Britain's state borrowing fell by more than expected last month but not by enough to prevent its net debt from reaching a record high £1.0 trillion ($1.55 trillion), official data showed Tuesday.
Public sector net borrowing excluding the government's interventions in the financial sector hit £13.7 billion in December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.Full Story
European stock markets slid and the euro steadied Tuesday after Eurozone finance ministers heaped pressure on Greece to prevent a debt default and following a positive bond auction for Spain.
Shares in French banks retreated sharply, with Societe Generale losing more than 5.0 percent, after Standard and Poor's downgraded most following its downgrade of France's sovereign rating.Full Story
When India's Tata Motors' Nano went on sale in 2009, the concept of the "world's cheapest car" in one of the world's fastest growing auto markets seemed pre-destined for commercial success.
Logically, the strategy appeared faultless -- offering an affordable solution to millions of aspirational lower-middle class Indian families wanting to make the social and practical leap from two wheels to four.Full Story
Kuwait Petroleum Corp. has reached a deal with France's Total to be a partner in a Kuwait-China refinery joint venture, the Kuwaiti oil minister was Tuesday quoted as saying.
Mohammad al-Baseeri said the deal was struck after Shell withdrew from talks in the $9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex, Al-Jarida newspaper reported.Full Story
Lebanon's banking sector will abide by international sanctions against unrest-swept Syria, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Tuesday.
"Lebanese banks both at home and abroad ... will not take any action, especially as concerns Syria, that could expose any of our banking partners or put them in a position whereby they have breached regulations in their countries," said Salameh.Full Story
British Airways will resume its flights to Libya's capital Tripoli in May, 15 months after they were suspended due to violent unrest in the North African country, the airline announced on Monday.
"British Airways plans to resume flights to Tripoli from Tuesday May 1, 2012," said a statement from the company, which is now part of International Airlines Group alongside Spain's Iberia.Full Story
European finance ministers will try on Monday to give new momentum to talks on a Greek debt relief deal that is crucial to avoid a default, but a European diplomat warned that a final agreement may have to wait until a leaders' summit next week.
A deal would see Greece's private creditors — banks and other investment firms — swap their Greek bonds for ones with a 50 percent lower value, thereby cutting the country's debt pile by some €100 billion ($129 billion). The new bonds will also have much longer maturities, pushing repayments decades into the future, and a much lower interest rate then Greece would currently have to pay on the market.Full Story
Oil fell to near $98 a barrel Monday in Asia as the crude market waited for the outcome of Greece's negotiations with creditors on a deal to cut the face value of its debt by half.
Benchmark crude for March delivery was down 15 cents at $98.19 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $2.21 to end at $98.33 per barrel in New York on Friday.Full Story
Europe's biggest automaker Volkswagen will likely this year complete its takeover of luxury car group Porsche after clearing key hurdles, according to a German media report on Sunday.
News weekly Der Spiegel writes in its upcoming issue that VW, which owns 49.9 percent of Porsche, may buy the 50.1-percent stake in the manufacturer of the iconic 911 car for 3.9 billion euros ($5.0 billion) in 2012.Full Story
Amid all the gloom and doom over debt-stricken Portugal there is a ray of light -- shoemaking, one of the oldest and most traditional industries, had a record year in 2011 on strong exports.
The shoemaker companies, which sell nearly all their production overseas, registered 17 percent growth last year, according to industry group APICCAPS.Full Story