People, wearing face masks, walk past closed shops in Osaka, Japan, on Friday. Associated Press
China on Friday set a modest annual economic growth target, at above 6%, and pledged to create more jobs in cities than last year, as the world’s second-biggest economy planned a careful course out of a year disrupted by COVID-19.
China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter to record growth of 18.3% from last year’s deep coronavirus slump, propelled by stronger demand at home and abroad and continued government support for smaller firms.
Shares rose to near record highs on Thursday, underpinned by a better outlook from Europe’s leading carmaker Volkswagen and increasing confidence in economic recovery in Germany and more widely.
European and US stock markets slumped on Friday as investors dwelled on the prospect of rising US interest rates. Europe’s main bourses all fell nearly two per cent.
HSBC has agreed to sell its French retail bank to Cerberus-backed My Money Group in a deal which will mean a loss of around $2.3 billion for the British bank but end its long struggle to dispose of the business as it focuses on Asia.
Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) has opened its newest branch in Abu Dhabi Mall. The decision serves as a key step forward in strengthening the bank’s network in the UAE and reach its growing customer base in the capital city.
Bilateral trade between UAE and Malaysia grew 26.52 per cent to $1.97 billion (Dhs7.25 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, compared to from $1.56 billion (Dh5.73 billion) in the corresponding period last year, reflecting the resilience in two-way trade.