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China to keep 2019 growth within reasonable range

BEIJING: China will keep its economic growth within a reasonable range next year, striving to support jobs, trade and investment while pushing reforms and curbing risks, the country's top decision-making body of the Communist Party, the politburo, said on Thursday.

The government has recently launched a raft of measures, including cuts in reserve requirements for banks, tax cuts and more infrastructure spending, to ward off a sharp deceleration in the economy, and further steps to bolster growth are expected.

Opec exit frees Qatar from US legal concerns

DUBAI/DOHA: Even before taking over Qatar's energy policy in a government reshuffle last month, Qatar Petroleum (QP) CEO Saad al-Kaabi had long wanted the Gulf state to leave Opec.

Wall Street closes up, investors optimistic on China trade

NEW YORK: U.S. stocks closed up on Wednesday afternoon, though well below their session highs as investors pulled back in the last few minutes of trading despite optimism about U.S.-China trade relations and some reassuring signs in British politics.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 157.03 points, or 0.64 percent, to 24,527.27, the S&P 500 gained 14.29 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,651.07 and the Nasdaq Composite added 66.48 points, or 0.95 percent, to 7,098.31.

MIDF explores merger with Al Rajhi Bank’s local arm

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF), the state-backed lender, is exploring a combination with the local unit of Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank as it seeks to become a universal Islamic bank, sources said.

Deliberations by MIDF and Al Rajhi(filepic) are at an early stage, and the firms would need approval from Bank Negara to formally start detailed negotiations, the source said.