BIZ BRIEFS

Silk Air to fly to Nepal

KATHMANDU: Silk Air, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, is all set to begin Singapore-Kathmandu operations from October this year, on a regular basis. Since Silk Air has good connection with Australia, Japan, the US, New Zealand and many European cities through its alliance partner Singapore Airlines, it is believed that it would bring upmarket tourists to Nepal from these destinations. Everest Express Tours and Travels is the GSA for Singapore Airlines for Nepal. The airlines is soon announcing its flight schedules and operational matter in Nepal. — HNS

Current account

BRUSSELS: The EU’s current account deficit widened sharply in the first quarter of the year from the figure for the final three months of 2006. The 27-nation bloc’s current account showed a deficit of $44.0 billion in the first quarter, which revised the figure down from original. That marked a jump from final three months of 2006 when the current account, broadest measure of trade in goods and servi-ces, showed a deficit revised up. — AFP

P’pines budget deficit

MANILA: The Philippines said on Wednesday that it was confident of meeting its 2007 budget deficit target despite a report by credit rating agency Fitch that it will double to $2.78 billion. Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said the report was disappointing but added that the government remained confident of meeting its target ceiling of 0.9 per cent of the GDP. Fitch Ratings said Tuesday it does not expect the government to be able to meet that target given a disappointing first half fiscal performance. — AFP

Japan’s trade surplus

TOKYO: Japan’s trade surplus jumped by 60 per cent in the first half, lifted by robust shipments of cars and steel and a decline in oil import costs. — AFP