Economy

Greece goes fishing for oil in Ionian Sea, Crete

epa04562446 A view of the Repsol oil rig off the coast of the Canary Islands, Spain, 16 January 2015. Spanish oil company Repsol finished its drilling operations in the Canary Islands and will leave the zone after the first explorations didn't show a significant presence of gas or oil at the subsoil, the multinational announced in a press release. Repsol had started to drill for hidrocarbons in the islands on 18 November 2014 some 60 km far from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura islands.  EPA/CRISTOBAL GARCIA

An oilrig off the coast of the Canary Islands, Spain. On August 7, Greece announced two international tenders for granting the right to explore and exploit hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea and Crete. New Europe Online/KG  Foreign companies asked to submit bids Greece goes fishing for oil in Ionian Sea, Crete <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> On August 7, Greece’s Energy Ministry announced two international tenders for granting the right to explore and exploit hydrocarbons in the Ionian ... Read More »

Will China be a Factor in the Upcoming NAFTA Negotiations?

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Beijing is incentivizing Mexico City and others in Latin American to rethink their traditional trading relationships. Bill Bray Miyako Yerick The National Interest The first round of NAFTA renegotiations is set to take place in Washington, DC August 16–20 and one of the primary U.S. objectives is reducing its $63 billion trade deficit with Mexico. Mexico is in a position to drive a harder bargain than many would think, however. Unlike thirty years ago, Mexico today can leverage China’s growing foreign direct ... Read More »

Vietnam backs off South China Sea drilling at behest of Beijing

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Suspension of project near border of exclusive economic zone another victory for Beijing Asia Unhedged Asia Times Spanish energy firm Repsol has suspended oil drilling off the coast of Vietnam in waters claimed by China, after Hanoi came under pressure from Beijing to stop, Reuters reported this week. “We are working with the PetroVietnam and with the Vietnamese authorities and the only comment is that right now, operations have been suspended,” Repsol’s chief financial officer, Miguel Martinez, was quoted as ... Read More »

Vietnam, Yielding to Beijing, Backs Off South China Sea Drilling

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HONG KONG — Vietnam appears to have retreated in a high-stakes maritime gambit against China, suspending a gas-drilling project that it had approved in the South China Sea but that was said to have irritated Beijing. Mike Ives The New York Times The drilling, by a subsidiary of the Spanish energy company Repsol, had started in June off the southern Vietnamese coast, analysts said. The offshore block where the drilling was occurring straddles the border of Vietnam’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic ... Read More »

GOP clash looms over raising the debt ceiling

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Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are planning to push for a hike without accompanying spending cuts — a position at odds with GOP orthodoxy. SEUNG MIN KIM and RACHAEL BADE Politico Republican congressional leaders are quietly preparing to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase, according to multiple senior GOP sources — setting the stage for a high-risk showdown with rank-and-file Republicans this… Trump administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are imploring Congress to raise the $19.8 trillion debt limit with ... Read More »

Unemployment in Europe has fallen to its lowest level since 2009

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Unemployment in the Eurozone has now fallen to its lowest level since early 2009, as the single-currency area continues along a road of economic recovery one year after the Brexit vote rattled confidence in the bloc’s future. Robin Bowman World Economic Forum In June this year, euro-area unemployment dropped to 9.1%, down from 9.2% the previous month, and from 10.1% in the same month in 2016. This pattern reflects a trend seen across the EU as a whole, where the ... Read More »

Treaty to enable high seas marine protected areas takes step forward

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The NZ deep sea trawler West Bay does a fast turn after hauling its catch from international waters in the Tasman Sea. Greenpeace  along with more than a thousand scientists are supporting the call for a moratorium  on high seas bottom trawling, because of the vast amount of marine life that is destroyed by this fishing method.
©2004Greenpeace/Roger Grace

The United Nations has advanced a step closer to an international treaty to protect marine life on the high seas, with an aim of setting up a mechanism for creating marine protected areas in areas beyond national jurisdictions. Aaron Orlowski SeafoodSource International waters outside countries’ exclusive economic zones make up 60 percent of the ocean and cover almost half of the surface of the earth. The waters are rife with marine life, including many threatened species, but are subject to ... Read More »

Sing dollar too strong: DBS currency strategist

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THE Singapore dollar (SGD) is too strong as the greenback continues to struggle and is becoming oversold, said Philip Wee, DBS Bank senior currency strategist. Year to date, the SGD has gained over 6 per cent against the US dollar (USD), and with the Thai baht are the two strongest South-east Asian currencies. SIOW LI SEN The Business Times The SGD stood at 1.3597 on Wednesday, slightly off its year high of 1.3553 on July 31. USD/SGD came under heavy ... Read More »

Brexit: Race to host EU agencies relocated from London

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EU countries have until midnight to submit bids to provide a new home for two agencies that will be relocated from the UK after Brexit. BBC The European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA), based in Canary Wharf in London, employ just over 1,000 staff between them. The banking and medicines agencies are seen as the first spoils of Brexit by the 27 remaining members of the EU. About 20 countries are expected to enter the bidding process. ... Read More »

Chinese spy ships: The devil in the detail

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Recent posts in The Interpreter (by Iain Henry, Euan Graham and James Goldrick) have commented on the presence of a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off the Queensland Coast during Exercise Talisman Sabre. Sam Bateman The Interpreter All these posts are broadly correct – the incident suggested Chinese hypocrisy with its objections to foreign military activities in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), specifically its objections to American surveillance and intelligence-collection in its EEZ. However, we need to be careful in making assessments ... Read More »

Australians waste $70m a year on unused gift cards

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When I was a teenager, I loved getting gift vouchers and using them in the sales. I usually spent them in either the winter sales soon after my birthday or the summer sales after Christmas. Caitlin Fitzsimmons Brisbane Times I didn’t have much money so each voucher was carefully stored in my wallet and avidly spent. There was no way I’d let a single dollar go to waste. I would’ve been astonished to hear that Australians in 2017 waste $70 ... Read More »

Analysis: Time to ditch your interest only loan as big banks continue rate hikes

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With banks increasing rates for interest-only (IO) loans, it’s definitely a good idea to consider switching to principal and interest (P&I) loans. Vanessa De Groot Domain When you took out your IO loan it probably made financial sense because of affordability. It likely enabled you to manage the mortgage repayments and your other living costs, and perhaps you could even afford to borrow more to buy a more expensive property. That’s because the regular repayments for IO loans are significantly ... Read More »

Government adviser urges review of farmers’ tax-breaks

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Tax breaks for UK farmers should be reviewed, the head of a group advising the environment secretary has said. BBC Economist Dieter Helm said the current system of taxpayer-funded support was extremely wasteful and the industry suffered from “subsidy addiction”. Prof Helm said the exemption of farmland and buildings was used to avoid inheritance tax. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said his ideas were not under Government adviser urges… Read More »

Sri Lanka signs Hambantota port deal with China

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Billion-dollar agreement reached despite trade union opposition and protests over security fears, including from India. Al Jazeera and news agencies<imgheight=”1″width=”1″style=”display:none”src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=968100353246427&ev=PageView&noscript=1″/> Sri Lanka has signed a $1.12bn agreement with a state-run Chinese firm to operate a port in the southeast of the country, despite security concerns and protests from trade unions. According to the long-delayed deal reached in the capital Colombo on Saturday, Sri Lanka Ports Authority agreed to sellΒ a 70 percent stake in the Hambantota port to China Merchants Ports ... Read More »

How Long Can China Ignore Its Growing Debt Pile?

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Beijing has been reluctant to tackle reforms to politically sensitive state-owned enterprises, fearing the potential for popular discontent. Anthony Fensom The National Interest Quarter after quarter, China’s gross domestic product numbers keep coming in nearly perfectly on Beijing’s forecasts. The trouble for the world’s second-biggest economy, however, is that its debt keeps on rising while necessary reforms take a back seat to the… According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, GDP expanded by 6.9 percent in the second quarter from ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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China and Russia’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. Crisis Group To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar ... Read More »