71 dead in eastern Ghouta in past day: Syrian Observatory
Beirut: Syrian government air strikes and artillery killed 71 people in the eastern Ghouta pocket near Damascus over the past 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Monday.
The Britain-based group said bombardment of the insurgent-held enclave started escalating on Sunday evening, wounding 325 people. There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.
Germany's far-right AfD overtakes centre-left SPD in latest poll
Berlin: Germany’s far-right, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) has surpassed the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) for the first time in a national poll to become the second-strongest party, an Insa survey for mass-selling daily Bild showed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc gained 2.5 percentage points to reach 32 percent and the AfD was up 1 percentage point to 16 percent, the weekly poll showed on Monday. The SPD fell 1 percentage point to 15.5 percent.
Switzerland has not seen any major Saudi fund flows: Swiss Bankers Association
Abu Dhabi: Switzerland has not seen any major inward or outward movement of funds from Saudi Arabia, the chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association said on Monday when asked about an increase in flows following Riyadh’s anti-corruption campaign.
“We have not observed any major movement of funds being transferred, not at all,” Herbert Scheidt told reporters during a tour of the Gulf. Saudi Arabia detained dozens of top officials and businessmen last year and vowed to confiscate money and assets held by them, raising fears that authorities would also target Saudi assets parked in offshore centres such as Switzerland.
Erdogan says Syrian government to face consequences if deal with YPG reached: CNN Turk
Ankara: Syria’s government will face consequences if it reaches an agreement with the Kurdish YPG militia against Turkey’s military operation, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as telling Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Monday.
Turkish broadcaster CNN Turk said Erdogan told Putin that Turkey’s offensive, dubbed Operation Olive Branch, would continue as planned. A source in Erdogan’s office had said the two leaders had held a phone call earlier on Monday, discussing recent developments in Syria’s Idlib and Afrin.
Foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Russia to prepare Syria summit: TASS
Moscow: The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey will meet in Kazakhstan in two weeks to prepare the ground for an Istanbul summit on Syria, the TASS news agency cited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying on Monday.
The three countries are working together to try to push the troubled Syrian peace process forward. President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan discussed Syria by phone on Monday.
Fourth tranche of aid to Greece should be decided on Monday: France
Brussels: Euro zone finance ministers should decide on Monday to disburse the fourth tranche of aid to Greece, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
“We should decide today the payment of the fourth tranche of aid to Greece, given the reforms that have been the Greek government accomplished for several months,” Le Maire told reporters ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels.
Turkey's Erdogan, Russia's Putin discuss Syria observation posts: Turkish source
Ankara: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the process of establishing new observation posts in the Syrian town of Idlib in a phone call on Monday, a source in Erdogan’s office said.
The presidents also confirmed the two countries’ determination to jointly fight against terrorism and discussed recent developments in Idlib and the Afrin region, where Turkey launched a military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, the source said.
Deutsche Bank to cut at least 250 investment banking jobs: Source
Frankfurt: Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is cutting at least 250 investment banking jobs in locations including London and the United States, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, adding that the figure could rise to as many as 500.
It is in the process of cutting 9,000 jobs group-wide from 2015 levels, or around one in 10 staff, with 4,000 jobs expected to go in Germany. It is in the process of cutting 9,000 jobs group-wide from 2015 levels, or around one in 10 staff, with 4,000 jobs expected to go in Germany.
UK calls on Iran not to deepen Yemen crisis
London: Britain called on Iran to stop taking actions which could escalate the conflict in Yemen after a United Nations group of experts found that missiles and military equipment of Iranian origin were introduced into Yemen after an arms embargo.
“I call on Iran to cease activity which risks escalating the conflict and to support a political solution to the conflict in Yemen,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement. “I also call on all parties to the conflict to abide fully by applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”
Oil hits two-week high on share market recovery, Middle East tensions
London: Oil prices hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, lifted by a global equity market recovery and tensions in the Middle East, although concerns of rising U.S. production tempered gains.
Brent crude LCOc1 was up 37 cents at $65.21 a barrel at 1034 GMT, after rising to an 11-day high of $65.45 a barrel earlier in the session. US West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CLc1 was up 54 cents at $62.22 a barrel, after earlier gaining as much as 1.4 percent to its highest since Feb. 7.
Orange invests in Israeli cybersecurity startup Morphisec
Tel Aviv: Israeli cybersecurity startup Morphisec said on Monday it has raised $12 million in new funding, bringing its total to date to $20 million.
The round includes new investor Orange Digital Ventures, the digital investment arm of Orange, as well as existing investors Jerusalem Venture Partners, General Electric and Deutsche Telekom. Morphisec, whose technology prevents advanced threats, plans to use the funds to accelerate its business globally and expand its engineering, sales and marketing teams. It grew out of Ben Gurion University’s Cyber Research Labs and has 45 employees.
Indonesia raises aviation warnings after Sumatra volcano emits ash cloud
Jakarta: Indonesia on Monday raised flight warnings around the Mount Sinabung volcano on Sumatra island to their highest level after it sent a towering plume of ash more than 7 kilometres (4.4 miles) into the air, its biggest eruption this year.
Areas around the crater of the volcano, located about 1,900 km (1,181 miles) northwest of the capital, Jakarta, have been off-limits for several years because of frequent volcanic activity. The Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VACC), in Australia’s northern city of Darwin, issued maps on Monday showing an ash cloud heading in three directions from Sinabung, to the north, northwest and south-southeast.
Ericsson appoints Priyanka Anand as VP, HR Head for MOAI
New Delhi: Swedish telecom gear firm Ericsson has appointed Priyanka Anand as vice-president and head of human resources for South East Asia, Oceania and India.
"As part of her new role, Priyanka is responsible for leading the HR function across markets like India, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines and Bangladesh amongst others," the company said in a statement. Based in India, Priyanka will be a part of the market area leadership team and will report to Nunzio Mirtillo , Head of the Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India (MOAI). Between July 2010 and April 2014, Priyanka was Vice President and Head of HR at Ericsson Global Services.
German property prices up to 35 percent overvalued: Bundesbank
Frankfurt: Real estate prices in German cities may be 15 to 30 percent overvalued, the Bundesbank said on Monday, warning that the deviation may be as much as 35 percent in the biggest cities like Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich.
With the German economy booming and interest rates at record lows, the central bank has long warned that property bubbles may be developing, a potential risk for financial stability.
Global oil demand in 2018 forecast to grow 1.6 million bpd: OPEC
Lagos: Global oil demand for 2018 is estimated to grow 1.6 million barrels per day due to an “encouraging environment”, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Monday.
He said commercial oil stocks for the OECD rose in January 2018 and were about 74 million barrels over the latest five year average.
Russia - Call for Syrian army to halt Idlib push attempt to help Nusra front: RIA
Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that calls by unnamed members of the U.N. Security Council for the Syrian army to halt an offensive in Idlib province were designed to help Nusra Front, the RIA news agency reported.
Lavrov was cited as calling Nusra Front “a terrorist structure” and calling on Western countries to use what he said was their influence to discipline its members. If they did not, he said the group would be destroyed.
UK staying in EU customs union would prevent Australia deal: Bishop
London: Britain and Australia would not be able to negotiate a bilateral trade deal if Britain decides to stay in the European Union’s customs union after Brexit, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Monday.
“Australia is very keen to pursue a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom. I think that would be precluded if the United Kingdom were to rejoin the customs union,” she told reporters in London. Bishop also said she would raise concerns about Poland’s changes to its legal system when she meets officials from the country at a gathering of Eastern European countries in Hungary this week.
January compliance with oil reduction pact 133%: OPEC's Barkindo
Abuja: OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Monday the organisation registered 133 percent compliance with agreed output reduction targets in January across all participating OPEC and non-OPEC countries.
Barkindo said compliance last year stood at 107 percent and that OPEC and non-OPEC producers would hold a technical meeting in June.
Latvia central bank governor detention matter for national authorities: EU Commission
Brussels: The detention of Latvia’s central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics by the country’s anti-corruption agency is a matter for national authorities, while the probe in to the ABLV Bank is for supervisors, the European Commission said on Monday.
“We have confidence in the responsible supervisory authorities and we consider as far as the governor is concerned that this is a matter for national enforcement authorities and we have no further comments to make in that respect,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news briefing.
Iran civil aviation "cannot confirm" wreckage of crashed plane was found: State TV
London: Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation said on Monday it could not confirm reports that the wreckage had been found of an Iranian plane that crashed with 65 people on board on Sunday in central Iran, state television reported.
Earlier, the deputy governor of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province was quoted by state media as saying that the wreckage had been located near Dengezlu village, in Semirom county, in Isfahan province.
Iraqi oil minister to visit Turkey: statement
Baghdad: Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi will visit Turkey at the end of the week at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart to discuss the resumption of oil exports through Turkey’s Ceyhan port, the Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Oil exports from Iraq’s north have been halted since Iraqi forces took control of the Bai Hasan and Avana oilfields northwest of Kirkuk, after Kurdish Peshmerga fighters pulled out from the region.
Platts sees Johan Sverdrup oil as candidate for future Brent basket
Oil pricing agency Platts is looking at adding new oil production from the Johan Sverdrup oilfield to its global dated Brent crude benchmark, to ensure liquidity is maintained. “We think Johan Sverdrup is a prime candidate for addition to the North Sea basket,” Jonty Rushforth of Platts said at a conference.
At present, the basket is based on five North Sea crudes - Brent, Forties, Ekofisk, Oseberg and Troll. Platts has added more grades over time to compensate for declining output. The Johan Sverdrup field is due on stream in late 2019, Platts said.
Wreckage of an Iranian plane was found in central Iran: State media
London: Wreckage of an Iranian plane that crashed with 65 people on board on Sunday was found in central Iran, state media reported.
The deputy governor of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province was quoted by state media as saying on Monday that the wreckage was found near Dengezlu city, in Semirom county, in Isfahan province.
Kremlin says charges over US election tampering prove nothing
Moscow: The Kremlin said on Monday that U.S. charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign did not contain any proof that the Russian state had been involved in such activity.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that allegations of state involvement were unfair and baseless. A U.S. indictment released on Friday said that a Russian propaganda arm oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton.
Australia would welcome UK interest in joining Pacific trade group: Minister
London: Australia would welcome interest from Britain in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade group after it leaves the European Union, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Monday.
Britain’s trade minister Liam Fox said earlier this year that joining the TPP was an option for the country after Brexit. Bishop, speaking in London, also said Australia was keen to pursue a free trade agreement with Britain as soon as it could.
Money market closed for Chhatrapati Shivaji jayanti
Mumbai: Money markets are closed today for the 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti'.
Wheat futures rise 1.07% on increased demand
New Delhi: Wheat prices rose by 1.07 per cent to Rs 1,796 per quintal in futures market today as speculators raised bets amid pick up in demand in the spot market.
At the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, wheat for delivery in March was trading higher by Rs 19, or 1.07 per cent, at Rs 1,796 per quintal with an open interest of 6,910 lots. Analysts said widening of positions by participants on the back of pick up in demand from flour mills in the physical market amid a pause in arrivals led to rise in wheat prices in futures trade.
Quake, magnitude 6.1, shakes Mexico City
Mexico City: An earthquake alarmed residents of Mexico City in the early hours of Monday, sending many into the streets, Reuters witnesses said.
The magnitude 6.1 quake hit 43 km (27 miles) east of Oaxaca at a depth of 10 km at 0656 GMT, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Dutch government review finds 72 errors in recent 'advance' tax rulings
Amsterdam: The Dutch Finance Ministry said on Monday a review of more than 3,000 advance tax rulings had uncovered 72 mistakes, including five instances in which decisions were either wrong or likely wrong.
The ministry began reviewing all deals offered to international companies in the 2012-2016 period after being stung by leaks that show it failed to follow its own vetting procedures in a 2008 case involving Procter & Gamble (PG.N), though it said that deal did not contain errors of substance.
No change in foodgrain prices
Chennai: Prices of all commodities remained unchanged in the wholesale foodgrain market here today.
Following are the wholesale rates of various agri-commodities (rates in rupees per quintal, unless stated otherwise):Thoor Dal Rs 7,200, Urad Dal Rs 6,700, Moong Dal Rs 7,300, Gram Dal Rs 5,200, Sugar Rs 3,600, Wheat Rs 2,600, Maida (90 kg) Rs 2,400 and Sooji (90 kg) Rs 3,000.
To Issue Rs 8800 Cr worth equity shares on preferential basis to GoI
SBI puts Rs 1935 Cr worth loans up for sale to 24 entities
Seeks bids on cash basis or a mix of cash and security receipts
Approves Issue Price At Rs 300.82/Share For Preferential Issue To Govt
Financial Express Reports
POWER GRID CORP
Emerges as lowest bidder for Rs 1000 cr project
To set up Vindhychaal-Varanasi 765 KV transmission line
Financial Express Reports
Arm To Buy 65% Stake In Indian Film Combine Pvt For Rs 1,105 Cr
Arm To Also Buy 20% Of Indian Film Combine From Xander Group Arm, 45% from Co's Promoter Group
Announces successful regulatory inspection from USFDA for API Facility for Hyderabad Facility
AVIATION IN FOCUS
Jan Domestic Air Passenger Traffic At 1.15 Cr, Up 19.7% YoY
Air India Jan Passenger Load Factor At 84.6% vs 81.8% MoM
Jet Airways Jan Passenger Load Factor At 88.7% vs 88.5% MoM
IndiGo Jan Passenger Load Factor At 89.7% vs 90.8% MoM
SpiceJet Jan Passenger Load Factor At 95.0% vs 95.6% MoM
Air India Jan Market Share At 13.3% vs 13.1% MoM
Jet Airways Jan Market Share At 14.3% vs 14.6% MoM
IndiGo Jan Market Share At 39.7% vs 39.4% MoM
SpiceJet Jan Market Share At 12.6% vs 12.7% MoM