Brain drain, low investment hamper African science

Africa’s contribution to the global body of scientific research is very small and does little to benefit its own populations, according to a report from Thomson Reuters. Like India and China, Africa suffers from a “haemorrhage of talent”, the report said, with many of its best brains leaving to study abroad and failing to return….

Gulf values to catch up with emerging markets

Though foreign investors have slowly started coming back to the region, there still exists a 40-50 percent discount between the Middle East markets and that of the emerging economies, mainly the BRIC nations, said Zin Bekkali. “BRIC is still beautiful, the fundamentals are similar to the region but it has got expensive now. So that…

China state firms hand in plans to exit property sector

China’s agency overseeing big state-owned businesses has received plans from 78 state companies spelling out how they intend to sell out of the nation’s heady property market, according to sources. The China Securities Journal also reported that the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) was compiling a general plan to achieve the divestment, intended…

World Bank set to approve S Africa utility loan

The World Bank is set to approve a controversial $3.75bn loan to help South African state utility Eskom develop a coal-fired power plant despite objections from the US and environmental groups. Eskom has argued it has no immediate alternative but to develop the 4,800-megawatt Medupi coal-fired plant in the northern Limpopo region to ease chronic…

World Bank lending hits record $100bn

The World Bank stepped up lending in July 2008 at the request of member countries as demand from developing countries increased in the face of a worsening world recession and sharp drop in global trade. The bulk of the lending since the onset of the crisis in 2008, about $60.3bn, was to middle-income countries, which…

Volcker: Taxes likely to rise eventually to tame deficit

The US should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker has announced. Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax “was not as toxic an idea” as it has…

Southeast Asia could grow 5.6% this year – ASEAN

Southeast Asian economies will grow up to 5.6 percent this year but the expansion could be jeopardised if economic stimulus is withdrawn too early, according to a report by a regional body. Nevertheless, the governments of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) need to design an orderly exit strategy to show that they…

China’s influence silences Asia on yuan peg

China’s increasing regional influence will keep Asian governments from pressuring the world’s fastest growing economy into letting its currency strengthen for fear of economic or political repurcussion. China has repeatedly said a decision on unshackling the yuan would depend on domestic conditions, after effectively pegging it to the US dollar for the past 20 months,…

Taiwan using China trade deal to sell foreign FTAs

Taiwan has leveraged its goal of a landmark trade deal with China to open talks with Japan, the US and other powers on free trade deals expected to boost the long-isolated island economy, officials have declared. Appealing to countries that have been barred by Taiwan’s political rival China from signing FTAs with the island, Taiwan…

Dubai in $9.5bn debt offer, no new Abu Dhabi aid

The Dubai government unveiled plans to recapitalise its indebted Dubai World flagship and repay Nakheel bonds in full, injecting what it said was $9.5bn in new funding, but without new aid from Abu Dhabi. In a statement, the government said $5.7bn in remaining funds from a loan made by Abu Dhabi would provide the lion’s…