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International

Oman Islamic banking hits 4.4% of assets
Islamic banking operations in Oman have grown to account for over four per cent of the country’s total banking assets in the past two years and could double that ratio by 2018, a study by Thomson Reuters found.
Zain Saudi’s Q3 net loss narrows
Telecom operator Zain Saudi reported a narrowing third-quarter loss on Tuesday, roughly in line with analyst forecasts as margins improved, provisions fell and Internet usage increased.
Eurozone lending dips
No speedy upturn seen; money supply grows faster than expected
Pacific trade talks progress, but US-Japan gap remains
Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who hosted the meeting, said the shape of an “ambitious, comprehensive, high-standard and balanced deal” was forming.
Goldman Sachs cuts oil price view
WTI could fall as low as $70 in the second quarter and Brent as low as $80, when oversupply would be the most pronounced, before returning to first-quarter levels, Goldman said.
IMF calls for GCC reforms; warns of effect of oil price drop
The IMF, while upholding its 4.5 per cent growth forecast for GCC countries in 2014 and 2015 despite risks arising from a slide in oil prices, warned that the six-nation bloc may see its current-account surplus decline.
Vietnam hails Indian participation in oil, gas exploration
Newly appointed Vietnamese Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh rejected China’s objection to Indian oil exploration projects in South China Sea, asserting that that his country has the “right” to protect its interests.
Taiwan eyeing 6% trade growth with India by ’15
Bullish on business-friendly PM; seeks concessions on exports
Kuwait fiscal reserves at $548 billion
The reserves are invested in two state funds, the State Reserve Fund with $149 billion and the Reserve Fund for Future Generations with $399 billion, Al Qabas newspaper said, citing a report by the Audit Bureau, Kuwait’s state accounting watchdog.
GCC to face housing shortage
The study observed that as the GCC region would be facing a massive shortage of housing, governments need to pursue more holistic policies in order to better meet the housing needs of the region’s populations.
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