*Brazil to seek new arms for currency battle
* Turkish gunship threat over gas drilling
* Venezuela bans gold exports
* Abbas confirms plan to seek UN membership
* India may nearly double ONGC’s fuel subsidy bill
* Major Indian telecom companies plan tower holding company
* US to announce Taiwan arms deal
* Hong Kong developers set to accelerate sales
* Tata unveils bling bling Nano
* Libyan fighters say they have surrounded Bani Walid
* Markets, down
Brazil to seek new arms for currency battle
Brazil is set to propose an “exchange rate anti-dumping” measure to the World Trade Organisation that would allow countries to retaliate against trading partners that undertake competitive devaluations of their currencies, the FT reports. The plan would mark an escalation of what Latin America’s largest economy has dubbed the “currency war” – the battle against what it sees as the use of loose monetary policies by reserve-currency issuers such as the US to boost their exports.
Turkish gunship threat over gas drilling
Turkey is threatening to dispatch gunships to the waters off Cyprus in an energy dispute some diplomats fear could further damage Ankara’s troubled bid to join the European Union and increase tensions in the Mediterranean, the FT reports. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister, said Turkey would send gunships and the air force to monitor the area, in response to reports that Noble Energy, a US-based company, was beginning exploratory drilling for natural gas as part of a deal with the Cypriot government.
Venezuela bans gold exports
Venezuela will ban the export of gold out of the country as part of a nationalization campaign spearheaded by President Hugo Chávez last month, the WSJ reports. Under guidelines published in the Official Gazette on Monday, the government said “all gold that is obtained through mining activity within national territory will be handed over to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” The decree also gives companies 90 days to form joint ventures for gold mining, in which the government will hold a 55 per cent stake.
Abbas confirms plan to seek UN membership
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told the United Nations secretary-general that he intends to submit an application for membership on Friday and vowed not to be deterred by the storm of international pressure gathering around him, the FT reports.
India may nearly double ONGC’s fuel subsidy bill
India’s government is considering almost doubling Oil & Natural Gas Corp.’s share of fuel subsidy to cut expenditure and reduce the fiscal deficit, Bloomberg reports. The country’s biggest energy explorer may pay about 470bn rupees ($9.8bn) as the government-mandated subsidy in this financial year, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
Major Indian telecom players plan tower holding company
Three of the biggest Indian telecom players – Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone – plan to collectively monetise their tower assets, creating a holding company structure that is likely to house all the passive infrastructure owned by the companies, the Economic Times reports. An industry source said that the proposed holding company structure, which will see a consolidation of the tower assets of the three companies, is a step towards a possible listing of the new entity.
US to announce Taiwan arms deal
The US is expected to announce within days a new arms deal for Taiwan, carefully timing the release of the long-expected decision to minimise damage to Washington’s delicately balanced ties with Beijing, the FT reports.
Hong Kong developers set to accelerate sales
Hong Kong developers may have to accelerate sales of new housing projects even as buying sentiment wanes amid the global equity rout and as the city intensifies efforts to curb property prices, Bloomberg reports. Builders including Cheung Kong and Sun Hung Kai Properties may begin selling new projects. The developers, along with others in the city, are expected to offer as many as 2,700 apartments this month, he said.
Tata unveils bling bling Nano
Three years after launching the Nano as “the world’s cheapest car”, Ratan Tata, chairman of India’s second largest industrial group, presented what may be the world’s most expensive automobile: the jewel encrusted GoldPlus Nano, the FT reports. The car is covered in 80kg of 22 carat gold and 15kg of silver, and inlaid with 10,000 semi-precious stones and gems.
Libyan fighters say they have surrounded Bani Walid
Fighters from the Libyan National Transitional Council said they surround the town of Bani Walid, amid a fifth day of battle for control of Sirte, the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi, Bloomberg reports.
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