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(MENAFN - AFP) The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be operational by the end of this year, prospective founding members said Friday after a three-day meeting in Singapore to discuss policies.

The chief negotiators' meeting involving the AIIB's 57 prospective members "concluded discussions and finalised the articles of agreement for the AIIB," said ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday there was still a lot of work needed to reach agreement with Greece on its debt bailout, as tortuous talks drag on amid fears Athens could run out of money.

The government of Greek leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is locked in talks to obtain fresh funding with international creditors who are demanding more tough ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A single pair of premium melons fetched an eye-watering 1.5 million yen ($12,400) at an auction in Japan on Friday.

The winning bid was placed by a local fruit wholesaler for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, officials said.

The figure -- enough to buy a brand new car ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asian markets rose Friday morning following another record close on Wall Street as the likelihood of a US interest rate hike in the near term dwindled, with Tokyo hitting a new 15-year high.

Chinese shares were again the stand-out performers on hopes that Beijing will announce fresh monetary easing measures after more disappointing economic indicators.

Tokyo ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Gaza Strip has the world's highest unemployment and Palestinians, Israelis and donors must take action to avoid a "dangerous fiscal crisis," the World Bank said Friday.

The report, prepared ahead of the bi-annual meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) which coordinates international donor support for the Palestinians, comes nearly a year after the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A Canadian law firm said Thursday it planned to expand its class actions against embattled Japanese auto parts giant Takata and car manufacturers over defective airbags.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than Can$3.0 billion from Takata and auto manufacturers Chrysler, Honda, Nissan and Toyota for the loss of value of their vehicles caused by the recall, according ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Hewlett-Packard announced Thursday it was selling a 51 percent stake in its China-based server business, creating a joint venture with Tsinghua Holdings that will be a sector leader in China.

The US tech giant said it would sell the stake for $2.3 billion, creating a new business called H3C worth $4.5 billion that would be the leader in China in computer servers, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) It's another sun-drenched day but the deckchairs of a four-star hotel on the island of Djerba stand empty, in a sign of the "catastrophic" summer on the horizon for Tunisian tourism.

"It's dead. It's all over for this year," was the blunt verdict from Adel Tarres, manager of the hotel on the holiday island off the south coast of Tunisia that has in past years ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) With the engines throbbing, young Libyans battle it out among the sand dunes, not with Humvee-style fighting vehicles but brightly coloured and sporty four-wheel drives.

In a weekly escape from the violence gripping their country, they converge every Friday -- the Muslim weekend -- for races in Qarabuli on the Mediterranean coast, 60 kilometres (35 miles) east ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) From a distance it could be a scene from Qatar's ancient past, long before the country's modern-day wealth was secured by the discovery of gas and oil.

Several kilometres (miles) off the coast of southern Qatar, five traditional dhow boats bob gently up and down on the becalmed blue-green waters of the Gulf.

On board each vessel are a number of gawas, ...

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