France, EU policy row

PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy is likely to ruffle feathers on Monday when he heads to Brussels to try to persuade European finance ministers to let him bend EU rules and delay balancing France’s budget. In an unprecedented move, the newly-elected rightwing leader is to attend a meeting of finance ministers from the 13-nation eurozone to outline his controversial budget policy. — AFP

India’s exports hit

New Delhi: With the rupee appreciating by the day, the goal of India’s exports reaching $160 billion in the current fiscal (2007-08) has become a distant dream for exporters, says a leading industry body. The level of appreciation of the Indian rupee, which strengthened by 8.35 per cent during the fist half of this year, is second only to that of the Brazilian. — HNS

W African future bleak

DAKAR: Lacklustre growth, ballooning petroleum imports, cotton sales hit by Western subsidies and a lingering political crisis in the region’s former star economy have crippled a west African economic bloc. The eight-nation West African Economic and Monetary Union, home to some 80 million inhabitants, is set to record a relatively poor growth rate. — AP

Emirates’ night flights

COLOMBO: Dubai’s Emirates Airline said that night flights to Sri Lanka will resume after the end of a curfew in response to Tamil rebel air raids, but other carriers have not followed suit. Emirates will start normal day and night operations from next Sunday. Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport shut late night services in May following several night time bombing attacks by low-flying Tamil Tiger aircraft which crossed the flight paths of international airliners. — AFP

S Korean trade grows

SEOUL: South Korea said on Sunday its trade would expand more than expected this year thanks to sustainable growth of the global economy. The commerce ministry reported in a revised outlook report that exports would grow by 12.8 per cent year-on-year to $367 billion and imports would jump by 13.9 per cent to $352 billion this year. The forecasts were up from earlier projections for trade growth at 10.6 per cent in exports and 10.9 per cent in imports this year. — AFP

New orders for Boeing

SEATTLE: Boeing Co announced 35 new orders for its 787 Dreamliner on the eve of its Sunday unveiling of the new commercial jet. Air Berlin ordered 25 and ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Co of Kuwait is taking 10. The orders are valued at $5.62 billion at list prices. Boeing now has orders for 677 of the new 787s. — AP

S’pore property price

SINGAPORE: Soaring property prices in Singapore could erode its competitive edge, including against arch economic rival Hong Kong. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first premier said the booming real estate sector must be kept under control. He said Singapore must not allow our rents to shoot up as in Hong Kong. — AFP

S Korea raises forecast

SEOUL: South Korea raised this year’s export growth forecast, prompted by a steady global economy and strong sales of mainstay products such as automobiles, semiconductors and LCDs. Exports will grow by 12.8 per cent in 2007 from last year. — AP