UK economy grinds to halt in August

Britain’s Brexit-facing economy ground to a shuddering halt in August, hit by weaker hotel activity. Above, a hotel in Milton Keynes outside London. (AFP)
Updated 10 October 2018
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UK economy grinds to halt in August

  • Gross domestic product flatlined to register zero growth Six months before Britain is due to leave the EU
  • However, GDP climbed 0.7 percent in the three months to August compared with the previous three months
LONDON: Britain’s Brexit-facing economy ground to a shuddering halt in August, hit by weaker hotel and restaurant activity, official data showed Wednesday.
Six months before Britain is due to leave the European Union, gross domestic product (GDP) flatlined to register zero growth, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
That followed 0.4-percent expansion in July and undershot analysts’ already modest consensus forecasts for anemic growth of 0.1 percent.
However, GDP climbed 0.7 percent in the three months to August compared with the previous three months. That outpaced market expectations of 0.6 percent.
“The economy continued to rebound strongly after a weak spring, with retail, food and drink production and housebuilding all performing particularly well during the hot summer months,” said Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP at the ONS.
“However, long-term growth continues to lag behind its historical trend.”


Saudi Arabia’s SABIC and NCB sign deal to finance small businesses

The National Commercial Bank struck the agreement with SABIC. (Reuters)
Updated 19 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s SABIC and NCB sign deal to finance small businesses

  • The move will help develop local industries through financing and refinancing entrepreneurs

LONDON: The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) to help boost the financing of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The move will help develop local industries through financing and refinancing entrepreneurs, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.

The agreement will enable entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to obtain support and funding from NCB at preferential rates.

In addition, NCB will provide other services, including training and educational and awareness courses.

NCB, also known as Al-Ahli Bank, recently organized three workshops geared toward SMEs, covering areas such as credit approvals, financing and trade.