AFP News

  • Britain seeks closer ties to China's Belt and Road project

    Britain seeks "closer collaboration" with China on its Belt and Road infrastructure project, finance minister Philip Hammond said Friday in Beijing on a trip expected to secure more than £1 billion ($1.34 billion) in deals.China...

  • Stock markets downbeat on US tax reform concerns

    World stock markets mostly fell Friday following a sell-off on Wall Street, as traders fear US lawmakers will fail to pass much-vaunted tax cuts.London's benchmark FTSE 100 index managed to nudge higher, however, as investors...

  • Japan firm says it will pay part of salaries in Bitcoin

    A Japanese company will start paying part of its employees' salaries in Bitcoin, as it aims to get better understanding of the virtual currency, a spokeswoman said on Friday.GMO Internet, which operates a range of web-related...

  • Japanese business confidence hits 11-year high

    Confidence among Japan's biggest manufacturers is at an 11-year high, a key central bank survey showed Friday, as the world's number-three economy picks up pace.The bullish survey underscored how Japan's prospects have been...

  • IMF sees stronger Pakistan growth amid improved security

    Pakistan's economy has gained momentum amid improved security and other policy moves, but the government needs to do more to head off growing risks, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.An IMF team wrapped up a week-long...

  • US presses Thailand to downgrade ties with North Korea

    The US has urged Thailand to downgrade diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea, a senior Thai official said Thursday after meeting with an American envoy, as the Trump administration pushes ahead with a global campaign to...

  • Philippines passes major tax reform law

    The Philippines has passed a tax reform bill at the heart of President Rodrigo Duterte's economic agenda, officials said Thursday, raising levies on coal, cars, soft drinks and cosmetic surgeries to finance the country's crumbling...

  • GE and Tata partner to make engine components in India

    India's software-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group and US industrial giant General Electric have signed a partnership to make jet engine parts in India, the companies announced Thursday.Under the agreement signed on November 29,...

  • Euro sags as rates held steady

    The euro slid back under $1.18 on Thursday after the ECB held interest rates and kept the easy money spigot open despite hiking its growth forecast for the eurozone.Meanwhile US stocks added to records following solid US retail...

  • Winter cuts dent China's industrial output

    China's industrial output slowed again in November, official data showed Thursday, as authorities press on with their fight against smog by clamping down on polluting heavy industries.Output at factories and workshops expanded 6.1...

  • BP plan to buy Australian petrol pump network blocked

    Energy giant BP's plan to buy a network of Australian petrol stations from supermarket chain Woolworths was blocked Thursday by the competition watchdog over fears it will lead to higher fuel prices. The British firm announced a...

  • Commonwealth Bank accused of more 'very serious' rule breaches

    Australia's financial intelligence agency expanded an anti-money laundering probe into Commonwealth Bank on Thursday to include new claims that it failed to adequately monitor suspected terrorist financiers.The lender, the...

  • Defects found at China nuclear reactor project

    Defects were found in equipment for a third-generation nuclear reactor under construction in southern China with the problematic parts being replaced, the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) said Wednesday.The...

  • N. Korea's overseas financial network squeezed by US: report

    North Korea's intricate overseas financial network is creaking under the strains of Washington's economic screws on the impoverished nuclear armed regime, a research report said.The United Nations, United States, European Union...

  • Toyota eyes major boost in electric-powered vehicles

    Japanese car giant Toyota said Wednesday it wanted half of its global sales to come from electric-powered vehicles by 2030, as the industry strives to meet toughening environmental regulations.Electric-powered vehicles currently...

  • South Korea bans its banks from dealing in Bitcoin

    South Korea on Wednesday banned its financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency soars in a bubble fuelled by retail speculators, many of them from the country.The hyper-wired...

  • Google opens AI centre in China as competition heats up

    Google announced Wednesday that it will open a new artificial intelligence research centre in Beijing, tapping China's talent pool in the promising technology despite the US search giant's exclusion from the country's internet.Art...

  • Weird but cute: Japan's capsule toys play big in Internet age

    A tiny replica of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and a plastic cat squatting on sushi: just two of the weird-and-wonderful capsule toys that have become a multi-million-dollar craze in cute-obsessed Japan.The industry is now...

  • Westfield shares soar after Unibail-Rodamco takeover

    Shares in Australian shopping centre giant Westfield soared Wednesday after French property firm Unibail-Rodamco agreed to buy the group, with founder Frank Lowy congratulated on his "impeccable timing".In a deal valuing Westfield...

  • Dow ends at another record, dollar dips as Fed hikes interest rates

    The Dow finished at another record Wednesday while the dollar retreated as the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates and the US tax cut plan moved forward in Congress. Anticipation over the Fed's action hung over international...

  • First 'serious incident' for Japan bullet train as crack found

    A crack has been found in a Japanese "bullet train" that could have caused a derailment, officials said Wednesday, in the first-ever "serious incident" for the iconic mode of transport.Crew aboard a "shinkansen" bullet train...

  • Toshiba, Western Digital settle legal battle over chip unit sale

    Toshiba settled legal disputes with US production partner Western Digital, both firms said Wednesday, clearing the way for the embattled Japanese conglomerate's multi-billion-dollar sale of its prized chip business.Toshiba has...

  • Singapore launches electric car-sharing service

    Singapore on Tuesday launched an electric car-sharing service, the latest transport innovation aimed at encouraging people away from owning vehicles and keeping gridlock at bay in the space-starved city-state.BlueSG, a subsidiary...

  • US warns companies smuggling fuel to North Korea

    White House National Security Advisor HR McMaster warned Tuesday that shipping companies caught smuggling goods into North Korea could be making their "last delivery" anywhere.McMaster said UN sanctions have not halted deliveries...

  • Philippines's Duterte offers third telecom slot to China

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has offered China Telecom a slot to be the country's third telecom provider to break up the dominance of two local firms, his spokesman said Tuesday.The offer was part of Duterte's efforts to...

  • Japan carmakers make fresh push on hydrogen stations

    A consortium of Japanese auto giants on Tuesday announced plans to set up a new company next year to build more hydrogen refuelling stations, in an effort to bring fuel-cell cars into the mainstream.There are currently 2,200...

  • New 'supernote' found in S. Korea could be from North

    A new high-quality counterfeit $100 bill has been found in South Korea, bank officials said Tuesday, prompting suggestions the sanctions-hit North might have resumed forging "supernotes".A team of forgery specialists at KEB Hana...

  • France's Unibail-Rodamco to buy Australia's Westfield mall giant

    French property giant Unibail-Rodamco announced Tuesday it will buy Australia's Westfield shopping mall operator in a deal worth US$24.7 billion to create "a global property leader", the two groups said in a statement.The...

  • Pregnant woman wants seat on Tokyo metro: there's an app for that

    Pregnant women struggling to bag a seat on the famously packed Tokyo subway could find their salvation in a new app connecting them with nearby passengers willing to give up their coveted perch.The digital match-making app being...

  • US, European stocks rise ahead of Fed announcement

    Equities rose on Wall Street and on major European bourses Tuesday, with US indices finishing at records again, as Congress made progress on the tax cut plan and amid expectations for higher interest rates.The Dow and S&P 500...

  • Investors turn against fossil fuels at Paris climate summit

  • US, EU and Japan up the pressure on China at WTO

  • ANZ Bank sells life insurance arm to Zurich for US$2.14 bn

    ANZ Bank said Tuesday it has offloaded its life insurance arm to Zurich for Aus$2.85 billion (US$2.14 billion), making the Swiss giant the country's largest retail life insurer by premiums.It follows National Australia Bank...

  • Philippines wins Fitch upgrade despite drug war

    The Philippines on Monday was handed a credit rating upgrade from international agency Fitch which raised the nation's sovereign rating by one level, citing continued investor confidence despite a deadly drug war.President Rodrigo...

  • Blowing bubbles: Boom and bust from bulbs to bitcoin

    Virtual currency Bitcoin -- or "digital gold" to its fans -- has enjoyed a gravity-defying rise along with wild price swings, sparking fears it could be the latest financial market "bubble."Bitcoin was worth just a few US cents...

  • Chinese-owned Inter offer 300m bonds

    Italian Serie A giants Inter Milan on Monday officially announced the issuing of secured bonds worth 300 million euros ($353 million), maturing in 2022.The former three-time European champions released a statement via its media...

  • Global markets move sideways as central banks in focus

    European stock markets mostly fell Monday, with investors treading water ahead of key central bank policy meetings later this week, traders said.On the other side of the Atlantic, Wall Street stocks edged higher as investors...

  • India faces painful move to cleaner energy

    Subedar Singh bears the scars of India's painful reliance on dirty power and its struggle to pay for the costly transition to the brave new world of solar and renewable electricity.Last year, the farmer walked into a field in his...

  • Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco plant

    Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD on Saturday signed an agreement to open a factory near the Moroccan city of Tangiers to build battery-powered vehicles, officials said.BYD will become the third car manufacturer, after Renault...

  • China's consumer price inflation slows in November

    China's consumer inflation slowed more than expected in November and factory prices decelerated sharply, official data showed Saturday, as economic pressures persist despite robust exports and manufacturing.The consumer price...

  • Spotify and Tencent announce cross-shareholding deal

    The world's biggest music streaming platform Spotify of Sweden and China's Tencent said on Friday they had agreed to take minority stakes in each other.With the deal both companies would seek to "explore collaboration...

  • Bitcoin plunges 15% in wild trading

    Bitcoin plunged as much as 15 percent to below $14,500 on profit-taking Friday, capping a roller-coaster week that saw the currency hit a series of record highs and underlining concerns about its volatility.The virtual currency,...

  • China exports surge in November as trade tensions flare

    China's exports surged more than twice the expected pace in November, official data showed on Friday, as tensions with its largest trading partners flare.The healthy trade data is welcome news for the world's number-two economy as...

  • Australia bourse to use blockchain in 'world-first'

    Australia's main stock exchange has said it will use blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, to process its equities transactions in a shift touted as a world-first for a major financial institution.The...

  • Global stocks rise on US jobs data, Brexit deal

    Global stocks rocketed higher Friday, with Wall Street indices ending at fresh records, following strong US jobs data and a breakthrough in Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union.Investors greeted an unusual...

  • Japan economy growing twice as fast as expected

    Japan is growing twice as fast as previously estimated, official data showed on Friday, with the world's third-largest economy posting its longest string of gains in more than two decades.Gross domestic product in the third...

  • Philippines plans to sue Sanofi over dengue vaccine: minister

    The Philippines intends to sue Sanofi after authorities suspended the pharmaceutical giant's anti-dengue vaccine in response to the company warning the drug could lead to severe infections in some cases, the health secretary said...

  • IMF warns on brewing risks in China's financial system

    The International Monetary Fund on Thursday warned of brewing risks in China's banking system as it found dozens of crucial lenders needed to beef up their defences against possible financial crises.The IMF report comes a day...

  • Bitcoin surges above $16,000 as concerns mount

    Bitcoin flirted with $17,000 on Thursday, triggering a warning the cryptocurrency was like a "train with no brakes" and prompting fresh concern about its looming launch on mainstream markets.Still under $14,000 in Asian trading...

  • Global stocks mixed as bitcoin smashes record

    The world's stock markets struggled for direction Thursday as investors paused for breath, while bitcoin spiked to a dizzying record above $16,000 on frenzied speculative buying, dealers said.Leading bourses were mixed, with...

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