Japan shoppers crash website for face masks

 Japanese shoppers queued at Uniqlo stores and crashed its website on Friday as the clothing chain began selling face masks with breathable fabric used in the brand’s popular underwear, preparing for the coronavirus outbreak lasting through summer. Scenes of people standing in the rain w

Will investing in our newfound sense of community bring returns?

From using a pub’s takeaway service to donating to an under-threat arts venue, one of the many side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been a renewed sense of community in supporting local businesses and projects. And, in a growing number of cases, those companies are now asking the publi

Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

In 1999, Syrian-Palestinian fragrance connoisseur Hana Debs Akkari pursued her passion project in Lebanon by founding a sophisticated soap company called “Senteurs d’Orient,” or “Fragrances of the East” in French.Akkari envisioned that her handcrafted soaps would symbol

Luxury industry faces crisis with demand falling up to 35 pct in 2020

The personal luxury goods industry is facing a crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, with demand for products falling by up to 35 percent in 2020, according to a new report by management consulting group Bain & Company. The report also found that while the industry is set to broadly contract,

Qatar faces lose-lose fight over global gas: Reports

With global gas demand shrinking rapidly and storage running chronically low, Qatar, as the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), faces a choice with no good options, Bloomberg said in an article Tuesday. The country has the option of either curbing output or firing the ope

Apple hit with record €1.1bn fine in France

France's competition authority has imposed a record €1.1bn (£1bn; $1.2bn) fine on US tech giant Apple for what it sees as anti-competitive practices. It is the biggest fine ever imposed by the French regulator. The firm and two of its wholesalers in France were found to have an unfair a

Wall Street stocks drop as tourism shares take a hit from viral outbreak

Wall Street stocks tumbled Friday as news of additional coronavirus cases offset some positive earnings reports to finish the week on a negative note. China expanded a massive quarantine effort on Friday, while the United States confirmed its second case of the SARS-like ailment. French officials s

Lebanon to decide on March bond next week, finance chief says

Lebanon’s incoming Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said the fate of a $1.2 billion Eurobond maturing March 9 will be the new government’s top priority when it meets next week, as investor concerns intensify that the country could default. “This is a priority and will be the first ite

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs as U.S.-Iran escalation fears fade

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs on Wednesday after President Donald Trump said there were no American casualties in the Iranian missile strikes and that Tehran appeared to be standing down, sparking a relief rally in markets.Iranian forces fired missiles overnight at military bases h

Muslim nations consider gold, barter trade to beat sanctions

KUALA LUMPUR - Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions on them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday. At the end of an Islamic summit in Malaysia, Mahathir pr

China to lower import tariffs on frozen pork, avocados from January 1

China will lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to some types of semiconductors next year as Beijing looks to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the United States. Next year, China will implement temporary import tariffs, which are lower than the mos

China exports fall in November, imports recover

BEIJING - China’s exports declined for the fourth consecutive month in November as a trade war with Washington rumbles on, official data showed today, although imports rebounded. Exports were down by 1.1 per cent in the last month of the year, after a drop of 0.9 per cent in October on slowin

Here Come 10 ‘Outrageous’ Predictions for 2020 From Saxo Bank

Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here. For those bored by the endless procession of prosaic 2020 outlooks from Wall Street, Saxo Bank has just issued its 10 outrageous predictions for next year. Anticipating 12 months marked by “disrupti

China: US has agreed to cancel trade tariffs in phases

China and the United States have agreed in the past two weeks to cancel tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war in phases, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. China and the US must simultaneously cancel some tariffs on each other's goods for both sides to reach a "phase on

MasterCard, Visa and eBay among latest in Facebook Libra exodus

  Facebook's effort to create a cryptocurrency was dealt a blow on Friday after several key partners, including MasterCard, Visa, eBay, Stripe and Mercado Pago, abandoned the project. The defections followed fierce criticism from global regulators and lawmakers, and have prompted some indust

Up to 60 million 5G subscriptions in MEA by 2024

  DUBAI- FARAH HEIBA - Initial 5G technology subscription in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) during the next five years – or by 2024 – would be almost double compared with the LTE/4G technology take-up for a similar period, Ahmed Ijaz, Ericsson’s principal consultant in Midd

Asia stocks drop as slowdown fears rattle investors

Asia markets joined a global sell-off as fresh worries about trade and the world economy rattled investors. Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 2% and Australia's ASX 200 lost 2.2%. It followed sharp falls in US and European markets on Wednesday, with the UK's FTSE 100 index sinking 3.2%. The fa

Moody’s assigns Aa2 rating to Abu Dhabi’s $10 bln triple-tranche bond

Reem Abdellatif   Moody’s Investors Service assigned Abu Dhabi’s $10 billion three-tranche bond a ‘Aa2’ senior unsecured rating, citing the emirate’s “Very High (-)” economic strength. The rating is at the same level as the long-term issuer rating of

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