock futures skidded on Monday after a shock contraction in Chinese exports pointed to deepening cracks in the world’s second-biggest economy and raised fears of a sharper slowdown in global growth and corpora


India’s top court seeks Govt. response on plans to snoop on citizens’ computers

Views - 3 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): India’s Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to respond in six weeks on pleas challenging a recent home ministry order that allowed some agencies to monitor personal computers of citizens. Chief Justice of India Ranjan


Prayagraj gears up for Kumbh Mela, world’s largest religious festival

Views - 4 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

PRAYAGRAJ, India (Reuters): Pilgrims from across the world are gathering in India for the Kumbh Mela, a heady mix of spirituality, politics and tourism that begins on Tuesday, garnering extra attention ahead of a general election in the Hindu-majorit


US Secretary of State Pompeo urges Gulf states to heal rift

Views - 3 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

DOHA (Reuters): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that a rift between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbours had gone on for too long and was threatening regional unity needed to counter Iran. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrai


Media watchdog condemns ‘yellow vest’ attacks on journalists

Views - 5 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

PARIS (AFP): Reporters Without Borders on Sunday called on those who speak for France’s ‘yellow vest’ protesters to condemn numerous attacks and threats against journalists across the country during the latest round of anti-government demonstra


Greece’s Tsipras calls confidence vote after ally quits coalition

Views - 4 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 00:00

ATHENS (Reuters): Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday said he would call a confidence vote in his government after his coalition ally quit, leaving him bereft of a parliamentary majority and raising the possibility of snap elections. Earlie


British PM warns of catastrophe if lawmakers don’t back Brexit deal

Views - 7 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): British Prime Minister Theresa May has warned lawmakers that failure to back her plan to leave the European Union would be catastrophic for Britain, in a plea for support two days ahead of a vote in parliament that she is expected t


US Government shutdown breaks record, with no end in sight

Views - 7 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): A partial US government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the US-Mexico border entered its 22nd day on Saturday, making it the longest shuttering of federal agencies in US his


Yellow vest protests hit with police water cannon, tear gas in Paris

Views - 7 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

PARIS (Reuters): Paris police fired water cannons and tear gas to push back ‘yellow vest’ demonstrators from around the Arc de Triomphe monument on Saturday, in the ninth straight weekend of protests against French President Emmanuel Macron’s e


Saudi teen who fled family welcomed as ‘brave new Canadian’ in Toronto

Views - 8 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

TORONTO (Reuters): An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family this week saying she feared for her life arrived in Toronto’s international airport on Saturday after being granted asylum in Canada, where Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcome


Rahul Gandhi vows to reform GST, seek investment as poll nears

Views - 6 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): India’s main opposition Congress party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and take “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, its leader


SP, BSP unite in Uttar Pradesh in a bid to beat Modi in election

Views - 4 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), two political rivals in Uttar Pradesh, will form an alliance in a bid to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in national electio


Bangladesh garment manufacturers raise workers' pay amid further protests

Views - 21 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

DHAKA (Reuters): Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh have agreed to raise workers’ pay, the commerce minister said on Sunday, urging people to return to work after a week of violent demonstrations.


Qatar Investment Authority aims to reach $ 45 b in US investments

Views - 14 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

DOHA, REUTERS: Qatar Investment Authority aims to raise investments in the United States to $ 45 billion in the next two years as it rebalances its portfolio of assets away from Europe, its Chief Executive said on Sunday. The sovereign wealth fund h


Saudi Arabia to set up $ 10 b oil refinery in Pakistan

Views - 22 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

GWADAR, Pakistan (Reuters): Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan’s deepwater port of Gwadar, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday, speaking at the Indian Ocean port that is being developed with the help of China


China says will reduce foreign investment curbs; 2018 FDI up 3% to $ 135 b

Views - 13 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters): China will reduce restrictions on foreign investment and address difficulties facing foreign companies investing in the country, the Commerce Minister said, according to a transcript of an interview he gave to state media.


Zimbabwe plans new currency as dollar shortage bites: Finance Minister

Views - 17 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

HARARE (Reuters): Zimbabwe will introduce a new currency in the next 12 months, the Finance Minister said, as a shortage of dollars has plunged the financial system into disarray and forced businesses to close. In the past two months, the southern Af


China’s premier says tax cuts support employment, economic stability

Views - 12 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

SHANGHAI (Reuters) : China’s plans for tax cuts targeting smaller companies will help to support employment and economic stability, and will expand the country’s tax base over the long term, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying on Saturday.


Bangladesh gets $ 200 m ADB loan for rural road improvements

Views - 8 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

DHAKA, REUTERS: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it signed agreements on Sunday with the Government of Bangladesh for $ 200 million in loans to improve the rural road network in the country. Poor infrastructure is often cited as one of the majo


China pledges easier foreign tourist access to Tibet amid US pressure

Views - 3 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

BEIJING (Reuters): The Chinese Government in Tibet said it will boost numbers and cut waiting times for foreign tourists visiting the highly restricted region, amid renewed pressure from the United States for greater access for US officials and journ


UK calls on Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to take personal interest in case of jailed Reuters reporters

Views - 1 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): Britain on Friday called on Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to look at whether due process was followed in the case of two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven years in jail in Myanmar. A Myanmar court earlier on Friday rejected the


Taiwan appoints new premier after resignations over poll defeats

Views - 1 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

TAIPEI (Reuters): Taiwan on Friday appointed the former chairman of its ruling pro-independence party as premier, after the incumbent resigned along with the entire cabinet, in response to local election defeats. November’s election losses presente


Baton-wielding Bangladesh police fire tear gas to break up garment pay clashes

Views - 1 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

DHAKA (Reuters): Baton-wielding Bangladeshi police fired tear gas to break up thousands of garment workers demonstrating for higher wages for a fifth day on Thursday, forcing dozens of factories to close. The government of the world’s second bigges


Trump threatens to use emergency power to build wall, end shutdown

Views - 1 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

MCALLEN, Texas/WASHINGTON (Reuters): Flanked by border agents who are going without paychecks during a government shutdown, US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall on the US-Mexico


Asia stocks crawl to 5-week high; yuan makes big weekly gains

Views - 3 Saturday, 12 January 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian stocks inched up to five-week highs on Friday, after Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the Federal Reserve will be patient about raising interest rates and news that trade talks between Washington and Beijing are moving to high


Today's Columnists

New Year resolution: Attaining financial freedom in 2019!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

It is that time of the year when everyone, young and old is journaling their new-year resolutions, and reflecting on the past year. You might be disappointed if you are carrying forward a few resolutions from the past years. You could be thinking, wh


10-year challenge: Has Sri Lanka made progress in last decade to become financially-literate?

Thursday, 24 January 2019

The ’10-Year Challenge,’ Facebook’s latest social media phenomenon has taken the internet by a storm. People are posting a picture from 10 years ago alongside their current profile picture or some other photograph and the transformation through


Catwalk beyond 400 PPM – Consuming towards disaster!

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Catwalks sizzle! What’s on the catwalk – the skin, the silk, lycra parading endlessly broadcast to the world whatever new and popular in clothing and accessories and it also communicates desirable dimensions too in a not-too-subtle manner. Knowi


Rolling back big government – The next big challenge

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Preliminary estimates in the 2019 Budget to be presented on 5 March this year include an income of 2.5 trillion and a debt service requirements of a whopping 2.2 trillion, leaving only a net income of 0.3 trillion. As for expenditure, the Government


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