• Pakistan to receive $6bn IMF bailout

      Pakistan to receive $6bn IMF bailout

      Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed on terms for a $6bn bailout package, to be disbursed over a span of 39 months. The IMF said last week that the programme of structural reforms will target increasing government revenues and reducing spending, bringing down the primary fiscal deficit - which excludes development spending - to 0.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Pakistan's upcoming budget.

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    • Mastercard, Visa to cut card fees

      Mastercard, Visa to cut card fees

      After a long-running battle with the European Commission, last week Mastercard and Visa finally agreed to cut their fees for tourists using their cards in the EU, news wires reported. Both firms will now charge retailers around 40% less on non-EU credit and debit cards payments. The EU has accepted the offer as fair. The Commission has insisted that the so-called interchange fees in which the merchant's bank pays a charge to the cardholder's bank, result in higher prices for consumers.

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    • Worldwide military spending rose in 2018

      Worldwide military spending rose in 2018

      Global military spending is continuing to increase, growing for the second year in a row and reaching the highest levels since reliable global figures became available in 1988. That's the finding of a new report out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which estimated that global spending on defense hit $1.82 trillion in 2018, up 2.6% on the previous year.

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    • UK assets worth 800bn pounds to move to EU

      UK assets worth 800bn pounds to move to EU

      Assets worth nearly £800bn are in the process of shifting from Britain to new financial hubs in the European Union due to upcoming Brexit, consultancy EY announced on Monday. EY has been tracking the Brexit plans of 222 financial firms since the UK voted in June 2016 to leave the bloc. In its latest update to the end of November 2018, it said that 80 firms are considering or have confirmed relocating assets and staff. This means that more than £800bn in assets would move, a fraction of Britain’s 8 trillion pound banking sector.

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    • Major banks invited to join new EU blockchain initiative

      Major banks invited to join new EU blockchain initiative

      The European Commission (EC) has invited five banks to join a new European association to promote the use of blockchain technology. Called International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications’ (IATBA), the goal of the association is to reportedly garner support from private blockchain and distribued ledger technology (DLT) experts to contribute to outline the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies.

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    • Study sees $240bn Southeast Asia internet economy by 2025

      Study sees $240bn Southeast Asia internet economy by 2025

      Southeast Asia’s internet economy is expected to exceed $240bn by 2025, a joint study by Google and Temasek Holdings shows. Figure represents a fifth more ($40bn) than a previous estimate the companies made - as more consumers use their smartphones to go online. The study, first published in 2016, encompasses ride-hailing, e-commerce, online travel and online media in Southeast Asia’s six largest economies - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The latest report released on Monday adds new sectors such as online food delivery, as well as subscription music and video on demand.

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    • China invests $327bn in infrastructure in 9 months

      China invests $327bn in infrastructure in 9 months

      China’s total fixed asset investment in transport infrastructure hit $327bn in the last 9 months - from January to September this year, up 1.4 percent from a year earlier - government data shows. Moreover, the value of fixed-asset investment projects approved in the third quarter of this year is more than four times the amount during the April-June period, figures prove.

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    • Top banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud

      Top banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud

      Giant tax-scams operated by some of the EU's top banks cost treasuries over €55bn, according to a cross-border investigation. The so-called “biggest tax robbery in European history” involved the largest lenders in Germany and Spain, Deutsche Bank and Santander.

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    • Venezuela's 2019 inflation to hit 10m percent

      Venezuela's 2019 inflation to hit 10m percent

      Consumer prices in Venezuela have risen by nearly 500,000 percent over the past year, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning that inflation may reach 10m percent in 2019. The central bank stopped releasing figures on inflation nearly 3 years ago, but Angel Alvarado, a member of the opposition-run congress, told media that hyperinflation reached 488,865% in the 12 months ending in September.

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