Global oil prices ease

LONDON: World oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday, the eve of a special output meeting of OPEC cartel members in Qatar, and ahead of the weekly update on US energy stockpiles, dealers said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, receded 11 cents to 58.82 dollars per barrel in electronic deals before the official opening of the US market. In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery slipped 10 cents to 60.84 dollars per barrel in electronic trading. — AFP

Thai rate unchanged

BANGKOK: The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday left its key interest rate unchanged at an eight-year high of 5.0 per cent as inflation pressure eased in line with a drop in global oil prices. The decision was widely expected in the market as the kingdom’s inflation rate fell to 2.7 per cent due to declining fuel prices. “The Thai economy continued to expand well,” the central bank said, adding export growth remained robust and economic stability improved. — AFP

More jobless in Britain

LONDON: The number of people claiming jobless benefits in Britain rose in September to the highest level in almost five years, official data showed on Wednesday. The claimant count jumped by 10,200 from August to 962,000 people — the highest level since December 2001 — according to data published by the Office for National Statistics. The figure is edging closer to the politically-sensitive 1.0-million mark, which was last seen in January 2001. — AFP

SICL enters 11th year

KATHMANDU: Sagarmatha Insurance Company Ltd (SICL) has completed 10 years of operations.

On the occasion, SICL organised a blood donation programme today at its head office in Kathmandu, where 57 people including its employees donated blood. Hulashchand Golchha, chairperson of SICL informed that the company sold premiums worth Rs 200 million during the fiscal year 2005-06, whereas its investment stood at Rs 21.7 million. The company has six branch and six liaison offices at major cities of the country. —HNS

RK Jeweller’s scheme

KATHMANDU: R K Jewellers has unveiled a special festive scheme for the upcoming Deepawali. Under the scheme, any customer purchasing ornaments and jewelleries made from expensive metals like gold or diamond will be entitled to special price discount, states a press release issued today. Moreover, on purchase of five silver coins, one will be offered a free silver coin. The new scheme is aimed at boosting sales volumes, states the release. — HNS

Vikas Mill awarded

KATHMANDU: The ministry of agriculture and cooperatives has awarded Vikas Flour Mill Pvt Ltd, a KL Dugar Group enterprise, with ‘Best Agriculture Industry Award’ on the occasion of 26th World Food Day. The award has been awarded for its contribution in production of food grains for the last two decades, states a press release issued today. — HNS