Business  April 18, 2014
Progress but no deal in US-Japan TPP trade talks
Akira Amari, Japanese State Minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) speaks to reporters after he met with US trade representative Michael Froman at AmariThe United States said Friday there had been progress but no final deal in talks with Japan that are crucial to advancing the ambitious 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.Negotiations failed to achieve a significant breakthrough just days before US President Barack Obama, who has made the TPP a key goal of his administration, arrives i...  Full Story
Armani settles Italy tax row with 270m euros
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani acknowledges the audience at the end of the Emporio Armani show at Milan Fashion Week on February 21, 2014Giorgio Armani settled a tax dispute in Italy by paying 270 million euros ($373 million) this week, Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Friday.The payment is linked to taxes owed by three foreign subsidiaries of the luxury company, which is 100-percent owned by fashion king Armani, it said.The period covered is between 2002 and 2009, ...  Full Story
Italy cabinet moves to trim perks, help low earners
ItalyItalian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday hailed a "structural revolution" after his cabinet approved a round of tax and spending cuts including a limit of five chauffeured cars per government ministry.The draft bill would also ease income tax for some 10 million people who earn between 8,000 and 26,000 euros a year, reduce the amount of govern...  Full Story
Malls empty in Venezuela as economic woes bite
A closed store in a mall in Caracas, Venezuela, on April 16, 2014Venezuelans, already struggling to find basics like milk and toilet paper at the supermarket, are now confronted with empty appliance store windows and clothes racks at shopping centers.Malls have become deserted in the oil-rich country, with stores straining under government-imposed limits on profits, rents and access to hard currency.Venezuelans ...  Full Story
Turkey to seek price reduction for Russian gas
Russian gas giant GazpromEnergy-dependent Turkey will ask for a discount on the price of the gas it buys from Russia, its energy minister said on Friday, with tension over Ukraine a background factor."The negotiations and agreements we concluded with Russia give us the right for a price revision in the coming months," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters in Ankara. ...  Full Story
Strike-hit South Africa platinum miners unveil new pay offer
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union President Joseph Mathunjwa (L) delivers a memorandum to a representative of the main Platinum producers in front of hundreds of members in Johannesburg on March 27, 2014 during a demonstrationThe world's three biggest platinum producers have made a new pay offer to end a strike which has crippled their South African operations for 12 weeks, a spokeswoman said on Friday.The new terms would raise the total pay and benefits for an underground miner at the Implats, Amplats and Lonmin companies by 7.5-10.0 percent a year on average.The total...  Full Story
India's RIL posts marginal quarterly profit rise
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani at the companyEnergy giant Reliance Industries Ltd reported a marginal rise in quarterly profit Friday, with billionaire tycoon Mukesh Ambani saying his company had turned in a "satisfying" full-year performance.Reliance, which operates the world's biggest refining complex, said net profit for its fourth quarter ended March 31 rose 0.8 percent to 56.3 billion ru...  Full Story
Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
View of Fiat, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo logos in Turin, Italy, on January 26, 2009Italy's government on Friday said it had raised 371,400 euros ($513,200) so far in an eBay auction of luxury official cars in a symbolic effort to cut outrageous spending by ministries that has sparked public anger.The 52 cars sold were being used by the police, the fire brigade and the defence ministry and included five BMWs and two Audis, the gov...  Full Story