UPDATE 1-Italy receives $12.1 billion of demand for U.S. dollar bonds

* Italy draws $12.1 billion of demand for U.S. dollar bonds * Markets subdued before U.S. Federal Reserve meeting (Recasts, adds details, updates prices) April 27 (Reuters) – Italy received $12.1 billion of investor demand for its latest U.S. dollar bond sale on Tuesday, according to a lead manager, a day after its benchmark yield hit a seven-month high. Rome, […]

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South African public sector union prepares for strike as wage talks hit deadlock

JOHANNESBURG, April 24 (Reuters) – One of South Africa’s largest public sector trade unions said on Saturday that it was preparing for a strike, as wage talks with the government reached a deadlock. Africa’s most industrialised nation is trying to rein in public sector salaries to arrest a rapid build-up in debt that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

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Japan's factory activity improves in April but more virus measures loom

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in April, a private business survey showed on Friday, even as expected coronavirus emergency measures clouded the outlook for the world’s third-largest economy. But activity in the service sector contracted for a 15th month, the survey showed. Services companies are likely to take the […]

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South Korea and Australia: Two Asian economies show rare resilience to Covid-19 crisis

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – South Korea and Australia are proving the odd couple of the global economy, managing to mitigate the impact of the Covid crisis due to deep links with China’s growth and key advantages unique to themselves. The duo’s connections aren’t obvious given South Korea is a manufacturing powerhouse with skilled labour as key strength and Australia extracts vast […]

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Talent and skills key to tackling Singapore's manufacturing challenge

SINGAPORE – The gauntlet has been thrown down. Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing has set Singapore’s manufacturing sector a “very stretched target” of maintaining the 50 per cent growth achieved by the sector in the last 10 years for the following 10 until 2030. Why this target has been set lies in the fact that manufacturing accounts for […]

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Covid-19 pandemic spurs growing interest in medical technology in S'pore

SINGAPORE – The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred many firms and sectors to transform themselves digitally, and even the healthcare sector with its high degree of human touch is not exempt. The interest in medical technology, or medtech, has grown markedly over the past year, industry experts said. This trend is only set to continue, as technology offers more efficient and […]

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Elise Hong becomes first woman to head Singapore precision engineering body

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The Singapore Precision Engineering & Technology Association (Speta), which serves the traditionally male-dominated industry, will now be led by a woman for the first time since its founding in 1982. Elise Hong, the co-founder and chief executive of JCS-Echigo, which makes and supplies precision-cleaning machines and services for the hard-disk drive industry, was elected the […]

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MAS keeps Singdollar policy unchanged on low core inflation outlook

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s central bank is keeping monetary policy steady as it expects core inflation to remain low this year. As widely expected, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) left unchanged the Singapore dollar’s rate of appreciation at zero per cent per annum of its policy band, it announced in its latest twice-yearly monetary policy review on Wednesday (April 14). […]

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Moscow city to tap bond market despite Russia's sanction risks

MOSCOW, April 13 (Reuters) – The City of Moscow plans to tap the bond market in April for the first time since 2013, raising up to 70 billion roubles ($907.62 million) to cover budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Mayor Vladimir Efimov said. The Moscow bonds will be of the same investment-grade quality as Russian state OFZ bonds, […]

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Fed's Powell: US economy at an 'inflection point'

NEW YORK (REUTERS) – The US economy is at an “inflection point” with expectations that growth and hiring will pick up speed in the months ahead, but some risks remain, particularly any resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said. In a brief preview of a longer interview with CBS’ news magazine program “60 Minutes” set to […]

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