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January 24, 2015 14:11
Reuters/Raheb Homavandi
Iran moves away from US dollar in foreign trade
Iran is stopping mutual settlements in dollars with foreign countries and agreements on bilateral swap in new currencies will be signed in the near future, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has said.
Reuters/Christian Hartmann
​'Sanctions always hurt wrong person,' open dialogue needed - Davos Forum
Sanctions are an ineffective instrument that hurt economies and ordinary people. What the West and Russia really need is to maintain cooperation and be open for a new way of dialogue, experts told RT at the forum in Davos.
Rusal president Oleg Deripaska. (RIA Novosti/Sergey Guneev)
​Big investor interest in Russia, despite pressure - president of world’s largest aluminium producer
Western investors are eager to strengthen business ties with Russia and are seeking new opportunities despite external pressure, Russian tycoon and Rusal president, Oleg Deripaska, told RT in Davos.
Bank VTB president, chairman of the board and chairman of the Supervisory Board Andrei Kostin. (RIA Novosti/ Sergey Guneev)
Russia’s economy ‘ill’, but ‘virus’ is manageable - head of VTB
The Russian economy is suffering from certain economic problems such as low oil prices and sanctions, but they are not chronic, just more like a virus that’s quick to cure, Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s second biggest bank VTB told RT.
Reuters / Ismail Zitouny ​Saudi Arabia expected to keep oil policy unchanged
The current rise in oil prices will be short-term as Saudi Arabia is unlikely to reconsider its oil policy after the death of King Abdullah, financial experts told RT.

Business snaps

​China to provide $2bn in loans for Iranian petrochemical industry 

China to provide $2bn in loans for Iranian petrochemical industry

China opened a credit line of US$2 billion for Iran to develop four major projects in the petrochemical industry, Tasnim news agency reports. The loans were allocated for the development and reconstruction of the Masjed Soleiman, Sabalan, Bushehr and Lordegan enterprises, said Mohammad Hassan Peyvand, vice-president of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company. Despite economic sanctions against Iran, China increased its investment in the country to above $50 billion in 2014, from $35 billion in 2010.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz sends additional $70mn to Gazprom for January gas deliveries 

Russian energy giant Gazprom received an additional $70 million from Ukraine’s Naftogaz for January deliveries, RIA Novosti reported. Gazprom received $150 million from Naftogaz the previous month as a prepayment for expected gas deliveries for January. Ukraine said it plans to purchase some one billion cubic meters of gas from Gazprom for January.

​Russia's #2 bank increased bad debt provision 60% in 2014 

The head of VTB Andrey Kostin has told RT, the bank has had to substantially increase its provision for bad debt in 2014.Even though the provision has been increased by 60 percent he does not see a fundamental threat to the Russian banks in general.“The Russian banking sector will have an adequate capital base with the help of the government and I think we’ll cope with the problems”, he said.

China bought record volume of crude from Russia in 2014 

China bought a record volume of crude from Russia last year, Bloomberg reported. Imports from Russia increased by 36 percent in 2014, the fastest pace ever, to 33.1 million metric tons, about 665,000 barrels a day, the General Administration of Customs said. China’s shipments from Saudi Arabia shrank for a second year.

Gazprom signs €350mn euro credit deal with Italy’s Intesa 

Russia’s Gazprom said on Thursday it had signed a €350 million ($407 million) credit agreement with Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo, Reuters reported. The deal was the first ever credit agreement between the two companies, according to the Russian gas giant. It signed a €390 million credit line with another Italian bank, UniCredit, in December.

Markets greet news of ECB buying bonds worth €60bn 

Financial markets "greeted favorably" news that the European Central Bank will begin buying €60 billion worth of government bonds in an attempt to prevent the eurozone from becoming trapped in long-term economic stagnation, the New York Times said. The long-awaited quantitative easing is meant to spur growth in the eurozone economy and establish inflation at healthier levels.

American Express plans to cut 4,000 jobs 

American Express has said it plans to cut more than 4,000 jobs this year, about 6 percent of its workforce, AP reported. The cuts are part of an efficiency drive, the New York-based charge card company said. It also reported an 11 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits.

Reuters / Stringer Record high Chinese imports of Russian oil in 2014
Chinese imports of oil from major OPEC countries fell last year, while the purchases of Russian oil saw a record increase, said the Chinese General Administration of Customs. It is part of Chinese plans to diversify its oil sources.
Reuters / Beck Diefenbach PayPal, Google join Apple in Crimea exodus
The newest part of the Russian Federation, the Crimea peninsula is now cut off from PayPal and Google products and services, as sanctions forbid US companies from providing services to the region.
George Soros (Reuters / Andrew Kelly)
​‘Easy money’ to worsen inequality in Europe – George Soros
The decision by the European Central Bank to begin €1.14 trillion quantitative easing (QE) program will eventually reinforce inequality within Europe and have serious political consequences, billionaire George Soros told RT in Davos.
Reuters / Ismail Zitouny Oil spikes after Saudi king's death
Oil prices jumped after the news of the death of King Abdullah, the leader of OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, added to the uncertainty on the global energy market.
Reuters / Stringer Moscow to Beijing in 2 days: China to build $242bn high-speed railway
China is going to build a $242 billion (1.5 trillion yuan) high-speed rail link between Beijing and Moscow. The line will cut the journey time from five to 'two days', say Chinese authorities.
AFP Photo / Johannes Eisele Apple pulls switch on products in Crimea over US-Russia standoff
​America’s Apple Inc. has halted all product sales in Crimea in order to comply with US sanctions banning economic activity with the region, which the US still recognizes as Ukraine, not Russia. The sales ban will go into effect on the first of February.
Reuters / Desmond Boylan ​Venezuela adds new currency market to save ailing economy
Venezuela will modify its complex currency controls and add a third new exchange system where dollars will be offered through private investors. This is to combat the black market and keep the existing three-tier model, said President Nicolas Maduro.
Reuters / Ralph Orlowski ECB announces milestone €1.14trn ‘easy money’ program
The European Central Bank announced it will embark on a fully-fledged quantitative easing program from March, which will break down to €60 billion per month. The move is made to counter a triple-dip recession in the eurozone.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (RIA Novosti / Sergey Kuznecov) ​No chance of state default in Russia – Deputy PM
There is no chance of a default on a state level in Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told RT at World Economic Forum in Switzerland, adding that the government will fulfill its obligations.


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