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China exports rebound in December but 2013 outlook remains murky

Beijing: China’s export growth rebounded surprisingly sharply to a seven-month high in December, a strong finish to the year after seven straight quarters of slowdown, but subdued global demand means that the spike may not herald an enduring recovery.

Uncertain trade prospects contrast with data that showed resilient local loan demand, further


Top Saudi telcos eke out Q4 profit gains

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s top two telecom operators will show the rewards of their efforts to cut costs and lure customers to more costly contracts when they post results later this month.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) dominate an increasingly saturated home market and are having to get smarter to drive growth. Both are trying to


Dewa Sukuk sets bullish tone to Gulf markets

Dubai: One of the first big bond issues from a state-owned company in the Gulf this year is likely to set a bullish tone for the market — so bullish, some market participants believe, that it might price inside the sovereign.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) plans to issue up to $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) of sukuk in the


Iraqi Kurdistan starts independent crude oil exports

London: Kurdistan has begun to export crude oil directly to world markets through Turkey, posing the biggest challenge yet to Baghdad’s claim to full control over Iraqi oil.

The export of crude, in addition to small volumes of niche condensate, demonstrates the autonomous region’s growing frustration with Baghdad as it moves towards ever greater e


Swatch says sales rise 14% in 2012

Zurich: The world’s biggest watch group Swatch reported on Thursday that sales in 2012 rose by 14 per cent from the 2011 level, beating the most optimistic expectations in the industry.

The watchmaker said in a statement before its full results next month that it had achieved 8.1 billion Swiss francs (Dh32.26 billion, 6.7 billion euros, $8.8


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