Economy

Moody’s downgrades ratings of Russia’s biggest banks
Moody’s rating agency downgraded seven Russian financial institutions - Sberbank, Bank VTB, Gazprombank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, Vnesheconombank and Alfa-Bank, it reported Tuesday. The rating actions "follow the weakening of Russia's credit profile, as reflected by Moody's downgrade of Russia's government debt rating to Ba1 from Baa3 on February 20, 2015," the report said. Moody's downgraded Russia's sovereign debt rating to speculative grade of Ba1 ...
High corruption level in Armenia caused by merged business and politics
One of the main reasons of high corruption level in Armenia is first of all the merging of business and politics, CEO of the Transparency International Armenia Office Varuzhan Hoktanyan told the reporters on Tuesday. “The second is the monopolization of the economy and the same is in politics. It is a serious reason of corruption. The third reason is the absence of separation between the powers [executive, legislative, judicial],” he said. Speaking about the council set up to fight against c...
Greece submits proposed reforms in bid for loan extension
Greece has submitted a list of reform proposals to its bailout creditors, the European Commission says. The list was received "on time", a spokesman tweeted. The measures are thought to include combating tax evasion and tackling fuel and tobacco smuggling. International creditors need to approve the list to secure Greece a four-month loan extension.
Oil and gas industry in 'bleak' 2014, finds survey
The UK offshore oil and gas industry has reported its worst annual performance for four decades. Industry body Oil & Gas UK said falling oil prices and rising costs meant the sector spent and invested £5.3bn more than it earned from sales during 2014. That outflow of cash was the biggest since massive investment in platforms in the 1970s preceded the flow of oil. The body's annual survey also indicated that investment in the industry is set to fall this year, as well as drilling. A...
Greece debt deal: Government to present reforms
Greece is preparing to present a list of reforms to lenders in order to secure a bailout extension. Under Friday's deal, the list must be approved by international creditors to secure the four-month loan extension. Analysts say a collapse of the deal would revive fears of a Greek exit from the euro. Minister of state Nikos Pappas has said the list will include measures to tackle tax evasion and streamline the civil service. He told Greece's Mega Channel on Sunday that reforms would tak...
Moody’s lowers Russia’s debt rating to Ba1
International rating agency Moody’s has revised downwards Russia’s sovereign debt rating to Ba1 (speculative) from Baa3, offering the continuing crisis in Ukraine and dwindling oil prices as the main reasons. The Russian Ministry of Finance promptly replied the decision was politically motivated. Moody’s is the second world rating agency after Standard&Poor’s to have downgraded Russia’s sovereign rating to the speculative level. Fitch has kept its investment level rating unchanged for the tim...
UK government finances £8.8bn in surplus in January
UK government finances showed a surplus of £8.8bn in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. It is the highest surplus for seven years and higher than the revised £6.5bn reported for January 2014. A better than expected rise in tax receipts means the government is on course to meet its borrowing target for this year. The surplus means borrowing has fallen to £74bn in the financial year to date, a fall of £6bn compared with last year. The government's borrowing targe...
Greece bailout: Four-month extension in eurozone deal
Greece and eurozone nations have agreed a deal to extend financial aid after bailout talks in Brussels. Eurozone finance ministers reached an agreement to extend Greece's financial rescue by four months. Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup, said that Athens had pledged to honour all its debts. "This is a very positive outcome," he told a news conference on Friday night. "I think tonight was a first step in this process of rebuilding trust. As you know trus...
Khachatur Sukiasyan to be appointed Minister of Economy?
Information has been released that businessman Khachatur Sukiasyan met on February 7 with Serzh Sargsyan. This was confirmed by Sukiasyan’s spokesperson who said that issues relating to Armenia’s economy have been discussed. There is nothing strange in this information. In time Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan was dealing with Sukiasyan’s lobbying being in close relations with him. It is not excluded that in one-two months when changes take place in the government, Khachik Sukiasyan will be...
Greece crisis: Eurozone set for vital loan talks
Eurozone finance ministers are preparing for a key meeting to consider the proposal by Greece to extend its European loan programme. Friday's meeting in Brussels is the eurozone's third attempt to reach a deal to manage Greece's debt. Germany on Thursday rejected a Greek request for a six-month extension to its eurozone loan programme. The rejection came despite the European Commission calling the Greek request "positive" only minutes earlier. Greece had sought a new six-month assistan...
French inflation turns negative
Inflation in France, the eurozone's second-biggest economy, turned negative in January, adding to worries over deflation in the eurozone. Prices fell 0.4% from a year earlier, with energy costs down 7.1% following the drop in global oil prices. It is the first time in more than five years that inflation in France has turned negative. Last month, the European Central Bank announced a stimulus programme to try to boost growth and avoid deflation. Figures released last month suggested def...
Greece aims to reach deal with euro zone lenders soon: government spokesman
Greece aims to conclude a deal with its euro zone partners "soon", its government spokesman said on Thursday. "We are doing everything to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Our aim is to conclude this agreement soon," Gabriel Sakellaridis told Skai TV. "We are trying to find the common points." Greece is expected to ask on Thursday for an extension to its "loan agreement" with the euro zone as it faces running out of cash within weeks, but it must overcome resistance from skeptical par...
Swiss police raid HSBC's Geneva office
Swiss police are searching offices of the Geneva subsidiary of HSBC bank in an inquiry into alleged money-laundering. Prosecutors said they are investigating HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) and "persons unknown for suspected aggravated money laundering". The investigation could be extended to people suspected of committing or participating in money laundering. It follows the recent published revelations about the private bank The bank's chief executive, Franco Morra, said last week it had s...
Greece confirms loan extension request
Greece will ask the eurozone for a six-month extension of its European loan agreement on Wednesday, a Greek government official has confirmed. The loan would not be an extension of the current bailout agreement, which includes strict austerity measures. On Monday night, Greece rejected a plan to extend its €240bn (£178bn) bailout, describing it as "absurd". Greece is likely to run out of money if a deal is not reached before the end of February. "We should extend the credit programme b...
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