UK ready to pay up to 40 bln euros to leave EU: Sunday Telegraph

Europe's economic recovery is strengthening with unemployment in the eurozone dropping in June to its lowest since February 2009, according to official figures released on Monday. The jobless rate of 9.1 percent was better than predicted by analysts and will boost confidence that the 19-nation single currency area's pick-up is gathering steam after the financial crisis. Inflation in July however remained well below the European Central Bank's target, meaning that it is likely to carry on for now with its massive economic stimulus policy and low interest rates. The inflation rate in particular was "very subdued", said Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics. "While June’s unemployment data paint a positive picture of the eurozone labour market, July’s (inflation) release confirms that this strength has yet to generate inflationary pressure," McKeown said. The figures come a week after the IMF said the eurozone economic recovery was broad and strengthening, but warned that low inflation, fragile banks and Brexit remained significant risks. The Eurostat statistics agency said unemployment fell to 9.1 percent in June compared to a revised 9.2 percent in May. That was slightly better than the 9.2 percent predicted by analysts surveyed for data company Factset. "This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since February 2009," Eurostat said in a statement, when the European economy was still in the doldrums after the global financial crisis. 'Persistent and patient' The highest unemployment rates were in struggling Greece, at 21.7 percent, and Spain at 17.1 percent. Unemployment across the…... [read more]

HSBC said profits were up Monday in the first half of the year in what it called an "excellent" result after a turbulent 2016. Reported pre-tax profit for the six months to June rose five percent to $10.2 billion compared with $9.7 billion for the same period last year. HSBC also announced a share buyback of up to $2 billion, expected to be completed in the second half of the year. Shares were up 2.77 percent at HK$78.55 ($10.06) in early afternoon trading in Hong Kong Monday. The half-year results showed operating expenses dropped 12 percent to $16.4 billion, partly stemming from a sell-off of its Brazil operations. Chairman Douglas Flint described the performance as "extremely pleasing". Flint said there were still uncertainties due to increasing geopolitical tensions and "ambiguous predictions" around Britain's future relationship with the European Union post-Brexit, but described HSBC's performance as resilient. Analysts said the results had outstripped predictions. "HSBC's earnings are definitely better than market expectations," said Dickie Wong of Hong Kong-based Kingston Securities. He described the firm as in "very good shape" after wide-ranging restructuring programmes following the global financial crisis in 2008. Net profit for the first half of the year rose 10 percent to $6.99 billion from $6.36 billion for the same period in 2016. Pre-tax profits for the second quarter rose $1.7 billion to $5.3 billion year on year, beating Bloomberg analysts' estimates, which had averaged out at a $4.6 billion forecast. HSBC announced the appointment of a new chairman…... [read more]

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Friday said that the US dollar was overvalued by 10 per cent to 20 per cent, based on US near-term economic fundamentals, while it viewed valuations of the euro, Japan's yen, and China's yuan as broadly in line with fundamentals. A logo is seen outside the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund Jun 30, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo: AFP/Brendan Smialowski) The IMF's External Sector Report - an annual assessment of currencies and external surpluses and deficits of major economies - showed that external current account deficits were becoming more concentrated in certain advanced economies such as the United States and Britain, while surpluses remained persistent in China and Germany. While the report assessed the euro's valuation as appropriate for the eurozone as a whole, it said the euro's real effective exchange rate was 10-20 per cent too low for Germany's fundamentals, given its high current account surplus. Britain's pound, meanwhile, was assessed as up to 15 per cent overvalued compared to fundamentals, which include a high level of uncertainty over Britain's post-Brexit trading relationship with the European Union. The Fund said the dollar's appreciation in recent years was based on its relatively stronger growth outlook, interest rate hikes versus looser monetary policy in the eurozone and Japan, as well as expectations for fiscal stimulus from President Donald Trump's administration. But so far this year, the dollar…... [read more]

Viet Nam News HCM City - The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) will control inflation under 4 per cent and stabilise the macro economy to reach a GDP growth of 6.7 per cent, as well as ensure a safe operation for the banking system, a high ranking official of SBV said. Speaking with the media in HCM City yesterday, deputy Governor Nguyễn Thị Hồng said that "many unexpected things could happen to the world's economy, and surely affect the Vietnamese economy." The SBV has set a goal to gain a credit increase of 16 per cent for growth of 16 - 18 per cent in total payments, and will try to cut the medium- and long-term interest rates, as well as stabilise the foreign currency exchange rate. SBV established the goals based on achievements reached in 2016, with inflation at 4.74 per cent, lower than the target set by the National Assembly of 5 per cent. Credit development was 18.4 per cent and foreign currency exchange rate was stable, despite international events such as Brexit and the victory of US President-elect Donald Trump. "For a long time, we have been able to control inflation lower than the National Assembly's target. Low inflation has helped industries and ministries manage and control prices in the market," Hồng added. She also said that pressure to increase the interest rate had appeared early last year but thanks to flexible solutions in managing credit and interest rates, the floor for interest rates dropped around…... [read more]

Viet Nam News By Warren Fernandez* As you read this, thousands of business and government leaders will be making their way to Switzerland - by plane, road, rail, or even helicopter - for an annual meeting to discuss the world’s most pressing concerns. They will brave snow and frigid cold - forecasts are for temperatures to dip to minus 17 deg Ctomorrow- and a three-hour car ride from Zurich up to the small Alpine ski resort of Davos, for the conference organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Hundreds of aides, academics and journalists, myself included, will be there to join in and follow their discussions. When these leaders met last January, there was much talk about what the future might hold in the face of rapid and relentless technological change. Minds were focused on developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 3D printing, and many questions were raised about what these entail for businesses and their workers, indeed for the very nature of work, and leisure. Few, however, saw or spoke about the prospects of Brexit or the rise of Mr Donald Trump. Sure, there were a few tentative questions raised about these, which were more often than not laughed aside as long shots not to be taken too seriously. So Davos man - as this elite group is sometimes derisively called - will have much pondering to do. For while it was right that they focused their sights on the trends that will shape the future, how…... [read more]

The Hanoitimes - According to the estimates, in 2017, total net revenue budget is VND 1.2 million billion, total expenditure is VND 1.3 million billion. The level of budget deficit is VND 178,300 billion, equivalent to 3.5% of total domestic product (GDP). Economics & Urban Newspaper Reporter has had discussions with Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung on revenue enhancement solutions, support businesses, to reduce the deficit in the context of the world economy and in the country, which still remain many current difficulties. In the period of 2016 – 2020, the world economic situation tends to recover but there are still many risks as the possibility of restructuring of emerging economies such as China, Brazil, Russia, etc.; the recovery of the US economy, the EU, Japan, the impact of Brexit, the process of international economic integration of Vietnam is speeding through the implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs) in regional integration. In addition, rapid fluctuations in capital flows, commercial rotation, and complicated development of world commodity prices (especially oil prices), climate change is the main risk impact and stable growth of Vietnam's economy and unbalanced state budget. To complete the task of financial - allocated budget, the Finance Ministry will perform simultaneously numerous key solutions such as: implementing the proactive fiscal policy, improving the investment climate strong business. We will also thrift and combat waste, consistent ability to balance resources; continuing to implement measures to strengthen the financial management of businesses, promote restructuring, equalization, innovative financial mechanisms and the business…... [read more]

PARIS – Former French premier Manuel Valls came under fire Sunday for his cautious stance on taking in refugees during the migrant crisis, in a fraught second debate of leftwing candidates for the presidency. Valls, who quit President Francois Hollande’s government last month to stand as a candidate in the primary, was accused of only admitting a few thousand migrants during his time in office. "I get the feeling that the French people were much more generous than their leaders," said Vincent Peillon, a former education minister who is considered an outsider in the contest. Another candidate, Benoit Hamon, told Valls that France had a duty to "show its values, especially when it comes to migrants and refugees". Valls hit back that "an open-ended policy (of accepting migrants) is not possible". "I think France was right to follow this policy and history has proved us right," he added. The influx of more than one million asylum seekers – mostly from war-torn Syria – into the European Union in 2015 triggered the worst refugee and migrant crisis on the continent since World War II. France’s EU heavyweight neighbour Germany opened its doors, bringing in 890,000 asylum seekers in that year alone and fueling debate about why other EU states could not take more. Socialists face battle The French political attacks showed once again that a week ahead of the first round of voting on January 22 followed by a runoff on January 29, Spanish-born Valls’ campaign is struggling to take off.…... [read more]

US Colonel Christopher Norrie is pictured during a welcome ceremony at the Polish-German border in Olszyna, Poland on January 12. President-elect Donald Trump, in remarks published on Sunday, described NATO as "obsolete" and suggested a deal with Russia that would reduce nuclear arsenals and ease sanctions on Moscow. – AFP/VNA Photo Viet Nam News FRANKFURT AM MAIN – President-elect Donald Trump, in remarks published on Sunday, described NATO as "obsolete" and suggested a deal with Russia that would reduce nuclear arsenals and ease sanctions on Moscow. He also hailed Britain’s exit from the EU and backed a speedy trade deal with the UK, but condemned as "catastrophic" Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s doors to a flood of refugees. "I said a long time ago that NATO had problems," Trump told The Times of London and Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling daily. "Number one, it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago," he said. "Number two, the countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay." "I took such heat, when I said NATO was obsolete. It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right." He added, though, "NATO is very important to me." On the campaign trail, Trump said he would think twice about helping NATO allies if the United States were not "reasonably reimbursed" for the costs of defending them. His comments caused consternation among eastern European NATO countries nervous…... [read more]

Regardless of global uncertainties, domestic policy changes and market fluctuations, Vietnam’s real estate market will continue growing in 2017 thanks to a plethora of driving factors, according to Associate Professor Tran Kim Chung, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM). A year of improvement Despite short-term leveling offs, it is fair to say that the real estate market had a good 2016, even improving since 2015, as mirrored by many indicators, such as market liquidity, prices, and the number and scale of new projects. First, market excitement was maintained throughout the year and across all property segments. In particular, data from the Vietnam Real Estate Association shows that in October 2016 alone there were some 1,300 transactions in Hanoi, up 18.2 per cent on-month, while the figure in Ho Chi Minh City was 1,255 transactions, up 16.7 per cent on-month. Also notably, 2016 saw the debut of many attractive products, for example timeshare condotels which saw vigorous trading on the market. Second, the price level of products experienced a not-so-drastic increase, especially in the upper-medium bracket. A considerable number of projects were offered at VND50 million ($2,200) per square metre, while some went as high as VND80 million ($3,524). Price-wise, the high-end segment ran laps around the others. This is due to two main reasons: first, investors wanted to offset the high costs accrued since 2013, especially interest costs. Second, newly developed projects were offered at the market price as a result, which was lifted up by…... [read more]

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said that Brexit would turn out to be a great thing and other countries would follow Britain out of the European Union but promised to strike a swift bilateral trade deal with the United Kingdom. Speaking in an interview with The Times of London newspaper five days before his inauguration, Trump described himself as a big fan of Britain and endorsed last year's vote to leave the European Union. "I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing," Trump said. "I’ll tell you, the fact that your pound sterling has gone down? Great. Because business is unbelievable in a lot of parts in the UK." The June 23 vote took many investors and chief executives by surprise, triggering the deepest political and financial turmoil in Britain since World War Two and the biggest ever one-day fall in sterling against the dollar. Sterling has since fallen further against the U.S. dollar as traders, businesses and investors fret about the type of relationship Britain will have with its biggest single trading partner after it leaves the bloc. Trump's election campaign seized on the Brexit vote as an example of disillusioned voters rising up against the political establishment, and he forged a friendship with leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage - a fierce critic of Prime Minister Theresa May. 'SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP' Trump's election has raised questions over the future of the so called 'special relationship' that has underpinned close British-American ties for decades. But in Sunday's interview…... [read more]

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