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China’s debt pile growing
BEIJING: For years China’s top officials have touted their ambitious policy priority to wean the world’s second-largest economy off high levels of debt, but there is not much to show for it. On the contrary, a Reuters analysis shows the debt pile at Chinese firms has been climbing in that time, with levels at the end of September growing at the fastest pace in four years. The build-up has continued even as policymakers roll out
 
 
Europe’s retailers chase sales boost with Black Friday offers
LONDON: Retailers across Europe chased shoppers on “Black Friday” in a test of consumer confidence, particularly in Britain where the spending spree imported from the US has become most popular. After suffering their biggest decline in sales volumes for four-and-a-half years in October, British retailers are pinning their hopes on discounts to get shoppers, who are being squeezed by inflation and low wage rises, spending again.
   
UK mortgage approvals hit 13-month low, morale ebbs
LONDON: British banks approved the fewest mortgages in 13 months and consumer confidence is lower than at any time since last year’s Brexit vote because of a weaker housing market, according to surveys that add to a downbeat outlook for the economy. The figures came two days after finance minister Philip Hammond tried to offer voters some relief with spending plans that focused on housing, including scrapping a property
 
 
A ray of hope for Zimbabwe’s ruined economy
Harare: Every time Chareka Mutungwazi, 76, tries to collect his pension money, he spends the night, like scores of others, sleeping outside a bank in Harare, the Zimbabwean capital. He is lucky if he is allowed to take out just $20 of his monthly $63 (53 euros) pension as banks limit withdrawals due to the cash shortage − a symptom of the country’s economic collapse. For most Zimbabweans, incoming president Emmerson Mnangagwa
   
ECB bond purchase debate pulls eurozone yields off lows
LONDON: Eurozone government bond yields rose further off recent lows on Friday after a detailed account of the European Central Bank’s October meeting showed that ratesetters were divided on when exactly the bank should end bond purchases. Most eurozone government bonds — especially the lower-rated ones — have rallied strongly over the past month after the ECB in late October extended asset purchases until September 2018 and
 
 
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