In Brief – N.27 – December 20, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said it is “not necessary” that the IMF participates in Greece’s bailout along with the EU, considering Greece’s reduced funding needs and the IMF’s “not constructive” stance.

Air France is supporting the resumption of commercial exchange with Iran and will serve Teheran from Paris-Charles de Gaulle 3 times a week starting in April 2016, announced the air transport company.

After weighing its options, the internet pioneer Yahoo is reportedly focusing more on selling itself off. If it does go ahead with a sale, though, it won’t exactly be a ringing endorsement of CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy to date.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s coalition fared poorly in parliamentary election, winning 55 seats in the National Assembly to the opposition’s 112, its first parliamentary electoral loss in 17 years.

The technology magazine Wired and the website Gizmodo both published investigative pieces that pointed to Craig Stephen Wright, a 44-year-old Australian entrepreneur living in a posh suburb of Sydney who could be the Bitcoin’s inventor.

“The DPRK (turned) into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation,” KCNA quoted leader Kim Jong-un as saying, but outside experts were skeptical.

As Chinese authorities intensify their scrutiny of the financial industry, Guo Guangchang, the billionaire chairman at the Fosun Group, one of the country’s biggest private conglomerates which owns the Club Med chain of resorts and a stake in the Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, is missing.

The Federal Reserve (Fed) reported that US household wealth fell $1.23 trillion in the Q3 2015. That was the biggest quarterly drop, 1.4%, in four years. American households ended the Q3 with a net worth of just over $85 trillion.

Global crude oil prices at seven-year lows will not continue and could swing upwards in as little as a year, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Badri said, as the low-price cycle leads to cuts in output from some producers.

Business confidence in Germany rose in December to hit a four-month high in spite of the economic challenges of the European migrant crisis and slowdown in emerging economies, latest figures from the country’s ZEW institute showed.

US fast food giant Burger King, which has taken over the chain Quick in France, is to leave around 40 stores under the original name, which will be turned into “100 percent halal” fast food outlets, with a view to conquering a market valued at €5 billion.

In face of criticism, Trump surged to his biggest lead over the GOP field. Following his proposal to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the country, Donald Trump has increased his lead in the Republican primary to its largest margin yet at 38%, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Ratings agency Fitch has blamed Brazil’s recession for the downgrade of its sovereign debt to BB+, or ‘junk.’ A worsening political and economic outlook were cited, as President Dilma Rouseff fights an impeachment battle.

Greek lawmakers approved legislation granting the right to sell bad business loans from local banks to overseas funds as part of a new austerity bill demanded by bailout lenders from the rest of the eurozone.