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financial markets

Egypt devalues, floats its currency, meeting key IMF demand

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt on Thursday took the unprecedented step of floating its currency and later hiked fuel prices, meeting key demands by the International Monetary Fund under a $12 billion loan agreement to overhaul the ailing economy of the most populous Arab state. The floatation, accompanied by a 48 …

Large anti-Maduro protests fill the streets in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Anti-government protesters filled the streets of Venezuela’s capital and other major cities in a show of force against Presidential Nicolas Maduro, whose allies enraged the opposition by blocking a recall referendum against the socialist leader. Tens of thousands of demonstrators shut down Caracas’ main highway on …

Venezuela’s resort island devastated by economic crisis

MARGARITA ISLAND, Venezuela (AP) — This resort island was once mobbed with international tourists who loved the sparkling blue water, fine white sand and flawless sunny days. Now, swimming pools are empty, toilets don’t flush and many hotels can’t afford to offer meal service. Crisis-wracked Venezuela gave the island community …

Iowa at center of debate over ‘shadow insurance’ deals

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — For cash-strapped life insurance companies, the deal sounds almost too good to be true: A state law allows them to create complex financial instruments to transfer liabilities to new subsidiaries, instantly wiping huge debts off their balance sheets. So-called “shadow insurance” agreements have exploded over …

Thai economy feels sting from political uncertainty

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s stagnating economy is unlikely to get much of a boost from a referendum Sunday on a new constitution proposed by the military government, which took power in a 2014 coup. A “yes” vote could, however, tamp down some of the uncertainty that has plagued the country …