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South Korea cuts key rate to record low 0.5% to fight COVID-19 hit

SEOUL — The Bank of Korea cut its key interest rate to a record low 0.5% on Thursday in a bid to cushion economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Underscoring the scope of that hit, the central bank also forecast that gross domestic product will contract 0.2% this year, a sharp reversal from its previous projection for growth of 2.1%.

The BOK said its seven-member monetary policy board lowered its benchmark rate by 25 basic points, or 0.25 percentage point, as domestic economic activity has slowed significantly. The bank said that the country faces multiple challenges in the form of

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Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou loses key decision in extradition case

NEW YORK — A Canadian judge on Wednesday ruled that the extradition trial of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, will move on to the next stage as the premise of the extradition request — “double criminality” — is met.

“On the question of law posed, I conclude that, as a matter of law, the double criminality requirement for extradition is capable of being met in this case. The effects of the U.S. sanctions may properly play a role in the double criminality analysis as part of the background or context against which the alleged conduct is examined,” wrote Associate

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Huawei executive loses key decision in extradition case

NEW YORK — A Canadian judge on Wednesday ruled that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s extradition trial will move on to the next stage as the premise of the extradition request — “double criminality” — is met.

“On the question of law posed, I conclude that, as a matter of law, the double criminality requirement for extradition is capable of being met in this case. The effects of the U.S. sanctions may properly play a role in the double criminality analysis as part of the background or context against which the alleged conduct is examined,” wrote Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes

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Government set to take stakes in key industries under Project Birch plans

France and Germany lined up bailouts worth €14bn to take equity stakes in big industrial companies, as Britain drew up a similar plan, known as Project Birch, to prop up strategic firms stricken by the coronavirus crisis.

As the main eurozone economies intensified support for struggling companies, carmakers and airlines are first in line. The crash in sales makes companies with high fixed costs and low margins highly vulnerable.

Germany’s Government is set to take a 20pc stake in exchange for a €9bn (£7.9bn) rescue of flagship airline Deutsche Lufthansa, while its operations in other countries are also in talks

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