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  • Nigeria pledges massive security for World Economic Forum event

    Reuters - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 4:41 AM EDT

    ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will mount a massive security operation to protect a World Economic Forum on Africa planned in Abuja next month, following the bomb attack by suspected Islamist militants on the capital's outskirts on Monday, the event's Nigerian hosts said. "Our security planning for the World Economic Forum on Africa (scheduled for May 7-9) is already well under way and will be the largest security operation ever mounted in this country for an international summit," Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a statement sent to forum participants and seen by Reuters. ... More »Nigeria pledges massive security for World Economic Forum event

  • Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

    Reuters - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 4:21 AM EDT

    ANKARA (Reuters) - Social media firms operating in Turkey must open representative offices in the country, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday after Ankara held talks with Twitter aimed at resolving a dispute which led to a two-week ban on the site. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter temporarily in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains blocked. ... More »Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

  • Former Egyptian finance minister detained in France: report

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 5:17 PM EDT

    Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali was detained in Paris on Monday on an international warrant over corruption charges relating to his time in former President Hosni Mubarak's government, the state news agency reported. Boutros Ghali was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison for corruption and abuse of power following the uprising that unseated Mubarak in 2011. The Egyptian state news agency MENA said the Interior Ministry in Cairo would pursue steps necessary to secure his extradition. Boutros Ghali, nephew to former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, was detained after arriving in Paris from London. More »Former Egyptian finance minister detained in France: report

  • Congo militia chief 'Morgan' killed in army firefight: government

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 4:08 PM EDT

    By Peter Jones KINSHASA (Reuters) - A militia leader accused of kidnap, rape and cannibalism in Democratic Republic of Congo was killed on Monday alongside four other people during a firefight as he sought to escape his army captors, the government said. Paul Sadala, a poacher-turned-militia leader known as "Morgan" who operated in Congo's Orientale province, surrendered on Saturday with around 40 of his followers. He was being brought by the army to the town of Bunia when he attacked the soldiers escorting him, government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters. "He caused a shootout which resulted in the deaths of two army soldiers and two of his own men. More »Congo militia chief 'Morgan' killed in army firefight: government

  • Observers give Guinea-Bissau vote clean bill of health

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 3:41 PM EDT

    By Bate Felix BISSAU (Reuters) - Observers from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Monday said Guinea-Bissau's weekend election was free and fair, and called on international donors to restart cooperation suspended in the wake of a 2012 coup. Bissau-Guineans flocked to the polls in large numbers on Sunday to vote in long-delayed legislative and presidential polls meant to bring stability to the former Portuguese colony after years of putsches and political infighting. No elected president has completed a five-year term in Guinea-Bissau, which has become a major transit point for smugglers ferrying Latin American cocaine to Europe. The last election in 2012 was aborted when troops under army chief Antonio Indjai stormed the presidential palace days before a presidential second-round vote was due to take place, plunging the country into chaos. More »Observers give Guinea-Bissau vote clean bill of health

  • Congo militia leader 'Morgan' surrenders: government

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 1:42 PM EDT

    By Peter Jones KINSHASA (Reuters) - A militia leader accused of kidnap, rape and cannibalism has surrendered alongside around 40 of his followers in Democratic Republic of Congo, the government said on Monday. Paul Sadala, a poacher-turned-militia leader known as "Morgan" operating in Congo's Orientale province, has repeatedly attacked populations in the Okapi Fauna Reserve, a World Heritage site, since 2012. U.N. experts said in December Morgan changed his focus from poaching elephants to attacking gold mines. More »Congo militia leader 'Morgan' surrenders: government

  • EU could hold emergency summit to agree new sanctions on Russia

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 12:41 PM EDT

    By Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union could hold an emergency summit next week to impose further sanctions against Russia if there is no breakthrough at talks with Ukraine scheduled for Thursday in Geneva, France's foreign minister said on Monday. At a meeting in Luxembourg, several EU foreign ministers threatened Moscow with new sanctions over its actions in eastern Ukraine, although some said diplomacy should be given time before firm decisions are taken. More »EU could hold emergency summit to agree new sanctions on Russia

  • Private money, public projects: More U.S. states doing deals

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 11:26 AM EDT

    Visitors to New York who land at LaGuardia Airport could be forgiven for not realizing they've arrived in one of the world's swankiest cities. The airport's leaky ceilings, threadbare atmosphere and meager food and public transit options put it at or near the top of lists of the worst airports in the United States. But with constraints on its resources and no appetite for further debt, the agency decided to tap private investors and developers to rebuild the 50-year-old central terminal for $3.6 billion, instead of using traditional public finance methods. Short on funding but big on need, U.S. states and cities are increasingly turning to such deals, known as public-private partnerships, or P3s, hoping to leverage assets that can bring a quick infusion of private dollars to rebuild crumbling infrastructure. More »Private money, public projects: More U.S. states doing deals

  • Housing industry asks $5 trillion question: what does Watt want?

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 9:39 AM EDT

    By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. housing industry has waited three months to find out how Mel Watt will govern taxpayer-owned mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , and has been frustrated by his silence. "We have yet to see or hear Watt's vision for housing finance," said Clifford Rossi, a former banker and risk executive at Freddie Mac who is now a finance professor at the University of Maryland. Sources inside and close to the FHFA say they believe he is largely comfortable with the current direction of the two companies and they do not expect to see dramatic changes. At a private reception for him on February 27, Watt, who declined to be interviewed for this story, jokingly described his routine as "meeting all day and reading all night." In his sole policy action, just days after taking office in early January, he set aside a decision by his predecessor to increase the loan fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge. More »Housing industry asks $5 trillion question: what does Watt want?

  • GE Capital seen ripe for more slimming after credit card IPO

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 7:40 AM EDT

    As General Electric Co starts spinning off its consumer credit card business, some on Wall Street are hoping that the U.S. industrial conglomerate will eventually slim down its GE Capital finance unit even further. Commercial real estate, which GE Capital expects to make up 10 percent to 15 percent of its portfolio in the future, stands as another major potential area for GE to abandon, analysts and investors said. "From my investor's point of view, the more they look like an industrial company, the better off they are," said Andrew Meister, an equity research analyst at Thrivent Investment Management. The future of GE Capital is central to a larger issue facing GE and other conglomerates: What mix of businesses makes the most sense? More »GE Capital seen ripe for more slimming after credit card IPO

  • Factbox: U.S. public-private partnerships in play

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 7:10 AM EDT

    Across the United States, more state and local governments are tapping private dollars to build, repair and maintain public infrastructure. Here are some of the biggest and most-watched projects: *Pennsylvania is pushing to replace at least 500 bridges under a single contract in the next five years. If the project were to use traditional public financing, it would cost about $1.2 billion, said Bryan Kendro, director of public-private partnerships in Pennsylvania's Transportation Department. *The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed a $1.5 billion deal in November to rebuild the Goethals Bridge, which links New York's Staten Island to New Jersey. More »Factbox: U.S. public-private partnerships in play

  • No doubt that Russia behind unrest in Ukraine: UK's Hague

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 6:30 AM EDT

    The destabilization of eastern Ukraine is clearly being instigated by Russia, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday, and he called for further sanctions against Moscow. "There can't really be any real doubt that this is something that has been planned and brought about by Russia," Hague said as he arrived at a meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss the crisis. "I don't think denials of Russian involvement have a shred of credibility." He added that events had all the hallmarks of Russia's actions to seize Crimea from Ukraine: "It has all the appearance of a further gross deliberate, premeditated violation of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine." Hague said he would be arguing for the EU to take further measures to sanction Russia for its actions. A so-called "third phase" of EU sanctions is expected to include restrictions on trade and finance with Russia, potentially with wide-reaching repercussions for the Russian and EU economies. More »No doubt that Russia behind unrest in Ukraine: UK's Hague

  • German finance minister sees no sign of deflation spiral in Europe

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 4:54 AM EDT

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday he sees no signs at all of a deflation spiral in Europe and ECB President Mario Draghi had made a convincing case at the recent IMF meeting that Europe's low inflation held no deflation risk. In an interview with Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio he added, "of course the exchange rate is strong and if it were to continue to rise then it could negatively impact economic development in Europe, which has improved but needs to improve further. ... More »German finance minister sees no sign of deflation spiral in Europe

  • Guinea-Bissau counts votes after big turnout in crucial poll

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 13, 2014 10:15 PM EDT

    By Bate Felix and Alberto Dabo BISSAU (Reuters) - Vote counting began in Guinea-Bissau after a heavy turnout in Sunday's legislative and presidential elections meant to bring stability to the West African state after years of coups and political infighting. At sunset, officials in Pefine, a neighborhood in the crumbling capital Bissau, sat under a mango tree tallying ballots under the watchful eyes of residents and election observers. "I've voted for Guinea-Bissau. I hope this election will bring peace and stability so that we can get back to work and develop the country." The last attempt at an election, in 2012, was aborted when troops under army chief Antonio Indjai stormed the presidential palace days before a run-off was due to take place. More »Guinea-Bissau counts votes after big turnout in crucial poll

  • More Russian incursions would hurt Ukraine economy: central bank

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 13, 2014 6:42 PM EDT

    Russia's further incursions into eastern Ukraine would have serious macroeconomic consequences, destabilizing banks and crimping Ukraine's national output, the central bank governor said on Sunday. Many of Ukraine's biggest factories and some of its agricultural production lie in the east, where pro-Russian separatists have taken up arms and occupied government buildings. "The main risk (to the economy) has a political-occupational character," National Bank of Ukraine Governor Stepan Kubiv said in an interview on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington. "Because if after Crimea, it will be Lugansk, Slaviansk, Donetsk, Kharkhiv, and other small towns, then we immediately talk about a considerable amount of liquidity," he said, listing other towns in Ukraine. More »More Russian incursions would hurt Ukraine economy: central bank

  • UK aerospace and defense firms fret over Scottish independence bid

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 13, 2014 8:27 AM EDT

    Britain's aerospace and defense industries warned on Sunday that the sector could lose its global competitive edge as a result of Scotland's bid for independence, which is due to be decided by a referendum later this year. The ADS Group, an aerospace and defense trade organization, said the uncertainty over the future of taxation, fiscal and monetary policy that the September 18 referendum has generated was a major cause of concern for firms operating in Britain. "September's referendum on the future of Scotland could have a profound impact on these sectors' global competitiveness," said ADS Group Chief Executive Paul Everitt. "In addition to the debates about monetary and fiscal policy, there is genuine uncertainty about the impact of independence on the UK's - and Scotland's - international influence, export opportunities and inward investment." Britain is home to a number of major aerospace and defense industry firms such as BAE Systems, Cobham and Babcock - all of whom are members of the ADS Group. More »UK aerospace and defense firms fret over Scottish independence bid

  • Reviving investment is key, says man tipped to be India's finance minister

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 13, 2014 8:04 AM EDT

    By Raju Gopalakrishnan BOHARU, India (Reuters) - Massaging his swollen feet after campaigning in the villages of Punjab, the man tipped to be India's next finance minister says he wants the government that takes office next month to approve five big-ticket investments quickly to signal it means business. Arun Jaitley is a senior leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hot favorite to form a government after the election that began last week and will be staggered over the next month. A former commerce minister and a skilled courtroom lawyer, he is a key lieutenant of Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi, the BJP's candidate for prime minister. "You will have to re-start the investment cycle," he said, speaking after a day on the stump in the parliamentary constituency he is contesting, Amritsar, in the northern state of Punjab. More »Reviving investment is key, says man tipped to be India's finance minister

  • Reforms to IMF hit serious deadlock: G20 official

    Reuters - Sun, Apr 13, 2014 2:16 AM EDT

    By Lidia Kelly WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Reforms to the International Monetary Fund have hit a deadlock despite a declaration from global financial chiefs that they would move forward without the United States if it fails to ratify the changes by year-end, a G20 official said on Sunday. The inability to proceed with giving emerging markets a more powerful voice at the IMF and shoring up the lender's resources appeared the most contentious issue for officials from the Group of 20 leading economies and the representatives for all IMF member nations who met over the weekend. In a final communique, G20 finance ministers and central bankers said they were "deeply disappointed" with the U.S. delay. "I say we are at a dead end." Any attempt to break the package of reforms, proposed by the G20 in 2010, would be disastrous not only for the United States, but for the whole group, he said, because most countries have already gone through the ratification procedures. More »Reforms to IMF hit serious deadlock: G20 official

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