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Japan to lend Tunisia $480 million

Source : IINA / 13 Mar 2014

Japan has agreed to lend Tunisia 750 million dinars ($480 million) to support the transition to democracy in the North African country where the Arab Spring began, Deputy Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki said on Tuesday.

The money, which will be split into two loans, will be allocated to finance infrastructure and energy projects in Tunisia, which is struggling to revive its economy.


China to become world’s biggest ‘billionaire club’ by 2023

Source : RT / 13 Mar 2014

Asia is set to overtake Europe as the home of the biggest number of billionaires within the next decade, according to a new survey. China's super-rich will outnumber those in the UK, Russia, France, and Switzerland combined.

The number of billionaires in China is expected to hit 322 in 2023, says the eighth annual Knight Frank Wealth Report.


In Saudi Arabia, half a million expats escaped jobs in 2013

Source : Saudi Gazette /13 Mar 2014

A total of 525,301 expatriate workers out of 7,243,000 escaped from their workplaces and employers in 2013, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Labor. The ministry based the statistics on information provided by labor offices all over kingdom, al-Watan daily reported.


UAE: Dubai to launch Halal Index

By Zaher Bitar / Gulf News /12 Mar 2014

Dubai Exports is looking to issue an online Halal Index to list all UAE-based firms that are halal, Saeed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports, told Gulf News.

The index will be set up by Dubai Exports, an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), and will include relevant information about all the halal companies, banks, financial institutions, Islamic products and Islamic services in Dubai.


Turkey's biggest water tunnel completed

Source : World Bulletin / 11 Mar 2014

Turkey's largest and the world's fifth biggest water tunnel has been inaugurated by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the south-eastern city of Sanliurfa in the Suruc district.

The water tunnel has been built as part of the regional development project, Southeastern Anatolia Project, which aims to boost the economy and agriculture in an impoverished part of Turkey.


Crimean Ministry of Finance to consider entering ruble zone

Source : Vestnik Kavkaza / 11 Mar 2014

The Ministry of Finance of Crimea should submit by tomorrow proposals for the transition of the republic from the Ukrainian hryvnia to the Russian ruble if Crimeans vote for entry into the Russian Federation in the March 16 referendum, the Prime Minister of the autonomy Sergey Aksenov said.


Riyadh, Jeddah among world’s cheapest cities

Source : SG / 10 Mar 2014

The Saudi capital and the Bride of the Red Sea are among the top 10 cheapest cities in the world to live in, according to a study.

Price controls on staples in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are continuing to guarantee low prices for many goods, said the Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 report issued by the Economist Intelligence Unit.


U.N. world food price index jumps 2.6 pct in February

By Naomi O'Leary / Reuters / 08 Mar 2014 

Global food prices rose 2.6 percent in February in the sharpest climb since mid-2012 due to unfavourable weather, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday, with the crisis in Ukraine threatening to cause future volatility.


EU freezes assets of ousted Ukrainian leader and 17 others

Source : Reuters / 07 Mar 2014

The European Union froze the assets on Thursday of ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, former prime minister Mykola Azarov and 16 other senior Ukrainian officials suspected of misusing state funds and violating human rights.

In a legal filing published in the European Union's Official Journal, the EU said that "all funds and economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled" by the people listed was now frozen within the 28-nation union.


Haze shrouds Kuala Lumpur amid forest fires

Source : Bloomberg / 05 Mar 2014

Smoke from forest and peat-soil fires drove air quality to unhealthy levels in and around Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur yesterday, adding to the burden of water rationing after a month-long drought.


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