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(MENAFN - AFP) China's central bank announced Sunday it would cut the level of funds that commercial banks must hold in reserve by one percentage point, the second such move this year to boost lending.

The move, effective Monday, comes days after the world's second largest economy reported its worst quarterly growth figure for six years.

In a statement on its website, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC on Sunday posted a 39 percent decline in net profits in the first quarter of 2015 compared with a year ago before global oil prices plunged.

SABIC, the largest publicly traded firm in the Gulf, reported net profit of 3.93 billion riyals ($1.05 billion) for the three months ending March 31.

That compared with a net profit ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC on Sunday posted a 39 percent decline in net profits in the first quarter of 2015 compared with a year ago before global oil prices plunged.

SABIC, the largest publicly traded firm in the Gulf, reported net profit of 3.93 billion riyals ($1.05 billion) for the three months ending March 31.

That compared with a net profit ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar faces a possible 43 years in prison for sedition, but the defiant artist says that looming threat won't stop his hard-hitting caricatures lampooning the ruling establishment.

"You can chain my hands, you can chain my legs, you can chain my neck or my body. But I will keep drawing," said Zunar, 52, holding a cartoon showing ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Balancing on her hands, a young contortionist throws her legs over her head and slowly draws back a bow with her toes, before loosing off an arrow into a balloon covered by a black shroud.

The balloon bursts and the audience erupts into applause in recognition of the artistry of the feat, but also at the symbolic puncturing of the terrors of the murderous Khmer ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A replica of the 18th century ship that took a French general on his voyage to become a hero of the American war of independence set sail again Saturday, cheered off by thousands of well-wishers and President Francois Hollande.

Thousands gathered to wish "bon voyage" to the painstakingly recreated tall ship Hermione, leaving from Ile d'Aix, in southwest France, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Zainab Begum Alvi and her band of young helpers hunch over baskets filled with tobacco flakes and dried leaves, trying to roll a thousand dirt-cheap cigarettes a day at the behest of India's powerful bidi barons.

"I have to do it, no matter what, even if I'm not well. I have no other choice," says Alvi, who earns 70 rupees a day, a little over a dollar, for ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A "mysterious" disease that kills patients within 24 hours has claimed at least 18 lives in a southeastern Nigerian town, the government said Saturday.

"Twenty-three people (were affected) and 18 deaths were recorded," the Ondo state health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, told AFP.

The government spokesman for the state, Kayode Akinmade, earlier gave a toll ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Collaborative robots and intelligent machinery may have wowed the crowds at this year's Hannover Messe, but experts see German industry as having some way to go towards incorporating them on factory floors in what could become the fourth industrial revolution.

The undoubted star of the world's largest industrial trade fair which closed its doors in the northern ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Spread across the frozen whiteness of the Russian Arctic, the ambitious $27 billion Yamal gas megaproject aims to defy both the extreme temperatures and the Ukraine crisis impacting its funding.

Some 2,500 kilometres (1,600 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Yamal site -- a joint venture by Russia's Novatek, France's Total and China's CNPC -- is eventually meant ...

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