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Business & Tourism

IMF restates advice for mitigating risks over high debt

The current administration’s ambitious infrastructure scale-up “has the potential for transforming the economy but also carries risks given the country’s large fiscal and external imbalances,” a visiting IMF delegation warned.

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Maldives sells debut US$200m sovereign bond

The Maldives has raised US$200 million from the sale of its debut sovereign bond issue in the international finance market.

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Test flight lands at new Dhaalu airport

A test flight from the national airline Maldivian landed Thursday morning at the newly-built domestic airport on southern the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu atoll.

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Islamic Development Bank pledges US$117m

Finance Minister Ahmed Munawar secured the funds during meetings held on the sidelines of the IDB’s annual meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from May 16 to 21.

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New tourism company evaluating bids for picnic island near Malé

The Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation is evaluating bids for developing a picnic island for public use after reclaiming seven hectares from the Galufalhu lagoon near Malé.

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Fitch assigns stable outlook rating for Maldives

The B+ rating reflects strong economic growth and high government revenue from the tourism sector weighed against high debt and low foreign currency reserves.

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Tourist arrivals increase 4.3 percent in first quarter

Arrivals grew by 15.6 percent in January, the peak season for the industry which also coincided with the Chinese New Year. But the growth rate was marginal in February at 0.3 percent and registered a 2.1 percent decrease in March.

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Government denies unfairly targeting Gasim’s businesses

Three ministers met the press at the president’s office to defend the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority, stressing that it is an independent institution whose enforcement actions are taken after due process and without any government interference.

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Tax authority freezes accounts of Gasim’s Villa Shipping company

The move comes days after Gasim predicted that Villa’s accounts could be frozen ahead of Monday’s no-confidence vote against the speaker of parliament.

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High court rules against Gasim’s Villa in resort lease dispute

Gasim had predicted that the high court would rule against Villa. “It looks like a big wave is building, looks like they are going to freeze all the accounts of Villa Shipping company again,” he said Sunday night.

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Hilton ordered to pay US$16m to MP Siyam’s Sun Travels

The judgment comes in spite of a Singaporean arbitration tribunal awarding US$26 million in damages to Hilton for Sun Travel’s abrupt termination of the Irufushi management agreement in May 2013.

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Malaysian company awarded US$57.5m project to build five airports

Developing an airport on the northern island of Kulhudhufushi is a campaign pledge of President Abdulla Yameen. But environmentalists have previously warned that it would destroy the island’s environmentally sensitive wetland area.

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Saudi Airlines to double flights to Maldives

Saudi Arabia is also funding a grand mosque in Malé that can accommodate 6,000 worshippers. Last week, the housing ministry awarded the US$24 million project to Turkish company Alke-Turmaks.

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Import duty hiked for cigarettes and energy drinks

The price of a pack of cigarettes has shot up from MVR48 (US$3.11) to about MVR75 (US$5) after the import duty hike from MVR1.25 to MVR2 per cigarette came into effect. The price of a single cigarette is up from MVR2.50 to about MVR4.

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President launches US$400m airport runway project

President Abdulla Yameen launched Monday morning a US$400 million project awarded to China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group to build a new runway at the Velana International Airport.

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High court deals blow to Gasim’s bid to retain airport

The high court overturned a lower court order halting the tourism ministry’s takeover of the Kaadehdhoo airport in Gaaf Dhaal airport.

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Thousand jobs on offer at Hulhumalé youth career expo

According to state media, the jobs fair in Hulhumalé was organised by the economic development ministry and the state-owned Housing Development Corporation at the behest of First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim, who is overseeing the president’s re-election campaign.

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