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Bloodied Syria, resurgent Iran set to dominate at Davos

The bloody civil war in Syria and Iran's efforts to come in from the diplomatic cold will drive the agenda next week as world leaders, business chiefs and celebrities gather in the swanky Swiss ski resort of Davos. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tops the bill of more than 40 leaders and 2,000 of the world's most powerful economic players expected at the mountainside gathering in the annual shindig that starts Tuesday.

Park arrives in Switzerland for state visit, Davos Forum

By Chang Jae-soon BERN, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in Switzerland on Saturday for a state visit to Bern and an annual meeting of global business leaders and politicians at the Swiss ski resort of Davos. Park is the first South Korean president to make a state visit to the European country since the two sides opened diplomatic relations in 1963. Officials said Switzerland invites only one foreign leader for a state visit a year and that this year's invitation to Park shows that the country hopes for greater cooperation with South Korea.

France says 11,000 declare hidden bank accounts

Budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday that 11,000 people had come forward to regularise funds hidden abroad, which could bring in one billion euros ($1.4 billion) in extra revenue. French are coming forward to declare funds as Switzerland has curtailed its vaunted banking secrecy under international pressure and has pushed clients to report their accounts. In June, Cazeneuve issued rules which offered lower penalties for French who came forward and reported hidden accounts, although it does not amount to an amnesty.

Iran's Rouhani among some 40 world leaders expected in Davos

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and some 40 other world leaders will gather at the World Economic Forum next week to discuss Syria's bloody civil war and the sluggish world economy. The annual gathering of the global political, business, academic and civil society elite at the swank Swiss ski resort Davos will aim to provide "a mirror of the world as it is", WEF chairman Klaus Schwab told reporters.

Japan, U.S. trade chiefs may discuss TPP on fringes of Davos forum

Japan's trade minister is considering meeting with the U.S. trade representative on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month to discuss issues related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, a Japanese ministry official said Tuesday. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi is arranging to meet with his U.S. counterpart Michael Froman on Jan. 25, the official said, as Japan's TPP minister Akira Amari, who is also planning to attend the forum, would have too tight a schedule.

Japan's farm minister mulling attending Davos economic forum

Farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Friday he is considering attending an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort village of Davos slated for later in January. Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Akira Amari, minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, are also planning to attend the four-day forum starting from Jan. 22. Amari said earlier he may meet U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to discuss remaining TPP issues on the fringes of the annual event.

Japan's farm minister mulling attending Davos economic forum

Farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Friday he is considering attending an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort village of Davos slated for later in January. Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Akira Amari, minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, are also planning to attend the four-day forum starting from Jan. 22. Amari said earlier he may meet U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to discuss remaining TPP issues on the fringes of the annual event.

Japan, U.S. may meet to discuss TPP on fringes of Davos forum

Japan's minister in charge of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks said Tuesday he may meet the U.S. trade representative on the fringes of an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort village of Davos. Akira Amari said he and his U.S. counterpart Michael Froman intend to discuss pending TPP issues if their schedules allow during the four-day forum from Jan. 22, with the aim of resolving their differences before a TPP ministerial meeting planned for February.

Swiss central bank hard hit by gold price fall

Switzerland's central bank said Monday it lost billions in 2013 as gold prices plunged and therefore could not pay dividends to the Swiss cantons for the first time in more than a century. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been dishing out dividends to the Swiss cantons ever since its creation in 1907, and to the Swiss Confederation since 1991. But on Monday the bank said neither would receive handouts this year, after provisional figures showed it would be reporting a loss of 9.0 billion Swiss francs ($9.9 billion, 7.3 billion euros) for 2013.

Swiss central bank has $9.9 billion loss in 2013 from hit to value in gold; no profit sharing

GENEVA - Switzerland's central bank has reported a loss of 9 billion Swiss francs ($9.9 billion) for 2013, denying shareholders and local governments any annual profit sharing. The Swiss National Bank said Monday that it lost 15 billion francs in the value of its gold holdings, but that was partly offset by a gain of 3 billion francs in foreign currency and more than 3 billion francs in profits from selling its stabilization fund that bailed out Swiss bank UBS AG.
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