Russia to lower oil tax

MOSCOW: Russia is to lower its levy on oil exports to $160.8 a tonne from February 1. The levy, which currently stands at $179.6 a tonne, is reviewed every two months in line with the average price of a barrel of Ural. The export tax on petrol and liquefied gas would be set at $120.6 a tonne from February 1, while that on heating oil would be set at $65 a tonne. — AFP

Total, ExxonMobil JV

PARIS: French oil giant Total said its exploration subsidiary Total E and P had acquired a 30-per cent stake in a Norwegian offshore oil field from US peer ExxonMobil, bringing its share in the scheme to 50 per cent. Total seeks to increase the volume and lifetime of its hydrocarbon reserves in Norway and consolidate its position as an operator in the country. The oil field is 200 km from the coast and 400 metres below sea level. — AFP

Thaksin sees growth

BANGKOK: Thailand’s economy grew by 4.7 per cent in 2005, the prime minister said, promising growth of five per cent this year despite problems such as bird flu and deadly unrest in the south. Premier Thaksin Shinawatra said GDP grew to $178.5 billion last year and he expected a rise to $193.5 billion in 2006. Thaksin would unveil a slate of reforms aimed at boosting the economy after what he described as a tough 2005. — AFP

BoI rejects Unipol bid

ROME: The Bank of Italy (BoI) rejected Italian insurer Unipol’s takeover bid for Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. The central bank said it had told Unipol there were issues that prevented it authorising the takeover of BNL, Italy’s sixth-largest bank The authorities are scrutinising Unipol’s recent moves to acquire more shares in BNL to thwart Spanish bank BBVA’s attempts to take over BNL. — AFP

Glitch in Tokyo bank

TOKYO: Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the world’s biggest bank born of a merger, said a computer system glitch delayed processing of some transactions. There were problems in the processing of data. — AFP

LBL holds 8th AGM

CHITWAN: Representatives of Securities Board, Company Register and Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd participated at the 8th annual general meeting of Lumbini Bank Ltd (LBL), according to a statement. As per the company’s ordinance, the bank has met the number of stakeholders required to hold annual general meeting. A total of 56.44 per cent shareholders were present at the meeting. — HNS

BFL records profit

BIRGUNJ: Birgunj Finance Ltd (BFL) recorded Rs 8.34 million profit in the fiscal year 2004-05, stated a press release. In its second annual general meeting on Monday, the BFL has shown a deposit base Rs 195 million and issued a loan investment of Rs 191.2 million during the same year. It has posted a Rs 5.42 million profit in the current fiscal year and has a deposit base of Rs 225.4 million and loan investments worth Rs 252.9 million till November. — HNS

Industrial expo ends

PARBAT: An industrial exhibition-2062, organised with an aim to bring together small business entrepreneurs and give market to their products, concluded here on Tuesday. Local products from sixty small and big industries were on display at the exhibition. According to the office of cottage industries, more than 3,000 people visited the exhibition. — RSS

Budget survey held

DHANGADI: Family Budget Survey Project (FBSP) of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and the fourth family budget survey jointly organised a workshop on family budget on Tuesday. The NRB has been carrying out surveys on family budget in every ten years to measure inflation, determine the purchasing power of consumers in urban areas, calculate income, save level and property of Nepalese households, collect statistics on liabilities. — RSS

Ginger farming rises

RAMECHHAP: Commercial cultivation of ginger is catching on with the farmers here that was started on a trial basis few years back. The farmers are earning around Rs 40,000 to Rs 50, 000 annually from the ginger farming. They have not been able to produce ginger as per their capacity due to lack of irrigation facilities, improved seeds and technical knowledge. — RSS