Houthi militia hold 16 cargo ships in Yemeni ports

In this Sept. 29, 2018, file photo, a cargo ship is docked at the port, in Hodeida, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Houthi militia hold 16 cargo ships in Yemeni ports

  • The center added that there are 134 migrants and 293 sailors of Asian, European and African nationalities on the ships

JEDDAH: Sixteen ships carrying food and oil products are being held by Houthi militias in the Yemeni ports of Hodeidah and Salif, according to the Isnad Center for Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations in Yemen. Some of them have been held for more than a month, which might have damaged their cargo of wheat and flour, it added.
The center said that five ships carrying medicines, medical equipment, sugar and liquefied gas have been detained inside the port of Hodeidah, while eight ships carrying maize, soybeans, wheat, flour and liquefied gas are being held in the port’s Al-Mikhtaf area. A further three ships are detained inside the port of Salif, two of which were prevented from unloading their cargo of corn, wheat and soybeans.
The center added that there are 134 migrants and 293 sailors of Asian, European and African nationalities on the ships. The total tonnage of the captured vessels is 198,860.88 tons, and they are carrying 116,880 tons of wheat, corn, sugar and soybeans, 79,722 tons of medicine and medical equipment, and 119,022 tons of liquefied gas. The ships bear the flags of nine nations: Djibouti, Sierra Leone, Malta, Comoros, the Marshall Islands, Pelhams, Panama, Nigeria and Palau.


Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

Updated 15 November 2018
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Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

BEIRUT: Bank deposits in Lebanon have risen by 4 percent on the year, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday, and he maintained his economic growth outlook for 2018 at 2 percent.

In July Salameh had said he expected bank deposits to grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.

In October the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) halved their growth outlook to one percent for Lebanon, where public debt is about 150 percent of gross domestic product.

“Lebanese banks have succeeded in maintaining foreign exchange inflows into their sector supported by (the central bank),” Salmeh said in a televised speech at a Beirut economic conference.

With growth low and traditional sources of foreign exchange — tourism, real estate and foreign investment — undermined by years of regional tension, Lebanon increasingly relies on dollars expatriate Lebanese deposit in local banks.

The banks buy government debt, which finances the country’s eye-watering public debt and twin deficits.

The central bank also brings in dollars through complex financial operations with local banks to boost foreign currency reserves needed to defend the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar.

However, deposits have been growing at a slower rate since war broke out in neighboring Syria in 2011, and deposit growth rates are closely watched.