From Volume 7, Issue 37 of EIR Online, Published Sept. 9, 2008

Global Economic News

China Levies 150% Export Tariff on Fertilizers

Sept. 2 (EIRNS)—Starting today, China began to collect a 150% export tariff on nitrogenous fertilizer and synthetic ammonia, according to the Customs Tariff Commission (CTC) of the state council. This move is to ensure that domestic demand for these fertilizers is satisfied.

This special tariff and the 100% special tariff on other fertilizers will last through the end of this year.

Originally, a special export tariff of 100% was placed on all fertilizers from April 20 through Sept. 30. During this period of high domestic demand, the tariff was meant to ensure that China could meet all its own food production needs.

The new tariff will affect countries Japan, which imports about half its fertilizer from China.

Allianz Unloads Dresdner onto Commerzbank

Sept. 1 (EIRNS)—Europe's biggest insurance company, Allianz, in a deal announced yesterday, has unloaded its banking operation, Dresdner, onto Germany's number-two bank, Commerzbank, for $14.4 billion. Dresdner, one of Germany's oldest banks, has been an Allianz albatross since it purchased it in 2001.

Commerzbank's shares dropped 6.5% in early trading today. The London Times reported that Commerzbank would save some £1.9 billion by the time that the deal is completed, through "cost synergies"—referring in part to the 9,000 jobs that will be eliminated.

Allianz is to unload 60.2% of Dresdner this year, and the remainder in 2009. But the deal is not actually to be fully completed until 2018, the New York Times reports today.

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