Trade surplus narrows

BRUSSELS: The eurozone trade surplus with the rest of the suffered a sharp contraction in April compared to March, falling to 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) from 7.6 billion, official EU data showed Friday. But the April figure, reported by the European Union’s Eurostat data agency, extended an overall improvement from last year. —AFP

Reprieve for TNK-BP

MOSCOW: British-Russian joint venture TNK-BP on Friday won at least a temporary reprieve after threats by Russian officials to strip the company of its licence to operate the vast

Siberian gas field of Kovykta. Interfax news agency and the Vedomosti business daily reported that a meeting scheduled for Friday at which the regulator on sub-soil use, Rosnedra, was due to consider the issue had been postponed. —AFP

Top ratings for S’pore

SINGAPORE: Standard & Poor’s on Friday affirmed its top ratings on Singapore which the US risk evaluator said was a reflection of the city-state’s strong fiscal position and external strengths. The AAA long-term and A-1+ ratings also reflect Singapore’s political stability and prudent macro-economic management, it said. —AFP