Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

US lauds UN budget cut

The country on Sunday applauded a US$285 million cut in the UN core budget, saying it was “a big step in right direction.” The UN General Assembly adopted a budget of US$5.396 billion for 2018-2019, slightly below the US$5.4 billion that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought. The US is by far the largest contributor to the UN budget, providing for 22 percent of the core budget. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement that “inefficiency and overspending” at the world body were “well known.” Haley said the budget negotiations had generated several “successes” with financial cutbacks and a reduction of the UN’s “bloated management and support functions.” “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” she said.

IRAQ

Chinese to develop oil field

Chinese state-run company ZhenHua Oil (振華石油) is to develop an oil field near Baghdad under an accord with the Middle Eastern country, the oil ministry said on Sunday. A ministry spokesman said that the target was to produce 40,000 barrels per day from the southern sector of the East Baghdad field within five years of implementation of the accord between ZhenHua and Iraq’s Midland Oil Company. The output is to be used for the capital’s Dora refinery and nearby electricity plants. Under the deal, the Chinese firm is to build housing for the workers, a nursery school and a clinic.

THAILAND

Tourist arrivals surge

The country last month welcomed 3 million foreign tourists, the tourism ministry said yesterday, 23.2 percent more than the same month a year earlier. The kingdom saw a total of 31.85 million foreign tourist arrivals in the period from January to last month, up 8.1 percent from the previous year, Tourism and Sports Ministry Permanent Secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra said in a statement. Pongpanu said the country expects a record 35.4 million visitors in total this year, up 9 percent from the previous year. About 10 million of those visitors are expected to be Chinese, he said. The country’s tourism industry is a major employer and accounts for 12 percent of Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy. Last year, there were a record 32.6 million visitors. The tourism sector has weathered more than a decade of political upheavals, including several rounds of anti and pro-government street demonstrations and two military coups.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Abu Dhabi to sell bills

Abu Dhabi plans to start selling treasury bills for the first time next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the OPEC producer seeks to develop its local-currency debt market. The government is working with international and local banks on how the notes will be structured, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Regulations are expected to be completed next year and regular sales could follow shortly after that, the people said. Abu Dhabi, home to about 6 percent of the world’s known oil reserves and capital of the country, is exploring ways to bridge a budget deficit after oil prices dropped. The emirate, whose debt carries the third-highest investment grade at S&P Global Ratings, in October raised US$10 billion from a bond sale. The country is working on a federal debt law to allow the nation to sell local-currency debt.

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