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Business & Tourism

National bank to set up airport kiosk for dollar sales

From January 8 onward, travellers can buy up to US$500 dollars per ticket through an online portal or at any BML branch. But the dollars must be collected from a dedicated area at the Velana International Airport after checking in at the departure terminal.

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Government offers sovereign guarantee for businesses

According to new regulations enacted by the finance ministry last week, sovereign guarantees will only be offered for loans taken with an interest rate below four percent to finance tourism-related projects, social housing projects that meet the government’s criteria, and high-priority development projects.

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Government defends plans to sell US$200m worth of sovereign bonds

In the face of criticism from the opposition, the finance ministry said the Maldives’ first ever international sovereign bond issuance would help raise finances for infrastructure projects and develop the country’s financial system and capital market.

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Fresh corruption allegations raised in 2014 tourism ministry audit

The audit report of the tourism ministry for 2014 has raised fresh allegations of corruption over the lease of islands and lagoons for resort development during the tenure of former Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.

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Maldives’ main airport renamed ‘Velana International Airport’

Velana is a reference to former President Ibrahim Nasir, the president’s office explained, who oversaw the development of the Maldives’ first international airport as prime minister in 1964.

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Feydhoo Finolhu leased to Chinese company for US$4m

Feydhoo Finolhu, the nearest uninhabited island to Malé and the international airport, has been leased to a Chinese company for 50 years at an acquisition cost of about US$4 million.

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Maldives to pay US$15m for scrapping Nexbis border control deal

Malaysia-based security firm Nexbis Solutions has won an arbitration award of US$15 million as compensation for the Maldivian government’s termination of a US$39 million border control project.

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PPM MPs’ fuel supplier wins lawsuit against ports company

The civil court ordered the state-owned Maldives Ports Limited to buy diesel for its vehicles exclusively from Meridiam Services, a company linked to ruling party MP Riyaz Rasheed.

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OPEC Fund lends US$50m for new airport terminal

The government signed Sunday a US$50 million loan agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development to finance the expansion of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. According to the finance ministry,

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Money laundering checks are a burden on small countries, says Yameen

President Abdulla Yameen has described international money-laundering checks as “red tape” that inflicts disproportionate burdens on small economies.

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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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