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Business & Tourism

Concern over investor confidence after appeals court approves seizure of Villa properties

The high court has ruled the government’s seizure of two lagoons leased to Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group lawful in a verdict that critics claim was politically motivated and would affect investor confidence in the Maldives.

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Central bank defends bailing out government with GMR payout

The MMA confirmed to the Maldives Independent that it invested in a US$140 million government-guaranteed bond issued by the Maldives Airports Company Ltd on November 15, two days before the attorney general announced the payment of US$271 million in damages to the Indian infrastructure firm.

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Parliament approves MVR26.7bn budget for 2017

The parliament passed with a 60-vote majority on Thursday the MVR26.7 billion (US$1.7 billion) budget proposed for 2017, approving the government’s spending plans and revenue raising measures without any revisions.

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Central bank takes over dollar sales amid shortage

The move comes after hundreds of Maldivians planning to travel during the school holiday season queued for hours outside the only Bank of Maldives branch in Malé that sold dollars. Eyewitnesses told the Maldives Independent that queue token numbers were sold for up to MVR500 last week.

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Maldives pays US$271m in damages to India’s GMR

The government of the Maldives has paid US$271million in damages to Indian infrastructure firm, GMR, for the abrupt termination of a lucrative contract to develop and manage the country’s main airport.

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Contract signed to convert Addu convention centre to hospital

The government awarded today a project worth MVR161.8 million (US$10.4 million) to Alia Construction to convert the Equatorial Convention Centre in Addu City to a 100-bed hospital.

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PPM MPs want to exempt Maldivians from paying new airport fee

A minister told the parliament’s budget review committee Thursday that the government did not plan to exempt Maldivians from paying the proposed US$25 Airport Development Charge.

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New airport fees and ‘congestion tax’ among revenue-raising measures for 2017

A US$25 airport development charge, a “congestion tax” and increased import duties for tobacco and fizzy drinks are among a raft of revenue-raising measures proposed in the 2017 state budget

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Finance minister presents MVR26.7bn budget for 2017

Along with an ambitious infrastructure scale-up, the finance minister said the budget is geared towards bringing the Maldives’ growing debt on a sustainable footing

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Under pressure: Yameen accused of targeting business owned by MPs loyal to Gayoom

Yameen is being accused of cracking down on businesses owned by lawmakers loyal to his half-brother, following a renewed bid by the government to seize properties from Gasim’s Villa Group and Saleem’s Red Wave company, and the cancellation of a lucrative contract awarded to a third lawmaker.

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Maldives to pay Indian firm at least US$250m in damages for cancelling airport deal

Indian infrastructure firm, GMR, has won at least US$250million in damages from the Maldivian government for abruptly cancelling a lucrative contract to develop and manage the country’s main airport

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Steep decline in Chinese tourist arrivals continues

As of August this year, Chinese arrivals have fallen by -11.5 percent, prompting Mega Maldives Airlines, which pioneered direct flights to China, to downsize and freeze hiring plans.

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Ruling party MP threatens to sue state ports company

Maldives Ports Limited CEO Mohamed Junaidh told the press this morning that Meridiam Services has been billing for 160,000 litres a month despite MPL’s vehicles needing only 60,000 litres, resulting in a loss of MVR1.2 million (US$78,000) every month.

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Ports company ordered to buy diesel exclusively from MPs’ company

The civil court granted the temporary order pending a judgment in a lawsuit filed by Meridiam Services, which claims the Maldives Ports Limited is buying diesel from other suppliers in breach of an agreement signed last April.

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Saudi Arabia pledges US$150m ‘bailout loan’ to Maldives

The US$150m loan will be used to service the Maldives’ foreign debt. The opposition claims the move is a signal that the Maldives is heading towards a balance of payment crisis.

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STO reassures shareholders after merger with debt-ridden fisheries company

The State Trading Organisation, the largest state-owned enterprise and the country’s primary wholesaler, has assured its shareholders that a merger with the debt-ridden state fisheries company will not result in losses.

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President faces cross-party backlash over hike in food prices

Yameen said he had no choice but to hike food prices following a backlash from within his own party. The opposition has meanwhile accused him of mismanaging the economy

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