Prices to rise in Japan

TOKYO: Japan eliminated excess production for the first time in eight years in the last quarter of 2005, decreasing chances that deflation will return to plague the economy. The so-called gap in GDP, which reflects the difference between demand and supply, registered 0.7 per cent between October and December. — AFP

Tackling ills of jobless

PARIS: Eurozone economies must show flexibility if mass unemployment is to be overcome, ECB head Jean-Claude Trichet said. Trichet, speaking against a background of rising opposition from students and trade unions in France to a relaxation of job protection, said that it was imperative for eurozone economies to show increased flexibility. — AFP

S Arabia frees market

RIYADH: Expatriates in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to invest directly in the stock market in the latest effort to shore up plunging shares in the oil-rich kingdom. “Pursuant to a directive by the custodian of the two holy mosques God bless him to allow non-Saudi residents to invest directly in the stock market and not only through funds,” a statement said. — AFP

Japan rejects US calls

TOKYO: Japan on Monday rejected a US call for the immediate resumption of US beef imports, saying Japanese consumers will not buy the meat unless Washington clears concerns over mad cow disease. “Unless safety is firmly secured, imports cannot resume,” chief cabinet secretary Shinzo Abe, the government spokesman, said, “In the first place, Japanese consumers will not buy it” if Washington fails to prove US beef is safe.” — AFP

Indonesia eyes money

NUSA DUA: Indonesia needs to work to boost much-needed foreign investment to growth levels higher than those before the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Speaking at the opening of an international investment conference, Budiono said that the government’s economic policies were focused on reaching economic stability, good growth and job creation. “We believe that at last we have now succeeded in establishing the first part. Government stability is firmly restored, growth is steady on the upward trend and democratic reforms continue,” Budiono said. — AFP

Proton eyes alliance

SHANGHAI: Embattled Malaysian automaker Proton is expected to announce an alliance with a Chinese firm this week, in the first of a series of deals with prospective partners. Proton chairman Azlan Hashim told the newspaper the struggling national company had been talking in recent months to several potential Chinese partners about a collaboration. — AFP

CEDA, ITD ink pact

KATHMANDU: Centre for Economic, Development and Administration (CEDA), Tribhuvan University and the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) Bangkok, Thailand entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate academic cooperation, in the areas of joint research, policy briefs for national, regional and international forums, and capacity building, states a press release. Krirk-krai Jirapaet, executive director of ITD Thailand and Dr Ramesh Chandra Chitrakar, executive director of CEDA signed in the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions. — HNS

Share oversubscribed

KATHMANDU: A press statement issued by NIDC capital market states that the shares of Business Development Financial Institutions (BDFI) have been oversubscribed. The institution has issued 120,000 units of share worth Rs 100 per unit. The distribution of the share is to be done on Tuesday at Hotel Ambassador. — HNS

Public finance woes

LONDON: Britain’s public finances worsened in February, dealing a blow to finance minister Gordon Brown ahead of this week’s annual budget. The public sector net cash requirement (PSNCR), the public sector’s need to raise cash, showed a deficit of $3.561 billion in February. — AFP