Spain pushed forward on Wednesday with a major overhaul of the country's stricken banking sector after Brussels approved EU-funded restructuring plans, and with nationalised Bankia saying it will slash 6,000 jobs and is set for a huge loss.
Meanwhile the Bank of Spain delivered more bad news on the overall economy, saying country appears stuck in a job-killing recession in the fourth quarter.Full Story
An inquiry into the theft of some $900 million which led to the near-collapse of Afghanistan's largest bank has found there was high-level political interference over who should face prosecution.
The scandal touched a brother of President Hamid Karzai and a brother of his vice president Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, who were shareholders in the bank, but they have not been charged with any wrongdoing.Full Story
Qantas Airways on Wednesday severed a lucrative marketing deal with Tourism Australia after claiming its boss was leading a consortium trying to unseat the airline's management and buy out the company.
The carrier said it had advised the country's official tourism agency it was halting the Aus$50 million (U.S.$52 million) deal "due to a potential conflict of interest of the agency's chairman", former Qantas chief Geoff Dixon.Full Story
The World Bank on Tuesday approved a $6.4 million grant to improve water and sewage services in the Gaza Strip in the wake of an eight-day firefight between Israel and the territory's Hamas rulers.
The infrastructure in the impoverished Palestinian enclave -- with a population of more than 1.5 million people -- has been deteriorating in recent years and the area is now "choked with untreated sewage," the Bank said.Full Story
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said Egypt can still get its $4.8 billion loan agreed last week despite fresh political turmoil as long as there is "no major change" in its reform commitments.
The IMF also said that the funding, provisionally agreed on November 20, would also hinge on whether other bilateral lenders stick to their loan promises after President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree that granted himself sweeping powers.Full Story
More than half of the people in South Africa -- the continent's wealthiest country -- live in poverty, a government study released on Tuesday showed.
The country, which ranks 29th in the world in terms of GDP, ahead of Denmark, is among the most unequal nations in the world.Full Story
The eurozone and IMF saved Greece from bankruptcy with a re-drawn rescue on Tuesday which Greek leaders said marked a new beginning for their people facing further austerity in the midst of recession.
The deal marked a compromise by the IMF, an admission that Greece will need help with its debt for years, removes the risk of default around the end of the year, and minimizes the chances that the country might have to leave the eurozone.Full Story
Iraq says it is giving neighboring Jordan 100,000 barrels of oil as a gift to help overcome its economic difficulties.
The decision by the Cabinet Tuesday could be seen as an attempt by the Shiite-led Iraqi government to offer support to one of its Sunni neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have fled to Jordan because of violence that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of their country.Full Story
Consumer prices in Syria have jumped by up to two-thirds this year, driven by deteriorating security, increased transport costs and unfavorable exchange rates, a pro-regime daily reported Tuesday, citing a government economist.
"The (price) increase of foodstuffs and merchandise depends on the exchange rates and the cost of transportation and labor," Ziad Hazaa, director of economy and internal trade at the ministry of economy told al-Watan newspaper.Full Story
Global growth is set for a sharp slowdown next year and the eurozone debt crisis "remains the greatest threat to the world economy at present," the OECD warned on Tuesday.
The OECD said in its latest Economic Outlook, drafted before the eurozone and IMF unblocked almost 44 billion euros ($57 billion) in emergency loans for Greece, also cautioned that "the risk of a new major contraction cannot be ruled out" after a global slump in 2009.Full Story