Firms choose to postpone investment and export decisions
World Bank's latest report suggests global trade growth is constrained by a number of factors, like policy uncertainty, rising protectionism and threats to unwind trade agreements. The latest annual paper from the bank, “Global Trade Watch: Trade Developments in 2016” points out that all these factors negatively impacted trade in Europe and the United States last year.
Azerbaijan is crucial for Europe's energy security and diversification
Azerbaijan aims to finalise the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) by 2020, according to Azerbaijan President ?lham Aliyev. Speaking at “On the Road to Price Stability?
 
The company shows its positive economic impact amid ongoing probes
Amazon announced last week that it plans to increase its European workforce by more than 30% by the end of the year. In a press release, the company said that in 2016 it added 10,000 jobs in Europe.
 
UK food global sales hit £20bn
Annual global sales of British food and drinks have hit £20 billion ($24.9bn) for the first time, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced 21 February.
Mongolia agrees $5.5bn bailout
Mongolia has agreed with the IMF and other partners for a $5.5bn economic stabilization package, news wires reported.
Fighting money laundering, Vatican froze €2m in 2016
The Vatican froze some €2m in suspect funds last year as part of Pope Francis's war against money laundering in the Holy See, its chief magistrate said last week.
$143bn merger deal falls through
The Anglo-Dutch con­sumer goods giant Unilever has rejected a $143bn offer for merger by Kraft Heinz.
HSBC annual profit at free fall on writedowns
Annual profit at HSBC Holdings slumped 62% and fell far short of analysts' estimates as Europe's largest bank took hefty writedowns from restructuring and pointed to brakes on revenue growth, news wires reported.
In Brief
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Iraq, Iran consider oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkish port
 
Iraq and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding last Monday in Baghdad to study the construction of a pipeline to export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran to the Turkish Mediterranean port of the Ceyhan. The pipeline would help Iraq diversify the export routes of crude produced in Kirkuk and reduce its reliance on transit through the Kurdish Region Government's territory. The Iraqi oil ministry said that the agreement also calls for a commission to solve a conflict about joint oilfields and the possible transportation of Iraqi crude to Iran's Abadan refinery.

Daimler to start making Mercedez cars in Russia
 
German automaker Daimler announced a plan to open its first plant for passenger vehicles in Russia, near Moscow, which will make Mercedes-Benz cars. The company will invest more than €260m in the facility, and the first cars will leave the assembly line in 2019. Russia's Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement that the Daimler plant will produce more than 20,000 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and SUVs per year under an agreement that will run for nine years. Daimler already builds trucks in central Russia in partnership with local manufacturer Kamaz.

Thyssenkrupp exits Brazil, sells steel plant to Ternium
 
Thyssenkrupp has agreed to sell its Brazilian CSA steel plant to Luxemburg-based company Ternium for €1.5bn, ending with the deal five years of efforts to exit Latin America's largest economy. At the start of the decade, ThyssenKrupp decided to reduce exposure to steelmaking to concentrate on more profitable businesses including elevators, submarines and car parts and to grow in Europe. In a statement, Daniel Novegil, Ternium's CEO, said the additional slab production from CSA will generate "new integration opportunities" with existing units in Mexico and Argentina.

Saudi Aramco asks JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley on giant IPO
 
Oil giant Saudi Aram­co has asked JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley to assist with its upcoming mammoth IPO and could further call on another bank with access to Chinese investors, a source with knowledge of the matter said. The US banks have joined boutique investment bank Moelis & Co in being tapped for coveted roles in what is expected to be the world's biggest initial public offering worth some $100bn. The IPO is the centrepiece of the Saudi government's ambitious plan, known as Vision 2030, to diversify the economy beyond oil.

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