Latest stories
Bank of China to Issue American Express Credit Cards

Bank of China will begin issuing American Express credit cards, the state-owned banking giant's first credit card designed for its private banking customers, the financial firms said Wednesday.

Under the terms of their new partnership, BOC, one of China's "big four" banks, will issue a credit card for the affluent branded Bank of China Private Bank American Express(R) Card.

W140 Full Story
Spain Wins Saudi Rail Contract for Pilgrim Route

Spanish companies beat French rivals to a contract to build a high-speed railway on the Muslim pilgrim route between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, authorities said Wednesday.

The 6.7-billion-euro contract went to the Al-Shoula Consortium of 12 Spanish companies, including state rail operator Renfe and Saudi firms Al Shoula and Al Rosan, the Spanish government and the state Saudi Railways Organization said.

W140 Full Story
IMF Lowers Lebanon Growth Forecast to 1.5%

The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it has revised down its forecast for economic growth in Lebanon to 1.5 percent in 2011 after many years of robust expansion, due to political uncertainty and unrest in neighboring Syria.

The drop revealed in the IMF's Regional Economic Outlook, released in Dubai, is the second this year after the fund lowered its expected growth to 2.5 percent in the spring.

W140 Full Story
Report: Berlin May Stop Sale of Sub to Israel over Settlements

Germany is reconsidering its sale of a sixth submarine to Israel in the wake of new tensions over Jewish settlement construction, an Israeli newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Yediot Aharonot said Berlin was rethinking the deal because of German frustration over Israel's decision to approve new settlement building in annexed east Jerusalem, which has raised tensions between the two countries.

W140 Full Story
Italian Consortium Wins $900 Million UAE Rail Deal

The United Arab Emirates has awarded an Italian-led consortium a $900 million contract to build the first stage of the Gulf nation's railway network.

State-run railway company Etihad Rail says Italy's Saipem and Tecnimont will join Dubai-based Dodsal Engineering and Construction in building the first part of the network.

W140 Full Story
Heineken Profits Up Despite Bad Beer Season for Europe

Dutch brewer Heineken published a one percent climb in net profit for the third quarter Wednesday, saying strong sales in Africa and elsewhere offset the impact of poor summer weather in Europe.

Net profit reached 525 million Euros (U$731 million) in the July-September period, while sales grew slightly by 0.6 percent from last year to 4.65 billion Euros, despite the disadvantage of a strong euro, the company said.

W140 Full Story
Peugeot Could Slash 5,000 Jobs to Cut Costs in 2012

French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen on Wednesday announced an 800-million-euro cost-cutting plan for next year, including up to 5,000 lay-offs amid a stagnating European car market.

"It's quite possible there will be an impact on the workforce," the company's chief financial officer Frederic Saint-Geours warned during a teleconference announcing the plan.

W140 Full Story
IMF Says Mideast Oil Importers Face Economic Slowdown

Middle Eastern countries without significant oil resources face a sharp slowdown in economic growth as the effects of the Arab Spring reverberate across the region, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday.

In a twice-yearly report, the IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Mideast's oil importing countries — including Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia — to just 1.9 percent this year. That is down from an earlier IMF forecast of 2.3 percent and well below the more than 4 percent growth in 2010.

W140 Full Story
Novartis Announces 2,000 Job Losses, Profits Up

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced 2,000 job losses Tuesday, mostly in Switzerland and the United States, while reporting net profits of $3.53 billion (2.5 billion Euros) for the third quarter.

The firm said in a statement profits for the quarter were up 12 percent and that the job cuts were part of a $300 million restructuring program to strengthen productivity.

W140 Full Story
BP Bounces Back into Profit

BP surged back into profit in the first nine months of 2011, and has now reached a "clear turning point" after last year's devastating Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it declared on Tuesday.

The group said it will sell another $15 billion of non-core assets by 2013, expanding its divestment program to $45 billion, as it seeks to recover oil spill-related costs and re-invest in high-growth activities.

W140 Full Story