Smuggled salt seized

MAHOTTARI: 75 sacks of substandard Indian salt smuggled into Nepal has been seized at Mahottari. According to joint team of the Salt Trading Corp Ltd, Janakpur branch and the district police office, the Indian salt was seized in the Madai VDC. The seized substandard salt will be destroyed, said superintendent of police, Chhokpa Sherpa. — RSS

Oil price over $57

BUDAPEST: Crude prices climbed above $57 a barrel on Friday on fears of insufficient petrol supplies from near-maximised US refineries during the high-demand summer driving season in the world’s largest energy consumer. An unexpected drop in US inventories kept markets jittery and sustained bullish sentiment. — AP

India’s inflation dips

NEW DELHI: India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices fell to 4.22 per cent for the week ended on June 4, the lowest since the level of 4.26 per cent as on April 24 last year. The inflation rate stood almost one percentage point higher at 5.20 per cent for the previous week ended on May 28. — HNS

BoA to buy CCB stake

BEIJING: Bank of America (BoA) said it would buy a nine per cent of China Construction Bank (CCB) for three billion dollars, with the option of increasing its holding in future years. The US third-largest banking group would pay $2.5 billion initially, with an additional purchase worth $500 million when CCB lists its shares. — AFP

EU budget dispute

BRUSSELS: Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday the EU budget should be more focussed on research and development rather than agriculture if the 25-nation bloc wanted to become more competitive. Arriving for talks at the crisis-ridden summit here, Rasmussen was asked whether he was unhappy about the current structure of the budget, big chunks of which are ploughed into agriculture. — AFP

$330m WB loan

HANOI: The State Bank of Vietnam and the World Bank on Friday signed agreements on credits and grants worth $330 million for projects aimed at bringing power to rural villages and modernising banks. The documents were signed by the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Le Duc Thuy and the World Bank’s Country Director Klaus Rohland. — AFP

Singapore exports fall

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s slowing economy took another hit on Friday with the government reporting that key non-oil domestic exports fell by 5.6 per cent year-on-year in May. — AFP